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Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics


Part II

Part II is subdivided into Part IIA and IIB. In both years you choose from a wide range of papers including those dealing with different linguistic levels and perspectives.

In Part IIA you take four optional papers from the Part II papers offered by the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (Section C) and those offered by other departments (borrowed papers - Section D).

If you transfer into Part IIA of the Linguistics Tripos after completing Part I in another tripos, you will take two of the introductory papers from Part I of the Linguistics Tripos (Li1 Sounds and words and Li2 Structures and meanings), unless you have already taken these papers.

In Part IIB, in addition to choosing two new papers from Sections C & D, you will take a compulsory general theory paper (Li5 Linguistic Theory) and during the year you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice.


All papers are taught via 16 hours of lectures and all (except the Linguistic Theory Paper, Li5) have 8 supervisions.

For some papers, practical classes will be offered by the Department in addition to the regular teaching and supervisions. These classes are optional and you will not be disadvantaged in the examination if you do not attend - that is to say, no new content will be introduced in these sessions. Details of practical classes can be found on the relevant page for each paper.


Supervisions at Part II are generally organised by the Department but colleges may arrange them if Directors of Studies so wish. This is done at the beginning of the academic year. For papers with larger numbers of students the process of allocation may take up to one week; but you should be reassured that only three supervisions are normally given during the Michaelmas Term and you will not be required to write an essay until after the term is under way. You will be contacted by your supervisors at the beginning of term.

For supervision arrangements for papers Li1 Sounds & Words and Li2 Structures & Meanings, please read the page on Part I of the Linguistics Tripos.

Preparation for Li5 Linguistic Theory is primarily the same as that for the specialist papers and by a seminar series in the Lent and Easter Terms. No supervisions are provided for the Linguistic Theory paper.

You are also entitled to four supervisions for your dissertation.


Examination for papers offered by the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics will be by 3 hour written examination during the Easter Term. The format of the examination will vary from paper to paper. Exam papers from previous years and/or specimen exam papers are available on CamTools. Please note that Li6 Phonetics also includes a practical exam, for which students will have to register for separately on CamSIS when enrolling for exams.

Please contact the relevant department for details on examinations for borrowed papers.

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