The discipline of Linguistics is the scientific analysis of the complex systems of language. It embraces phonology and phonetics, morphology, syntax, and semantics in the synchronic and diachronic study of contemporary as well as ancient languages.

Degree Type: Masters

Degree Program Code: MA_LING_NT

Degree Program Summary:

Linguistics at the University of Georgia is interdisciplinary by nature, having 30 faculty members sourced from 11 different departments across campus. Our graduate program provides both a strong grounding in core areas of linguistics as well as the opportunity for specialization within the broad areas of formal linguistic theory, second language acquisition, language variation and change, and historical Indo-European linguistics. The program boasts a diverse research-oriented community, a faculty with a wide range of research interests, exceptional library resources, and a dynamic learning environment.

Formal linguistic theory

This area deals with language structure and meaning, with the goal of constructing theoretical models to explain how humans acquire, produce, and comprehend language. Research focuses on the study of the sounds of human language (phonetics and phonology), the structure of words (morphology), the structure of sentences (syntax), and meaning (semantics), using natural language data, speaker intuitions, and experimental methods. Students may choose a specific area within formal linguistics theory to focus on.

Second language acquisition

This area offers a curriculum that treats the theoretical linguistic bases for learning languages. Students may concentrate on the acquisition of specific languages, such as French, Spanish, or German. For students who are interested primarily in teaching English as a second language or in high-school foreign language education, the Department of Language and Literacy Education in the College of Education offers M.E.d and Ph.D. degrees in these areas.

Language variation and change

This area represents two interconnected areas. Languages inevitably change over time and these changes are a source of synchronic variation. The existence of linguistic variants often leads to social valuation of specific features, and these valuations or other social factors (such as language contact) can themselves drive linguistic change. The study of language variation focuses on contemporary and historical patterns of language change, including changes in progress, social factors related to variation, and empirical research methods for the investigation of language in use.

Historical Indo-European linguistics

This area investigates change over a greater depth of time; it involves both the methodology for comparison and reconstruction of historical languages and an intense, hermeneutic approach to studying ancient languages individually. Students can acquire a close familiarity with the sounds, grammar, and vocabulary of languages like ancient Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Classical Armenian, Gothic, Old English, Old Church Slavic, and others.

Locations Offered:

Athens (Main Campus)

College / School:

Franklin College of Arts & Sciences

346 Brooks Hall
Athens, GA 30602




Graduate Coordinator(s):

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