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Students may submit an application to major in linguistics through the independent major program.


Ted Fernald, at Swarthmore College
Shizhe Huang, at Haverford College
Eric Raimy

Bryn Mawr College students may take advantage of courses offered by the Department of Linguistics at Swarthmore College. Students interested in majoring in linguistics may do so via the independent major program. Such students must meet the requirements set by the independent major program at Bryn Mawr.

Linguistics is the study of language. On the most general level it deals with the internal structure of language, the history of the development of language, the information language can give us about the human mind and the roles language plays in influencing the entire spectrum of human activity.

The relevance of linguistics to the disciplines of anthropology, language study, philosophy, psychology and sociology has been recognized for a long time. But recently a knowledge of linguistics has become important to a much wider range of activities in today’s world. It is a basic tool in artificial intelligence. It is increasingly a valuable tool in literary analysis. It is fundamental to an understanding of communication skills and cognitive science. And, because the very nature of modern linguistic inquiry is to build arguments for particular analyses, the study of linguistics gives the student finely-honed argumentation skills, which stand in good stead in careers in business, law and other professions where such skills are crucial.

Bryn Mawr offers the following course in linguistics.

GNST B239 Introduction to Linguistics

(Raimy, Division I)

Selected courses offered at Swarthmore College include the following, plus advanced seminars.

Anthropological Linguistics: Endangered Languages
Beginning Arabic for Text Study
Beginning Hebrew for Text Study
Computational Linguistics (also at Bryn Mawr College)
Computational Models of Language
Experimental Phonetics
Exploring Acoustics
Field Methods
Historical and Comparative Linguistics
History of the Russian Language
Intermediate Syntax and Semantics
Introduction to Classical Chinese
Introduction to Language and Linguistics
Language and Meaning
Language, Culture and Society
Language Policy in the United States
Languages of the World
Morphology and the Lexicon
Movement and Cognition
Old English/History of the Language
Oral and Written Language
Psychology of Language (also at Haverford College)
Russian Phonetics and Phonology
Structure of American Sign Language
Structure of Navajo
Structure of Tuvan
Translation Workshop
Writing Systems, Decipherment and Cryptography

Bryn Mawr College · 101 North Merion Ave · Bryn Mawr · PA · 19010-2899 · Tel 610-526-5000