M.A.- Linguistics;, Ph.D.- Linguistics
With the first linguistics department to be established in North America (in 1901), Berkeley has a rich and distinguished tradition of rigorous linguistic documentation and theoretical innovation, making it an exciting and fulfilling place to carry out linguistic research. Its original mission, due to the anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and the Sanskrit and Dravidian scholar Murray B. Emeneau, was the recording and describing of unwritten languages, especially American Indian languages spoken in California and elsewhere in the United States.
The current Department of Linguistics continues this tradition, integrating careful, scholarly documentation with cutting-edge theoretical work in phonetics, phonology and morphology; in syntax and semantics; pragmatics; sociolinguistics and language revitalization; historical linguistics; typology; and cognitive linguistics.
Berkeley PhDs tend to be interdisciplinary and creative, benefitting from interactions with distinguished faculty in such other Berkeley departments as anthropology, computer science, philosophy, psychology, and departments devoted to particular languages. The Department emphasizes research that seeks to discover and provide deep explanations for general properties of linguistic form, meaning, and usage.
Linguistics is a broad, interdisciplinary field; this is reflected in the course offering and requirements both for the undergraduate major and for the combined MA/PhD graduate program. A number of Linguistics courses also satisfy breadth or American Cultures requirements in the university. Linguistics currently has over 100 majors, and an active undergraduate society. The major covers the physical and cognitive aspects of language as well as the social and historical; opportunities for writing papers and doing original research give the major a liberal arts character.
Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
Facts & Figures
Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive
Locale: Midsize City
Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999