Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Linguistics Minor

Linguistics, Institute of
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Institute of Linguistics, 205 Elliott Hall, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-624-3331)
  • Program Type: Graduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2022
  • Length of program in credits (master's): 10
  • Length of program in credits (doctoral): 16
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Investigation in phonology, syntax, and semantics/pragmatics seeks to determine general principles governing the structure and use of human language and the parameters that determine degree and manner of variation across languages. These core areas constitute the foundation for other subfields of linguistics, including psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, computational linguistics, and neurolinguistics.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Special Application Requirements:
Students interested in the minor are strongly encouraged to confer with their major field advisor and director of graduate studies, and the Linguistics director of graduate studies regarding feasibility and requirements.
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
The minimum cumulative GPA for minor field coursework is 2.80 for master's students and 3.00 for doctoral students.
Required Coursework (7 to 10 credits)
Masterís students take LING 5001 plus either LING 5201 or LING 5302, in consultation with the Linguistics director of graduate studies, for a total of 7 credits. Doctoral students take all of the following courses for 10 credits.
LING 5001 - Introduction to Linguistics (4.0 cr)
LING 5201 - Syntactic Theory I (3.0 cr)
LING 5302 - Phonological Theory I (3.0 cr)
Electives (3 to 6 credits)
Masterís students select 3 credits, and doctoral students select 6 credits from the following in consultation with the Linguistics director of graduate studies. Master's students who take both LING 5201 and LING 5302 may count one of the courses as an elective with director of graduate studies approval.
LING 5202 - Syntactic Theory II (3.0 cr)
LING 5205 - Semantics (3.0 cr)
LING 5206 - Linguistic Pragmatics (3.0 cr)
LING 5303 - Phonological Theory II (3.0 cr)
LING 5461 - Conversation Analysis (3.0 cr)
LING 5462 - Field Research in Spoken Language (3.0 cr)
LING 5601 - Historical Linguistics (3.0 cr)
LING 5801 - Introduction to Computational Linguistics (3.0 cr)
LING 5993 - Directed Study (1.0-3.0 cr)
LING 8005 - Research Paper Workshop (3.0 cr)
LING 8105 - Field Methods in Linguistics I (4.0 cr)
LING 8106 - Field Methods in Linguistics II (4.0 cr)
LING 8200 - Topics in Syntax and Semantics (3.0 cr)
LING 8210 - Seminar in Syntax (3.0 cr)
LING 8300 - Topics in Phonetics and Phonology (3.0 cr)
LING 8500 - Topics in Second Language Acquisition (3.0 cr)
LING 8900 - Seminar: Topics in Linguistics (3.0 cr)
LING 8921 - Seminar in Language and Cognition (3.0 cr)
LING 8991 - Independent Study (1.0-4.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
Students are required to complete one of the following sub-plans.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
More program views..
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· College of Liberal Arts

View future requirement(s):
· Fall 2022

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LING 5001 - Introduction to Linguistics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 3001/3001H/5001
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Scientific study of human language. Methods, questions, findings, and perspectives of modern linguistics. Components of the language system (phonetics/phonology, syntax, semantics/pragmatics); language acquisition; language and social variables; language and cognition; language change; language processing; language and public policy; language and cognition.
LING 5201 - Syntactic Theory I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 4201/Ling 5201
Typically offered: Every Fall
Concepts/issues in current syntactic theory. Prereq: LING 5001 and graduate student or honors student, or instructor consent
LING 5302 - Phonological Theory I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 4302W/Ling 5302
Typically offered: Every Fall
How sounds are organized/patterned in human languages. Phonological theory/problem-solving for advanced work in in linguistics. Analyzing data. Presenting written solutions to problem sets. prereq: 5001 or honors student or instructor consent. LING 5302 is directed towards honors students and graduate students.
LING 5202 - Syntactic Theory II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 4202/Ling 5202
Typically offered: Every Spring
Modern syntactic theory. Syntactic phenomena in various languages. Syntactic argumentation, development of constraints on grammar formalisms. prereq: 5201 or instructor consent. LING 5201 is directed towards honors students and graduate students.
LING 5205 - Semantics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Analysis of sentence meaning. Semantic properties. Relations such as analyticity, entailment, quantification, and genericity. Philosophical background, formal techniques of semantic analysis, how sentence meaning depends on word meaning, syntax, and context. The role of semantics in grammatical theory. prereq: [4201 or 5201] or instr consent
LING 5206 - Linguistic Pragmatics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Analysis of linguistic phenomena in relation to beliefs and intentions of language users; speech act theory, conversational implicature, presupposition, information structure, relevance theory, discourse coherence. prereq: [4201 or 5201] or instr consent
LING 5303 - Phonological Theory II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 4303/Ling 5303
Typically offered: Every Spring
Phonology of human languages. Reading papers in the literature. Doing research in phonology. prereq: 5302 or instr consent. LING 5303 is directed towards honors and graduate students.
LING 5461 - Conversation Analysis
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Comm 5461/Ling 5461
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Discourse processes. Application of concepts through conversation analysis. prereq: 3001 or 3001H or 5001 or instr consent
LING 5462 - Field Research in Spoken Language
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Comm 5462/Ling 5462
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Transcribing/analyzing talk and movement related to talk. Applying concepts to recorded conversations. prereq: 3001 or 3001H or 5001 or instr consent
LING 5601 - Historical Linguistics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 3601/5601
Typically offered: Every Spring
Historical change in phonology, syntax, semantics, and lexicon. Linguistic reconstruction. Genetic relationship among languages. prereq: 3001 or 3011H or 5001
LING 5801 - Introduction to Computational Linguistics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Methods/issues in computer understanding of natural language. Programming languages, their linguistic applications. Lab projects. prereq: [4201 or 5201] or programming experience or instr consent
LING 5993 - Directed Study
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 10.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Directed study for Linguistics. Prereq instr consent, dept consent, college consent.
LING 8005 - Research Paper Workshop
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Workshop on research methodology/writing in linguistics. prereq: [5105, 5202, 5205, [4302W or 5302]] or [instr consent, grad ling major]
LING 8105 - Field Methods in Linguistics I
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 5105/Ling 8105
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course focuses on a core methodological tool in linguistics: working directly with native speakers of a language in order to gather information about that language. To gain practice and understanding in this broad methodological technique, we discuss practical fieldwork concerns, including: approaches to organization and record-keeping; techniques and pitfalls for conducting interviews; developing a good working relationship with native speaker consultants; ethical issues; and the relation between linguistic theory and language data. Each year, the course will tackle these issues in the context of a particular language of focus, working directly with a native speaker of that language in order to gain an understanding of the basic grammatical structure of the language. Students will learn to conduct interviews with the language consultant in class and will practice these techniques on their own as they pursue individual research projects through weekly interviews conducted outside of class. The course relies on knowledge of linguistic theory that students bring from syntax (LING 4201 or 5201) and phonology (LING 4302 or 5302) courses, but does not require any background knowledge of the language that we will investigate. Prerequisites: LING 5001, LING 5201, LING 5302 and be an enrolled graduate student in the Linguistics program; or instructor consent
LING 8106 - Field Methods in Linguistics II
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Continued analysis through work with a native speaker of language begun in 8105. Greater emphasis on analysis of recorded texts of various kinds. Some grammars of the language/contents compared with field notes from previous semester. prereq: 8105 (taken in same academic yr)
LING 8200 - Topics in Syntax and Semantics
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Syntax and semantics of natural language, with particular emphasis on the interface between the two. prereq: 5202, 5205 or instr consent
LING 8210 - Seminar in Syntax
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Current issues in syntactic theory. Topics vary. prereq: 5202, 5205 or instr consent
LING 8300 - Topics in Phonetics and Phonology
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
N/A prereq: 5303 or instr consent
LING 8500 - Topics in Second Language Acquisition
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
tbd prereq: 5001, 5505
LING 8900 - Seminar: Topics in Linguistics
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Topics vary. See Class Schedule. prereq: instr consent
LING 8921 - Seminar in Language and Cognition
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Language-related issues in cognitive science from a linguistic perspective. Serves as elective for cognitive science minor, but only for linguistics nonmajors. prereq: instr consent
LING 8991 - Independent Study
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 15.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Independent Study prereq: instr consent