In this introduction to Linguistic Typology we will look at human languages from a global perspective, including the West Germanic family which comprises both English and German. Our goal is to investigate the great morphological and syntactic diversity found among the languages of the world, as well as those linguistic properties that are shared by various, maybe even all, languages. Additional scenarios to be discussed are the spread of major world languages, but also the fate of much smaller, endangered linguistic communities, and language death. For this course, you should have a genuine interest in structural linguistics and the grammar of English and beyond.

To prepare take a first look at the World Atlas of Language Structures ( and the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages (

Recommended books:
Whaley (1997) Introduction to Typology: The Unity and Diversity of Language
Pereltsvaig (2017) Languages of the World: An Introduction.