Department Chair: Dr. Eileen Fitzpatrick
Language is the only complex form of communication common to all humans. It is essential for all interpersonal endeavors and is central to the development and maintenance of societies, cultures and civilizations. Yet there are many unanswered questions about how language is acquired, processed by the brain, structured and used. Linguistics is engaged in answering these questions. Linguistics is the scientific study of natural human language; it contributes significantly to our understanding of what it means to be human. As such, linguistics forms an indispensable part of a liberal arts education. It is a broad field, covering all aspects of cognitive and social functioning. Linguists study language in general through the study of specific languages. They study modern languages, ancient languages and endangered languages. They carry out these studies in the classroom, in computer, psychology, and speech laboratories, in fieldwork throughout the world, and in settings where languages are interpreted. The Linguistics Department at Montclair State, housed within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, offers a wide variety of both theoretical and applied courses in linguistics on both the graduate and undergraduate levels.