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Linguistics Program

College of Arts & Sciences

237 B McIver


Committee Members

David Wharton, Department of Classical Studies and Director, Linguistics Program

Nancy Myers, Department of English

Jacqueline Cimorelli, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Language is a basic constituent of nearly every human activity, and for that reason deserves formal study as an entity in itself. Linguistics is not the study of a language, or even of many languages; it is, rather, an investigation into the principles that underlie human language. Linguistic inquiry is fundamentally empirical; thus linguistics finds a place among the sciences. But the branches of linguistic research and its findings reach into many disciplines: anthropology, communication sciences, education, foreign language, literature, philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, sociology, and even into such disparate fields as political science, forensic studies, and human evolutionary biology.

Students at UNCG may major or minor in Linguistics through the University’s Special Programs in Liberal Studies. Linguistics majors and minors undertake the formal study of language in several disciplines of the social sciences and humanities, and are prepared for graduate work in many fields as well as for further study for careers in teaching, especially in language arts, foreign languages, and communication studies. Linguistics serves especially well as a second major for majors in Anthropology, Classical Studies, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Communication Studies, English, French, German or Spanish. Linguistics majors who double major in English, Classical Studies with a concentration in Latin, French, German, Spanish, or Education of Deaf Children may also pursue “A” teacher licensure in those areas.

The Linguistics concentration gives students a broad-based grounding in the modern, empirical study of sound, form, structure, and meaning in language, as well as in the ways that language interacts with society and culture. The Applied Linguistics concentration gives students a firm grounding in linguistics as a preparation for teaching English as a second language, for teaching in multilingual contexts, for clinical work or research in communications sciences and disorders, and for teaching deaf or hard-of-hearing students.