Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Study Linguistics

Students will become familiar with the research methodologies and analytic techniques central to the discipline of linguistics.

These include both work within descriptive and theoretical linguistics as well as work in sociolinguistics to understand language production and interpretation as embedded in sociocultural contexts and meanings. Students will become acquainted with theories of language, techniques of linguistic analysis, and applications of linguistic knowledge and method to cultural, social, and pedagogical issues.

Students study the structure of specific languages in order to generate theories about universal characteristics of human language and will gain insight into the functioning of the human mind. Subdisciplines within the field focus on such issues as the history of a language or language family; cultural assumptions coded in words and texts; language variation within a community based on region, gender, class, race/ethnicity; and language acquisition and language teaching.

The concentration in linguistics prepares students for advanced work in languages and in linguistics.

Program Preparation

To begin the exploration of linguistic theory and methods, students are required to take Introduction to Linguistics (LING 100). The course acquaints students with disciplines within the field such as historical linguistics, socio-linguistics, and language acquisition.

BA Program

  • Two courses at the 300-level or above
  • 6-8 credits of cognate courses, which may include language study, cognitive neuroscience, or related courses in anthropology and other social studies disciplines
  • Students are strongly encouraged to take 3-4 credits in languages above the minimum requirement for the AA degree
  • In addition to the courses listed below, students may design tutorials with the guidance of faculty, to pursue their specialized interests

Total credits required for the concentration is 24, which includes Introduction to Linguistics.

Intermediate Courses

  • Language and Culture (ANTH 202)
  • English Grammar (LING 101m)
  • Language and Power (LING 216m)
  • Language and Gender (LING 218m)

Advanced Courses

  • Native American Languages (LING 304)
  • Topics in Morphology and Syntax (LING 305)
  • Discourse Analysis (LING 306)
 Browse Linguistics Courses


Senior Thesis

The BA program culminates in the writing of a Senior Thesis.

Students select a topic related to their concentration and submit their thesis proposal in the spring of their junior year. Under the regular guidance of faculty advisors and evaluators, students continue to research, write, and develop the study over the course of their senior year. The result is a significant piece of research and an established skill set that will enable independent research studies going forward.

It's your chance to research what interests you. Write. Reflect. Discover. The faculty is here to support you as you pursue your passions.


Past theses in Linguistics include:

  • Arantzazu Galdos, “Our Barbarous Tongue: a socio-historical analysis of prescriptivism in the English language” (2016)
  • Isabella Goldman, “The Role of Language in Developing Environmental Relationships” (2015)
  • Rebecca Solomon, “Like is Not Like That: a linguistic and social analysis” (2012)
  • Philip Breslow, “The Roving Jewel: What are your songs about” (2011)
  • Montgomery Hill, “YuwSteri (it-word-stirred): An exploration of Technological Use in Language Revitalization in Tuscarora” (2010)
  • Allison Newton, “Globalization and English as an International Language” (2007)