Chair's Message

Welcome to UK’s Linguistics Department. Linguistics is the scientific study of language, a uniquely human capability whose systematic study sheds light on human behavior and thought.  We ask the question: What is a possible human language? To answer we have to cross disciplinary boundaries, both informing and drawing on the fields of philosophy, computer science, anthropology, psychology, sociology, world languages and literature, among others.  The aim of our undergraduate major is to equip students with an understanding of the core components of language as a complex system and to elucidate the use of language in society.  In pursuing this degree students develop career-ready skills such as analytical thinking, articulate communication, problem solving and thinking ‘outside the box’. Graduates enter professions in law, information technology, speech pathology, education, government and more.  We also offer a master’s degree in linguistic theory and typology, and an undergraduate/graduate conversion degree.

The Linguistics Department’s mission is based on three objectives:


Offer a first-rate undergraduate degree in the discipline of Linguistics.  In particular, we aim to provide our majors (and minors) with a solid theoretical grounding as well as practical experience in the formal analysis of linguistic structure at the phonological and grammatical levels, and to familiarize them with the sociological principles regulating the processes of language variation, language change, and language acquisition and learning.  We strive to equip our majors with the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the nation’s top graduate programs in Linguistics, or to successfully pursue a range of careers.


Make significant contributions to the rapidly expanding body of research devoted to understanding the nature of human language.


Foster interest in the scientific study of human language, and to provide curricular support to other degree programs across campus.

The miracle of language, one of our most fundamental human gifts, is waiting for you to explore with us. Please contact me or any of the faculty if you are curious.


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