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M.A. in Linguistics


Amanda Brown
323C H.B.Crouse

Graduate Advisors

Amanda Brown
323C H.B. Crouse

Rania Habib
325 H.B. Crouse

Linguistics is the scientific study of language and is concerned with the following questions (among others): What does knowledge of a language consist in and how is this knowledge acquired and put to use? What are the similarities and differences among languages? How is language represented in the human brain? How does language differ from animal communications systems? How does language function in society? How and why does language change over time? In addition, linguistics is applied in the teaching of languages and in education generally, in computer programming, in advertising, and in many other areas of study and activity in which language plays a central role.

The Linguistic Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program incorporating not only courses offered within the department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics -- prefixed 'LIN' -- but also courses from the following academic units: Anthropology, Cognitive Science, Communications Sciences and Disorders, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Computer and Information Science, Reading and Language Arts, Information Studies, Philosophy, and Spanish.

The program provides the student with intensive and advanced education in linguistics and language-related study. The student works with the concentration advisor in one of six concentration areas:

Student Learning Outcomes

1.Evaluate claims about human communication and about the innate language competence in humans.

2.Evaluate claims about the history and structure of specific languages and the universal principles that underlie the knowledge of all languages.

3.Evaluate claims about the role of language in culture and society.

4a. Concentration in Language Acquisition: Evaluate claims about social, cognitive and physiological aspects of language in language acquisition.

4b. Concentration in Language, Culture and Society: Evaluate claims about the inter-relationships among languages, cultures, and the communities in which the languages and cultures exist.

4c. Concentration in Linguistic Theory: Evaluate claims about the human capacity for language by examining the structure of one or more languages.

4d. Concentration in Logic and Language: Evaluate claims about formal logic as a language and as a part of natural and/or programming languages.

4e. Concentration in Natural Language Processing: Apply computational and linguistic tools to the processing and generation of natural and artificial languages.

4f. Concentration in Teaching Languages: Application of linguistic and technological tools for the teaching of languages.

Sample Requirements for the MA in Linguistic Studies - Consult the Course Catalog for specific requirements.

  • A minimum of 30 hours of course work in a Concentration Area (see above) selected in consultation with the Concentration Advisor for that area. The program typically requires two academic years for completion, though some students may be able to complete within one and a half years depending on concentration.
  • A thesis may be substituted for 6 hours of course work.
  • Satisfactory completion of four written comprehensive examinations, consisting of a twenty-four hour take-home in each of three core areas -- Phonology, Syntax, and Sociolinguistics -- and a written examination on the student's Concentration Area.
  • Students submitting a thesis will be required to defend it orally (thesis defense), as well as pass the three core comprehensive examinations described above. The thesis defense takes the place of the examination in the Concentration Area.

Core LIN faculty and advisors in MA Linguistic Studies: Tej K. Bhatia, Amanda Brown, Christopher R. Green, Gerald R. Greenberg, Rania Habib, Jaklin Kornfilt, Kenji Oda, Michael Rieppel, Robert A. Rubinstein, Adam Roth Singerman, Jeffrey Stanton, Maria Emma Ticio Quesada, Victoria Tumanova

Select affiliated faculty in MA Linguistic Studies: Janice Dowell, Kevan Edwards, Stephanie McMillen, Jonathan Preston, Rob Pusch, Angela Ramnarine-Rieks, Ellyn Riley, Erica Shumener, Sylvia Sierra, Louise Wilkinson