Language is a uniquely human capacity that enables us to communicate a limitless set of messages on any topic. While human languages can differ greatly in certain respects, all are intricate, complex, rule-governed systems. Linguistics is the scientific study of these systems, their use in communicative and other social settings, and their cognitive and neural underpinnings. The linguistics concentration at Brown gives students a background in the “core” aspects of the language system: phonetics/phonology (the study of speech sounds and their patterning), syntax (the study of combinatorics of words, phrases, and sentences), and semantics/pragmatics (the study of the meanings of words, sentences, and conversation). Beyond this, students may focus more heavily in one or more of these areas and/or explore related questions such as how children and adults learn language (language acquisition), how utterances are produced and understood in real time (psycholinguistics), or how speaking and understanding are anchored in underlying neural systems (neurolinguistics). Other areas such as historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, philosophy of language, and linguistic anthropology can also be pursued in conjunction with offerings in other departments.
Students who wish to pursue one or more aspects of Linguistics in greater depth than does the Bachelor of Arts, and to focus on some of the more technical, computational, and/or experimental areas of the field may choose to take a Bachelor of Science in Linguistics. Students will choose a focus pathway which will direct their choices. Pathways include: Language, Computation, and Information; Language, Mind, and Brain; Meaning and Logic, or one of the student's design, with approval from the concentration advisor.
Here's what concentrators from the classes of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, reported they were doing in their first year after graduation.
- University of California, Berkeley, PhD, Linguistics
- Data Engineer, Facebook
- Editorial Assistant, Alfred A. Knopf
- Investigator Level 1, New York Civilian Complaint Review Board
- Sales Tax Compliance Consultant, rockflowerpaper
- Software Developer, Down Dog App
- University of California, Berkeley, PhD, Computer Science
- University of Colorado Boulder, PhD, Linguistics
- University of Texas at Dallas, MS, Communication Disorders
- Research Assistant, New York University
- Residential Counselor, Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies
- Software Engineer, Bloomberg LP
- Software Engineer, Google
- Volunteer, U.S. Peace Corps
- Yale University, MD
- Communications Intern, Care Systems Inc.
- Fellow/Executive Coordinator, Venture for America
- Junior Linguist, Adecco at Google
- Software Engineer, Microsoft
- Students Teaching Students Institute Coordinator, AmeriCorps-Breakthrough Providence
- Teaching Fellow, Urban Teachers
- Columbia University Teachers College, MS, Communication Sciences and Disorders
- ABA Counselor, Melmark New England
- Assistant Language Teacher, Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme
- Program Manager, Microsoft Corp.
- Technical Lead, Veracity Media
- Watson Java Software Developer, IBM
- Boston University School of Education, Ed.M., Education of the Deaf
- Brown University, MPH, Public Health
- University of Pennsylvania, PhD, Linguistics
- Leader, Overland
- SDET, Microsoft Corp.
- Software Engineer, TripAdvisor
- Teacher, Teach for America
- University of British Columbia, PhD, Linguistics
- Consultant, Exeter Group
- Online Linguistics and Latin Tutor, Instaedu.com
- Fulbright Fellowship
- Corps Member/Spanish Teacher, Teach for America
- Intern, Smithsonian Institute
- University of Chicago, Egyptology
- University of Chicago, PhD, Linguistics
- University of Denver-Colorado