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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

Caitlin Smith joins the Department of Linguistics

Linguistics Welcomes Dr. Caitlin Smith

Caitlin Smith joins the Department of Linguistics

Check out our catalog of courses for summer 2022!

Summer 2022 Courses!

Check out our catalog of courses for summer 2022!

Upcoming & Recent Events



Linguistics Commencement May 2022

11:00am – , Kenan Music Building –



Computational Linguistics Seminar: Dr. Tal Linzen

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Zoom –

Latest Posts

Amy Reynolds’ successful dissertation defense


Caitlin Smith presents at WCCFL 40


Trey Anthony presents at LASPRL 3


Sean Foley to Ph.D program at University of Southern California


Featured Alumni

Elena Lenis-Zuluaga

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

Ramsey Cardwell

BS in Psychology and Linguistics, Minor in Chinese

Teresa Schubert

BA, Minors in Cognitive Science and Spanish - Hispanic Studies