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Academic Program

The Linguistics Department offers a course major, a course minor, an honors major, and an honors minor. In addition, a special course major and a special honors major are offered in linguistics and languages.

Course Major

The course major in linguistics consists of at least eight credits in linguistics, including all of the following:

  1. Phonetics & Phonology: LING 45/H115.
  2. Syntax: LING 50/H113.
  3. Semantics: LING 40/H114.
  4. A course in language, culture, and society from the following: LING 21 Anthropological Linguistics, LING 25/H125 Sociolinguistics, LING 41 Dialects of American English, LING 44 Linguistic Discrimination, LING 46 / H146 Linguistic Diversity, LING/ANTH B281 Language in the Social Context. Other courses which are not being used to fulfill another major requirement may be used here with approval of the chair.
  5. A course in the Structure of a Non-Indo-European Language: typically LING 61 (Navajo), 67 (Wamesa), 68 (Kyrgyz), H282 (Chinese), or H215 (Colonial Valley Zapotec).
  6. LING 100/H399/B399, in which students complete and defend a one-credit senior thesis. This course constitutes the comprehensive requirement for the major.
  7. Two additional electives in linguistics.

Special Course Major: Linguistics and Languages

The special course major in linguistics and languages consists of at least twelve credits: six credits in linguistics and three credits in each of two languages. The languages can be ancient or modern. Students must complete each of the following:

  1. A course in Phonetics & Phonology from the following list: LING 45.
  2. A course in Syntax: LING 50.
  3. A course in Semantics from the following list: LING 40.
  4. A course in Language, Culture, & Society (see course major).
  5. A course in the Structure of a Non-Indo-European Language (see course major).
  6. LING 100, in which students complete and defend a one-credit senior thesis. This course constitutes the comprehensive requirement for the major.

Contact the Modern Languages Department, the Spanish Department, and the Classics Department to find out the necessary courses to complete the language part of this special major.

Some work in each foreign language included in the major must be done in the student’s junior or senior year.

If one or both of the foreign languages is modern, the student must study abroad for at least one semester in an area appropriate for one of the foreign languages.

Course Minor

Four minors are offered, each totaling five credits (courses below plus any other two credits in linguistics):

  • Theory: LING 40, LING 45, LING 50
  • Phonology/Morphology: LING 43, LING 45, and LING 25 or LING 52
  • Syntax/Semantics: LING 40, LING 43, LING 50
  • Language and Society:
    • Any two of LING 21 Anthropological Linguistics, LING 25/H125 Sociolinguistics, LING 41 Dialects of American English, LING 44 Linguistic Discrimination, LING 46/H146 Linguistic Diversity, LING/ANTH B281 Language in the Social Context, or LING 82 Sociolinguistics II.
    • One additional course on socio- or anthropological linguistics. This may be a third course from the list above, a First-Year Seminar, or another relevant elective.
  • Individualized: Student may choose five courses in linguistics and provide justification why the courses form a coherent minor.

Honors Major

The honors major in linguistics consists of ten credits in linguistics, and includes all of the following:

  1. A course in Phonetics & Phonology: LING 45.
  2. A course in Syntax: LING 50.
  3. A course in Semantics: LING 40.
  4. A course in language, culture, and society (see course major).
  5. A course in the Structure of a Non-Indo-European Language: (see course major).
  6. LING 195, in which students complete and defend a two-credit senior thesis. This course constitutes the comprehensive requirement for the major.
  7. Two electives in linguistics.
  8. Complete and defend an honors major portfolio as explained below.

Honors Major Portfolio requirements:

Thesis: Students are required to write a two-credit thesis in LING 195 (Senior Honors Thesis) in the fall of their senior year. The thesis may be on any topic in linguistics. It need not be related to course work. Work may be collaborative with one other student at the discretion of the faculty. The oral examination will consist of a discussion of up to one hour with the external reader.

Research Papers: Students are required to write two research papers. The student will prepare for these research papers by taking at least four credits of course work (two credits in each of the research paper areas). The areas will be selected from any combination of the following, possibly in combination with other course work:

  • phonetics
  • phonology
  • morphology
  • syntax
  • semantics
  • historical and comparative
  • sociolinguistics

Students will take LING 199 (Senior Honors Study) for one credit in the spring of their senior year. The two research papers will be on topics selected by the external readers and must be directly related to course work the student has taken.

Students will work independently on their research papers. The oral examination will consist of a forty-five minute discussion with the external reader for each paper. The discussion will cover the papers and any other material pertinent to the two credits of course work offered in preparation for the paper.

Honors Special Major Linguistics and Languages

The special honors major in linguistics and languages consists of the following Linguistics classes and three credits in each of two languages. The languages can be ancient or modern. Students must complete each of the following:

  1. A course in Phonetics & Phonology from the following list: LING 45.
  2. A course in Syntax: LING 50.
  3. A course in Semantics from the following list: LING 40.
  4. A course in Language, Culture, & Society (see course major).
  5. A course in the Structure of a Non-Indo-European Language (see course major).
  6. LING 195, in which students complete and defend a two-credit senior thesis. This course constitutes the comprehensive requirement for the major.
  7. Complete and defend an honors major portfolio as explained below.

Honors Special Major Linguistics and Languages portfolio requirements:

Thesis: Students are required to write a two-credit thesis in LING 195 (Senior Honors Thesis) in the fall of their senior year. The thesis may be on any topic in linguistics. It need not be related to course work. Work may be collaborative with one other student at the discretion of the faculty. The oral examination will consist of a discussion of up to one hour with the external reader.

Research Papers: Students are required to write two research papers in linguistics and complete one honors examination that is administered by the relevant language department. The student will prepare for the linguistics research papers by taking at least four credits of course work (two credits in each of the research paper areas). The areas will be selected from any combination of the following, possibly in combination with other course work:

  • phonetics
  • phonology
  • morphology
  • syntax
  • semantics
  • historical and comparative
  • sociolinguistics

The third research paper is administered by the relevant language department.

Students will take LING 199 (Senior Honors Study) for one credit in the spring of their senior year. The three research papers will be on topics selected by the external readers and must be directly related to course work the student has taken.

Students will work independently on their research papers. The oral examination will consist of a forty-five minute discussion with the external reader for each paper. The discussion will cover the papers and any other material pertinent to the two credits of course work offered in preparation for the paper.

Honors Minor

If a student is a course major in Linguistics as well as an honors minor in Linguistics, the thesis required for the course major constitutes the portfolio for the honors minor.

Honors minors who are not course majors in linguistics will satisfy the course minor and complete and defend their honors minor portfolio as explained below.

Honors Minor portfolio requirements:

A single research paper will constitute the portfolio for honors. The areas will be selected from any combination of the following:

  • phonetics
  • phonology
  • morphology
  • syntax
  • semantics
  • historical and comparative
  • sociolinguistics

The program requires a one-half credit in LING 199 (Senior Honors Study) in the spring of the senior year. The oral examination will consist of a discussion of up to one hour with the external reader.