Language is central to virtually all human activity. Indeed, many argue that language was the single most important factor in the differentiation of the human species from other hominids. Linguists study language as a specialized communicative system with its own distinctive principles of structure and patterning. Apart from the traditional subfields of phonology (the patterning of speech sounds), morphology (word-building processes), and syntax (rules of phrase and sentence formation), there are the interdisciplinary research areas with connections to philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and literature. These include semantics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and linguistic anthropology.

A BA or MA in linguistics permits a student to explore both the independent and interdisciplinary aspects of human language. Courses focus on the analysis of language both at a given point in time and as it changes over time, and cover diverse contemporary approaches to data.

News & Announcements

Lise Dobrin, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics Program Director, and Mark Sicoli, Assistant Professor of Anthropology & Linguistics, have...

The Linguistic Society of America has appointed UVA Linguistics graduate Lauren Squires (MA, 2006) as the...

Mark Sicoli, Assistant Professor of Anthropology & Linguistics, presented his research on linguistic evidence for the Beringia "standstill hypothesis" at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Boston over the...

Lise Dobrin, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Linguistics Program, was featured in the...

U.Va. TESOL Certificate Program

Linguistic Anthropology Seminar

The UVa Linguistic Anthropology Seminar is an informal, interdisciplinary venue for presentations of work in progress by faculty, students, and visiting scholars in linguistic anthropology, linguistics, and related fields. To volunteer a talk or propose a discussion topic, contact Prof. Lise Dobrin

Virginia Linguistics Club

The Virginia Linguistics Club (VLC) serves as a network and resource for students interested in linguistics. To find out more about the VLC, contact club president John Tiernan