School/College: College of Letters and Science
- M.A. in Linguistics
- Ph.D. in Linguistics
The Department of Linguistics offers master's and doctoral degrees and a graduate certificate in Adult/University-Level Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
(Home departments in parentheses, when appropriate)
- Eckman, Fred, Ph.D., Indiana University
- Davis, Garry W., Ph.D., University of Michigan
- Associate Professors
- Chen, Yea-Fen, Ph.D., Indiana University
- Cheryl Ajirotutu, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (Anthropology)
- Lawrence Kuiper, Ph.D. Michigan State University (French, Italian, and Comparative Literature)
- Ouali, Hamid, Ph.D., University of Michigan
- Pucci, Sandra, Ph.D., University of Southern California
- Susan Lima, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Psychology)
- Gabriel Rei-Doval, Ph.D. University of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia), (Spanish and Portuguese)
- Kathleen Wheatley, Ph.D., University of Michigan (Spanish and Portuguese)
- Assistant Professors
- Fleisher, Nicholas, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
- Park, Hanyong, Ph.D., Indiana University
- Pycha, Anne, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
- Song, Jae Yung, Ph.D. Brown University
- Trinh, Tue, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Master of Arts in Linguistics
An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus these departmental requirements to be considered for admission to the program:
- Undergraduate major in linguistics or related field (e.g, languages, psychology, anthropology, philosophy).
- Undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale).
- Three letters of recommendation to the Department's Director of Graduate Studies from persons familiar with applicant's academic ability and achievement.
- A sample of academic writing.
- Though not required, submission of scores on the Graduate Record Examination may enhance the application.
Applicants may be admitted with course deficiencies provided that the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses.
The student is expected to satisfy deficiency requirements within three enrolled semesters. The deficiencies are monitored by the Graduate School and the individual graduate program unit. No course credits earned in making up deficiencies may be counted as program credits required for the degree. Applicants should contact the Linguistics Department office for additional information and deadlines.
Major Professor as Advisor
The student must have a Major Professor to advise and supervise the student's work as specified in Graduate School regulations. The director of graduate studies serves as an initial advisor. It is recommended that the student have a permanent advisor by the end of the second semester of enrollment.
Credits and Courses
Students admitted to the master's program earn the degree by completing a minimum of 30 credits of graduate coursework, submitting a final project, and passing an oral examination on the final project. Students who demonstrate a capacity for doctoral work and wish to earn a Ph.D. at UWM are advised to proceed as rapidly as possible to doctoral status. No more than 30 credits earned at the master's level may be included in the 54 credits required for the Ph.D.
The M.A. in Linguistics requires 30 graduate credits, including:
- 18 credits in required courses covering core areas of linguistics:
- Linguis 415 First Language Acquisition or Linguis 420 Introduction to Second Language Acquisition
- Linguis 450(370) General Phonetics and Phonetics Practicum
- Linguis 460 Sounds and Sound Systems
- Linguis 464 Word and Sentence Structure
- Linguis 466 Semantics
- Linguis 468 Language in its Various Forms or Linguis 470 Historical/Comparative Linguistics
- 12 elective credits distributed among 400- to 800-level courses in linguistics and related fields as approved by the student's major professor.
Students who completed any of the required courses as undergraduates will substitute another course selected in consultation with their major professor.
Students may elect to complete a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages as part of their M.A. studies. The TESOL concentration requires that students complete, in addition to the above courses, the following courses as part of their electives:
- Linguis /MALLT 708 Proseminar in Linguistics
- Linguis 410 Literacy, Grammar, and Methodologies in ESL Education
- English/Linguis 565 Introduction to Adult/University-Level TESOL
- English/Linguis 569 Internship in Teaching ESL to Adult Learners
- Linguis 799 Reading and Research for Master's Students (TESOL-related paper/project)
The TESOL concentration will be noted on the student's transcript.
A research paper or other project appropriate to the student's professional goals, to be defended in an individualized oral examination.
- Final project. The project is a research paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the student's advisor; for students specializing in Teaching ESL to Adult Learners, the project may take some other form as approved by the major professor.
- Oral examination. The oral examination, usually lasting an hour and a half, focuses on the final project but also covers other elements of the student's program of study.
Regulations concerning final projects and oral examinations
- Students should consult with their advisors before completing 24 credits in order to determine a final project. Ordinarily, this is a revised and expanded course or seminar paper of at least 30 pages. The project should demonstrate the student's skills in research, analysis and argumentation. For students specializing in Teaching ESL to Adult Learners, the project may consist of documentation of the outcome of a pedagogical investigation undertaken during the student's internship. The project serves both as a concluding effort at the master's level and as an indication of the student's potential for doctoral study.
- In consultation with the student, the Director of Graduate Studies appoints an M.A. Examining Committee. At least two of the three members must be Linguistics Department faculty members. The M.A. Examining Committee administers the final Oral Examination.
- The project must be submitted and the oral examination completed within one year after the completion of 24 credits. Students should remember that a maximum of 30 credits at the master's level is applicable to the Ph.D. 54 credit requirement.
- Students who express intent to go on for the Ph.D. are evaluated by the M.A. Examining Committee regarding their qualifications for further graduate study at the doctoral level. The Committee Chair puts the Committee's recommendation in writing and places it in the student's academic file.
- Students who fail the oral examination may be required to revise their final project, retake the examination, or both. The oral examination may be retaken only once. Students must register for 1-3 credits when revising the final project after a failed examination; however, the additional credit(s) may not count toward the 30 credits required for the degree.
The student must complete all degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment.
Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics
Students wishing to enter the Ph.D. program in Linguistics, including those who hold a master's degree from elsewhere, must satisfy the requirements for the UWM Master of Arts degree in Linguistics. Students apply to the Graduate School for admission, which, in turn, forwards completed applications to the Department. The Department faculty then evaluates the applications and decides on admissions to the Ph.D. program in Linguistics. Occasionally, an exceptionally well-qualified student will be admitted to the Ph.D. program with a baccalaureate degree. The student must complete the requirements of the M.A. degree in the course of fulfilling the requirements for the Ph.D.
New students are admitted each year typically to begin in the Fall term. To be considered, all application materials normally must be received by the Graduate School no later than December 15. Admission materials will include:
- Completed Graduate School application.
- Official transcripts of previous work, including evidence of a master's degree either completed or in progress.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- Sample of written work.
- Statement of purpose.
In addition, students whose native language is not English must submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the equivalent. A score of at least 587 (TOEFL) is normally necessary for admission. The minimum score for the computer based TOEFL is 240, or 95 for the internet-based test (iBT).
Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results, though not required, is encouraged.
Major Professor as Advisor
The student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the student's work as specified in Graduate School regulations. The Director of Graduate Studies serves as an initial advisor.
The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of 54 credits beyond the B.A. The 54 credits are distributed as follows:
- Required courses
- Linguis 415 First Language Acquisition or Linguis 420 Introduction to Second Language Acquisition
- Linguis 450 General Phonetics and Phonetics Practicum
- Linguis 460 Sound and Sound systems
- Linguis 464 Word and Sentence Structure
- Linguis 466 Semantics
- Linguis 468 Language in its Various Forms or 470 Historical/Comparative Linguistics
- Linguis 550 Advanced Phonetics
- Linguis 560 Advanced Phonology
- Linguis 564 Advanced Syntax
- Linguis 566 Advanced Semantics
- 12 credits in 800- to 900-level linguistics seminars and independent studies, at least 9 credits of which must be in seminars;
- 12 elective credits, selected with approval of the student's major professor
Doctoral students may not count more than 9 credits in independent study toward the degree without the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. No more than 18 credits may be counted in courses taken outside the Department of Linguistics.
Students are required to consult periodically with their Major Professor. The Major Professor helps the student to define an area of special interest within the concentration for the preliminary examination. The Major Professor also assists the student in the selection of appropriate coursework and may chair the Preliminary Examination Committee.
Foreign Language Requirement
All Ph.D. candidates are required to demonstrate proficiency (reading knowledge) in a language other than English. The choice of language, and the means of demonstrating proficiency, must be approved by the student's Major Professor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Study.
The student must meet minimum Graduate School residence requirements.
Doctoral Preliminary Examination
The doctoral preliminary examination consists of an oral defense of a major research paper submitted by the student typically after completing 39 to 45 credits toward the Ph.D. degree. Though the scope of the examination, which usually lasts two hours, is open-ended, its focus is on the submitted research paper, which itself is intended to demonstrate the breadth and depth of a student's knowledge and the ability to conduct advanced research in one or more areas of study. The successfully-defended research paper should lead naturally to timely preparation of the dissertation proposal.
Students cannot take the preliminary examination if they have any incomplete or unreported grades or a GPA less than 3.0. The exam must be finished within one semester after all course work is completed, excluding summer sessions. Students may receive from the Director of Graduate Studies a one semester extension for additional course work. Students who do not complete the exam within this time frame will be considered to have failed the exam. The exam may be retaken only once, after making appropriate revisions to the research paper. Students who fail the preliminary examination may not proceed to the dissertation. The exam must be passed within five years of initial enrollment in the doctoral program.
The dissertation topic, together with a comprehensive prospectus, must be approved by the student's doctoral committee in a dissertation proposal hearing that should be held not later than the semester immediately following the preliminary examination. The dissertation proposal is typically, albeit not necessarily, a refinement and extension of the research paper defended in the oral preliminary examination. Though no specific length requirements are imposed on the dissertation itself, the Department considers 200 pages to be reasonable and representative.
The completed dissertation is subject to an oral defense, to be arranged by the Major Professor in coordination with the Director of Graduate Study according to Graduate School regulations. A copy of the dissertation is kept in the Department office.
All degree requirements must be completed within ten years from the date of initial enrollment in the doctoral program.
For additional information see the Graduate School Ph.D. requirements.
Courses numbered 300-699 are Undergraduate/Graduate. Courses numbered 700 and above are Graduate only.
- 398 Topics in Linguistics: (Subtitled). 1-6 cr. U/G.
- Topics in any of several recognized areas of linguistics. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: jr st.
- 400 Introduction to English Linguistics. 3 cr. U/G.
- Application of linguistic theory and techniques to modern English. Linguis/English 400 required of all English majors and minors in School of Education. Jointly-offered with & counts as repeat of English 400. Prereq: jr st; satisfaction of GER English Composition competency req.
- 406 Advanced English Grammar. 3 cr. U/G.
- Continuation of English 403 with emphasis on the analysis of complex sentences and discourse syntax. English 406 & Linguis 406 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: jr st; satisfaction of GER English Composition competency req; English 403(P).
- 407 (English 407) Introduction to Functional Syntax. 3 cr. U/G.
- Introduction to the study of syntactic patterns, typology, and universals from the standpoint of functionalist syntactic theory. Prereq: jr st, satisfaction of GER English Composition competency req; English/Linguis 400(P) or Linguis 350(P).
- 410 Literacy, Grammar, and Methodologies in ESL Education. 3 cr. U/G.
- Grammatical and other linguistic concepts relevant to ESL education; implications for teaching language, reading and composition. Topics include language acquisition and grammatical problems in language/dialect variation. Prereq: jr st & Linguis 350(P).
- 415 First Language Acquisition. 3 cr. U/G.
- Examination of research on what individuals know about their first language at different ages and the kinds of theories offered to explain these data. Prereq: jr st & Linguis 350(P); or grad st & cons instr.
- 420 Introduction to Second Language Acquisition. 3 cr. U/G.
- Principles and methods of describing and comparing the structure of two or more languages with emphasis on the implications of this comparison for language learning. Prereq: jr st; Linguis 350(P) or equiv.
- 430 Language and Society. 3 cr. U/G.
- The influence of society on language and of language on society. Language as social interaction, speech styles, social dialects; effects on language change. Prereq: jr st & Linguis 350(P).
- 432 Urban Dialects. 3 cr. U/G.
- Study of language variation in urban areas. Structure of black English vernacular and its relation to other dialects. Social and educational implications of dialect variation. Prereq: jr st & Lingus 100 or 350.
- 440 Psycholinguistics. 3 cr. U/G.
- A survey of the history, goals, methods, and findings of psycholinguistics. Principal topics: phonetic perception, speech production, syntactic processing, linguistic memory, meaning, and language acquisition. Prereq: jr st; Linguis 350(R) or Psych 101(R); or grad st & cons instr.
- 450 (370) General Phonetics and Phonetics Practicum. 3 cr. U/G.
- Study of linguistic phonetics, including articulatory physiology, acoustics, and speech perception. Practice in production and transcription of a wide variety of speech sounds. 3 hrs lec with practicum. Prereq: jr st.
- 460 Introduction to Phonology. 3 cr. U/G.
- Basic properties of sounds, sound patterns, and sound processes of spoken language. Prereq: jr st & Linguis 350(P); or grad st & cons instr.
- 464 Introduction to Syntax. 3 cr. U/G.
- Study of word and sentence formation in languages. Practice in analysis and argumentation using data from various languages. Prereq: jr st & Linguis 350(P); or grad st & cons instr.
- 466 Semantics. 3 cr. U/G.
- The study of meaning in language; its role in grammatical description. Basic concepts used in semantic analysis and discussion of their place in grammatical theory. Prereq: jr st & Linguis 260(P) or 350(P) or Philos 211(P), or grad st & cons instr.
- 468 Language in its Various Forms: (Subtitled). 3 cr. U/G.
- Analysis and description of various language types. Topics may include language change, language development, dialectology, and language typology. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: jr st & Linguis 350(P); or grad st & cons instr.
- 470 Historical/Comparative Linguistics. 3 cr. U/G.
- The study of language change; introduction to internal reconstruction and the comparative method; generative approaches to historical change. Prereq: jr st & Linguis 350(P); or grad st & cons instr.
- 474 Language Typology and Language Universals. 3 cr. U/G.
- Comparison of phonetic, syntactic, and lexical patterns of different languages, with emphasis on deriving statements about properties of all languages or of significant subclasses of languages. Prereq: jr st & Linguis 350(P); or grad st & cons instr.
- 476 Linguistic Theory. 3 cr. U/G.
- Survey of twentieth century American linguistic theories from traditionalism through American structuralism to generative grammar, including discussion of some current issues. Prereq: jr st & Linguis 350(P); or grad st & cons instr.
- 490 Field Methods. 3 cr. U/G.
- Work with a native speaker of a foreign language. Gathering and collation of data. Evaluation of possible phonemic and grammatical analyses. Prereq: jr st & Linguis 350(P); or grad st & cons instr.
- 497 Study Abroad: (Subtitled). 1-12 cr. U/G.
- Designed to enroll students in UWM sponsored program before course work level, content and credits are determined and/or in specially prepared program course work. Retakable w/chg in topic. Prereq: jr st; acceptance for Study Abroad Prog.
- 520 Advanced Second Language Acquisition: (Subtitled). 3 cr. U/G.
- Readings, discussions, and analyses of current issues in second-language acquisition theory. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: jr st; Linguis 420(P) or equiv.
- 550 Phonetics II. 3 cr. U/G.
- Auditory phonetics; issues in speech production and speech acoustics; quantitative study of speech sounds in linguistic contexts; independent experimental research on topic selected by student. Prereq: jr st; Linguis 450(370)(P) or cons instr.
- 560 Advanced Phonology. 3 cr. U/G.
- Fundamental issues in generative phonology; emphasis on comparing alternative models of phonological description. Prereq: jr st; Linguis 460(P).
- 564 Advanced Syntax. 3 cr. U/G.
- Continuation of Linguis 464, with greater emphasis on the evaluation and justification of competing solutions and competing models of grammar. Prereq: jr st & Linguis 464(P).
- 565 Introduction to Adult/University Level TESOL. 3 cr. U/G.
- Overview of the various approaches to teaching English as a second language (ESL) to adult/university-level learners. Jointly-offered w/& counts as repeat of English 565. Does not satisfy requirements in School of Educ. Prereq: jr st; satisfaction of English Composition competency req.
- 566 Advanced Semantics. 3 cr. U/G.
- Readings, discussion, and analysis of current issues in formal semantics for natural language. Prereq: jr st; Linguis 466(P) or equiv; or grad st.
- 567 Materials for ESL Instruction. 3 cr. U/G.
- Designed for prospective ESL/EFL teachers. Focus on planning and designing courses to meet the needs of specific populations of language learners. English 567 & Linguis 567 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: jr st; satisfaction of GER English Composition competency req; cons instr.
- 569 Internship in Teaching ESL to Adult Learners. 3 cr. U/G.
- Designed to provide practical field experience in language teaching to adult/university-level ESL learners. English 569 & Linguis 569 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: jr st; satisfaction of GER English Composition competency req; cons instr.
- 570 Issues in Bilingualism. 3 cr. U/G.
- Study of bilingual competence, bilingual community, and second language acquisition from sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic, and general linguistic standpoints. Anthro 570 & Linguis 570 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: jr st.
- 708 (701) Proseminar in Linguistics. 3 cr. G.
- Presents a range of linguistic constructs, demonstrating through readings, problems, and exercises how these concepts can be used in the analysis of language. Linguis 708(701) & MALLT 708 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: grad st.
- 748 Oral Language, Cognition, and Literacy. 3 cr. G.
- Psychological and linguistic bases of speaking, reading, and writing in children and adults from diverse populations. The importance of language and cognition for literacy development. Ed Psych 748 & Linguis 748 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: grad st; college-level course in language acquisition or reading or child development or linguistics or cons instr.
- 760 Research Methods in Linguistics and ESL. 3 cr. G.
- Introduction to basic research methodology in linguistics and ESL. English 760 & Linguis 760 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 763 (English 763) Morphology. 3 cr. G.
- A graduate-level introduction to morphological theory. Prereq: grad st; Linguis 460(P) & 464(P) or equiv.
- 765 (English 765) Pragmatics. 3 cr. G.
- Investigation of selected topics in the relationship between linguistic expressions and those who use them. Prereq: grad st; Linguis 466(P) or cons instr.
- 769 Topics in Linguistics: (Subtitled). 3 cr. G.
- Advanced-level study of a topic relevant to linguistics; may be contemporary or historical. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. English 769 & Linguis 769 are jointly offered; w/same topic, they count as repeats of one another w/same topic. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 789 Internship in Teaching ESL to Adult Learners. 1-6 cr. G.
- Field experience in teaching English as a second language to adult learners. Open only to grad students in Linguis specializing in ESL. Retakable to max 6 cr. English 789 & Linguis 789 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: grad st; English/Linguis 567(P); cons instr.
- 798 Internship in Linguistics. 1-3 cr. G.
- Application of advanced principles of linguistics in an internship experience in a business, organizational, educational, political, governmental or other appropriate setting. One cr earned for academic work based on minimum 40 hrs in internship. Paper or project req'd. Prereq: grad st.
- 799 Independent Reading and Research for Master's Students. 1-3 cr. G.
- Independent reading and/or research under the supervision of a Linguistics faculty member on a linguistics topic relating to the student's area of interest. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 801 Seminar in Syntax and Semantics: (Subtitled). 3 cr. G.
- Advanced topics in the theory of syntax, including but not limited to, syntactic description, variation, and typology. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: grad st
- 802 Seminar in Phonology and Phonetics: (Subtitled). 3 cr. G.
- Advanced topics in phonological theory, including, but not limited to, phonological description, variation, and typology. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: grad st
- 803 Seminar in Language Acquisition: (Subtitled). 3 cr. G.
- Theory of adult language acquisition, including, but not limited to, interpretation of learner errors, description of acquisition strategies, and analysis of learning sequences. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: grad st
- 804 Seminar in Language Variation: (Subtitled). 3 cr. G.
- Advanced topics in social dialects, including, but not limited to, language variation, social markers, and the concept of a standard language. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: grad st
- 805 Seminar in English Language: (Subtitled). 3 cr. G.
- Advanced-level seminar addressing specific topics in English language, both contemporary and historical. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. English 805 & Linguis 805 are jointly offered; w/same topic, they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: grad st; English/Linguis 400(P).
- 806 Seminar in Linguistics: (Subtitled). 3 cr. G.
- Advanced-level seminar in which students do in-depth research on a particular area of linguistics through readings, class discussion, and writing a research paper. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. English 806 & Linguis 806 are jointly offered; w/same topic, they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 888 Candidate for Degree. 0 cr. G.
- Available for students who must meet minimum credit requirement. Fee for 1 cr assessed. Prereq: grad st.
- 990 Research in Linguistics. 1-3 cr. G.
- Research and writing of the doctoral dissertation under the supervision of the major professor. Prereq: grad st
- 999 Independent Reading for Doctoral Students. 1-3 cr. G.
- Individual work directed by a member of the graduate faculty; for doctoral students unable to secure needed content in regular courses. Prereq: grad st; cons instr