As a linguistics major, you will study the structure of language. Language is a complex cognitive and social phenomenon. It is a product of the human mind, yet it requires rich social input in order to be learned properly. Understanding one’s own language is effortless but understanding a foreign language that you’ve never heard before is impossible. How is it that the human mind can turn particular strings of sounds into such a rich stream of information?
The department is a center of work in phonology (specifically, optimality theory), syntax (specifically, generative grammar and the minimalist program), and semantics and pragmatics (specifically, formal theory and interactions with syntax and pragmatics). The linguistics department also has a strong experimental core investigating language acquisition, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and phonetics. A new Speech and Hearing Certificate in Linguistics is now available, as well as the option to double major in Linguistics and Cognitive Science or Psychology. This certificate will prepare students to go onto speech and hearing graduate school programs. Speech and Hearing Sciences is an incredible popular area of study and career path.