Linguistics & Pedagogical Theory

Language is pervasive and central to virtually all of human activity and indeed, many argue that it is precisely the capacity for language that distinguishes humans from all other species. Because language intersects with the world in many ways, linguistics is a broad field that studies language, its structure, history and use, from a variety of perspectives (cognitive, social, ideological to name a few) and adopting diverse approaches (experimental, ethnographic, analytic, quantitative).  In addition to the traditional areas of focus: phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, linguists also conduct interdisciplinary research that intersects with such disciplines as cognitive science, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, literature and education. The resulting fields include sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics and educational linguistics. The focus of many of our Romance Studies faculty who are linguists is to understand how languages are used in society and what effects linguistic practices and ideas about these entail. We also work on issues related to language learning and teaching and are at the forefront in innovative language teaching approaches. Our work ranges from ethnographic research on language and identity and language ideologies, to approaches to second language teaching, assessment of language learning outcomes and textbooks for language teaching and learning in university settings.