The unifying philosophy for the linguists is that a broad typological linguistic sample is necessary to understand the extent and limits of human language structure, learning, and use. In order to achieve this understanding, it is necessary to use the highest quality of linguistic data, i.e., corpora of naturally occurring language in human interactions. The research programs of individual faculty members are aimed at such corpora creation and analysis using current theories from poetics and discourse analysis, variation and change, language learning, morphosyntactic and syntactic analysis, and phonetic and phonological analysis. A variety of methods are used including original fieldwork. A core mission, then, is to create data sets, corpora, analytic dictionaries, reference grammars, interlinear tagged databases, POS annotated corpora, and language deposits to archives, all created through original fieldwork and the curation of extant materials. A common pedagogical goal is to guide students in linguistic discovery through corpora creation and mining.
The department of Linguistics, in close collaboration with Library and Information Science, Learning Technologies, and Computer Science, offers a collaborative environment for developing innovative curricula that incorporate research on language with database design and management, text mining, computational and quantitative methods in linguistics, and natural language processing. We project a Linguistics Program with international partners in the fields of TESOL and language data archiving, preservation, and dissemination. The international partners will include Mexico, India, Pakistan, and China.