The scientific discipline of linguistics emerged in the twentieth century.
It is distinguished from earlier approaches to language chiefly by its focus on spoken and signed language as well as written, and by its emphasis on describing actual language as it is used rather than prescribing what is correct and proper. In pursuing these aims a set of rigorous methods and an extensive technical vocabulary have been devised. Spoken language is a complex system of organized sound, and any adequate analysis requires precision and detail at several levels.
More about Linguistics
UM-Dearborn Linguistics faculty focus on sociolinguistics and the structure, history, and social functions of the English language in contact with other languages, drawing on the methods and theoretical insights of the World Englishes approach.
The Linguistics Discipline offers courses contributing to the following programs: the ESL Endorsement Certificate (College of Education, Health, and Human Services), the Language Arts Education major (College of Education, Health, and Human Services), the English with Secondary Education major (CASL and College of Education, Health, and Human Services), the English Language and Literature major (CASL), and the Linguistics minor (CASL). Linguistics courses also fulfill the role of cognates within certain CASL majors.
Students may earn a minor in Linguistics or use Linguistics as a concentration for the Integrative Studies degree by completing 12 hours of upper-division credit in Linguistics. Basic and upper-level courses are offered, some of which are cross-listed with English (ENGL), African and African American Studies (AAAS), Anthropology (ANTH) or Psychology (PSYC). Secondary education students seeking certification in English are required to take an introductory course in Linguistics as well as Modern English Grammar. Students in the English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsement Program are required to take 15 credit hours of Linguistics courses, including three required (Concepts in Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, and Second Language Acquisition: English) and two electives.
Learn more about CASL Degree Requirements.
The Linguistics Minor introduces the theory and methods of linguistics. Students pursue upper-level training in sociolinguistics and the linguistic structure, history, and social functions of particular varieties of English. Independent study courses are available for students wishing to research specific topics in greater detail.
Students in the English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsement Program are required to take 15 credit hours of linguistics courses, including three required and two electives. LING 480/580 Concepts in Linguistics is the program prerequisite, and LING 476/576 Sociolinguistics and LING/ENGL474/574 Second Language Acquisition: English are required. LING/ENGL 461/561 Modern English Grammar, LING/ENGL 482/582 History of the English Language, LING/ENGL 484/584 World Englishes, and LING/ANTH 425/525 Language and Society are offered as electives within required linguistics coursework.
Students majoring in Language Arts Education and English with Secondary Education are required to take either LING/ENGL461 Modern English Grammar or LING/ENGL 482 History of the English Language, as well as an additional linguistics elective. LING 280 is the prerequisite for both of these courses and covers material examined in the Michigan State Teacher Certification Examination.
Linguistics Discipline: Goals
- Acquire and utilize knowledge of linguistic methods, concepts, terminology, analytical tools and approaches.
- Develop and demonstrate the ability to distinguish between the facts and observations deriving from the science of linguistics on the one hand, and folk beliefs and preconceptions about language on the other.
- Apply learning to own language experiences and responsibilities and enhance an awareness of and appreciation for linguistic and cultural diversity.
Linguistics Discipline: Outcomes
- Analysis: Demonstrate an understanding of the analytical methods of linguistics.
- Terminology: Show knowledge of the terminology of linguistics; use linguistic terminology accurately and effectively in writing and discussion.
- Approaches: Distinguish between descriptive and prescriptive approaches to language.
- Theory: Show understanding of components of linguistic theory and how these function together to define assumptions, hypotheses, data, and established truths of language.
- Critical thinking: Show ability to critically evaluate research findings and reflect on one’s own and others’ perceptions of language.
- Linguistic and cultural sensitivity: Develop tolerance toward linguistic and cultural diversity within different speech communities.
- Awareness of sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic variables: Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between language and class, ethnicity, gender, region, and social context.