Department of Linguistics - Home

Linguistics is the scientific study of human language, from the sounds of speech and the gestures of sign language to the organization of words, sentences, and meaning. Linguistics is also concerned with how languages are learned and used, how they vary and change, and the relationship of language to cognition, biology, and society.

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania has a longstanding reputation for using diverse kinds of empirical data to advance linguistic theory. Known for its interdisciplinary research, the department not only spans the subfields of linguistics but also connects with many other fields in cognitive science and beyond. To learn more about the wide range of research we’re doing, click here.

The department is home to a welcoming community of both graduate and undergraduate students. If you’d like to join us, you can learn more about graduate admissions here and about our major and minor here.


Dissertation Defense: George Balabanian
Jun 20, 2024 at - | The Linguistics Library, and on Zoom

George Balabanian will be defending their dissertation, titled "A Diachronic Analysis of Western Armenian Verbal Morphology", on Thursday

Dissertation Defense: Gwendolyn Hildebrandt
Jun 24, 2024 at - | The Linguistics department library, and on Zoom.

Gwendolyn Hildebrandt will be defending their dissertation, "Distributional cues to syntactic structure: case studies in Korean" on Monday