Language is an essential part of our life. Nothing characterizes
humanity more than the ability to use language. Linguists analyze
sounds, words, sentences, and texts. Linguists also make valuable
contributions to practical fields such as K-12 teaching, second and
foreign language teaching, language planning, translation, computer
science, forensic linguistics, and language disorders.
Computational applications of linguistics, such as speech synthesis, speech recognition, and machine-assisted translation, have also become increasingly important.
Our undergraduate and graduate programs develop intellectual skills that are essential to professional careers or advanced degrees. Our courses provide analytical tools that can be applied to virtually any subject. They also help enhance critical thinking, satisfy broad intellectual interest, and enrich personal knowledge.
Our majors can be applied directly to various professional fields. They also serve as excellent preparation for pursuing advanced degrees in linguistics and other fields such as English, anthropology, psychology, sociology, computer science, and foreign languages. TESL is an important part of our program and especially compatible with degrees in education and liberal studies. A Japanese minor can be profitably combined with majors in such areas as business, international relations, linguistics, and literature.
A Japanese Minor is also available for students with an interest in Japanese language and culture and/or plans to pursue careers in various areas, such as international business, marketing, economics, art and literature, etc., where a knowledge of the Japanese language and culture would be useful.
The B.A. Option in Computational Linguistics is for those students interested in text processing, forensic linguistics, software design, machine translation, and other professions dealing with the interface between computers and humans.
The Department of Linguistics has a computer lab for computer-assisted language learning (CALL), for language study, for the analysis of speech sounds, and for displaying the operation of the organs of speech. Computers are used for simulating speech and for mapping the geographical extent of language features, as well as for storing the data needed for the making of grammars and dictionaries. The Linguistics Department provides practical classroom teaching experience for qualified TESL students through employment in the American English Institute.
Also associated with the Linguistics Department is the Forensic Linguistics Institute (FLI). The FLI provides analyses in linguistic stylistics to extramural clients, thereby giving Fresno State linguistics majors opportunities for work, study, and research.