What is linguistics?
Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It encompasses all aspects of human language, seeking answers to fundamental questions about how language works. Linguistics is an academic research discipline with practical applications for a wide range of contemporary issues and concerns.
Whether it’s telling a joke, naming a product (or a baby), using voice recognition software or a dictionary, or helping a relative who’s had a stroke, you’ll find the study of language reflected in almost everything you do.
When you study linguistics, whether in an introductory course or a PhD program, you gain insight into what makes us human—language. Studying linguistics enables you to learn how language works, how it changes and varies and how is is used, preserved, and processed. When you study linguistics, you are at the crossroads of every discipline.
Linguists are much more than polyglots, grammarians, and word lovers. They are dedicated to the scientific study of language. The science of language encompasses sounds, grammar, meaning and much more. Linguists apply the scientific method to the study of language, making observations, forming and testing hypotheses, developing models and theories.
An undergraduate or advanced degree in linguistics can prepare you for a career in teaching, publishing, national security, international affairs, forensics, medicine or technology.