Linguistics
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.