Linguistics of Middle Eastern Languages

Core Major Course Requirements

MENAS Ph.D. students are required to take:

  • MENA 595D: Middle East - Approaches, Themes and Controversies 
  • One Course in Middle Eastern History
  • One Course in Islamic Studies
  • One Course in Gender and Society in the Middle East
  • Total Core Units (not including languages) = 12 credits

General Description

The Ph.D. program in the linguistics of Middle Eastern languages is designed for students interested in the following specializations:

  • Empirical analysis of the phonology, morphology, or syntax of Middle Eastern languages
  • Regional and social varieties of Middle Eastern languages
  • Middle Eastern languages in social and political contexts
  • Historical and contemporary study of Middle Eastern languages

The program provides students with training in research methods and analysis, and features discussions on current debates on Middle Eastern languages and their varieties within regional and national contexts; thereby accommodating both students interested in Ph.D. research and students with primary interest in language pedagogy.

Required Courses

Core Ph.D. Courses (all tracks)

Cultural component (6 units)

Choose two of the following (One three-unit course may serve to satisfy the gender/society requirement above):

  • Sociolinguistics- Language & Society of the Middle East   
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Survey-of-Middle-Eastern-Languages   

Basic/Theoretical linguistics component (15 units)

  • Linguistics 503 (Syntax I)
  • Linguistics 510 (Phonology I)
  • Linguistics 535 (Morphology)

 Choose two of the following structure courses:

  • New course: Structure of Near Eastern Languages
  • Courses in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish Linguistics
  • TAFL: Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language, to be cross-listed with SLAT and Linguistics
  • A teaching methods course with emphasis on Less Commonly Taught Languages

Research component (6 units)

  • Prelim course (3 units)
  • Qualifying paper credits (3 units)

Seminars: 2 required (6 units)

  • Structure of Iranian languages
  • Structure of Hebrew
  • Arabic dialects
  • Diglossia
  • Jewish languages
  • Issues in language politics (possibly Language Planning and Policy LRC 795)
  • Language and Gender
  • Gender across disciplines (MENA 640)
  • Philosophy of language

Minor (9 units)

        Can be in Linguistics, MENA, SLAT, Anthropology, LRC, or any related field approved by the Graduate Committee.   

Total Coursework Hours: 54

Contact Professor Samira Farwaneh ( for more information.