1076 Frieze Building
Associate Professor Thomas Toon, Director
Professor Jeffrey Heath, Associate Director
May be elected as an interdepartmental concentration program
Robbins Burling, Ethno-linguistics, nonstandard English, Tibeto-Burman linguistics
Madhav Deshpande, Sanskrit, Prakrit and Pali, linguistic traditions of Indian grammarians
Jeffrey Heath, Cultural semantics, morphology, language mixing phenomena, Australian Aboriginal languages, Northwest Africa including Moroccan Arabic
Peter E. Hook, Linguistic typology, Indo-Aryan languages
Larry Selinker, Interlanguage, second and foreign language acquisition
Vitalij Shevoroshkin, Slavic linguistics, Anatolian, historical linguistics, distant relatedness of languages
John Swales, English for specific purposes, discourse analysis, applied linguistics, program design
William Baxter, Chinese linguistics, historical phonology, semantics
Steven Dworkin, Diachronic Romance, etymology, lexicology, derivational morphology
Deborah Keller-Cohen, Literacy, discourse analysis, psycholinguistics, language learning
John Lawler, Semantics, metaphor, morphology, computational linguistics
Joan Morley, Second language theory and methodology, English phonetics and phonology
Thomas Toon, Historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, history and structure of English
Patrice Beddor, Phonetics, phonology, universals
André Cooper, Phonetics, physiological aspects of speech production
William Croft, Typology, computational linguistics
Rosina Lippi-Green, Sociolinguistics, social dialectology, field methodology, Germanic linguistics
John M. Myhill, Typology, syntax, sociolinguistics
David Solnit, Areal and historical linguistics of mainland Southeast Asia/China, field linguistics
Language Learning Visiting Research Professor
Jack Martin, Syntax, morphology, field methods, Muskogean languages
Emeriti Alton Becker, J. C. Catford, Peter Fodale, William Gedney, Alexander Guiora, Kenneth Pike.
Linguistics investigates all aspects of spoken and written human language. It is especially concerned with the general principles of language structure, with the structure and history of particular languages and groups of languages, with the role of language in human experience, and with the techniques employed in analyzing and describing language.
The general field of linguistics includes several sub-fields. Phonetics and phonology are especially concerned with the sounds of speech. Phonetics emphasizes the manner in which speech sounds are produced by the vocal organs and phonology deals with the way in which speech sounds are organized in languages. Syntax examines the way in which smaller units of language, such as words, are organized into larger units, such as phrases and sentences. Semantics seeks to understand how the forms of language are used to express meaning. Historical and comparative linguistics are concerned with the ways in which languages change through time, with the variations in language from place to place, and with the possible relationship among languages. Historical linguistics also includes the study of the history of specific languages and language groups, and the reconstruction of prehistoric languages.
In addition to these central areas of linguistics several other sub-disciplines relate linguistics to other fields of study. Psycholinguistics treats language in its psychological aspects and is especially concerned with the ways in which cultural patterns and values relate to language structure, use, and change. Sociolinguistics deals with the interrelationship of language and society and with the co-variation of language and social form. Computational linguistics is concerned with the utilization of computational techniques in the analysis of language. Areas in which the findings of linguists have found application include: translation, the design of computer software, language and national policy, speech pathology and speech therapy, linguistic problems of minority children, the development of writing systems for previously un-written languages, the teaching of first language skills such as reading and writing, and the teaching of second languages.
Concentration Program. The concentration in linguistics requires courses totaling at least 30 credit hours at the 300-level or higher, of which up to 6 credits may, with the approval of a concentration advisor, be cognate courses from another program or department. Foreign language courses will not, ordinarily, count as cognates, but courses about the structure or history of languages may do so.
Each concentrator will be required to take three courses that deal with areas central to linguistics:
1. One course in phonetics or phonology, ordinarily Linguistics 313;
2. One course in semantics/pragmatics, ordinarily Linguistics 314; and
3. One course in the areas of syntax or typology, ordinarily Linguistics 315 or 318.
Beyond these three basic courses, each student should work with a concentration advisor in order to develop a program that meets his or her special interests. A concentration program that focuses upon linguistic analysis is possible, but since language is important to a wide range of human affairs, we also encourage students to combine the formal study of linguistics with serious work in one of the other disciplines where linguistic skills are relevant. Among the possible foci that a concentration in linguistics allows are the following. Additional information about concentration requirements and alternative curricula can be obtained from the Program offices.
1. Linguistics and a Language. Students who wish to combine linguistics with work in a particular language can take courses dealing with the history and structure of that language. Appropriate cognate courses can be drawn from the art, music, history or anthropology of the area in which the language is spoken. Students interested in a particular language will ordinarily be expected to be able to use the spoken and written language, but courses that teach the use of the language, as opposed to courses about the language, will not count toward the concentration requirements in linguistics.
2. Individual, Society, and Language. Students interested in language as related to society and the individual can combine the basic courses in linguistics with courses drawn from socio-, psycho- and anthropological linguistics.
3. Computational Linguistics. A basic set of courses in linguistics can be combined with several courses in computer science. Such a concentration is appropriate for students interested in computational linguistics, artifical intelligence, natural and programming languages, and the computer analysis of natural language. An appropriate set of courses in computer science could include CS, 280 as a prerequisite, followed by CS, 380, CS, 381, Assembler Language, CS, 492, Artificial Intelligence, and CS, 595/Linguistics 541, Natural Language Structures.
4. The Linguistics of Texts and Discourse. Students interested in applying the methods of linguistic analysis to natural spoken and written texts can combine the study of linguistics with the linguistic analysis of texts.
5. Linguistics and Language Learning. Students can combine the basic set of linguistic courses with others that focus upon second language acquisition and with those that treat the acquisition of their first language by children that are offered by both the Program and the Psychology Department.
6. Linguistic Analysis. Students who desire a more intensive concentration in the analysis of language can complete their concentration with more advanced courses in linguistics. Appropriate courses include Phonetics, Advanced Phonology, Intermediate Syntax, Typology, and Historical Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, and Discourse Analysis.
Honors Concentration. The Honors concentration in linguistics includes completion of the requirements for the concentration and, in addition, a senior Honors project leading to an Honors thesis written under the supervision of a faculty member and with permission of a concentration advisor of the Program of Linguistics. Students must elect Linguistics 495 and/or 496 when writing the Honors thesis.
Advising and Counseling. Students should inquire at the Program office or the LS&A Counseling Office (1213 Angell Hall) for information about counseling.
Half Term Information. Courses offered during the Spring or Summer half terms are normally for 2 credits.
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