General Degree Information

Master's in Linguistic Theory & Typology (MALTT)

Program overview

The Master’s in Linguistic Theory & Typology (MALTT) offers training in theoretical frameworks for approaching descriptive and sociolinguistic data with a special focus on how grammatical features are distributed across the world’s languages. Emphasis is given to language modeling through computational and quantitative methods. As well as providing invaluable intellectual preparation for doctoral studies in linguistics, the MALTT program prepares students for careers in high-tech industry, text-based consultancies in law and medicine, and jobs in government agencies.

How to apply

You must apply online through the Linguistics Program at as well as through the UK Graduate school at

Financial assistance

Funding opportunities and graduate teaching assistantships are available to qualified students.


  • The MALTT degree emphasizes both linguistic theory, whose aim is to increase our knowledge about the fundamental nature of human language, and typology, the study of the domains of similarity among languages and the dimensions and degrees of their differences.
  • Students of MALTT are trained in formal and computational methods in the analysis of linguistic data, important transferable skills and fast becoming a standard expectation in any program of linguistic research.
  • MALTT offers specializations in morphosyntax and sociolinguistics.
  • Students have opportunities to participate in faculty research projects involving a range of languages, including K’iche’ Maya, Eastern Iranian, Slavic, Sanskrit, Appalachian English, and others.

The courses

  • Morphosyntax track
  • core: morphology, syntax, phonology

plus courses in 

  • grammatical typology, computational linguistics, constraint-based lexicalist grammars, etc.
  • Sociolinguistic track
  • core: syntax, phonology, phonetics

plus courses in

  • sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, discourse analysis, quantitative & qualitative methods in sociolinguistics, acoustic phonetics, etc.

The faculty

With a world class faculty on hand, students are exposed to cutting-edge research in morphosyntax and sociolinguistics.

  • Mingzhen Bao: phonetics, tone perception, Chinese linguistics
  • Rusty Barrett: Mayan linguistics, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, language revitalization, language & gender
  • Andrew Hippisley: computational morphosyntax, morphological theory, typology, Slavic languages, Eastern Iranian languages
  • Mark Richard Lauersdorf: historical sociolinguistics; corpus linguistics; Slavic, Germanic, Romance languages; language technologies
  • Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby: lexical semantics, verbal aspect, Russian, sociolinguistics
  • Gregory T. Stump: morphological theory, typology, formal semantics, Sanskrit, Eastern Iranian languages

Concurrent Degrees

MALTT students may choose to pursue a concurrent degree with another program in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (MCLLC). 
Nine credit hours are shared between two degrees, with the approval of both Directors of Graduate Studies. Visit the Graduate School web page to find the Concurrent Master Degrees form.


Where can MALTT take me?

MALTT graduates will be prepared to succeed in the top doctoral programs in the United States and abroad, and will be positioned to enter a global, information-based marketplace that demands the skills that a strong MA in Linguistics provides, with careers in such fields as, for example:

  • speech and language processing
  • globalization of commercial products
  • healthcare communication
  • business
  • legal professions
  • analysts in government agencies
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