Program of Study (CAS Bulletin)

 
Major Requirements

The major consists of nine 4-point courses (36 points) in linguistics. These must include the following:

  1. One introductory course: either Language (LING-UA 1) or Language and Mind (LING-UA 3)
  2. Sound and Language (LING-UA 11)
  3. Grammatical Analysis (LING-UA 13)
  4. Phonological Analysis (LING-UA 12)
  5. Introduction to Semantics (LING-UA 4)
  6. One of the following: Language and Society (LING-UA 15); African American English I: Language and Culture (LING-UA 23); Language in Latin America (LING-UA 30); or Pidgin and Creole Languages (LING-UA 38)
  7. Three courses freely chosen from the offerings of the department, except for the courses recommended for nonmajors.

It is highly recommended that majors and joint majors take the courses in the first three groups first, since other courses have these as prerequisites or generally presuppose their content.

No grade lower than C may be counted toward the major or toward a joint major.

All linguistics majors, joint majors, and combined majors must register for linguistics courses through the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Linguistics department.

If any course fulfills the major or minor requirements in any other department or program at NYU, it may not be used simultaneously to fulfill the requirements for any of the linguistics majors.


Joint Majors with a Foreign Language

The Department of Linguistics offers joint majors with the Departments of French, German, Italian, and Spanish and Portuguese. The major with Spanish requires a total of ten 4-point courses (40 points); the majors with the other languages require a total of nine 4-point courses (36 points).

The linguistics portion of the joint foreign language major is satisfied by taking the following five courses (20 points):

  • One introductory course: either Language (LING-UA 1) or Language and Mind (LING-UA 3)
  • Sound and Language (LING-UA 11)
  • Grammatical Analysis (LING-UA 13)
  • A total of two additional courses from two different fields of linguistics, chosen from the following:
    • Historical linguistics (LING-UA 14, LING-UA 17, LING-UA 76)
    • Sociolinguistics (LING-UA 15, LING-UA 18, LING-UA 30, LING-UA 38)
    • Phonology (LING-UA 12)
    • Semantics (LING-UA 4)
    • Computational linguistics (LING-UA 24, LING-UA 28)
    • Psycholinguistics (LING-UA 5, LING-UA 43, LING-UA 54)

The foreign language portion of the joint major is satisfied as follows.

French requires four 4-point courses (16 points) beyond the intermediate level:

  • One advanced language course chosen from:
    • Phonetics (FREN-UA 103)
    • Translation (FREN-UA 107)
    • Acting French (FREN-UA 109)
    • Business French (FREN-UA 110)
  • One course in advanced written French (usually Written Contemporary French, FREN-UA 105)
  • Two courses in French literature, in French, to be determined in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

German requires four 4-point courses (16 points) beyond the intermediate level:

  • An advanced conversation or composition course chosen from:
    • German Conversation and Composition (GERM-UA 111)
    • Advanced Composition and Grammar (GERM-UA 114)
  • One additional course at the 100 level in conversation, composition, or culture
  • Introduction to German Literature (GERM-UA 152)
  • An additional advanced literature course, in German, to be determined in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Italian requires four 4-point courses (16 points) beyond the intermediate level:

  • Advanced Review of Modern Italian (ITAL-UA 30)
  • One advanced language course chosen from:
    • Conversations in Italian (ITAL-UA 101)
    • Italian Through Cinema (ITAL-UA 103)
    • Advanced Composition (ITAL-UA 105)
    • Creative Writing in Italian (ITAL-UA 107)
    • Translation (ITAL-UA 110)
  • Two advanced courses in either Italian literature or culture and society, to be determined in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Spanish requires five 4-point courses (20 points) beyond the intermediate level:

  • Advanced Grammar and Composition (SPAN-UA 100)
  • Critical Approaches: Reading, Writing, and Textual Analysis (SPAN-UA 200)
  • Three advanced courses, to be determined in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Joint Major in Anthropology and Linguistics

The joint major in anthropology and linguistics emphasizes the complementary nature of anthropological and sociolinguistic approaches to language. Students are required to take 20 points (typically five 4-point courses) each from the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Linguistics. A grade of at least C is required in every course for it to be counted toward the joint major.

Required courses in anthropology are:

  • Human Society and Culture (ANTH-UA 1)
  • Anthropology of Language (ANTH-UA 17)
  • Either Cultural Symbols (ANTH-UA 48) or Language, Power, and Identity (ANTH-UA 16)
  • Two other cultural or linguistic anthropology courses approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Anthropology.

Required courses in linguistics are:

  • Language (LING-UA 1)
  • Language and Society (LING-UA 15)
  • Two courses chosen from among the following:
    • Bilingualism (LING-UA 18)
    • Language, Literacy, and Society (LING-UA 20)
    • Sex, Gender, and Language (LING-UA 21)
    • African American English I: Language and Culture (LING-UA 23)
    • Language and Liberation at Home in the Caribbean and Abroad (LING-UA 26)
    • Language in Latin America (LING-UA 30).
  • A fifth course in linguistics, which may be an additional course from the above list or another course that the department offers (other than the courses recommended for nonmajors), chosen in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Linguistics.

Joint anthropology-linguistics majors should also consult with Professor Bambi Schieffelin in the Department of Anthropology and Professor John Singler in the Department of Linguistics for aid in developing their program of study.


Joint Major in Language and Mind

This major, intended as an introduction to cognitive science, is administered by the Departments of Linguistics, Philosophy, and Psychology. Ten courses (40 points) are required (four in linguistics, one in philosophy, four in psychology, and one additional course).

The linguistics component consists of these four courses:

  • Language and Mind (LING-UA 3)
  • Two courses chosen from the following:
    • Introduction to Semantics (LING-UA 4)
    • Phonological Analysis (LING-UA 12)
    • Grammatical Analysis (LING-UA 13)
  • One course, chosen from the following:
    • Introduction to Semantics (LING-UA 4)
    • Psycholinguistics (LING-UA 5)
    • Sound and Language (LING-UA 11)
    • Computational Principles of Sentence Construction (aka Patterns in Language, LING-UA 24)
    • Form, Meaning, and the Mind (LING-UA 31)
    • Propositional Attitudes (LING-UA 35)
    • Neural Bases of Language (LING-UA 43 or PSYCH-UA 300)
    • Linguistics as Cognitive Science (LING-UA 48)
    • Learning to Speak (LING-UA 54)
    • Introduction to Morphology at an Advanced Level (LING-UA 55)

The philosophy component is a choice of one of the following three courses:

  • Minds and Machines (PHIL-UA 15)
  • Logic (PHIL-UA 70)
  • Philosophy of Language (PHIL-UA 85)

The required psychology component consists of four courses:

  • Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (PSYCH-UA 10)
  • Cognition (PSYCH-UA 29)
  • One course chosen from among the following:
    • The Psychology of Language (PSYCH-UA 56)
    • Neural Bases of Language (PSYCH-UA 300)
    • Speech: A Window into the Developing Mind (PSYCH-UA 300)
  • One course chosen from among the following:
    • Perception (PSYCH-UA 22)
    • Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience (PSYCH-UA 25)
    • Neural Bases of Language (LING-UA 43)
    • Laboratory in Perception (PSYCH-UA 44)
    • Laboratory in Human Cognition (PSYCH-UA 46)
    • The Psychology of Language (PSYCH-UA 56)

The tenth course will be an additional course from the lists above that has not already been taken to satisfy the departmental components. Joint majors should consult with the respective directors of undergraduate studies of the departments involved.

Minor

Four courses (16 points) in linguistics with a grade of C or better in each course. If any course fulfills the major or minor requirements in any other department or program at NYU, it may not be used simultaneously to fulfill the requirements for the linguistics minor.


Recommended Work Outside the Department

To meet standards currently set in the linguistics field, as well as graduate school admission requirements, students majoring in linguistics are advised to gain competence in the following areas during their undergraduate studies: (1) one or more foreign languages, (2) psychology, for issues of language and the mind, and anthropology, for issues of language and culture, (3) mathematics or logic, for an understanding of modern algebra and mathematical logic, (4) philosophy of language, and (5) one or more computer languages. Majors and minors should avail themselves of the NYU study away programs. Note that any course substitution or transfer credit toward a required course for the major must be confirmed by a letter from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Honors in Linguistics

The Department of Linguistics, in accordance with the requirements for departmental honors that was passed by the Faculty of Arts and Science in Spring 2005, offers an honors degree in linguistics. The requirement for graduation with honors in linguistics is an honors thesis of 40 to 50 pages, typically the culmination of a year's work, and two advanced courses chosen with the honors thesis adviser.

Students who are excelling in the linguistics major are highly encouraged to develop an Honors project as early as the second semester of their sophomore year, even though students do not officially apply to the Honors Program until the second semester of their junior year. It is expected that students who pursue Honors work in the Department of Linguistics have sufficient preparation and background (i.e., high-level coursework) in a field of linguistics, which is not always the case for joint majors in French/German/Italian/Spanish and Linguistics.

Admission to the honors program requires an application in the second semester of junior year. It normally requires a GPA of 3.65 overall, as well as in linguistics, but this requirement can be waived by the College of Arts and Science director of college honors in exceptional circumstances by petition from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

The application must be made by April 15 to the Director of Undergraduate Studies The application consists of an application form and a one- to two-page description of the topic that the student wishes to investigate in the thesis. The student must identify a faculty member in Linguistics who has agreed to work with the student. The description of the thesis is written in consultation with the faculty adviser. The student will be notified by May 1 about acceptance into the Honors program.

If the student is accepted, the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the student's honors thesis will become the student's honors adviser, and the two courses for honors will be chosen jointly by the student and the adviser.

Joint Honors

The Department of Linguistics offers joint honors in all programs for which it offers joint majors: language and mind, anthropology and linguistics, French and linguistics, German and linguistics, Italian and linguistics, and Spanish and linguistics. For the requirements of joint honors in anthropology and linguistics, students should see Professor John Singler.

For the requirements of language and mind, students should follow the same procedure for honors in linguistics, except that their proposal should identify faculty members from two departments in the language and mind major (linguistics, philosophy, and psychology), and these two faculty members will be co-advisers. The thesis topic, needless to say, should reflect contributions to both disciplines.

Students interested in pursuing joint honors in linguistics and French, German, Italian, or Spanish should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for linguistics, as well as the other department, in the second semester of their junior year.

Updated on 06/09/2014
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