What is Linguistics?Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. A growing and exciting field, it has links to diverse fields including cognitive psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, computer science, artificial intelligence, sociology, language teaching, anthropology, and education. Linguistics is a key component of the emerging field of cognitive science, the study of the structure and functioning of human cognitive processes. Read more »
What can you do with a Linguistics degree?The real answer is “just about anything!” While the majority of graduates in linguistics go on to work in linguistics or a related field (computer science, education, speech pathology, journalism, editing), many also find jobs in areas outside of the field, for example, working in middle management for a large fortune 500 firm, or going to law school. Because linguistics focuses on the analysis of language at many different levels, students completing the program have the ability to think abstractly, along with exceptional analytic skills. Learn More »
Linguistics in NU News
Puzzle of the DayWhere do the words “chipmunk”, “squash”, and “skunk” come from?
Click for answer
Native American languages. When the first Europeans arrived in the Americas, they encountered a lot of new plants, animals, and customs that were unknown to them. They often adopted the word(s) that the local indigenous populations used. The Europeans also often changed the pronunciation (and sometimes the meaning) of the word, so that it fit better into their own language. For example, “chipmunk” comes from the Ojibwa term for red squirrel “ac&itamon/”, “squash” comes from the Narragansett word “askútasquash”, and “skunk” is from the Massachusett word “s&ekakw” which is a compound that literally combines the words “urinate + fox-like animal”.