1. What is Linguistics?
Linguistics is the scientific study of language, primarily through the analysis of language structure (grammar and syntax) and of meaning (semantics). Language can be examined in many different lights, ranging from the study of phonetics (the physical properties of speech) to historical linguistics (how language changes over time). Linguistics is interdisciplinary: it has applications in many other fields, including psychology, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, law, and computer science. Wikipedia has more on linguistics, its history, and major players in its development (Noam Chomsky, for example).
2. Is there a linguistics major at Columbia or Barnard?
No. At the moment there is a special concentration in Linguistics available through Columbia, but in order to complete a full major you must petition for it through the independent major process. For more information on the program, including course lists and undergraduate requirements, please see our Program and Courses page.
3. Is there a mailing list?
Yes. To be added to the mailing list, leave a comment here, or send us an email.