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You will examine how we acquire and use language, with all its complex properties. As a linguistics minor you will learn to investigate the characteristics of language and the mind, and language and society. You may get an opportunity to spend a summer conducting linguistics research with a faculty member.

About the Minor

Language is taken for granted for daily usage, but the minute one begins to consider how to acquire and use language, its complex properties become evident.

I have had innumerable opportunities at Hamilton that I may not have had elsewhere. In particular, I am grateful for the relationships I have developed with faculty members that I hope to maintain after graduation.

Eliana Zupcich ’18 — interdisciplinary studies major, with a linguistics focus

Contact Information


Linguistics Program

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4972 mkamiya@hamilton.edu

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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Introduction to Linguistics 100F


This is a gateway course for the study of linguistics and is meant to provide students with an introduction to a wide range of topics in the field (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, and language acquisition). By examining these topics, students will explore the relationship between language and the mind, and language and society. Those who plan to minor in linguistics are encouraged to enroll in this course. (Next offered 2017-18.) Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Linguistic Theory: A Brief History 201


A general examination of the nature of language. Topics include the history of ideas about language; philosophical and cognitive aspects of language; evolutionary, structural and generative approaches to the analysis of language.

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Language Acquisition 219/319


Examines interface phenomena between pragmatics and language acquisition. Students will learn theoretical issues of semantics/pragmatics and the theory of the first language acquisition. Target languages to examine various phenomena are Chinese, Japanese, Korean and English.

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Morphology and Syntax 230


This course explores the relationship between word formation and sentence formation by examining English and Japanese grammar (and, to a certain degree, that of other languages). Ultimately, both morphology and syntax play important roles in the interpretation of sentences. No previous linguistics background or Japanese language background is necessary.

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The Languages of East Asia 255


Examines Chinese, Japanese and Korean as well as other languages found in East Asia. Topics include the syntactic (possible word order, inflections, particles, and combinations of all of them) and phonological structures (phoneme, pitch vs. tone, sound patterns) of these languages; the relationships of the languages to each other; differences and similarities of these languages from the universal point of view; the geographical, social and historical settings. No knowledge of any Asian language necessary.

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Language, Gender and Sexuality 257


Stresses special lessons that anthropology has to teach about the gendered facets of linguistic expression, including the necessity of an approach that is both empirical, including moments of interaction, and critical, exploring issues of power and agency. Considers conceptual benefits and limitations to using gendered difference as a model for sexual difference in the study of linguistic expression.

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