320 O’DOWD HALL (248) 370-2175
Fax: (248) 370-3144
Chairperson: Samuel Rosenthall
Professors emeriti: Carlo Coppola (Hindi-Urdu), Daniel H. Fullmer, William Schwab
Professors: Peter J. Binkert (Linguistics, Classics), Michael B. Smith
Associate professor: Samuel Rosenthall
Assistant professors: Lisa Levinson, Kuniko Nielsen
Associated faculty: Professor Alice S. Horning (Rhetoric, Communication and Journalism; Linguistics)
Special instructor: Rebecca Gaydos
Chief adviser: Samuel Rosenthall
It is hard to imagine spending one waking moment without language. Whether we are alone or among other people, whether we dream or daydream, whether we write poetry, follow a recipe, cheer for the home team, speak or sing, language is involved. All normal children acquire a native language, no matter where they are born, what the language is or what their home life is like. People who are deaf have language; so do those who are blind, mute, completely paralyzed, mentally retarded or emotionally disturbed. Language can be disrupted by injury or disease, processed by machines, altered for special occasions and exploited for ulterior motives. Despite this extraordinary presence, versatility and variability, every human language, whether Old English or Modern Japanese, shares universal features. Linguistics is the discipline that studies such matters concerning language.
Because language is so pervasive and so peculiarly human, students of linguistics find careers in many different areas. Some, such as teachers, computer scientists and speech therapists, use linguistics directly; others, such as market analysts, editors and advertising executives, use it indirectly. Still others use their undergraduate major in linguistics as a springboard to careers in law, education, business, artificial intelligence and international relations, as well as graduate study in linguistics and other fields.
The Department of Linguistics offers departmental honors to students who achieve a grade point average of 3.60 or above in specified courses. In the case of the liberal arts major, the courses include the seven required LIN and ALS courses and the three additional courses listed above. In the case of the modified major with a minor in computer science, the courses include the six required LIN and ALS courses, the five required CSE courses and PHL 370 .
The department also recommends honors for students who have modified majors in other departments with concentrations in linguistics.
Eligibility for the Practicum (ALS 419 ) requires completion of ALS 418 with a grade of 3.0 or higher. Non-native speakers of English, in addition, must satisfactorily complete an oral and written examination of English.