Linguistics (LING)College of Arts and Humanities
1401 Marie Mount Hall, 301-405-7002
Chair: W. Idsardi
Professors: N. Hornstein, H. Lasnik (Dist Univ Prof), J. Lidz, C. Phillips, P. Pietroski, P. Resnik, J. Uriagereka, A. Weinberg
Assistant Professors: N. Feldman, V. Hacquard, E. Lau, A. Williams
Instructors: A. Zukowski (Asst Res Sci)
Lecturers: M. Antonisse, T. Bleam
The Linguistics Department offers courses on many aspects of language study and an interdisciplinary major leading to a Bachelor of Arts. Language is basic to many human activities and linguistics relates to many other disciplines which include work on language.
Work on language has provided one of the main research probes in philosophy and psychology for most of the 20th century. It has taken on a new momentum in the last 70 years and language research has proven to be a fruitful means to cast light on the nature of the human mind and on general cognitive capacity. Several courses focus on a research program which takes as a central question: How do children master their native language? Children hear many styles of speech, variable pronunciations, and incomplete expressions, but, despite this flux of experience, they come to speak and understand speech effortlessly, instantaneously, and subconsciously. Research aims to discover how this happens, how a person's linguistic capacity is represented in the mind, and what the genetic basis for it is. Students learn how various kinds of data can be brought to bear on their central question and how that question influences the shape of technical analyses.
The major in Linguistics is designed for students who are primarily interested in human language per se, or in describing particular languages in a systematic and psychologically plausible way, or in using language as a tool to reveal some aspect of human mental capacities. Such a major provides useful preparation for professional programs in foreign languages, language teaching, communication, psychology, speech pathology, and artificial intelligence (and thus in computer work).
Program Learning Outcomes
The Department of Linguistics B.A. program seeks to expose majors to fundamental questions about the nature of the human mind, using Language as a vehicle for examining this issue. The program aims to cultivate strong empirical research skills, data analysis, application of scientific methodology, and the ability to communicate clear, logical arguments.
Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities
Students can become involved in a wide range of research activities including computer programming and experimental projects in language acquisition , psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics . Selected undergraduate students work alongside faculty and graduate students—learning to design, execute, and analyze experiments—within our Language Acquisition Lab and our Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Laboratory . For more information about ongoing research, lab facilities, and opportunities for undergraduate involvement, go to the following web pages:
Requirements for the Major
A grade of at least 'C-' is required in all major courses.
An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.
There are no requirements for support courses for the Linguistics major.
Other Requirements for the Major
Requirements for the Minor
15 credit hours: LING 200, 240, 321, 311, and one upper level linguistics elective.
Undergraduate Research Experiences
There are opportunities in the department for undergraduate students to get involved in doing research. Students interested in research in linguistics should submit a resume and/or project proposal to the undergraduate advisor or to an appropriate faculty member. Attempts will be made to match students with appropriate faculty advisors. The possibility of doing research is not guaranteed for every student, but will depend on the student's skills and the availability and willingness of a faculty member to direct the project.
Academically talented Linguistics majors with junior standing may petition to become honors candidates in Linguistics. Honors students work on a research project under a faculty advisor, write an honors thesis, and present the work in a public forum.
Student Societies and Professional Organizations
The UMD undergraduate linguistics club is called the Association of Student Linguists. Information can be obtained by emailing: email@example.com
Scholarships and Financial Assistance
The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu. Students can apply for a Linguistics Department Baggett Scholarship to work (in a paid position) as a research assistant during the summer.
Awards and Recognition
The Department of Linguistics offers several Baggett Summer Scholarships every year. These are paid, faculty-mentored summer research positions open to UMD undergraduate students with training in linguistics or cognitive science.