Major Requirements

The Linguistics major is composed of ten courses, eight of which must be at the 200 level or above. The courses combine empirical methods with theory. They are devised to provide depth and breadth in linguistic theory, the different schools of linguistics, the history and development of linguistic thought, and the interdisciplinary aspects of linguistics in the context of languages and cultures.

Required CORE (3 for LIN and 5 for LIN/CS) courses:

  1. LIN 201 Introduction to Linguistics or LIN 203 Elements of Linguistic Structure
  2. LIN 202 Languages of the World (and we could add a section on computer languages)
  3. Sociolinguistic requirement  (1 course from following: LIN 213FS, 217FS, 305S, 306S, 308S, 364, 396S, 409S, 451, 480S)
  4. Neurolinguistic requirement  (1 course from following: LIN 216FS, 336S, 473S, 510, 595)
  5. LIN 450S or LIN 595 - Junior/Senior research seminar in Linguistics (or junior/senior seminar that includes CS +LIN

THEORY Courses in LIN (3 for LIN; 2 for LIN/CS IDM) – Sample list below:

  • LIN 204 English Historical Linguistics
  • LIN 205 Law and Language
  • LIN 207 Psychology of Language – language and cognition, biological bases, animal communication, language pathologies, nonverbal communication, bilingualism
  • LIN 209  Philosophy of Language – theories of language, signs and symbols, theories of meaning, types of discourse (scientific, mathematical, poetic)
  • LIN 213FS Politics of Language – political theory, sociology and sociolinguistics approaches to understanding how language policies reflect and produce sociopolitical realities (topics include migration, citizenship, nationalism and decolonization)
  • LIN 216FS Neuroscience and Human Language – primary research in neuroscience, neurolinguistics, imaging and linguistic theory
  • LIN 217FS Language, Thought and Culture
  • LIN 250 Symbolic Logic – detailed analysis of deduction and deductive systems
  • LIN 303 Fundamentals of Spanish Linguistics
  • LIN 305S Italian Sociolinguistics
  • LIN 306S Korean Sociolinguistics
  • LIN 308S Bilingualism
  • LIN 336S Issues in Language Development – topics include critical periods, role of ‘motherese’, infant speech perception, innovative word creation, telegraphic speech, bilingualism, second language learning, cognition and culture, language pathology, focus on methodologies and analysis
  • LIN 364 Gender and Language – includes cognitive science, cultural anthropology/ethnographic and sociolinguistic research methods
  • LIN 396S Language in Immigrant America – language in context of immigration to U.S. from 1900 to present, approaches informed by language policy, media studies, literature, memoirs, linguistic anthropology, topics include identity, assimilation, race, bilingual communities, bilingual education, foreign accents, language contact
  • LIN 409S Identity and Linguistic Rights
  • LIN 437S Language Development - unique human ability: learning language, how young children first learn language, including: 1) how children figure out what sounds their language includes; 2) how infants learn words & their meanings; and (3) what kind of processes help babies figure out the grammar of their particular native language. Methods and analysis based on primary research, experimental and observational data, and new research initiatives.
  • LIN 451 Language and Society – language as social practice, including language and social identity (such as ethnicity, social class, age, gender), variation in language (including dialects, accents, registers), multilingualism, languages in contact (including pidgins, creoles), intercultural communication, language in education and media
  • LIN 471S Language and Politics – examination of the interfaces between language, migration, and socio-political structures in the newly independent nations of Eurasia. While these interfaces have long historical antecedents in nation-state formations, their manifestations in the post-national, post-communist era are novel and complex. Understanding these new dynamics requires viewing language from a political-sociological perspective that takes into account the interplays between the local, the national and the global.
  • LIN 473S  Neuroscience and Multilingualism – healthy subjects and lesion-deficit studies, imaging methods and analysis (including BOLD fMRI and resting state, PET, MEG, EEG/ERP, eye tracking studies, fundamentals of languages and linguistic theory
  • LIN 480S Critical Discourse Analysis – central theories, frameworks and methodologies of CDA with analysis of real-world discourse and texts, ethical implications
  • LIN 510 Brain and Language - – focus on imaging studies (fMRI [including BOLD and resting state], PET, MEG, EEG/ERP), functional connectivity, analysis of data and methods, theory and controversies
  • LIN 595 Music, Language and Dementia - neuroscience data on cognitive processing of languages and music in healthy subjects and pathology.  Specific attention given to the interaction of language(s) and music in the brain, music therapy and dementia, and multilingualism and dementia.  Topics include the role of languages and music in building cognitive reserve, linguistic breakdown and cognitive decline in healthy aging and dementia, cross-cultural studies of pitch and timbre perception across languages of the world, possible benefits of multilingualism in healthy aging, interactions of singing and memory, integration of auditory and visual neural systems in language and music.

Linguistic Theory Component

Linguistic Theory courses provide the theoretical and empirical constructs for the study of linguistics. The list given here is suggested courses, but there may be other course that are relevant. Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for more information.

Disciplinary Areas Component

No double counting LIN courses between the THEORY and DISCIPLINARY components. Qualifying courses include the units mentioned above. Students should work with the DUS in the process of selection of specific courses for this category.

Language Requirement

Two semester courses in a single language other than English at or above the 300 level. T Only courses taught at Duke or for Duke credit (including transfer credits to Duke), bearing the FL code, may count.  Students with advanced placement credits or other evidence of foreign language proficiency are not exempted from this requirement. Advisor’s approval is required in order to determine the language chosen for the major.