Linguistics

We know a great deal about our own language that cannot readily be put into words. This is where linguistics comes in: its task is to develop a theory that spells out that knowledge in a clear and coherent fashion. At the same time, linguists address questions such as: How do children acquire language? What do languages have in common and how are they different? How does language function in society? A concentration in linguistics in the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics includes the study of the sounds and sound patterns of languages of the world (Phonetics and Phonology), the structure of sentences (Syntax) and texts (Discourse Analysis), language change (Historical Linguistics) and variation (Sociolinguistics), structural classification of languages (Typology), and the study of the historical development of linguistics as a discipline (History of Linguistics).