Linguistics is the systematic study of human language. It focuses on theories of language structure, variation, and use, description of contemporary languages, and the examination of language change through time. Because of the pervasive influence of language in our everyday lives, work in linguistics interacts in important ways with studies carried out in many other fields, including psychology, anthropology, neuroscience, philosophy, computer science, sociology, literature, language teaching, communication and education.
The Program. An introductory lower division course provides students with basic concepts and some of the methods needed to analyze language in a systematic way. Upper division courses probe more deeply into specific aspects of language structure, language use, and the relationship of language to other realms of human activity.
Career Alternatives. Majors in linguistics find practical outlets for their linguistic training in a variety of fields: the computer science industry (software development); teaching English as a second language; foreign language teaching; elementary and secondary level bilingual-bicultural programs; language-oriented missionary work; bilingual-bicultural curriculum development (e.g., for publishing houses); legal work; speech therapy; lexicography (preparation of dictionaries). All of these types of employment share an interest in persons skilled in the analysis of language, spoken and/or written. Linguistics equips students with just such skills.
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Updated: March 22, 2017 10:38 AM