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Overview

Linguistics is the study of language. It’s not simply the learning of another language, although that may be part of your studies. As a Linguistics major, you’ll learn about the nature of language—its role in our life and thinking, its impact on society, and how it serves our needs. You’ll discover how different languages relate to and inform each other, what they have in common, and why. You’ll also be learning about the development of language—how it changes over time, how its speakers come to learn it, and how we ourselves affect its development.


Scientific study is a large part of Linguistics. While you’ll certainly be learning about language as a phenomenon of culture and society, you’ll also study humans’ cognitive abilities, perception, and organs of speech production. You’ll do a great deal of research, and much of your study will include gathering, analyzing, and presenting material. You’ll also use computer systems to analyze data and explore language processing programs.


Linguistics is a multidisciplinary field. Language has ties to nearly all fields of study, including, but not limited to, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology. This is a diverse and exciting field, and if you’re fascinated by language in all its many forms and functions, this major may be the one for you.

SAMPLE CURRICULUM

  • Advanced Hausa

  • Advanced Zulu

  • Elementary Xhosa

  • Field Methods

  • History of Linguistics

  • Intermediate Swahili

  • Introduction to Syntax

  • Language and Religion

  • Language and Style

  • Phonetics

  • Phonology

  • Semantics

  • Structure of Sino-Tibetan


HIGH SCHOOl PREPARATION

As a Linguistics major you’ll be immersed in language, so devour courses in English, literature, and any foreign languages—especially speaking-intensive courses—your high school offers. These will give you the best head start for your college studies.