Questions?

For questions about linguistics major focus options, elective choices, and related issues, students should contact their designated advisor:

Focus Options for the Major

Focus options are recommended options for choosing elective courses for the major that can satisfy various interdisciplinary interests a student may have.

These focus options are not part of the requirements for the major, since the degree requirements remain the same regardless of which focus is chosen.

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General Linguistics Focus

The general linguistics focus involves the broad examination of the field of linguistics. It is intended for students who wish to focus their studies on theoretical linguistics, including those who are considering writing a senior thesis in a subfield and/or graduate study in the field. In addition to the required core courses and advanced language requirement for the language and linguistics major, it is recommended that students in this focus take as many other theoretical linguistics courses as possible (at least four) from the following list:

  • LING 112
  • LING 115
  • LING 125
  • LING 128
  • LING 130 or LING 140 (whichever is not used as a core course)
  • LING 131
  • LING 160
  • LING 190
Language and Computation Focus

The language and computation focus starts students on a path toward the use of computational methods in the exploration of linguistic problems and the computational modeling of human language cognition. The recommended courses in this specialization introduce the fundamental computational techniques used to model the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic aspects of human language.

Where language and linguistics core courses feature a computational component, students are encouraged to participate in that component. In addition to the required core courses and advanced language requirement for the language and linguistics major, it is recommended that students take as many computational linguistics courses as possible from the following list:

  • LING 131
  • LING 160
  • LING 190 (where the topic is in computational linguistics)
  • COSI 112
  • COSI 114
  • COSI 132
  • COSI 134
  • COSI 135
  • COSI 137
  • COSI 139
  • COSI 140
  • COSI 216
  • COSI 217

Students interested in computational linguistics are encouraged to consider the combined B.A./M.A. or the M.A. program in this field.

Cognitive Science of Language Focus

The cognitive science of language focus addresses the major issues and methodologies in the study of intelligent systems, combining elements of linguistics, computer science, biology and neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology.

In addition to the required core courses and the advanced language requirement for the language and linguistics major, it is recommended that students focusing on cognitive science include as many of the following courses as possible from the other contributing disciplines of cognitive science:

  • Formal and Computational Approaches to Cognition: LING 131, LING 160, COSI 101, COSI 112, and COSI 114
  • Psychology and Neuroscience of Cognition: LING 197, PSYC 1, PSYC 15, PSYC 21, NPSY 11, NPSY 12, and NPSY 22
  • Philosophy of Cognition: PHIL 36, PHIL 39, Phil 133, PHIL 137, PHIL 140, and PHIL 141
Language and Society Focus

The language and society focus is recommended for majors who wish to couple their grounding in formal linguistics with an understanding of the effects of sociocultural and anthropological issues, such as variables of ethnicity, gender, class and identity upon language structure and use.

In addition to the required core courses and advanced language requirement for the language and linguistics major, it is recommended that students take as many courses as possible from the following list:

  • LING 112
  • LING 128
  • LING 140
  • LING 197
  • ANTH 61
  • ANTH 126
  • ANTH 139
  • ANTH 153
  • ANTH 186
  • HBRW 167
  • PHIL 137