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Phone: (603) 646-xxxx
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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24


Chair: J. N. Stanford

Professors: C. K. Donahue (Linguistics), J. N. Stanford (Linguistics), L. J. Whaley (Linguistics and Classics); Associate Professors: L. E. McPherson (Linguistics), D. A. Peterson (Linguistics); Assistant Professor: R. Coto - Solano (Linguistics); Senior Lecturer: T. J. Pulju (Linguistics and Classics); Lecturer: S. Wray (Linguistics); Visiting Professor: T. Ernst (Linguistics)

To view Linguistics courses, click here.


The Linguistics Department offers two different majors and one minor: the Linguistics Major, the Linguistics Minor, and the Computational Linguistics Major. The Linguistics Major may be modified with another program of study, but the Computational Linguistics Major may not. Because the Computational Linguistics Major is a combination of linguistics and computational coursework, students may not major in both Linguistics and Computational Linguistics, nor is there a minor in Computational Linguistics.


The Major in Linguistics

Students who pursue a major in linguistics should take ten courses beyond LING 1. Linguistics majors must also take two foreign language courses in addition to courses taken to fulfill the College’s foreign language requirement. Each of these two courses must belong to any of the following categories (not necessarily the same category for both): (a) courses beyond the first-year level, not in a language that the student speaks as a first language; (b) first-year courses in a language not closely related to the language used by the student to fulfill the College language requirement; (c) LING 8 and LING 35, with the caveat that a LING 8 or 35 used to fulfill the language requirement may not also be counted as one of the ten courses required for the linguistics major.

The ten courses for the major should be constituted as follows:

  1. LING 22
  2. LING 20 or LING 21
  3. One course in the 30s (LING 33 or LING 35)
  4. At least three additional courses in the 20s or 30s (LING 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 33, 35)
  5. Four more courses in Linguistics, including one that satisfies the requirement for a culminating activity, which may be met in one of three ways:
    1. Completing a senior Honors Thesis (LING 86 - LING 87)
    2. Taking an advanced seminar in linguistics (LING 80)
    3. Carrying out a one or two term Independent Study project (LING 85)
  6. Of the courses not used to satisfy the culminating activity requirement under 5, students may substitute up to two courses from the following, in consultation with an advisor: Anthropology 9, French 35, Philosophy 6Philosophy 34, and/or Russian 48. Certain courses not listed here, such as advanced seminars in various departments, may also be counted towards the major with permission of the Chair.
  7. Majors may not include more than two courses designated as LING 11.


The Minor in Linguistics

The minor in Linguistics has a prerequisite of LING 1 and then five additional courses. Three or more of the five additional courses must be courses taught in the Linguistics Department, 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 advisor.


The Modified Linguistics Major

Students may modify Linguistics with another course of study to create a Linguistics Modified Major. Students who wish to pursue a Modified Linguistics Major should speak with the Chair of Linguistics first. In order to pursue a Modified Linguistics Major, students must take six courses for the Linguistics portion.

  1. At least three linguistics courses in the 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s.
  2. At least two other courses, chosen from the offerings in linguistics and/or the related courses approved for the regular major in linguistics.
  3. A course which satisfies the requirement for a culminating activity, which may be met as for the regular major in linguistics. 


The Computational Linguistics Major

Students who wish to pursue a Computational Linguistics major should take ten courses beyond the prerequisites LING 1 and COSC 1

The ten courses for the Computational Linguistics major should include the following: 

  1. Three Linguistics courses chosen form the following list:
    1. LING 10, 17, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, or other LING course in consultation with the major advisor
  2. Two Computational Linguistics courses:
    1. LING 50
    2. LING 28 or LING 48
  3. Three Computer Science/Math courses:
    1. COSC 10
    2. COSC 50
    3. MATH 22 or COSC 70
  4. One Elective Course: One elective course can be drawn from Linguistics, Computer Science, Quantitative Social Science, or a related field. This course is selected in consultation with the major advisor. Relevant Computer Science courses include COSC 76 and COSC 78
  5. Culminating Experience LING 85 or LING 86-87. Students may either take a one-term Independent Study (LING 85) or a two-term senior honors thesis (LING 86-87). These courses provide hands-on experience and personal mentoring in a computational project. The honors thesis provides two course credits (LING 86-87), so students who choose this option may reduce one course from among the other required categories in the major, with the approval of the major advisor. It is important to consult with the prospective advisor for your independent study as early as possible, preferably during the junior year and no later than the start of senior fall.


Honors Program

The Honors Program in Linguistics 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 advisor 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. 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