Have you ever wondered how the brain recognizes and processes language? Or how computers could be programmed to ‘listen’ and ‘speak’ or even ‘sign’? Or wondered why people in the rural south sound so different from people in the urban northeast? Have you ever wished that the endangered languages of the world could be saved? Or wondered why cuss words are considered taboo? Or why humans developed language in the first place?
If so, then you should be studying linguistics.
Linguistics is the scientific and humanistic study of languages. Linguists analyze very specific aspects of language to determine why languages are structured the way they are—syntactically, phonetically, biologically and culturally.
The study of linguistics can prepare students to teach a foreign language, become a speech therapist, work in the field of computer science and artificial intelligence, or work with native peoples or with immigrant groups. As with all liberal arts degrees, the analytical skills used in the study of linguistics will prepare students to problem solve and to think critically in a wide range of career choices. For those students interested in graduate school, the linguistics program here at the University of Texas offers a variety of research opportunities. Working closely with professors and graduate students will give students the experience they need to prepare for graduate programs.