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.

Brooks Hall
NCALA 2014
Linguistics Students
Linguistics Students

News & Announcements

See below for details on the scheduled Linguistic Anthropology Seminar, upcoming on Oct. 29.

COVID notes:  This is an in-person event. Given the time of day, some attendees may need to eat lunch in the room while they...

The Linguistics department is pleased to be a part of the Majors Fair this fall! Come to the Newcomb Ballroom and the Commonwealth Room on October 18th, from 1:00-4:00pm, to learn more about getting a major or minor in Linguistics. Students will...

Welcome to the 2021-22 school year and the UVA Linguistic Anthropology seminar! We will be holding an in-person discussion of an article by Susan Phillips recently published in American Anthropologist, “Gang Graffiti as Totemism”. We will meet...

On September 11th, 2021, Mint Springs Park in Crozet was the site of a welcome social for linguistics and anthropology students and faculty to mingle outdoors, eat tamales, and hike in the surrounding foothills.


See below for details on the scheduled Linguistic Anthropology Seminar, upcoming on Friday, May 14. The seminar will be a virtual event, with access link to be circulated separately.

Linguistic Anthropology Seminar: Friday May 14 2021, 2pm...

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