1076 Frieze Building
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Professor Marilyn Shatz, Director

May be elected as an interdepartmental concentration program


Madhav Deshpande, Sanskrit, Prakrit and Pali, linguistic traditions of Indian grammarians
Steven Dworkin, Diachronic Romance, etymology, lexicology, derivational morphology
Jeffrey Heath, Semantics, language mixing phenomena, Australian Aboriginal languages, NW Africa including Moroccan Arabic
Peter E. Hook, Linguistic typology, Indo-Aryan languages
Deborah Keller-Cohen, Literacy, discourse analysis, psycholinguistics, language learning
Lesley Milroy, Social dialectology and the sociolinguistics of bidialectalism and bilingualism; conversation analysis [and its applications in institutional contexts]
Joan Morley, Second language theory and methodology, English phonetics and phonology
Marilyn Shatz, Cognitive psychology, linguistic development
Vitalij Shevoroshkin, Slavic linguistics, Anatolian, historical linguistics, distant relatedness of languages
John Swales, English for specific purposes, discourse analysis, applied linguistics, program design

Associate Professors

William Baxter, Chinese linguistics, historical phonology, semantics
Patrice Beddor, Phonetics, phonology, universals
San Duanmu, Phonological theory, tonology, Chinese dialects
Samuel Epstein, Syntax, first and second language acquisition
John Lawler, Semantics, metaphor, morphology, computational linguistics
Thomas Toon, Historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, history and structure of English

Assistant Professors

Diana Cresti, formal semantics, syntax, Romance Linguistics
Teresa Satterfield, syntactic theory, Language acquisition, bilingualism
Christina Tortora, Italian dialectology, syntax of Italian
Karen van Hoek, Syntax of anaphora, cognitive grammar, American Sign Language

Adjunct Professor

James Milroy, Sociolinguistics, Old Norse


A.L. Becker, Robbins Burling, J.C. Catford, Peter Fodale, William Gedney, Alexander Guiora, Kenneth Pike, Larry Selinker

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 subfields. 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 pre-historic 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 covariation 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 and documentation of computer software, language and national policy, speech pathology and speech therapy, linguistic problems of minority children, the development of writing systems for previously unwritten 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 credits 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, artificial 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.

Double Concentration. Language is ubiquitous in human life, and therefore Linguistics touches on many other disciplines. As a consequence, a concentration in Linguistics can be made to dovetail very well with the study of other academic fields, and a large proportion of current Linguistics concentrators complete double concentrations. An LS&A double concentration requires satisfying all of the concentration requirements of both programs, though appropriately chosen courses may count towards both concentrations simultaneously. Students considering a double concentration in Linguistics and some other field in LS&A should consult concentration advisors in both fields.

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. The thesis must be written under the supervision of a faculty member of the Program in Linguistics and with permission of a concentration advisor. Students may (but are not required to) elect Linguistics 495 and/or 496 when writing the Honors thesis.

Advising. Students should inquire at the Program office or the Academic Advising Center (1255 Angell Hall) for information about advising. Advising appointments may be made by e-mail; visit the Program's Web Page ( for further details.

Half-Term Information. Courses offered during the Spring or Summer half terms are normally for 2 credits.

Courses in Linguistics (Division 423)

102. First Year Seminar (Humanities). (3). (HU).

103. First Year Seminar (Social Science). (3). (SS).

104. First Year Seminar (Introductory Composition). (4). (Introductory Composition).

112. Languages of the World. (3; 2 in the half-term). (SS).

114. A World of Words. (3; 2 in the half-term). (HU).

119. Conversation. (3; 2 in the half-term). (SS).

210. Introduction to Linguistic Analysis. (4; 2 in the half-term). (SS).

211. Introduction to Language. (3; 2 in the half-term). (SS).

272/Anthro. 272. Language in Society. Primarily for first- and second-year students. (4). (SS). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).

305/Comm. 305/Poli. Sci. 305. Political and Advertising Discourse. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

313. Sound Patterns. Ling. 210 or 211. (3; 2 in the half-term). (SS).

314. Text, Context, and Meaning. Ling. 210 or 211. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

315. Introduction to Sentence Analysis. Ling. 210 or 211. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

317. Language and History. Ling. 210 or 211. (3; 2 in the half-term). (HU).

318. Types of Languages. Ling. 210 or 211. (3). (Excl).

342. Perspectives on Bilingualism. Ling. 272, or Ling. 210, or Ling. 211. (3). (Excl).

350. Perspectives on Second Language Learning and Second Language Instruction. Ling. 210 or 211. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

351. Second Language Acquisition. Ling. 210 or 211. (3; 2 in the half-term). (SS).

361. Studies in American Sign Language. (3). (Excl).

385. Experiential Practice. Permission of instructor. (1-6). (Excl). (EXPERIENTIAL). May be repeated for credit.

395. Individual Research. Permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

406/English 406. Modern English Grammar. (3). (Excl).

408/English 408. Varieties of English. (3). (Excl).

409/Anthro. 472. Language and Culture. (3). (HU).

410/Anthro. 474. Language and Discrimination: Language as Social Statement. (3). (SS).

411. Introduction to Linguistics. Not open to students with credit for Ling. 211. (3). (SS).

412. Phonetics. Ling. 313. (4; 3 in the half-term). (Excl).

414. Semantics and Pragmatics. A course in Linguistics, junior standing. (3). (Excl).

415. Generative Syntax. (3). (Excl).

417/Anthro. 476/German 417. Principles and Methods of Historical Linguistics. Ling. 411. (3). (Excl).

418. Linguistic Typology. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

429. Discourse Analysis and Language Teaching. Ling. 313, 314, or 315. (3). (Excl).

442/Anthro. 478. Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Ling. 313. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

447/Psych. 445. Psychology of Language. Psych. 340. (3). (Excl).

451/Psych. 451. Development of Language and Thought. Psych. 350. (3). (SS).

473/Anthro. 473. Ethnopoetics: Cross-Cultural Approaches to Verbal Art. Two courses in anthropology, linguistics or literature. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

492. Topics in Linguistics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.

493. Undergraduate Reading. Permission of the concentration advisor. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration advisor.

494. Undergraduate Reading. Permission of the concentration advisor. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration advisor.

495. Senior Honors Reading Course. Permission of concentration advisor. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

496. Senior Honors Reading Course. Permission of concentration advisor. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

513(413). Phonology. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

519(419). Discourse Analysis. Permission of instructor. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

540(Iranian 530)/APTIS 540. Structure of Persian and Iranian Linguistics. Taught in English. (3). (Excl).

555(455). Introduction to Cognitive Grammar. Ling. 313. (3). (Excl).

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