Linguistics

“Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations.”

—Edward Sapir, linguist and anthropologist

Students and Faculty in the Department of Linguistics engage with language acquisition, use, and change at the intersection of human cognition, culture, and computation. We offer course work and research experiences that combine language with culture and society; action and cognition; and computation and learning. 

Gabriela Pérez Báez

Why I am a Linguist 

“I am a linguist because I am fascinated by the world’s linguistic diversity. Over 7,000 languages! Similarly, I am inspired by the diversity of reasons why students may choose to study linguistics—or any other major. So, I strive to understand what motivates students, and do my best to align with students’ individual interests and goals to make their experience at UO truly meaningful.”

—Gabriela Pérez Báez, associate professor of Linguistics

What you can do with a degree in Linguistics

Linguistics cultivates skills in analytics, data analysis, reasoning and argumentation, and written and oral communication. A degree in linguistics prepares students for professions that value these key intellectual abilities. Those who study linguistics frequently go on to pursue careers in:

  • World language teaching
  • English language teaching
  • Software development and testing
  • Speech analysis and synthesis
  • Health sciences, e.g., speech-language pathology
  • Law and civil service, e.g., State Department

Our Degree Programs

We offer a major or minor in Linguistics that combines coursework in the discipline with language courses from at least two languages other than your first language. We also offer a minor in Interdisciplinary Cognitive Science and provide special emphasis courses for the Data Science major. As an interdisciplinary field, Linguistics combines well with majors or minors from a variety of other disciplines from Romance Languages to Data Science, Psychology to Computer Science, and Sociology to Communication Disorders and Sciences, to name but a few.

Students can also earn a certificate in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) as a starting point for careers in language teaching.

 

Researchers standing in jungle

Learn from Experts in the Field

Faculty-led research takes place in far-flung places, in communities and classrooms, or in laboratories. We work on documenting lesser-known languages, the revitalization of minoritized Indigenous languages, on child and adult language acquisition, and on language use and language perceptions. We pride ourselves on getting to know our students in the classroom and through research experience. Overall, the Linguistics faculty enjoy the opportunity to create meaningful connections with their students and value student contributions to research.

Counselor sitting with child

Get Real-world Experience

Linguistics students can take part in practical learning through many opportunities:

  • Intern at the Center for Applied Language Studies
  • Work on language revitalization in indigenous communities
  • Teach a second language and earning a certificate or master’s degree in language teaching
  • Study Swahili in Tanzania
  • Assist faculty in research spanning the globe, from the Amazon to the Serengeti to Papua New Guinea
  • Conduct local research in campus language labs

Scholarships and Funding

The Linguistics Department offers funding for student research and conference attendance.

Students in the PhD track will typically be offered graduate employee positions.

Undergraduate students may also find some opportunities for paid research assistantships.

CAS and UO Scholarships 
Graduate Funding

Academic Support

Our Director of Undergraduate Studies provides Linguistics majors and minors with consistent advising to guide you through our degree program.

The Director of Language Teaching Studies provides advising for students pursuing a certificate in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT).

The Linguistics Study Hall provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to interact with and learn from graduate students in Linguistics. Graduate students also provide tutoring support during Study Hall.

Undergraduate Advising 
Support for Graduate Students

Linguistics News and Events

May 7, 2024
LINGUISTICS - A historian and a linguist have received National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) awards, a prestigious honor that goes to only 16% of applicants in a given year. The grants were awarded to Gabriela Pérez Báez, associate professor of linguistics and director of the Language Revitalization Lab, and Arafaat Valiani, an associate professor in the Department of History and affiliated faculty in the Global Health program.
May 1, 2024
LINGUISTICS - Language awakening is part of an ongoing effort to help Indigenous communities revitalize their languages and cultures after long periods of forced dormancy and even when no one is alive who speaks the language. While Indigenous tribes have been doing this work for decades, a growing movement within the field of linguistics aims to assist with these efforts. Read more in the May-June issue of CAS Connection.
February 12, 2024
JAPANESE, LATINX STUDIES, LINGUISTICS, SPANISH - The Latinx Studies Experiential Learning Program offers funding for a limited number of undergraduates to conduct research or pursue creative projects under the supervision of a faculty member. At a Feb. 13 forum, four undergrads showcased their research, which includes language revitalization, preservation and environmental justice radio reporting.

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University of Oregon Night at the San Francisco Giants
Jul30
University of Oregon Night at the San Francisco Giants Jul 30 Oracle Park
UO Cinema Studies Alumni Gathering: Los Angeles
Aug25
UO Cinema Studies Alumni Gathering: Los Angeles Aug 25 Everson Royce Bar
The BIG 10+ Academia Career Fair
Oct16
The BIG 10+ Academia Career Fair Oct 16
Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture
Apr24
Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture Apr 24 William W. Knight Law Center

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