The concentration in linguistics is designed both for students interested in the discipline itself and for those wishing to use their understanding of linguistic structure to pursue other disciplines. Linguists are concerned with such issues as the commonalities of human languages, why languages change, how our linguistic abilities interact with our cognitive abilities, how language is learnable, and developing formal models of linguistic structure. Fields as diverse as anthropology, legal reasoning, language pathology, technical writing and editing, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) all rely heavily upon methods and models developed in linguistics. Required courses examine linguistic theory, phonology, syntax, and semantics, while electives may focus on computational, mathematical, or socio-linguistics, the philosophy of language, and biology and the evolution of language.
Students in this concentration will:
Concentrators are urged, but not required to take a seminar or independent study in their senior year, to integrate or deepen their concentration studies. In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the standard concentration, candidates for Honors complete two additional courses in Linguistics or related disciplines. One of these courses may be an independent study project upon which the thesis is based. Honors candidates should formalize their projects in consultation with their advisors by the end of the sixth semester. Only students with a strong academic record and an advisor willing to work with them will be allowed into the Honors Program. Please consult the department’s website for a complete description of admission procedures and requirements.
This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:
Linguistics alumni are now employed as software engineers, journalists and editors, and educators. Many have gone on to careers as university researchers and teachers.