What is Linguistics?
Linguistics is the scientific study of language, with core objects of inquiry including the acoustic, auditory and articulatory properties of speech sounds (phonetics); how sounds pattern (phonology), word formation (morphology), sentence structure (syntax), meaning (semantics), and how language functions in society (sociolinguistics). Subfields and applications include language documentation, philosophy of language, historical linguistics, computational linguistics, anthropological linguistics, educational linguistics, cognitive linguistics, neurolinguistics, discourse analysis, first and second language acquisition, and more. (UCA offers or has offered courses in those subfields listed in bold.)
The Linguistics Major
We offer a BA in Linguistics with four possible areas of specialization. All students take an 18-hour core and choose one track from the following: (1) a further 18 hours in a specific world language (French, German, Mandarin Chinese, or Spanish); (2) Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL); (3) computer science, or (4) general linguistics.
**N.B., Linguistics is not a content area for K-12 teacher licensure, and the TESOL track is not intended to prepare students for a K-12 teaching career in the United States. Our students are interested primarily in teaching English to adults abroad and/or in pursuing graduate work in TESOL, and many go on to one or both of these pursuits.
The Linguistics Minor
We offer a minor in Linguistics emphasizing our core classes: Semantics, Sociolinguistics, Phonology, and Analytical Methods of Morphology and Syntax. The minor is an excellent choice for majors in foreign languages, Writing, Creative Writing, English, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and Computer Science.