Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
What is the study of Linguistics?
Linguistics, the science of language, is an interdisciplinary field which relates to the diversity of the cultures and languages of the world. It is an integral part of most serious pursuits dealing with aspects of language study and analysis. As the boundaries of the world change, an understanding of individual languages and cultures becomes increasingly important. Communication in this complex society requires knowledge of the workings of languages, as well as their interrelationship with their respective cultures.
Why Should I Consider this Major?
All Linguistics majors are expected to acquire knowledge of the functions of language at various levels and knowledge of the techniques and methods used in language analysis. A student of Linguistics will thereby significantly advance his or her appreciation of linguistic and cultural diversity. Students who major in linguistics acquire valuable intellectual skills, including analytic reasoning and argumentation, and learn how to study language scientifically. This means making insightful observations, formulating and testing clear hypotheses, making arguments and drawing conclusions, and communicating findings to a wider community. Linguistics majors are therefore well equipped for a variety of jobs and graduate-level programs.
- Higher Education research and teaching:
- speech sciences
- computer science
- modern and classical languages
- K-12 Teaching (World Languages, ESL, literacy)
- Computer Industry (speech recognition, natural language processing, AI)
- Translating and Interpreting
- Language documentation and fieldwork
- Publishing (editing, writing)
- Lexicography (dictionary research and editing)
- Law (forensic linguistics)