autumn 2019
HIF-8038 Aspect across languages and linguistic schools - 5 ECTS

Application deadline

Ph.d.-students at UiT register for class and exam in Studentweb by September 1st in autumn semester and February 1st in spring semester.

Other applicants: Application deadline June 1st for autumn semester and December 1st for spring semester. Application code 9303 in Søknadsweb.

Type of course

The course can be taken as a single course by doctoral students from Norway and other countries.

Admission requirements

MA in language / linguistics or related field is obligatory requirement.

PhD students or holders of a Norwegian Master´s Degree of five years or 3+ 2 years (or equivalent) may be admitted. PhD students must upload a document from their university stating that they are registered PhD students.

Holders of a Master´s Degree must upload a Master´s Diploma with Diploma Supplement / English translation of the diploma. Applicants from listed countries must document proficiency in English. To find out if this applies to you see the following list: Profiency in English

For more information on accepted English proficiency tests and scores, as well as exemptions from the English proficiency tests, please see the following document:

The course does not have a limited number of seats. Any doctoral student with an interest in aspect and verbal categories is encouraged to attend.

Application code 9303.

Course content

The course will discuss peculiar properties of grammatical aspect, one of the most versatile and striking grammatical categories of natural languages. The primary objective of the course is to present recent accounts of aspect in terms of various theoretical frameworks, including contemporary cognitive and formal approaches. The focus will be on rich empirical data from a variety of languages, including Germanic, Slavic, Celtic, Romance and Indo-Iranian languages (in particular English, Russian, Bulgarian, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, and Hindi) as well as some non-Indo-European languages. The course will cover both broad-ranging issues regarding aspect as well as research findings of the instructors. Each instructor will hold a lecture and a tutoring session for students. The topics of the lectures are the following:

1. "On the primitives of aspect across languages and their acquisition" (María J. Arche, University of Greenwich)

2. "(Im)perfectivity across languages and theories" (Antonio Fábregas and Laura A. Janda, UiT The Arctic University of Norway)

3. "The interface of lexical semantics / clause structure and aspect" (Mila Dimitrova Vulchanova, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

4. "Aspectual categories across languages: semantic vs. morphological criteria" (Gillian C. Ramchand, UiT The Arctic University of Norway)

5. "TAME in a multilingual parallel corpus" (Östen Dahl, Stockholm University)

6. "A cognitive account of statements of fact in the Slavic East-West aspect division" (Stephen M. Dickey, University of Kansas)

Objectives of the course

By the end of the course the student has obtained the following:  


The student has

  • an overview of major theoretical approaches to grammatical aspect;
  • an advanced knowledge of how the category of aspect is grammatically represented in a wide range of languages; 
  • an overview of recent research findings on aspect and different theoretical approaches to aspect;
  • knowledge of different analyses of specific aspectual phenomena and data.


The student is able to

  • apply different theories and methodologies to his / her own research on aspect;
  • actively participate in academic discussion related to the topic;
  • formulate and present his/her own research questions and research findings;
  • write a course paper / scholarly article of reduced length under supervision.

Language of instruction and examination

The course will be taught in English. The students should write their course papers in English. 

Teaching methods

This is a three-day intensive course. The course will offer 6 lectures (2 hours each) and 3 tutorial sessions (2 hours each). Each day will consist of 2 lectures, lunch, and 1 tutorial session for students` presentations and discussions of students` projects with course instructors. After the course, there will also be a workshop on aspect that PhD students are welcome to attend at their expense. 

All courses will be evaluated once during the period of the study program. The board of the program decides which courses will be evaluated by students and teacher each year.


The following coursework requirements must be completed and approved in order to take the final exam:

  • reading the required scholarly articles prior to the course (about 350 pages in total)
  • attending all teaching sessions;
  • making a short presentation of the students` project (ppt & handout are required). If the student's research does not concern aspect, the topic of his/her presentation should be discussed individually prior to the course.

The course paper should be 8 pages long (about 4000 words). The essay will be evaluated as pass/fail.

Retake is offered in in the beginning of the following semester in cases of grade F or Fail. Deferred examination is offered in the beginning of the following semester if the student is unable to take the final exam due to illness or other exceptional circumstances. Registration deadline for retake is January 15 for autumn semester exams and August 15 for spring semester exams. 

Error rendering component

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: HIF-8038