Master Classes in


at the University of Tromsø

SPRING: Concepts & Categories: Contemporary Russian Cognitive Linguistics (RUS 3030; deadline previous October 1)

FALL: History and Dialectology of Russian (RUS 3010; deadline previous May 1)

This program features two MA-level courses in Russian/Cognitive linguistics taught by Tore Nesset and Laura Janda:

•In the Spring semester, the course (RUS 3030) focuses on the crucial affinities of Russian functional linguistics and Cognitive Linguistics through a series of articles representing the best of both traditions. Students improve their analytical abilities through a series of problem sets targeting grammatical phenomena of Russian. Other highlights include guest lectures and a symposium showcasing students’ research.

•In the Fall semester, the course (RUS 3010) features the latest scientific breakthroughs in one of the most enduring and most famous controversies of Russian intellectual history, namely the authenticity of the Igor’ tale. We also analyze recently discovered medieval birch bark letters and discuss their meaning for the evolution of the Russian language. These exciting findings are highlighted against the backdrop of materials from Old Church Slavonic, Saint’s Lives, Chronicles, and other texts, culminating with Lomonosov and Derzhavin. Other components include liturgical and iconographic use of language.

•All students can take advantage of individualized advising on a topic of their choice, and participate in empirical research projects, such as “Exploring Emptiness”. The presence of the research group, Slavic cognitive linguistics in Tromsø, and the University of Tromsø Cognitive Linguistics Reading Group constitute additional resources for students. There is also a Russian film series.

In addition to the course in Russian Linguistics, students can choose from among various tracks emphasizing special strengths of the University of Tromsø:

•Russian studies: Further advanced study of Russian language and culture, with possible special emphasis on popular culture

Theoretical linguistics: State-of-the-art courses in phonology and syntax through the Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Linguistics

•Scandinavian studies: Promotes expertise in the history and current phenomena of Nordic languages

English studies: Polishing of English proficiency and theoretical background

•Language acquisition: L1 and L2 acquisition studies drawing upon both primary experimental research and scholarly articles

Indigenous studies: The languages and cultures of minority groups, with special emphasis on the Sami of northern Europe.

NOTE: The University of Tromsø does not charge tuition, so the only costs involved are travel and living expenses. The Erasmus program may provide funding for students from EU countries, and other funding opportunities may be available for students from other countries. The only requirements are that students have good knowledge of both English and Russian and be prepared to study for one semester at the MA level.

How to apply:

Apply by going to the University of Tromsø's webpage and downloading your Application form and Learning Agreement under the "Prospective Students" link on the left-hand side. You can also download the following documents here: Information letter from International Dept, Application form for International Students (Free Movers), and Information for Free Movers.

Some advantages of studying in Tromsø:

--One of the largest, best funded linguistics programs in the world

--Mentorship by Laura A. Janda and Tore Nesset

--Scenic setting, with a legendary combination of city comforts and access to unspoiled nature (cf. Destination Tromsø)

--Rich cultural life, including everything from classical to modern music, theater and films, internationally acclaimed festivals (cf. Tromsø International Film Festival, Tromsø By)

--International milieu that welcomes people from all backgrounds

Student wins international award for paper written in our 3030 course Spring 2008:

Susana Hancock won the 2008 Dr. Joseph Hasek award for the best term paper written by a graduate student on a topic concerning Czech and/or Slovak history, politics, or culture written at a university outside the Czech and Slovak Republics. Susana undertook an analysis of the effect of the do- prefix on perfectivizing Czech verbs. Her analysis is both based upon and entails a significant extension of William Croft’s (as yet unpublished) work on verbal aspect. Susana Hancock’s paper makes a significant contribution to Croft’s cutting-edge work by showing how the do- prefix effects aspectual coercion, forcing all types of events to be conceptualized as achievements (following the Vendlerian tradition of recognizing four types of events). The award includes a cash prize and is administered by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts & Sciences (SVU).

What our students say about the program:

"My semester in Tromsø has been delightful and very engaging. I had not studied cognitive linguistics before I came here, but Laura and Tore made the material very accessible with just the right amount of challenge. As a country, Norway lends itself nicely to the study of linguistics. Not only is there more than one language standard, but there are fifteen-odd dialects that are not necessarily mutually comprehensible-and that is not mentioning all of the other embedded languages! In addition to studying linguistics, I had the opportunity to take several indigenous anthropology and local history classes as well as to learn a new language. My time in Tromsø did not just revolve around academics, however. I played the cello in the city orchestra and was the co-president of Northern Norway's Amnesty International student network. With Amnesty, I had the opportunity to travel all around the country and Barents region to organize and participate in human rights demonstrations and conferences. The Tromsø women's group even let me speak at the opening for International Women's Day-even though I had to speak in English! Tromsø is a very comfortable city with an incredible environment and very welcoming and helpful people. Even though I cannot stay in Tromsø beyond the summer, I look forward to being able to return in the future and am very happy for the opportunities I enjoyed while here." -- Susana Hancock, USA

"Горы, море, северное сияние, полярный день, бесконечная красота природы, тишина и спокойствие (ну, кроме, разве что центра города в субботу вечером) — это только одна сторона медали. Другая сторона — все, что касается учебного процесса. Трумсе — идеальное место, чтобы получать образование, в университете сделано всё возможное, чтобы учиться было не только полезно, но и приятно. Сюда стоит приехать, чтобы побывать хотя бы на одной лекции Лоры и Туре, узнать, какое отношение песок, контейнеры, камни и божья коровка имеют к языку и лингвистике. А если очень повезет, то удастся попробовать домашнее варенье…" --Настя Макарова, Россия

Uczestnictwo w kursie lingwistyki kognitywnej prowadzonym przez Laurę i Tore było wspaniałym doświadczeniem - naukowym, jak i interpersonalnym. Zagadnienia poruszane na kursie pomagają spojrzeć na język z zupełnie innej, ciekawej perspektywy, a niebywały entuzjazm Laury oraz sympatia Tore czynią z zajęć bardziej przyjemność niż obowiązek. Polecam wszystkim :))) --Sylwia Grabarz, Polska

Det siste semesteret har jeg fulgt kurset RUS-3030, og jeg kan gi det mine varmeste anbefalinger. For en som tidligere ikke har drevet med kognitiv lingvistikk, byr emnet på en rekke små og store oppdagelser; det har vært både morsomt og lærerikt! Og i tillegg til å være flinke og underholdende forelesere, tar Tore og Laura godt vare på studentene sine gjennom god oppfølging og veiledning. Siden jeg selv kommer fra Tromsø, skal jeg avstå fra flammende taler om alle fortrinn min hjemplass har som studieby, men jeg slutter meg likefullt til det mine medstudenter har skrevet ovenfor! --Jon Sigurd Kvello, Norge

Contact us:

Click on these links to send an email to Laura Janda or Tore Nesset