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

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.
January 12, 2024
LINGUISTICS - Over the past 50 years, hip hop has grown from a popular music genre to a cultural revolution that spans the globe, affecting everything from fashion to language. Linguistics Professor Rachel Weissler explores the profound influence of hip hop on the English language.
December 4, 2023
LINGUISTICS - The first volume-length work dedicated to awakening languages is now available for open access in the journal Living Languages Lenguas Vivas Línguas Vivas. The volume includes case studies about Kusunda in Nepal, African contexts, Coatec Zapotec in Mexico, and Brorán in Costa Rica, the last two written in Spanish, along with chapters on the US and Australia.

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Physical Chemistry Seminar
Feb26
Physical Chemistry Seminar Feb 26 Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall
Tony Chambers Seminar: "Toward a Culture of Student Flourishing and Belonging"
Feb26
Tony Chambers Seminar: "Toward a Culture of Student Flourishing and Belonging" Feb 26 Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact
A Cinematic Exploration Black Community and Poverty
Feb27
A Cinematic Exploration Black Community and Poverty Feb 27 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Pierson Lecture: "God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion in American History"
Feb27
Pierson Lecture: "God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion in American History" Feb 27 McKenzie Hall
Propaganda: Fascism and Neo-Fascism Lecture Series: "Where Monsters are Born"
Feb27
Propaganda: Fascism and Neo-Fascism Lecture Series: "Where Monsters are Born" Feb 27 Knight Library
African American Workshop and Lecture Series: Ramanita Hairston
Feb27
African American Workshop and Lecture Series: Ramanita Hairston Feb 27 Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
Black Joy Sessions: Finding Joy Within
Feb28
Black Joy Sessions: Finding Joy Within Feb 28 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Let's Talk Drop-In - Wednesdays 2-4PM @ BCC
Feb28
Let's Talk Drop-In - Wednesdays 2-4PM @ BCC Feb 28 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Book Launch & Discussion - "Coloring into Existence: Queer of Color Worldmaking in Children’s Literature"
Feb29
Book Launch & Discussion - "Coloring into Existence: Queer of Color Worldmaking in Children’s Literature" Feb 29 Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
¡Juntos! Latinx Support Group
Feb29
¡Juntos! Latinx Support Group Feb 29 Carson Hall, Ramey Room

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