Student Learning Outcomes

(The learning objectives for the linguistics major at Pitzer are closely coordinated with those of the Pomona department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science, with which we have a joint program.)

By the time of graduation, Pitzer linguistics majors will:

  • 1. Have an understanding of how to approach the study of language scientifically; be able to use linguistic data effectively to test a hypothesis, or to construct an argument;
  • 2. Question assumptions about language, and be able to think critically about what constitutes 'knowledge of language';
  • 3. Understand the arguments and evidence in favor of our innate language faculty;
  • 4. Be able to articulate the difference between studying language as an internal object in the mind (i.e., our linguistic competence) vs. as an external one (i.e., language use in society);
  • 5. Understand how social ideologies about languages and dialects play a role in the power dynamics of society (including intersectionality with race, class, gender and other identity practices)
  • 6. Have knowledge of the core subfields in linguistics (syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics and phonology);
  • 7. Develop an in-depth understanding of one subfield of linguistics (syntax, semantics, phonology, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, or psycholinguistics);
  • 8. Have practice in conducting independent research of a theoretical and/or empirical nature, focused on language.