Did you know?

The Austronesian language Hawaiian has only 12 total segments (5 vowels and 7 consonants), while the Khosian language !Xu lies at the other extreme, with 141 total segments!

For more fun with segment inventories, check out the UCLA Phonological Segment Inventory Database. A simple web interface from the University of Frankfurt is also available for searching the database. Enjoy!

For first year students and other students new to linguistics, the best place to start is LING 100 Introduction to Linguistics. Offered every fall, the course covers the field's major concepts, approach, and areas of study. It introduces students to linguistic study using problem sets on data from a wide range of languages.

Although it is ideal to take Introduction to Linguistics before other linguistics courses, a number of other linguistics courses are also open to students new to linguistics, with no prerequisites. These include:

Fall 2015 Courses Open to New Students
  • LING 100 Introduction to Linguistics
  • LING 120 Syntactic Theory
  • LING 160 Mathematical Methods in Linguistics
Spring 2016 Courses Open to New Students
  • LING 130 Formal Semantics: Truth, Meaning, and Language
  • LING 140 Architecture of Conversation: Discourse and Pragmatics
  • LING 190 Topics in Linguistics: Language and the Law

Note that the core courses Ling 120 and 130 are especially rigorous, and students often report preferring having taken Ling 100 prior to enrolling in them. Nonetheless, they can be completed without taking Ling 100 beforehand if need be, particularly for strong students.

Students are encouraged to discuss their enrollment with the course's professor at the start of the term to make an informed decision.