Student studying in Burling Library

Linguistics

Study the building blocks of language and learn how we turn thoughts into words.

If you’ve always loved languages but thought 2, 3, or even 10 weren’t enough, you can have all of them and more through linguistics, the study of language (singular). You’ll learn how to describe and analyze sound patterns and the forms, functions, and meanings of words, on their own and when combined into phrases and sentences. Through these elements, linguists try to explain what in the human mind lets us not only utter what we think but also understand each other’s utterances, in our societies and across generations.

Why Study Linguistics?

  • A hand writing in a notebook

    DEEP ANALYSIS

    Explore communications, meaning, and the human mind

    Through the study of linguistics, you’ll learn how to describe and analyze sound patterns and the forms, functions, and meanings of words, on their own and combined into phrases and sentences. You’ll explore how the human mind lets us not only utter what we think, but also understand each other’s utterances, in our societies and across generations.

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    CAREER PREPARATION

    A wide range of study prepares you well for any field

    You’ll emerge from the linguistics concentration with knowledge of how we learn to speak a language; how central it is to human culture, behavior, and society; and how we use it for creative expression in writing and other modes of communication. You’ll gain a compact liberal arts education in one field that lets you pursue many things, from graduate study to careers in education, computing, and more.

  • A young man stands in the library stacks examining a book

    RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

    Explore new questions and discover new answers

    You’ll have the opportunity to conduct research in an advanced seminar or independent project that will allow you to explore questions still open in the field. You’ll bring your linguistics education together with what you’ve learned in related subjects, such as anthropology, computer science, philosophy, and psychology, not to mention the study of languages in the curriculum and community.

     

Department News

Daniel Rosenbloom pulls a book from the library shelf.

Linguistics Detective

Daniel Rosenbloom’s MAP, titled Russian-English Translation of Russian-language Linguistic Studies, reflects his interest in languages and politics. Rosenbloom set out to translate a book on the linguistics of the Avar language, which is spoken in the remote Russian republic of Dagestan.
Celeste Miller poses lying crosswise on a stool with violinist behind her

How Dance and Language Converge

Assistant Professors Cynthia Hansen and Celeste Miller introduced a 2-credit class last spring to help trailblaze a new theory: choreolinguistics, which explores the intersection of linguistics and dance.
Closeup of a baseball

The Linguistic Structure of Japanese Baseball Chants

World-renowned phonologist Armin Mester will present work he has been developing with collaborators that seeks to explain the complex sound patterns in adapting a batter’s name for use in…

Meet Our Students and Faculty

Linguistic faculty and graduating students 2019

Linguistics faculty and graduating students 2019
 
Row 1: Temitayou Wolff ’19, Hadley Luker ’19, Lily Bohlke ’19, Professor Chisato Kojima
Row 2: Professor Hansen, Professor Mercado, Professor Herold, Professor Fennel

Department Information

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