Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

 Department of Theoretical Linguistics

Starting Page > MA & PhD in Linguistics


Department of Theoretical Linguistics


ELTE -- HAS, Research Institute for Linguistics (RIL)

1068 Budapest, Benczúr utca 33.

Mail: 1399 Budapest, P. O. Box 701/518, Hungary

Phone: (36-1) 3214-830/179

Fax: (36-1) 322-9297

e-mail: kinga@nytud.hu


Head of Department: Dr.  Zoltán  Bánréti  associate professor, senior research fellow

Research Coordinator: Kinga Gárdai  

The Theoretical Linguistics Programme – after a 3-year-long preliminary experimental phase--was founded in 1993 according to the orders of the ELTE FA Faculty Council and the ELTE University Council, in accordance with the decision of the Ministry of Education. The Theoretical Linguistics PhD Programme, which was launched in 1996, is currently part of the ELTE Faculty of Arts Linguistics PhD Programme.

The Programme is administered Theoretical Linguistics Department, which is located at the Research Institute for Linguistics of HAS (Hungarian Academy of Sciences).

The Theoretical Linguistics Department has one professor emeritus position, one full associate professor position and two part-time associate professor positions. The ten permanent lecturers at the department are full time researchers of the Research Institute for Linguistics of HAS. (The lecturers at the department)

To whom do we recommend this major?

To those students who take an interest in the description, acquisition and use of natural languages.

The particular areas covered include:

-the connections between language and psychology

-the issues of language acquisition

-the relationship between language and society

-the comparison of languages

-the examination of language as a formal system

-the problems of computational linguistics

-the description of languages going beyond the concerns of traditional grammars

Admission to the programme/major does not presuppose linguistic pre-training. The applicants are expected to approach complex problems such as the analysis of natural languages intelligently and creatively and to be receptive to their exact treatment. (The detailed description of the application process is given under the UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL heading, the requirements for application & admission for the Theoretical Linguistics PhD Programme are listed under the description of the PHD PROGRAMME  

Who are we looking for?

Everybody who is interested in the reserach of natural languages:

-arts students

-science students

-students of social studies

-students of mathematics

-information science students

General aims and educational policy of the department

The aim of the department is to train professionals who are conversant with  the field of theoretical linguistics,  have a good command of the basics and methodological issues of all subfields of linguistic research,  and have a thorough knowledge of one particlar subfield, which makes them capable of setting about independent research.

Our aim is that students acquire and creatively use theories and methodologies which are suitable for the description and explanation of the structural regularities of particular natural languages and the general principles of the structure of human languages. The training is centred around the basic disciplines of linguistics (phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics). The programme, however,  gives opportunity to study interface phenomena and connected academic fields (such as sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics and neurolinguistics) too. Among the lecturers of the department we find specialists of all major fields of modern linguistics. The department represents several theories but a uniform approach: it considers language as a structure to be uncovered and explained, that is, the normative or purely descriptive appoach is not followed.

In the programme (that is, the major), the independent programmes for non-linguistics majors (run by the department) and the connected PhD programme we teach the international findings of modern linguistic research. Our ultimate intention is that we teach our students to apply the results and standards of international linguistic research.  We have developed a system of courses, that is supposed to enhance the creative application of the models and trends of modern linguistics. Experience shows that, beyond the issues of linguistic theory, the students’ interest  is due to the fact that interface disciplines and related technical innovational facilities came to the front. These facilitate the training of researchers who are able to pursue a wide range of activities. The research seminars play an important role at the department. At such seminars the lecturers, senior students and postgraduate students discuss research findings and pursue joint research too. The teacher’s job then is to collect and put down the results. 

Within the Theoretical Linguistics Department beyond the MA programme, there is a PhD programme and several independent programmes for students who do not major in linguistics. The aim of these independent programmes is to ’cater for’ those students of ELTE who do not major in linguistics. The Theoretical Linguistics PhD programme serves similar purposes too, apart from theoretical linguistics PhD students, we regularly host students of other PhD programmes offering several fields of study (phonology, syntax, morphology and semantics): students from several PhD programmes actually receive their linguistics training in this programme (Romance studies, Finno-Ugric linguistics, Germanistics, Skandinavian studies). Ocassionally foreign students have their terms abroad here.        


 The English version is under construction. Please consult the Hungarian version

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