A coordinated program with department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Pomona College.
Pitzer Advisers: C. Fought, C. Strauss.
How many languages are there? What does knowing a language entail? How do people develop this ability? How is language stored in the brain? Why don’t we all speak the same? Why do languages change over time? How different is human language from forms of animal communication? Questions such as these are studied systematically in the field of linguistics.
The linguistics major/minor allows students to study the mental structures of language (phonology, syntax, semantics) and how people use language in everyday life to organize their social worlds. In doing this, our major provides training in qualitative and quantitative data analysis, writing and argumentation, and a variety of methods for rigorous investigation.
Students participate in research both inside and outside classes, including documentation and analysis of understudied and endangered languages, computational analysis of large data sets, and investigation of the social impacts of language use.