Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It explores the unconscious knowledge that speakers have about language, in particular the relationship between sound and meaning, which is at the core of language as a system of communication. Linguists study the structure and representation of language at various levels: sounds (phonetics and phonology), words (morphology), phrases and sentences (syntax), and meaning (semantics). They also investigate questions about language universals and typology, the historical development and changes in language over time, the acquisition of language by children and adults, the processing of language in the mind/brain, the neuro-cognitive mechanisms of language, and communication disorders. Linguistics is an interdisciplinary field that investigates language from theoretical, descriptive and experimental perspectives.
SLaLS offers both a BA and BSc in Linguistics. While the Linguistics requirements are similar in both programs, they have different admission and graduation requirements. For example, our BSc requires courses in natural sciences including math, biology, chemistry, anatomy, and neuroscience or psychology. In contrast, the BA has a breadth requirement that includes courses in culture and communication, humanities, social sciences, and science, engineering and design.
We offer two concentrations in the BA and BSc Honours programs: Linguistic Theory and Psycholinguistics & Communication Disorders. The Linguistic Theory concentration offers advanced courses in theoretical linguistics, as well as options such as language typology, historical linguistics and linguistic field methods. The Psycholinguistics & Communication Disorders concentration focuses on language processing, language acquisition, speech and language disorders, experimental design, data analysis, and clinical applications of linguistic theory. Qualified students in the Psycholinguistics & Communication Disorders concentration have the opportunity to take a practicum course that provides clinical experience in speech-language pathology.