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Linguistics

Have you ever wondered how many languages are spoken in the world? Are you intrigued by how children begin to acquire language, or by how we can teach machines to understand human language? If so, you should think about studying linguistics.

Linguistics is the scientific study of human language – its structure, origin and evolution, and its uses in society. The discipline is organized around different areas such as phonetics – the study of speech sounds; phonology – the study of the patterning of sound; morphology – the study of word formation; syntax – the study of sentence formation; and semantics – the study of meaning.

Linguists investigate historical linguistics – how languages became the way they are; sociolinguistics – the relationship between language and society; typology – the universal properties of languages; psycholinguistics – how we understand, produce and acquire language; applied linguistics – language teaching and translation; forensic linguistics – language and the law; and computational linguistics – computer processing of human language.

By studying linguistics, you’ll come to understand how humans acquire language, how language and communication function, and how to teach and learn foreign languages more effectively. You’ll also improve your own skills of communication, as well as your ability to analyze information and think critically.

Students in the program may choose to concentrate on theoretical or applied linguistics. Those focusing on applied linguistics may take courses leading to certification in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) which includes a classroom practicum.

Programs

Programs in Linguistics are administered by the Department of Linguistics and Languages.