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Linguistics is the study of the nature, structure, and variation of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, and pragmatics. The linguistics unit of the English major offers the following programs:
Broadly speaking, a thesis/creative project in Linguistics may address nearly any facet of language structure and/or use, and it may intersect with one or more neighboring disciplines, including anthropology, computer science, education, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, and others. An honors thesis/creative project in Linguistics can take various forms and will be decided by the student in direct consultation with the faculty member who will supervise the thesis/creative project. The finished product is often between 30 and 50 pages of expository text, although different topics may warrant different formats. Past projects can be found in the Digital Repository of past Barrett theses and projects, though students are free to develop topics outside of these areas in consultation with their thesis/creative project director.
Currently, the committee structure requirements for an honors thesis/creative project in Linguistics are the same as the minimum requirements set out by Barrett, as outlined in the Honors Thesis/Creative Project Student Guidebook. In brief, those requirements are:
• Two committee members (minimum): a Director and a Second Committee Member; and
• The thesis/creative project Director must be an ASU lecturer or tenure-line faculty member.
An individual faculty member serving as the thesis/creative project director may have stricter requirements, and students must consult with their director before forming a committee
In addition, Linguistics faculty in the English Department are often willing to serve as a second (or third) committee member on topics that deal with language and linguistics even when the director is part of a different unit.
The honors thesis/creative project is a learning experience in itself, so students will develop skills and knowledge in the process of carrying out the project. Linguistics faculty members who have supervised these projects in the past have pointed out that it can be beneficial if a student has already taken at least one ENG 414 Studies in Linguistics or ENG 404 Studies in Second Language Acquisition course by the time they approach a potential thesis/creative project supervisor.
Students should follow Barrett guidelines for meeting thesis milestones. A committee is formed and the prospectus is submitted by the end of the junior year. The thesis work typically spans the fall and spring semester of a student's senior year (if graduating in spring).
Honors contracts are typically available in courses taught by regular full-time linguistics faculty in the English Department. Students interested in earning honors credit this way should contact the course instructor at the beginning of the semester.
The Department of English connects students with a variety of internship opportunities on and off campus.
Additional resources for linguistics:
Information on conferences, jobs, degree programs, and much more