Undergraduate Information

Undergraduate students may major or minor in linguistics at UNH.

What is linguistics?

Linguistics cartoon

Linguistics is the scientific study of the nature and characteristics of human languages. Linguists are interested in understanding the properties common to all human languages through the study of linguistic structure (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics) and language history, function, and acquisition. In addition, linguists explore many specific aspects of individual languages, language groups, and language uses. Linguists investigate similarities and differences between languages, how children and adults learn languages, and how we value and judge the speech and language usage of others.

Linguistics belongs to the core of cognitive science, and is closely allied with many other disciplines such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, communication, speech therapy, education, computer science, philosophy, English, and foreign languages. Basic knowledge gained in linguistic study is applied to improve the understanding of language, language use, and language learning. In both theory and applications, linguistics can be viewed as the most scientific of the humanities and the most humanistic of the sciences.

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