At Washington University, the Linguistics program offers an undergraduate major and minor. The core of the Linguistics program focuses on the study of how languages are structured. Students examine how words are built from sounds, how sentences are built from words, and how all of this structure manages to communicate meaning. With a good understanding of these formal properties, students can pursue other questions about language. How does language change over time? Do diverse languages have more in common than meets the eye? What functions does language play in society? What is its relation to thought? What are its biological and psychological underpinnings? And just how do children manage to acquire language so well in the first place?

Linguistics takes a scientific approach to the study of language and develops skills in data analysis and scientific experimental methods. Linguistics students may or may not speak many languages, but they definitely will learn how to collect and analyze data about languages in an effort to answer these questions.

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Contact:Brett Hyde