Administrative Information

Program Director: Prof. Alan Timberlake, 714 Hamilton; 854-3941;

Affiliated Faculty
May Ahmar (Arabic; Middle Eastern, South Asian, & African Studies)
Akeel Bilgrami (Philosophy)
Aaron Fox (Music)
Haim Gaifman (Philosophy)
Boris Gasparov (Slavic)
Julia Hirschberg (Computer Science)
Ana Paula Huback (Latin  American & Iberian Studies)
Paul Kockelman (Anthropology, Barnard)
Rina Kreitman (Hebrew; Middle Eastern, South Asian, & African Studies)
Lening Liu (Chinese; East Asian Languages & Cultures)
Karen Lewis (Philosophy, Barnard)
David Lurie (Japanese; East Asian Languages & Cultures)
Kathleen McKeown (Computer Science)
John McWhorter (American Studies)
Yuan-Yuan Meng (Chinese; East Asian    Languages & Cultures)
Michele Miozzo (Psychology)

Fumiko Nazikian (Japanese; East Asian
Languages & Cultures)
Youssef Nouhi (Arabc; Middle Eastern,
South Asian, & African Studies)
Christopher Peacocke (Philosophy)
Robert Remez (Psychology, Barnard)
Owen Rambow (CCLS)
Carol Rounds (Hungarian; Italian)
Francisco Rosales-Varo (Latin American & Iberian Studies)
José Plácido Ruiz-Campillo (Latin American & Iberian Studies)
Owen Rambow (Center for Computational Learning Systems)
Richard Sacks (English & Comparative Literature)
Ann Senghas (Psychology, Barnard)
Mariame Sy (Wolof; Pulaar; Middle Eastern, South Asian, & African Studies)
Alan Timberlake (Slavic)
Zhirong Wang (Chinese; East Asian Languages & Cultures)

Language is central to all human mental activity and communication. Linguistics investigates language in three ways: as self-contained system (sounds, words, grammar, syntax); as a component of culture and society; and as a cognitive and neurological operation of individuals.

Courses in linguistics acquaint students with theoretical ideas, conceptual apparatus, and research techniques of the scientific study of language. Linguistics provides an intellectual context for students who enjoy learning languages and who are fascinated by the diversity of language, as it intersects with a range of academic disciplines whose subject matter in one way or another involves language. For this reason, linguistics is valuable for students whose primary field of study is philosophy, anthropology, music, sociology, political science, psychology, computer science, philology, or a national literature.

The Columbia Linguistics Society

The Columbia Linguistics Society is an organization of undergraduates interested in linguistics that sponsors lectures and hosts informal social events. Information is available at or through Facebook.

Study Abroad

Undergraduates have engaged in unique travel and research projects, including sign language in Nicaraugua; language attitudes in Ireland and Kyrgyzistan; colloquial Arabic in Cairo; summer internship at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology; and study abroad to Spain, England, India, Hungary, and Ireland.

Graduate Study

Columbia's linguists have distinguished themselves with awards and plans after graduation, such as Fulbright Fellowships to France, Georgia, and Turkey; and graduate study at Harvard, UXAD, Northwestern, New York University, and SUNY Buffalo. There is no graduate program in linguistics at Columbia. Students interested in pursuing graduate study in linguisics in New York should investigate Teachers College for programs in applied linguistics.