ENG2168 – Words: English morphology and lexicology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course consists of four parts: word formation (morphology), the history of English words, the meaning of words, and lexicography, i.e. the principles of dictionary creation. In the first part of the course we study English morphology, that is the structure of words. A word is typically made up of a root, to which may be added various affixes (prefixes and suffixes) to create new words. The focus of the second part of the course is the origin of words in English. English is an unusual language in the sense that it has a particularly large number of loanwords from other languages, which is due to historical events. We therefore look at where English words come from and how native English words and word elements have merged in the history of English. In the third part of the course we consider the meaning of words, and the meaning relations words enter into, for example synonymy, hyponymy, collocations. The part about lexicography will be spread out over the term. In connection with all the other topics, we look at dictionaries and the way that lexicographers have to take morphology, history and meaning into consideration when constructing dictionary entries.




Learning outcome

After completing the course, you will be able to

  • explain the structure of English words
  • account for the history of the English vocabulary
  • reflect on the meaning of words and their meaning relations to other words
  • describe how dictionaries are constructed and use them efficiently


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

The course requires ENG1100 – English Grammar or similar knowledge.


Seminar, two hours per week for 14 weeks, 28 hours in total.

Students are expected to attend all teaching and to participate actively in all seminars.

Obligatory activities:

  • There are two obligatory assignments. One is a small group project which is presented to the rest of the class and one is a written assignment which is similar to the exam in format.

Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for postponements.


The course requirements must be fulfilled in order to take the exam.

The final grade is set on the basis of a take-home exam spanning over 3 days.

Both language and content will be part of the assessment.

Previously given exams and assessment criteria

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Once the course requirements have been fulfilled, they remain valid for the current and the next two semesters that the course is taught.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2020

This course is not offered Autumn 2021


Autumn 2020

This course is not offered Autumn 2021

Teaching language