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Linguistics at Miami University


Linguistics is the study of language, how people use it, and what rules govern that use. Just as chemists examine elements in seeking clues to the structure of matter, linguists analyze data from languages and observe behavior of speakers in attempting to formulate principles that govern people's knowledge and use of their language.

The linguistics major emphasizes interdisciplinary study and analytic skills. Graduates are qualified for many careers and are working in:

  • literacy programs
  • speech therapy
  • advertising
  • machine translation
  • missionary work
  • lexicography
  • computer programming

Others are employed by the government in cross-cultural centers, the Peace Corps, the U.S. Information Agency, and in urban and bilingual education programs. Some majors who obtained teacher certification in English or a foreign language are working in schools both in the United States and abroad. Still others have enrolled in graduate schools to continue their linguistics studies or work toward degrees in business or law.

Because linguistics touches so many areas of study, a linguistics minor is useful for students majoring in:

  • foreign languages
  • English
  • sociology
  • anthropology
  • psychology
  • mathematics
  • communication
  • philosophy
  • computer science


The Linguistics Society promotes discussion among students interested in linguistics and related fields by creating a cohesive community in which opportunities and activities related to linguistics are provided. The organization will also provide information about the Linguistics major and minor to interested students and raise language awareness on campus.


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