Linguistics and Cognitive Science
Chair: Ioana Chitoran
Professors B. Duncan (German), H. Farid (Computer Science), L. H. Glinert (AMELL), R. H. Granger (Psychology), H. C. Hughes (Psychology), J. H. Moor (Philosophy), B. P. Scherr (Russian), P. W. Travis (English), L. J. Whaley (Linguistics and Classics); Associate Professors D. Balkom (Computer Science), I. Chitoran (Linguistics and French and Italian), C. K. Donahue (Linguistics), D. A. Garretson (Russian), J. V. Kulvicki (Philosophy), D. A. Peterson (Linguistics), A. L. Roskies (Philosophy), P. U. Tse (Psychology); Assistant Professors, J. N. Stanford (Linguistics); Senior Lecturer T. J. Pulju (Linguistics), Visiting Professor T. Ernst; Lecturer Sean Madigan, Neukom Fellow Sravana Reddy.
Although the fields of linguistics and cognitive science are closely related, the course of study for each varies, and they comprise separate majors. Whether their interest is in linguistics or cognitive science, all students should consult with a member of the steering committee well in advance in order to plan a program that best suits their needs and interests.
Individuals who pursue a major in linguistics should take ten courses beyond the prerequisites, which are LING 001 and a solid competence in a foreign language (this latter requirement may be met by taking two courses in a language beyond the first-year level). Linguistics majors are also urged to study a second language not closely related to the first.
The ten courses for the major should include the following:
- LING 22
- LING 20 or LING 21
- At least two additional courses in the 20s (LING 20, LING 21, LING 23, LING 24, LING 25, LING 26, LING 27)
- At least two more courses in Linguistics, including one that satisfies the requirement for a culminating activity, which may be met in one of three ways:
- completing a senior Honors thesis (LING 87)
- taking an advanced seminar in linguistics (LING 80)
- carrying out a one or two term independent study project (LING 85)
- Depending on the number of courses taken under (b) and (c), up to four other courses, either from the Linguistics offerings or selected from the list below, in consultation with an adviser. Note that some of these courses are more suitable to those with an interest in formal linguistics, and others for those with an interest in natural languages or language and culture. Certain courses not listed here, such as advanced seminars in various departments, may also be counted toward the major with permission of the Chair: ANTH 9; COSC 39; FREN 35; MATH 39, MATH 69; PHIL 6, PHIL 26, PHIL 32, PHIL 33, PHIL 34; PSYC 51 (if special topic is relevant to linguistics); RUSS 48; SPAN 40.
The modified major in linguistics combines linguistics with another discipline in a coherent program of study. It has as its prerequisites LING 1 and a solid competence in a foreign language.
The six courses for the linguistics portion of the major should include the following:
- At least three linguistics courses in the 020s (LING 20, LING 21, LING 22, LING 23, LING 24, LING 25, LING 26, LING 27)
- At least two other courses, chosen from the offerings in linguistics and/or the related courses approved for the regular major in linguistics
- A course which satisfies the requirement for a culminating activity, which may be met as for the regular major in linguistics
Students who wish to modify another major with linguistics should take LING 1 as a prerequisite. They should then take four other courses, distributed as follows: (a) two courses in the history or structure of natural languages (one of these will normally be LING 21, LING 22, LING 23, LING 24, LING 25, LING 26 or LING 27 and the other may be LING 18, FREN 35, RUSS 62, or SPAN 40); (b) one course in language and culture (ANTH 9, LING 17 or LING 40); and (c) one course in formal linguistics (LING 20, LING 21, LING 22, LING 23, LING 25 or LING 26, PHIL 34, or PSYC 51 [when offered as Psycholinguistics]).
The minor in Linguistics has a prerequisite of Linguistics 1 and then five additional courses. Three or more of the five must be courses taught in the Linguistics Program, and at least two of these should be numbered in the 20s. The remaining courses are to be selected in conjunction with the student’s adviser.
Cognitive Science is the study of cognition from the point of view of information processing. It combines the traditional fields of cognitive and physiological psychology, computer science, philosophy, and linguistics, among others. Topics of focus include perception, memory, reasoning and language.
The cognitive science program is issue-oriented and relies on methods drawn from a number of disciplines. Students pursuing a major should become familiar with the basic approaches of psychology, philosophy, computer science and linguistics; while the electives allow students to gain specialized knowledge in a particular area of cognitive science. Thus, with guidance of an adviser in the program, the student designs a course of study concentrating on such a field as computer simulations of psychological processes, computational linguistics, or philosophy and psychology.
The prerequisites for the cognitive science major are: (a) COGS 2 and (b) PSYC 10 or SOC 10 or equivalent.
- LING 1
- COSC 1 (formerly COSC 5)
- PHIL 26 (Philosophy and Computers) or 35 (Philosophy of Mind)
- PSYC 60 (Principles of Human Brain Mapping with fMRI) or PSYC 64 (Experimental Study of Human Perception and Cognition), or approved equivalent
- One course that satisfies the requirement for a culminating activity, which may be met in one of three ways:
- completing a senior Honors thesis (COGS 87)
- taking an advanced seminar on perception and cognition (COGS 81); or a relevant advanced seminar in Linguistics (LING 80) or Philosophy (PHIL 80)
- carrying out a one or two term independent study project (COGS 85).
Electives: Five additional courses selected from those listed below. At least two of the four areas must be represented:
- PSYC 21, PSYC 25, PSYC 26, PSYC 40, PSYC 51, PSYC 52, PSYC 60, PSYC 64, PSYC 65, and relevant seminars in PSYC
- PHIL 6, PHIL 26, PHIL 27, PHIL 30, PHIL 32, PHIL 33, PHIL 34, and relevant seminars in Philosophy
- COSC 10 (formerly COSC 8), COSC 31 (formerly COSC 25), COSC 39, COSC 59 (formerly COSC 68), COSC 76 (formerly COSC 44), and COSC 79 (formerly COSC 53)
- LING 10, LING 20-26 and relevant seminars in Linguistics
The Honors Program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science offers qualified students the opportunity to undertake independent research under the direction of a faculty member. Students who plan to undertake such a project should have a 3.0 grade average in all courses taken at the College and an average of 3.3 for courses within the major. It is important to consult with a prospective adviser as early as possible, preferably during the junior year; applications to the Honors Program may be submitted to the Chair either during the spring of the junior year or the fall of the senior year. The project itself normally lasts two terms. Those concentrating in Cognitive Science will take COGS 86 the first term and COGS 87 the second; special majors in Linguistics take the corresponding linguistics courses. The completed thesis is to be submitted during the spring term, and then an oral presentation is given at a special seminar of students and faculty.
See Linguistics courses