“At the College, I learned what linguistics is, how to use it, and which subfields most interest me. Later, I did some fieldwork with newly evolving Spanglish phrases. I can’t express how fascinating it is to witness languages evolving. It’s a wonderful adventure, and I strongly recommend the program.”
– Amanda Faith Overton ’07
Let’s put language under the microscope. Let’s fully dissect it, not just grammatically or by syntax. Let’s unravel meaning and examine phonetics. And while we’re at it, we’ll study how language is acquired and how different segments of society treat spoken language. And how about taking a look at the evolution of language and its importance in the computer age? All of this is what linguists do.
At the College of Charleston, our linguistics minor will help you to understand human communication in deep, insightful ways. Through this program, you can
- learn to write and speak more effectively
- learn languages more fluently
- learn the process of language acquisition more thoroughly.
And, you don’t have to be a language major to benefit. Language is systematic. But it’s also creative and spontaneous. That outlook has shaped our program, which includes courses in anthropology, communication and psychology, but also in history, computer science, English, Spanish, French, German and philosophy. And it doesn’t end there. Linguistics students here benefit from the research interests of professors in other areas, including mathematics and Portuguese. And the skills acquired by studying linguistics can be beneficial in a variety of different fields, including business, education, government and the non-profit sector.
Students in this program have great freedom. Recently, one student designed an Arabic version of the game Scrabble, making statistical comparisons between English and Arabic spelling and analyzing the frequency of use for letters in each language. Another student examined a dynamic of casual communication wherein speakers tend to change the meaning of words that are synonymous with other words. And yet another studied linguistic social activism – wherein terminology is purposely changed to achieve socialpolitical goals — in Chilean society.