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PhD Program in East Asian Linguistics

The East Asian Languages and Literatures Department offers a PhD program in East Asian Linguistics. This is one of few in the nation that offer a complete East Asian Linguistics program, focusing on Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Students may elect to specialize in Chinese, Japanese or Korean linguistics or, alternatively, they may undertake cross-linguistic studies involving two or three of the East Asian languages.

EALL faculty’s expertise covers major sub-fields of linguistics and applied linguistics. In our research and teaching, we emphasize functional and empirical approaches to the study of language structure and use. UO is also home to a very strong Linguistics Department, and students may augment their programs by drawing upon its course offerings.

  • Kaori Idemaru: Japanese linguistics, acoustic phonetics, second language acquisition, language pedagogy
  • Zhuo Jing-Schmidt: Cognitive linguistics, corpus linguistics, emotion and pragmatics, historical linguistics and grammaticalization, and Second Language Acquisition
  • Nayoung Kwon: (Korean) linguistics, psycho-/neuro-linguistics, language processing and acquisition.

1. Course Work

Students must successfully complete a minimum of nine graduate courses. At least six of these must be in the Department of EALL. Of the six EALL courses three must be selected from the following list:

CHN 580 Chinese Linguistics
EALL 540 East Asian Phonetics
EALL 541 Japanese and Korean Syntax
EALL 680 Research Methods and Bibliography

East Asian Linguistics Electives
CHN 581 Chinese Pedagogical Grammar
CHN 582 History of the Chinese Language
JPN 554 Japanese Pedagogical Grammar
KRN 510 Korean Pedagogical Grammar
EALL 543 Chinese, Japanese and Korean Pedagogy
EALL 542 SLA of Chinese, Japanese and Korean
EALL 586 East Asian Sociopragmatics
EALL 507 Seminar (Figurative Language etc.)
EALL 607 Seminar (East Asian Linguistics Bibliography and Research Methods etc.)

Theoretical Linguistics Courses
LING 511 Phonetics
LING 515 Semantics
LING 523 Fieldwork Methods and Ethics
LING 532 Pathology of Language
LING 535 Morphology and Syntax
LING 540 Linguistic Principles and Second-Language Learning
LING 544 Second-Language Acquisition
LING 550 Introduction to Phonology
LING 551 Functional Syntax I
LING 552 Functional Syntax II
LING 560 Historical and Comparative Linguistics
LING 590 Sociolinguistics
LING 595 Language and Gender
LING 614 Linguistic Theory: Phonology
LING 615 Linguistic Theory: Syntax
LING 616 Linguistic Theory: Semantics
LING 617, 618, 619 Field Methods I,II,III
LING 621 Empirical Methods in Linguistics
LING 622 Discourse Analysis
LING 644 Advanced Second-Language Acquisition
LING 660 Historical Syntax

LTS Courses
LT 528 Culture, Language and Literature
LT 535 Second Language Teaching Methods
LT 536 Second Language Teaching Planning
LT 537 Second Language Teaching Practice
LT 541 Teaching English Pronunciation
LT 548 Curriculum and Materials Development
LT 549 Testing and Assessment

Statistics Courses (in Psychology and Education Departments)
EDUC 614 Educational Statistics
PSY 302 Statistical Methods for Psychology
PSY 512 Applied Data Analysis

Courses must be chosen in consultation with the advisor and may be tailored to the research interests of individual students (Applied Linguistics, Theoretical Linguistics, etc.). While it is important to balance the courses of study, it is important to develop a specific research area and to focus on taking courses related to that area.

2. Comprehensive Examination and Qualifying Paper

Students in the East Asian Linguistics PhD track must successfully complete (I) a comprehensive examination and (II) a qualifying paper in order to advance to candidacy (ABD, all but dissertation) status. By the end of their second year in the Ph.D. program at the very latest, each student should identify a committee of three professors who will oversee their training for the comprehensive examination. Since each person’s needs and interests may be different, students are expected to work closely with their primary advisor at all stages of the process.

The comprehensive examination is distinct from the qualifying paper. The comprehensive examination papers and oral examination involve general preparation and give the student an opportunity to show broad knowledge of a field. The qualifying paper is focused on the student’s main research area and demonstrates the ability to undertake, bring to completion, and eventually publish a research project. The comprehensive examination and qualifying paper enable students to demonstrate that they can be successful as researchers and teachers. Students will advance to ABD status after the successful completion of both the comprehensive examination and the qualifying paper in addition to completion of all required coursework.

2.1 Comprehensive Examination

The goal of the comprehensive examination is to make sure that students are broadly enough trained that they are qualified to teach beyond the narrow research focus of their dissertation.  The comprehensive examination is composed of a written and an oral component.

In conjunction with their primary advisor, students will choose three fields: a major field and two minor fields, each to be advised by a professor in that area. Linguistic fields may be determined by theoretical orientation, language orientation, and methodology. In conjunction with their advisors, students will develop a reading list of 20-40 items for each field. It is expected that reading lists will develop organically from graduate seminars and readings and conferences.

For each field, the student will submit a comprehensive examination paper. The papers may be developed from a term paper written for a seminar, or written for the sake of the examination, as determined by the advisor. These comprehensive examination papers should demonstrate the student’s broad knowledge of a field. Ideally, for the major field, this paper will be the basis for a dissertation chapter. In some instances, students may be asked to develop a syllabus rather than write a research paper.

Advisors have two weeks to read and approve each comprehensive examination paper. After the three comprehensive examination papers have been approved by the field examiner and the primary advisor, the student will schedule an oral examination. The oral examination, to last one to two hours, is an opportunity for the three examiners to engage the student in a broad conversation about the items on the reading lists. The goal of the oral examination is to ensure that students have enough familiarity with both the critical and primary works in the field to teach at the post-secondary level. The oral examination is not open to the public.

Both parts of the comprehensive examination should be completed by the end of the student’s third year in the Ph.D. program. It is at the discretion of the committee to determine if students should have a second opportunity to sit for an oral examination if the first attempt is not successful. At the discretion of the committee, those students whose performance is deemed unsatisfactory may be granted a terminal M.A.

2.2 Qualifying paper

As the equivalent of the prospectus defense for culture track students, linguistics students are expected to produce an original publishable paper, of substantial length and quality, in a subfield of linguistics. This qualifying paper should demonstrate the student’s ability to carry out an empirical study and to write an analytical research paper. The unmodified M.A. thesis cannot serve this purpose.

A committee consisting of the advisor and a second faculty member familiar with the subfield will referee the qualifying paper. The student may be asked to revise the qualifying paper before it is accepted as satisfactory work. Upon documented completion of the paper, the student needs to identify a dissertation committee (three faculty from EALL and one outside member) and notify the graduate secretary. At this point the student will confirm the dissertation topic and present a prospectus, which for linguistics students constitutes a short abstract detailing their research topic. This should be done within one term of completing the qualifying paper. After the prospectus has been approved, the student will advance to candidacy.

In order to leave enough time for the dissertation research and writing, the qualifying paper and prospectus should be completed during the third year of study and no later than the winter term of the fourth year. Students who are unable to complete a viable qualifying paper by spring of their fourth year in the Ph.D. program will be granted a terminal M.A.

3. Advancement to Candidacy 

Students will advance to candidacy upon successful completion of both the comprehensive exam and the qualifying paper as well as the required course work.  At this point, the student and the Department must electronically submit the advancement to candidacy to the Graduate School for approval.

4. Doctoral Committee and Dissertation

 The doctoral committee must include at least three faculty members from EALL and an outside member, and must be either chaired or co-chaired by the doctoral adviser in EALL. The PhD is granted upon the completion of the course requirements, the comprehensive exams, the qualifying paper, the composition of an original dissertation acceptable to the doctoral committee, and a successful oral defense of the doctoral dissertation.

Refer to the following web pages for general Graduate School Requirements