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What is Linguistics?

How does language work? What is its structure, in sentences, words and sounds or signs? How do we learn it? How do we use it to communicate? How does it change over time?

Linguistics is the science of human language. From the individual level to the social, language permeates our experiences and human interactions. Language enables us to communicate with people around us, to listen to our neighbors, and we learn new languages to cross boundaries, to forge new connections both locally and on a global scale.

At Carolina we provide students with the tools to analyze the languages of the world and the languages and dialects spoken in our state. We offer courses in formal grammar, sentence structure, sound patterns and meaning, computational linguistics, language acquisition and sociolinguistics, and more. We offer an Undergraduate Major and Minor, an MA in Linguistics, and students can pursue a Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics in conjunction with Romance Studies.

Syntax Tree

Latest News

Romance Department August Colloquium 8/31

Caitlin Smith joins the Department of Linguistics

Linguistics Welcomes Dr. Caitlin Smith

Caitlin Smith joins the Department of Linguistics

Upcoming & Recent Events



Computational Linguistics Seminar: Dr. Jamie Arguello

3:30pm – 4:30pm, TBA –



Computational Linguistics Seminar: Dr. Aniello De Santo

3:30pm – 4:30pm, via Zoom –

Latest Posts

Brian Hsu in Language and Linguistics Compass


Justin Pinta begins position at Mississippi State University


Dylan Elliott to Megaputer Intelligence


Jennifer Smith promoted to Full Professor


Featured Alumni

Hayle Lueth

BA in Linguistics, Minor in Spech and Hearing Sciences

Elena Lenis-Zuluaga

BA in Linguistics and Hispanic Linguistics, Minor in Speech and Hearing Sciences

Hans Boas

MA (1995), PhD (2000)