If you would like to connect with other students interested in linguistics, and to learn about linguistics-related events on campus, please join the student-run Facebook group. In-person meetings are posted on that page, as well as through an email list. Please contact students Mary Robinson and Madi Clark for more information.
What is Linguistics? Linguistics can be broadly described as the study of language. It is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry that provides a framework for the understanding of all aspects of language, ranging from the theoretical and structural to the sociological and applied. Linguists employ a wide variety of tools to analyze language at the phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic levels. They also examine language as a universal aspect of human behavior and thinking, the place of language in human life, and the ways in which language functions in society to fulfill the needs of the people who use it. This interdisciplinary field encompasses language in all its different forms and manifestations around the world, spanning geographical, historical, and sociological divides, and providing a link between the humanities, the social sciences, education and the natural sciences. The different disciplines within linguistics—theoretical linguistics, sociolinguistics, and applied linguistics, among others—provide a solid foundation for the study of languages and cultures.
A list of Linguistics courses and minor requirements can be found here.
What are the features and requirements of the Linguistics minor?
A list of requirements for the Linguistics minor can be found here.
Learning goals for linguistics minors:
- to become more cognizant and attentive users of their native and foreign languages by discovering the grammatical and pragmatic mechanisms at work in every linguistic communication;
- to familiarize themselves with the history of the linguistic science and a wide number of scientific approaches to data collection, analysis, and interpretation on every level of language structure and use;
- to develop analytical, critical thinking, and problem solving skills and use them in various individual research assignments that involve gathering, analyzing, and interpreting linguistic data in light of contemporary language-related theories;
- to make meaningful conceptual and method-related connections across social sciences (anthropology, economics, history, pedagogy, political science, psychology, sociology) as they all contribute to our understanding of language;
- to recognize and dispel commonly held misconceptions about languages and linguistic varieties across regions and history;
- to appreciate and respect the diversity of human linguistic heritage and see the underlying systematics of all linguistic structures.
Study Abroad Options: We strongly encourage students to make use of all offerings in Linguistics that are available to you while you are away from campus, be it abroad at international universities including the Middlebury Schools Abroad, the Middlebury Summer Language Schools, and the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Meet with your advisor to figure out the best course of study, so we can make sure that you will get credit for those Linguistics classes.
Senior Theses: A number of students have completed senior thesis projects in Linguistics.
One-year Master’s Degree (4+1) at MIIS: Middlebury students with a minor in Linguistics—provided that they take a set of courses to meet MIIS requirements—can opt for an accelerated entrance into either the Masters in Teaching Foreign Language or the Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and thereby complete the MA Program at MIIS in one year. Additionally, other relevant MA programs at MIIS include: Translation & Interpretation, Conference Interpretation, Translation & Localization Management.
Which Middlebury faculty are affilliated with the Linguistics program?
Program Director: Stefano Mula
Steering Committee: Aline Germain-Rutherford; Hang Du, Florence Feiereisen, Shawna Shapiro, Usama Soltan, Andrei Barashkov (currently on leave)
Associated Faculty at Middlebury. Professor: Tom Beyer (Russian), Aline Germain-Rutherford (Assoc. VP of Language Schools), Steven Snyder (Japanese); Associate Professors: Hang Du (Chinese), Stefano Mula (Italian), Antonia Losano (English & American Literature), Michael Sheridan (Sociology/Anthropology), Kathy Skubikowski (English, Director of CTLR); Assistant Professors: Andrei Barashkov (Italian), Florence Feiereisen (German), David Kauchak (Computer Science), Kareem Khalifa (Philosophy), Sam Liebhaber (Arabic), Marcos Rohena-Madrazo (Spanish and Portuguese), Usama Soltan (International Studies/Arabic), John Spackman (Philosophy) Nina Wieda (Russian);Visiting Assistant Professors: Claudia Cooper (Education Studies), Karin Hanta (Translation Studies), Masako Hoye (Japanese), Shawna Shapiro (Writing). Dissertation Scholar: Jamie Thomas (IGS); Teaching Associate: Gustavo Freire
Library Liaison: Joy Pile
Staff Support: Anna Harlan and Holly Stark
Also see our faculty profile page, which currently is under development.
What Linguistics courses will be offered in 2013-2014?
Introduction to Linguistics (LNGT 101) (2 sections)
Introduction to TESOL (LNGT/EDST 102)
Introduction to Japanese Linguistics (LNGT/JAPN 210)
Multilingualism in Africa (LNGT 331)
Language and Power (SOAN/LNGT 359)
Language in Africana Studies (LNGT 392)
Arabic Linguistic Variation (ARBC/LNGT 421)
[Also Introduction to Logic- PHIL 180- which counts toward minor]
History of the English Language
Introduction to Translation Studies
Introduction to Sociolinguistics (LNGT 102)
Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology (LNGT/SOAN)
The English Language in a Global Context (LNGT/WRPR)
Philosophy of Language (PHIL)
Romance Linguistics (LNGT 201)
Arabic Linguistics (ARBC/LNGT 225)
Chinese Sociolinguistics (CHNS/LNGT 270)
A new upper-level course in Linguistic Anthropology (SOAN/LNGT)
Possible additional course in Spanish linguistics (SPAN/LNGT)
Where can I learn more about the Linguistics program and/or about the field of linguistics?
Associate Professor Stefano Mula (Italian) is the program’s director: email@example.com. If you are currently enrolled in a Linguistics class, you can also contact that professor or get in touch with any of the other affiliated faculty listed above.
The following websites are good places to start to learn more about linguistics and its subfields:
- Linguistics Society of America (LSA)
- Linguist List (international online community for linguists)
- Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)
- Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA)
More links coming soon....
What do linguists do? What are possible career paths?
Sociolinguistics researchers (and/or linguistic anthropologists) may work to preserve dying languages, study the relationships between languages, both extant and extinct, or act as consultants for programs and policies in education or other sectors (e.g., bilingual education, language policy, language rights, etc.). Computational linguists work on projects such as text-to-speech or speech-to-text applications, voice recognition, automatic translation, information retrieval, e-learning, etc. Applied linguists often focus on Second Language Acquisition, especially the teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Further areas of specialization include translation, sign language, speech pathology, forensic linguistics, media analysis, and many others.
Dr. Antje Muntendam (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands) presented a talk entitled "Doing Linguistic Field Research in Indigenous Communities in Latin America." Friday, January 11th, 12pm in Hilcrest 103 (Orchard Room)
On Tuesday, November 27th, there will be a special talk by Jamie Thomas, a Dissertation Scholar in International Studies, entitled
"Storytelling in the language classroom: What learners' Swahili-language stories tell us about conformity and resistance
in Dar es Salaam"
The Language and Technology Symposium was a huge success, with more than 70 participants! See the photo slide show (photos by Vincent Jones). Thank you to all who helped to plan the event, and to those who attended!