Carnegie Mellon University

Stop for a moment and think about any moment of your day today. Chances are that language was a part of that moment. Even if it was a moment of solitude, you were quite possibly thinking about something, and chances are that you were doing that with language. Language is a ubiquitous and essential part of human life and human culture, so much so that it is impossible to imagine how most of what we do could be done without it. That being so, understanding what language is, how it works, and how we do the things that we do with it, is clearly a goal worth pursuing. That is what linguistics is about.

And because language pervades human life, inquiries that start out somewhere else often come into contact with questions about language. Many areas of interest and inquiry – from philosophy to psychology, sociology to literature, history to AI – may lead us to think about language in some way.

Here at CMU, research related to language is being carried out across the campus, some by researchers for whom language is the starting point of inquiry and some by researchers whose interests in questions such as infant development or the development of intelligent systems bring them into contact with language.

The Linguistics Program at Carnegie Mellon University draws on this broad and multi-disciplinary perspective. The undergraduate Major and Minor bring together courses from the departments of Philosophy, English, Modern Languages, Psychology and the Language Technologies Institute to offer students of linguistics a broad set of options for exploring their interests.

We invite you to use these pages to find out more about our undergraduate program and research on language and linguistics at Carnegie Mellon University.