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PhD in Linguistics

About the program

The Department of Linguistics currently offers a Doctoral degree in Linguistics that emphasizes the systematic investigation of aspects of language that relate to social and cultural life.


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Departmental specialties include:

•Computational Linguistics
•Historical Linguistics
Additional faculty strengths include: Phonetics, Sociophonetics, Perceptual Dialectology, Dialect Geography, Historical Sociolinguistics, Constructed Languages, and Linguistic Anthropology


Linguistics Faculty

Our linguistics faculty demonstrate a remarkable breadth and depth of expertise in the areas of sociolinguistics, computational linguistics, and historical linguistics. Our department is dynamic and growing and is focused on becoming a hub for the study of sociolinguistics in the United States.
Department resources include a computational and corpus linguistics lab and a phonetics lab, as well as access to the Collaboratory for Research in Computing for Humanities (RCH) through the department’s engagement with that unit. The department is also home to the Linguistic Atlas Project (LAP), as well as other ongoing research projects such as Wildcat Voices and the Young Appalachians’ Living Language (YALL) corpus. Department of Linguistics faculty have been awarded research grants and fellowships by prominent public and private funding agencies, including the American Philosophical Society, Fulbright, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).


Program Information

The Linguistics Graduate Program fosters graduate student research, networking, and collaboration with scholars from across the country and the globe. Faculty members act as mentors and advocates for our students, often engaging in joint research projects. The Linguistics Graduate Student Association (LGSA) hosts the annual Central Kentucky Linguistics Conference (CKLiC) under Department sponsorship. CKLiC provides a place for graduate students in linguistics to engage in professional development with eminent scholars, as well as showcase their own work in a full conference environment. The Department also hosts a number of activities and events, such as multiple reading groups in areas of student interest, an invited speaker series, and various multimedia and gaming initiatives that bring linguistics to a broader audience. The Department of Linguistics is able to offer a limited number of Teaching and Research Assistantships. These TA and RA positions are awarded on a competitive basis to top candidates.


Click here to view the program flyer.