English Linguistics

Faculty List

Galey Modan, Area Coordinator

Linguistics is the study of human languages. It is concerned with language structure (for instance, the rules for combining sounds into words and words into phrases and sentences), the processes by which children and adults learn language, how languages change over time and through contact with other languages, what the functions of language are, how and why people evaluate various dialects positively or negatively, and how particular uses of language can influence the way that we perceive the world.

The strengths of the linguistics faculty in OSU’s English department lie in the area of sociolinguistics – the study of how language and social life influence each other. As sociolinguists, we are interested in questions like why people might consider some kinds of English to be ‘proper’ and others to be ‘broken’; how speakers structure and organize stories; what ‘political correctness’ has to do with language; how bilingual speakers might utilize multiple languages in the same conversation; and the origins and effects of people’s associations of linguistic forms with gender, class, race, sexuality, attitudes, or personality characteristics.

Key Courses

Undergraduate courses:
ENG 3271: Introduction to English Linguistics
ENG 4570: History of English
ENG 4571: Special Topics in English Linguistics
ENG 4572: English Grammar and Usage

Graduate courses:
ENG 7872: Seminar in English Linguistics    

Affiliated Projects/Centers

Buckeye Language Network
Center for Folklore Studies