Dr. Becky Childs, Associate Professor
Office: EHFA 209
Dr. J. Daniel Hasty, Assistant Professor
Office: EHFA 208
What is Linguistics?
Linguistics is the scientific study of language, and many topics are studied under this umbrella. At the heart of linguistics is the search for the unconscious knowledge that humans have about
language and how it is that children acquire it, an understanding of the structure of language in general and of particular languages, knowledge about how languages vary, and how language influences the way in which we interact with each other and think about the world.
Linguists bring a scientific perspective and scientific methods to the quintessentially human phenomenon of language. Whether it is formal study of sound structure, grammar or meaning, research into the history of language families, the mechanisms of language acquisition, or the manifestation of language in the brain, linguists catalog observations, make and test hypotheses, and work to build explanatory theories. And linguistic science is multidisciplinary, sharing concerns and method with all of the human sciences from psychology and neurology to anthropology and sociology.
With a minor in linguistics you gain insight into one of the key feature that make us human—language. Studying linguistics enables you to learn how language works, how it changes and varies and how language is used, preserved, and processed.
A minor in linguistics will prepare you for a variety of language related fields including:
- Computer programing (speech recognition and synthesis software, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and computer-mediated language learning)
- Education (teaching, developing population specific educational materials, training language teachers, and learning assessment, Teaching English as a Second Language, translation)
- Language Documentation (document, analyze, and help communities preserve their languages, establishing literacy programs, and revitalize sleeping languages)
- Others (publishing, testing, dictionary development, law, medicine, national security, and more
(see what the Linguistic Society of America has to say about professions in linguistics)
The Linguistics Minor Program
The Linguistics minor program is dedicated to helping students understand the intricacies of the nature, structure, and function of human language. The minor in Linguistics will provide a general foundation in the field including general knowledge of the basic empirical findings and theories in the core areas of phonetics/phonology and syntax, and knowledge of at least one subfield selected according to the student’s interests.
In order to select courses that meet the program requirements, students pursuing the minor must consult with their major advisor and with the advisor of Linguistics in the English Department. Please note that English majors who minor in Linguistics cannot use a course to fulfill both a major and a minor requirement.
Dr. Becky Childs
- Specialization: Sociolinguistics, Phonetics/Phonology, African American English, Southern English
- Office: EHFA 209
Dr. J. Daniel Hasty
- Specialization: Sociolinguistics, Syntax, Southern English, Language Attitudes
- Office: EHFA 208
Dr. Ray Moye
- Specialization: Old English, Middle English, History of the English Language
- Office: EHFA 203
Student Learning Objectives
The instructional goals for this program include the following:
- Increase students’ understanding of the productive and generative nature of language.
- Increase students understanding and appreciation of the theoretical components that make up the linguistic system of all languages.
- Increase students understanding of language as a structural and social phenomena.
- Expand students understanding and experience with language as a historical and social artifact.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this program students will be able to:
- Apply linguistic problem solving to real world language problems.
- Explain formal and theoretical linguistic concepts.
- Apply historical and social linguistic knowledge to language situations.
Requirements (18 Credits)
Core (9 credits)
- ENGL 451 Introduction to the Study of Language and Modern Grammar
- ENGL 354 English Grammar and Syntax
- ENGL 353 Sounds of English
Choose 3 Linguistics Courses at the 300 level and above (9 credits)
- ENGL 300 (Critical Conversations in English- Linguistics)
- ENGL 350 (Language Variation in North America)
- ENGL 351 (Language, Gender and Power)
- ENGL 352 (African American English)
- ENGL 399 (Directed Reading in Linguistics)
- ENGL 453 (Development of the English Language)
- ENGL 496 (Senior Thesis in English)