Linguistics term papers

What is Linguistics?

Simply stated, linguistics is the science and study of human language, including the specific aspects of language like words, sounds, and grammar.  According to California State University Northridge, “Linguists study human language, seeking to define its nature, to establish its relationship to human thought, to discover what distinguishes human language from other forms of communication (human and non-human), to understand how children develop a language and acquire additional ones, to understand the ways in which languages may differ from one another, and to describe how human beings use language, in context, as they engage in all the activities also deemed ‘human’ (2011). Additionally, the Linguistics Society of America notes, “Many Linguists do fieldwork, collecting empirical evidence to help them gain insight into a specific language or languages in general.  They work with speakers of different languages to discover patterns and/or to document the language, search databases (or corpora) or spoken and written language, and run carefully-designed experiments with children and adults in schools, in the field, and in university labs.”

Majoring of Minoring in Linguistics

 University students may study linguistics in either an undergraduate program, to obtain a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree (depending on the educational institution), or in a graduate program, to obtain a Master of Arts degree or a Ph.D.  University students seeking a Bachelor’s Degree in another field may also pursue the field of Linguistics as a minor.  Majors or minors in Linguistics “will complete a range of courses that both introduce the field and provide focused study in such areas as phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, language acquisition, and sociolinguistics (Cal. State University Northridge, 2011).   

Career Opportunities for Linguistics Majors

 Dissimilar to a degree in something like accounting where the career path is fairly straightforward, Linguistics majors have a variety of different career paths that they may take.  These career paths are dependent of the type of degree an individual has acquired but may include employment as an English as a Second Language Teacher (ESL), University professor, language translator or interpreter, foreign language teacher, journalist, technical writer, language consultant, publisher, employment in the computer industry, employment in an advertising agency, or employment with a government agency.  English as a Second Language Teacher’s may seek positions in the United States or overseas with a bit of extra training as required by the country one seeks to teach in.

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