Founded in the mid-1930’s, the Department of Linguistics at the University of Chicago is the oldest linguistics department in the United States. It is theory-oriented with a deep empirical interest in languages. One of its outstanding characteristics is its commitment to a wide range of approaches to the study of language. Interdisciplinary, interdepartmental study is encouraged, and students regularly work with faculty in several other departments. Students are expected to become active researchers as soon as possible after their arrival here. Many students come with strong undergraduate training in linguistics, or with a Master’s degree; others come with strong training in fields such as philosophy, mathematics, or a particular language or language group. The faculty are involved in synchronic and diachronic research on languages from around the world. These varied interests are reflected in the topics of the dissertations that have been written in the Department. The undergraduate program in linguistics is designed to provide a solid, integrated introduction to the scientific study of language through coursework in the core subdisciplines of linguistics, as well as to ensure that the student has a language background sufficient to provide a complement to the theoretical parts of the program and for an understanding of the complexities of human language. This program provides students with a general expertise in the field and prepares them for productive advanced study in linguistics.
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