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Linguistics

The linguistics concentration encourages students to think about language and linguistic behavior of all kinds. Traditional literature courses, and indeed many of a student's college courses, deal with issues in natural language but do not focus on them. From phonetics to grammar to meaning, studying linguistics develops skills for recognizing and analyzing problems that arise from how natural languages function and how they are deployed. This concentration will also prepare students to enter graduate school in a variety of specialties.

Linguistics is valuable training for many different professions: the computer industry (developing search engines, speech recognition, and artificial intelligence); education (training teachers, teaching English as a Second Language; teaching English overseas; even training actors in pronunciation and intonation); speech therapy; translators and interpreters; the publishing industry (technical writers and journalists); testing agencies (preparation and evaluation of standardized exams); lexicography (developing dictionaries); and government or law (working for the Foreign Service, FBI, CIA, law enforcement, and legal firms on matters such as linguistic evidence, voice identification and the language of legal texts).