Linguistics (BA)

The Department of Linguistics is one of the top programs in the country, known for its research excellence and tradition of interdisciplinary collaboration. A broad range of subdivisions include computational linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics and laboratory phonology. The department is known for innovative teaching programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and outreach programs for K-12 students and the community.

There are two tracks in this major: Track A is designed to give students familiarity with a broad range of subject areas in linguistics. Track B is particularly appropriate for students planning to go on to graduate school.

The majors, in multiple ways, are encouraged to take an active role in determining future goals. One way this is accomplished is through independent research. Each year, 5-10 students participated in the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum; more than half of our majors participate in an internship; and about 10% receive competitively awarded funds to complete research.

Students also are encouraged to seek advice on a regular basis to ensure timely graduation and to develop career goals. As evidence of this, linguistics majors complete their degree in a timely manner — an average (2013-14) of 4.2 years and an average linguistics GPA of 3.5. Sixty-four percent of students in their senior year have educational or work-related goals in mind upon graduation.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

Ohio State boasts one of the best linguistics programs in the nation; many students of linguistics go on to pursue graduate degrees. Through its emphasis on critical thinking, analytic skills and language, a major in linguistics is designed to provide excellent preparation for graduate work in related disciplines, such as, cognitive psychology, anthropology, philosophy, speech pathology and computer science. The study of linguistics allows students to consider careers in such fields as scientific or scholarly research, computing, communications, law, teaching English as a second language and foreign service.

courses you might take:

LING 3602: Language and Social Identity in the U.S.

This course examines the relationships between language and social diversity in the general American speech community. Its aim is to shed light on how individuals and social groups distinguish themselves on the basis of their choice of language, and their sharing (or not) of common norms of social evaluation and interpretation.

LING 3701: Language and the Mind

The course is an introduction to the psychological processes by which humans produce and understand sentences in conversation, the means by which these processes arise in the child, and their bases in the brain.

LING 3801: Code Making and Code Breaking

This course has two main aims. It introduces old and new technologies for code making and code breaking, and it shows how good and bad choices in how codes are used can affect whether they succeed or fail. Students will learn what codes are, how they work and how they are used.

LING 3901: Language Evolution and Language Change

In this course we survey different kinds of language evolution and change, their causes and the methods linguists use to analyze language change and to model the relationships between and among dialects and languages.

LING 3802: Language and Computers

This is an introduction to human language technology. In this subject area we study whether and how it is possible for humans and computers to communicate in ordinary language. The widening use of computers has had a profound influence on the way ordinary people communicate, search and store information.

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