Feb 25, 2024  
2013-2015 University Catalog 
2013-2015 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Linguistics Program

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments and Programs


Program Coordinator

Franz Mueller

Program Office/Website

University Hall 323


Juan Carlos Gallego (Modern Languages), Angela Della Volpe (English), Janet Eyring (Modern Languages), Reyes Fidalgo (Modern Languages), Eric Lief (Modern Languages) Franz Mueller (English), Natalie Operstein (English) James Santucci (Comparative Religion), Patricia Schneider-Zioga (English), Kazuha Watanabe (Modern Languages)


Linguistics is the study of language. It resists simple classification into one of the traditional categories of academic disciplines. As one of the humanities, linguistics is concerned with the historical development of a particular language or language family. As a social science, linguistics may be related to anthropology in describing language as part of culture; it may even be considered a natural science, related to the physical science of acoustics and the biological sciences of anatomy and physiology. As an applied science, linguistics has found many applications in fields as far apart as language pedagogy, speech therapy and computer programming. Finally, linguistics may be considered a formal science in its own right, related to mathematics and logic.

The interdisciplinary aspects of linguistic study are reflected in the organization of the program, which offers a core of general linguistics courses and draws upon linguistically related courses in other departments.

Graduates use the major in linguistics for a liberal arts base in language-related fields. With advanced work, they enter teaching, language research, translation and linguistic field work, as well as such professional fields as law or teaching English as a second language.

The Bachelor of Arts is for students with an exceptional interest in and aptitude for the study of language. The essential relationships between language and thought and language and culture, the structure of modern languages, including English, the historical study of language, and formal techniques and methodologies are the theoretical foundations of linguistic analysis.

The M.A. in Linguistics builds upon a foundation of undergraduate study in linguistics and allied areas, such as foreign languages, English language, anthropology, human communication and related areas in psychology and philosophy. The program emphasizes strong preparation in general linguistics and offers the opportunity to specialize in one of several areas.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The following goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a degree in Linguistics:

Knowledge of language organization, usage, history and learning

  • Understand how language is structured, particularly to what extent languages share a universal structural base and to what extent they differ from one another
  • Understand how language is used, and the factors accounting for variation in language use
  • Understand how language is learned by children in first language acquisition and by adults in second language acquisition
  • Understand how language changes over time and the principles of historical linguistics

Think critically

  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze problems, both linguistic and otherwise, and to find and critically evaluate alternative solutions

Write effectively

  • Demonstrate the ability to present ideas in effectively written form


  • Demonstrate the ability to find in textbooks and research materials, the kinds of information relevant to a given problem or issue, linguistic or otherwise, and to integrate that information into one’s own written work to support one’s argument while giving appropriate credit to the source of the information

Knowledge of linguistics subdisciplines

  • Have a working knowledge of the subdisciplines of linguistics dealing with the organization of language, i.e., phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics
  • Have a working knowledge of the subdisciplines of linguistics dealing with language use, change and acquisition, especially sociolinguistics, historical linguistics and psycholinguistics

Programs and Courses Offered


    Bachelor of ArtsMaster of ArtsNon-Degree



      Courses are designated as LING in the class schedule.

      Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments and Programs