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

BA in Language and Linguistics - Language and Computation Focus

BA in Language and Linguistics - Language and Computation 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. Language and Computation Focus The language and computation focus starts students on a path towards the use of computational methods in the exploration of linguistic problems and the computational modeling of human language cognition. The recommended courses in this specialization introduce the fundamental computational techniques used to model the syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of human language. Where language and linguistics core courses feature a computational component, students are encouraged to participate in that component. In addition to the required core courses and advanced language requirement for the language and linguistics major, it is recommended that students take as many computational linguistics courses as possible from the following list: LING 131a, LING 160b, LING 190b (where the topic is in computational linguistics), COSI 112a, COSI 114b, COSI 134a, COSI 135b, and COSI 216a. This program based on Language and Computation Focus. In addition to Language and Computation Focus, there are General Linguistics Focus, Language and Society Focus, Cognitive Science of Language Focus also available.