Linguistics is a coordinated program with department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Pomona College.
Pitzer Advisers: C. Fought, C. Strauss.
How many languages are there? What does knowing a language entail? How do people develop this ability? How is language stored in the brain? Why don't we all speak the same? Why do languages change over time? How different is human language from forms of animal communication? Questions such as these are studied systematically in the field of linguistics.
There are many sub-fields of linguistics. Phoneticians study how sounds are produced and perceived. Phonology is the study of how sounds are organized into unique systems for different languages. The structure of words is examined in morphology. The organization of words into larger units is called syntax. Meaning is studied in the sub-fields of semantics and pragmatics. In these sub-fields linguists are creating models of the structural features of language, in order to identify the defining characteristics of human language. Other linguists study the ways in which language is used. Some study the language development of children. Others the ways in which the form of language we use may vary according to social categories such as gender, social class, and ethnicity. Some linguists study the ways in which languages have evolved over time and attempt to identify general principles of language change.
Requirements for the Major
Students majoring in linguistics are required to study three of the four core divisions of the field (Phonetics/Phonology, Syntax, Semantics and/or Sociolinguistics) and in addition to take a range of courses dealing with the variety of languages and variation within a language. There is also a cognitive science major offered through Pomona College. For more information see the online catalog for the Linguistics and Cognitive Science Department at Pomona. Majors are required to take:
- • Linguistics 10
- • A basic upper-division course in three out of the four core areas-Phonology or Morphology (108 or 109), Syntax (105), Semantics (106) and/or Sociolinguistics (112).
- • A course that looks at one language in depth pr compares several languages. Sample courses that could fill this requirement include: Field Methods (125), History of the English Language (ENG 25 PO) Historical Linguistics (101), Spanish Linguistics, etc.
- • At least three other linguistics courses.
- • (a) At least two years of a foreign language or (b) the equivalent in demonstrated competence.
- • Senior thesis (Ling 190). Students must have the approval of the faculty member they want to work with by the spring semester of the junior year. Alternatively, students may take a Comprehensive Exam (given at the end of the senior year), or substitute some other type of project, in consultation with the faculty adviser.
- *Note: In the 5-College Course Schedule, Linguistics courses are listed as "LGCS" (Linguistics and Cognitive Science)
Minor in Linguistics requires the following:
- • Ling 10 (Intro)
- • Two of the following core courses (Ling 105, 106, 108, 112 or 125)
- • Three other courses in Linguistics
Students interested in a combined major with anthropology, English, foreign languages, philosophy, psychology, or sociology should see their adviser, since the requirements will vary depending on the fields chosen.
Honors in the major are awarded when the student meets the required GPA for honors at their particular college and completes a thesis which the faculty judges to be of honors quality.