The Linguistics Program at Macalester offers students the possibility to complete either a major or minor in Linguistics. The requirements for each concentration are described in detail below. Students with a major or minor in linguistics are also encouraged to participate in the Honors Program when appropriate.
Students majoring in linguistics must follow one of two tracks. The cultural track emphasizes the study of the social aspects of language and individual languages, while the cognitive track approaches linguistics from a logical and psychological standpoint. Both tracks require students to take Linguistics 100 (Introduction to Linguistics), 104 (The Sounds of Language), 200 (English Syntax), and 205 (Phonology), as well as a capstone course sequence. Otherwise, the two tracks have different requirements.
The Cultural Track
In addition to Linguistics 100, 104, 200, and 205, students following the cultural track will take:
- Language courses: three courses beyond the college-wide four semester requirement.
- Two department-approved courses from other disciplines, including Philosophy, Japanese, Hispanic Studies, Political Science, Humanities and Media and Cultural Studies, Sociology, Russian Studies, and International Studies.
- Two of the following courses: Linguistics 103 (Advertising and Propaganda), Linguistics 201 (Historical Linguistics), Linguistics 202 (Origins and Evolution of Language), and Linguistics 301 (Language and Alienation).
- the capstone sequence, consisting of Linguistics 300 (Linguistic Analysis) and Linguistics 400 (Field Methods in Linguistics).
A student’s major concentration plan must also satisfy Macalester’s general requirements for graduation. The Senior Capstone requirement is satisfied by taking Linguistics 400, Field Methods in Linguistics.
The Cognitive Track
In addition to Linguistics 100, 104, 200, and 205, students following the cognitive track will take:
- Three psychology courses: Psychology 180/Cognitive and Neuroscience Studies 180 (Brain, Mind, and Behavior), Psychology 242 (Cognitive Psychology), and Psychology 378/Linguistics 378 (Psychology of Language).
- Two computer science courses: Computer Science 123 (Introduction to Computer Science) and Computer Science/Cognitive and Neuroscience Studies 484 (Artificial Intelligence).
- Two of the following courses: Philosophy 120 (Introduction to Symbolic Logic), Philosophy 362 (Philosophy of Mind), and Philosophy 364 (Philosophy of Language).
- the capstone sequence, consisting of Linguistics 204 (Experimental Linguistics) and Linguistics 614 (Independent Project).
A student’s major concentration plan must also satisfy Macalester’s general requirements for graduation. The Senior Capstone requirement is satisfied by taking Linguistics 614, an independent project.
A minor in linguistics consists of any six courses from the department.