- Historical linguistics (one three-hour examination): This exam will test the candidate’s knowledge of scholarship relating to the history of the German language and to the structure and history of the older Germanic languages.
- Modern linguistics (two ninety-minute examinations): This exam will test the candidate’s knowledge of scholarship relating to two of the following sub-areas:
- Syntax of Modern German
- Morphology of Modern German
- Phonology of Modern German
- Philology (two ninety-minute examinations): This exam will test the candidate’s knowledge of textual genres, literary periods, and primary and secondary literature in two of the following areas:
- Older Continental West Germanic (Old High German and Old Saxon)
- Middle High German
- Old Norse
- Old English
Ph.D. Preliminary Examination for Germanic Linguistics and Philology
Part I: The candidate will select two of the following three general areas:
Part II: Elective (one take-home examination written over a period of seven (7) full days):
In this exam the candidate has the opportunity to “define herself.” In most cases, the elective will focus extensively on the candidate’s proposed area of dissertation research. Examples of possible areas might include:
- courtly romance
- religious symbolism in Gottfried’s Tristan and Isolde
- acquisition of German as a second language
- development of verb placement in the English-German interlanguage of classroom learners
- morphology of Modern Dutch
- synthetic compounds in Modern Yiddish
- phonology of Mainland Scandinavian
- Eastern Scandinavian vowel systems
- diachronic syntax of German
- the development of the determiner system in the history of German
In offering this list of sample electives, we try to suggest that there should be considerable latitude regarding precisely how narrow or broad this area should be.
Preparation + Scheduling
If Part IB is selected, then both sections of Part IB shall be taken on the same day. If Part IC is selected, then both sections of Part IC shall be taken on the same day. The two sections selected for Part I shall be taken either on consecutive business days or with one business day intervening. Part II shall begin within six months of the completion of Part I.
There will be no fixed reading lists for Part I. Candidates will develop a plan for preparing for these examinations under the supervision of appropriate faculty members. Part II will require the candidate to develop an extensive reading list in consultation with appropriate faculty members.
Part I shall be followed by a one-hour oral examination that may address any perceived deficiencies in Part I of the candidate’s written exam or cover any areas in Germanic linguistics/philology deemed appropriate. Part II shall be followed by a one-hour examination, the first 20 minutes of which shall be devoted to a presentation by the candidate outlining her projected dissertation research. The remaining 40 minutes may address any perceived deficiencies in Part II of the candidate’s written exam, her 20-minute presentation, or any other areas relevant to her proposed dissertation research deemed appropriate.
The oral examination for Part II shall be scheduled within two weeks of the completion of the written examination for Part II. If the written examinations are scheduled such that less than two weeks intervene between the completion of Part I and the beginning of Part II, at the candidate’s request, the oral examinations for Part I and Part II may be scheduled for a single two-hour block; otherwise, the oral examination for Part I shall be scheduled within two weeks of the completion of the written examination for Part I.