BA in Language and Linguistics - General Linguistics Focus Program By Brandeis University |Top Universities

BA in Language and Linguistics - General Linguistics Focus

BA in Language and Linguistics - General Linguistics Focus

Brandeis University

Brandeis University, Waltham, United States
  • QS World University Rankings
    =455
  • Degree BA
  • Study Level Bachelors
The major and minor in language and linguistics focus on theoretical generative linguistics, which involves the formal description and analysis of language. The core subfields of linguistics, phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, explore the sound, word, sentence, and meaning structures and patterns in natural languages. As a whole, these areas of study aim to understand the nature of a speaker’s knowledge of his or her native language, and to place this knowledge in a psychological and biological framework. Flexible elective options for the major and minor allow students to deepen and broaden their study of the traditional areas of linguistics itself, as well as to explore the role of language in various scientific, social, and humanistic disciplines. The latter include cognitive science; computational linguistics, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence; historical philology and epigraphy; literary theory; neuroscience; philosophy of language and logic; psychology; semiotic and linguistic anthropology; and sociolinguistics. Learning Goals Linguistics involves the scientific study of human language, which the major approaches from a theoretical, generative perspective. The major's required core courses focus on the description and analysis of structures in the world's languages, in the linguistic subfields of phonology (including morphophonology), which studies linguistic sounds and sound patterns; syntax (including morphosyntax), which studies phrase and sentence structures; and semantics, which studies meaning that arises through our knowledge of words and grammar, or pragmatics, which studies meaning that arises through contextual inference and discourse structure. The major complements this grounding in the traditional core areas of linguistics with a set of elective courses chosen by each student, according to individual interests and academic goals. These are chosen from a diverse set of course offerings, ranging from electives in linguistics itself to language-related courses in disciplines that include anthropology, philosophy, computer science, near-eastern and Judaic studies, education, psychology, and neuroscience. Through the major's Focus Options, students can also opt to focus their elective course choices on one of the specific domains of the Cognitive Science of Language, Language and Society, Language and Computation, or General Linguistics. 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 115a, LING 125b, LING 130a or LING 140a (whichever is not used as a core course), LING 131a, LING 160b, and LING 190b. This program based on General Linguistics Focus. In addition to General Linguistics Focus, there are Language and Society Focus, Language and Computation Focus, Cognitive Science of Language Focus also available.