HI I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE INTERESTED IN LINGUISTICS!!
I started my first year of university at a school that offers general first years, wherein you can be admitted to a faculty instead of a specific program. By the end of the year you choose your major. I went in taking courses I was pretty sure I’d love. I ended up dropping one, barely passing one, and failing another, but figuring out that most of what I was interested in had to do with Linguistics. Obviously, I’m really really glad I had a general first year to figure out I loved Linguistics because I didn’t know anything about it before I started.
By October I officially decided to major in it, and in early November of last year I started this blog. I found that reading posts made and shared by other linguistics tumblrs actually helped me learn more of what I loved, mostly because I’d read something cool then look into it more myself. SO THIS IS BASICALLY A GREAT PLACE TO START.
The linguistics-related classes I took in first year were two introduction courses, the second of which I switched into because I realized that they were both required for a major. The first intro course was actually under the anthropology program, and taught us about the basics of phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. The professor was great and taught us about some other cool things too. We learned a little about writing systems and endangered indigenous languages in Canada. Part of her research work is actually done with indigenous people who live in the area so she told us about that too!!
The second intro course I took was under the linguistics program and focused a little more on sociolinguistics, first language acquisition, language contact, historical linguistics, and variation and classification. These topics are usually their own upper year courses (and I can’t wait to take them).
I’ve been typing for a while now and I now realize that I haven’t really answered your questions. About classes: Here are some courses I’m taking this year:
- Linguistics: Phonology
- Linguistics: Syntax
- Linguistics: Second Language Acquisition
- Anthropology: Anthropological Approaches to Language
- Anthropology: Language, Gender, and Sexuality
- Arabic: Beginners
The first two are required courses for a Linguistics major. The next three are courses that count towards my major. The Arabic course doesn’t count towards a major and is its own program, but taking a language course definitely has ties to studying the science of language!!
At my university, a lot of Anthropology ties into Linguistics. I *think* I’ll be minoring in Anthropology so that’s cool, but there are a bunch of other programs that have Linguistics or language-related courses. Psychology is a common minor for Linguistics majors, and I kick myself for not taking the first year Psychology course when I see classes like “Psychology of Language”, Bilingualism”, “Language Development”, or “Mind Matters: Thought, Memory and Language” that have the intro course as a pre-requisite.
I hope this gave you an idea about what linguistics courses are out there and how much fun you can have with it. I love studying writing systems, the history of languages, how languages is used and perceived in terms of gender, power, race, class, and sexuality, how languages influence us and how we create language, and while sometimes you have to draw syntax trees, that stuff helps you get to the cool parts.
Sincerely, An Over-Enthusiastic Linguistics Student Who Is Ironically Procrastinating Doing Her Readings