B.A. in Linguistics


Students of linguistics study the structure, meaning, uses and history of human languages. They gain insight into how the human mind and computers process language, they learn about cultural and linguistic diversity, they study how language reflects meaning and world-views, and they discover how language reflects unique characteristics of humanity by connecting linguistic structure with the expression of meaning in communication.

Linguistic analysis can be used for its own sake, but it is also put into practice in areas such as second language acquisition and assessment, language teaching, computer processing of human language, and communication disorders. Linguistics at ISU is cross-disciplinary. Courses are taught by outstanding faculty in language related departments such as Anthropology, Computer Science, English, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Psychology, and World Languages and Cultures.

Requirements for the Undergraduate Major

Completion of the BA in linguistics requires 36 credit hours of linguistics with a grade of C or better as specified below in addition to the LAS general education requirements. Linguistics majors are also strongly encouraged to take LING 101, Introduction to the Study of Linguistics.

Core Requirements (27 credits)

  • LING/WLC 119 Introduction to World Languages
  • LING/ENGL 120 Computers and Language
  • LING/PHIL 207 Introduction to Symbolic Logic
  • LING/ENGL 219 Introduction to Linguistics
  • LING/ENGL 220 Descriptive English Grammar
  • LING/CMDIS 371 Phonetics and Phonology
  • LING/PSYCH 413 Psychology of Language
  • LING/ENGL 437 Grammatical Analysis
  • LING/ENGL 420 History of the English Language

Possible Areas of Concentration (9 credits)

Students may use their electives to complete one of the following areas of concentration. Students are welcome to select any combination of courses from these areas. Independent study in any of the areas will be considered on an individual basis.

     1. Communication Disorders (9 credits)

  • LING/CMDIS 275 Introduction to Communication Disorders
  • LING/CMDIS 286 Sign Language
  • LING/CMDIS 471 Language Development
  • CMDIS 480. Topics in Communication Disorders

     2. Computational Linguistics (9 credits)

  • LING/COMS 331 Theory of Computing
  • LING/ENGL 516 Methods of Formal Linguistic Analysis
  • LING/ENGL 320 Topics in Linguistic Structure

     3. Second Language Studies (6 credits)

  • LING/ENGL 425 Second Language Acquisition

One of the following:

  • LING/ENGL 324 Introduction to Teaching ESL Literacy
  • LING/ENGL 325 Teaching Methods for ESL Learners: Oral Communication Skills
  • ENGL/LING 395C Study and Travel: Linguistics

     4. Sociolinguistics and Language Use (9 credits)

  • SPCM 305 Language in Use
  • LING/ENGL 319X Studies in Language and Diversity
  • LING/ENGL 322X Language in Society
  • LING/ENGL 422 Women, Men, and the English Language

     5. A World Language (9 credits)

  • LING/SPAN  351 Introduction to Spanish/English Translation
  • LING/SPAN 352 Introduction to Spanish Phonology
  • LING/SPAN 354 Introduction to Spanish-English Interpretation
  • LING/SPAN 462 Contrastive Analysis of Spanish/English Syntax
  • LING/SPAN 463 Hispanic Dialectology

Linguistics classes in other languages are available through the study abroad program. Six credits of linguistics in a single language can be transferred.

Other Requirements

The linguistics program requires a grade of C+ or better in English 150 and 250 (or 250H) and English 305, 314, or a 370 course in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. Linguistics majors must show proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to two years of university-level foreign language study, or linguistics majors may show college-level study of a year each in two different languages. Students should also complete Linguistics 101, a one-credit course introducing the areas of work and study that linguists engage in.

For more information, contact Professor John Levis, Chair or Greta Muller Levis, Adviser.