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.

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News & Announcements

The Program in Linguistics condemns the proposed elimination of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics department at West Virginia University announced suddenly by WVU Administration this August. WVU Administration claims this is ...

The Interdepartmental Program in Linguistics is honored to have received an anonymous gift of $25,000 in 2023 to aid the program in engaged collaboration with Native Nations for Language Revival, assisting in ongoing collaborations and making...

In May 2022 the Linguistics Program was honored to host the 42nd

Siouan and Caddoan Languages Conference!

Please visit our webpage for information about the...

Congratulations to Dr. Lise Dobrin and Dr. Mark Sicoli of Department of Anthropology and Interdepartment Linguistics programs on the acquisition of the Language Documentation and Description (LDD) journal! Adding to Aperio, UVA's open-access...

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