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Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics

Course offerings

The first year sequences in syntax and semantics/pragmatics focus on the development of fundamental skills in syntactic and semantic anlaysis. Courses emphasize argumentation, data analysis, and data collection, and providing students with a solid foundation in both linguistic theory and linguistic research methodology. After the first year, advanced courses (typically 5-6 per year in syntax, semantics, pragmatics and their interfaces) provide students with the opportunity to explore new topics and issues in depth and to further develop skills in argumentation and critical evaluation of literature. Finally, the Department also offers an extensive array of language and language structure courses every year, allowing students to broaden their em

Independent research training

The first year of the graduate program emphasizes development of fundamental skills in syntactic and semantic analysis; the second and third years focus on training in independent research skills and the development of original research projects. Students are required to write two qualifying papers during this time (one in year two and one in year three) in different subfields, which may be syntax/morphology and semantics/pragmatics. (The other options are phonetics/phonology and socio/historical linguistics.) Students are guided through this process both by working with individual facutly advisors, and by enrolling in the Research Seminar each year, a course that trains students in all aspects of professional development. After the second qualifying paper has been completed, students are ready to move on to the final stage of the program: dissertation research and writing. Under normal circumstances, the time from enterning the program to defending the thesis is five years. (A full description of the Graduate Program in Linguistics can be found on the Linguistics Department website.)