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Linguistics at Richmond is an interdisciplinary minor that studies the system of language as a medium of cognition and perception as well as a social institution. Engaging in linguistic analysis enables students to view culture through the lens of language. Language can be studied at multiple levels: phonetics and phonology (sounds), morphology (words), syntax (sentences), and semantics and pragmatics (meaning). Faculty at Richmond investigate each of these levels in courses that take different analytical perspectives: applied linguistics, computational linguistics, generative linguistics, historical linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and theoretical linguistics. These courses address a variety of topics, including language change, language and cognition, and language and society (gender, class, race/ethnicity). 

Program News

Beginning in Spring 2020, Classics Professor Dieter Gunkel will offer an Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics (CLSC 252). The course fulfils the Field of Study: Historical Studies (FSHT) requirement.

Linguistics students are well employed according to recent study

In fall 2018, LALIS professor David Giancaspro will offer a new course designed for students who grew up speaking Spanish at home within the United States. LAIS 397 ST: Spanish for Heritage Speakers will be tailored to students’ individual interests and needs as well as their different proficiency levels in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

In fall 2018 education professor Laura Kuti will be offering a First Year Seminar entitled Say What? Exploring Second Language Acquisition (SLA). The course will count towards the Linguistics minor.

Linguistics Feature Stories

Tom Francis, '18Tom Francis, '18, will enroll in the Post-Baccalaureate Program in Classics this fall at the University of Pennsylvania. Tom’s undergraduate thesis, "Problems of Verbal Aspect in New Testament Greek: Elucidating the Aspectual Meaning of the Perfect through a Study of Participles in Mark and 1 Corinthians,” was recognized with the A&S Symposium Paper Competition Award.
Tess Monks, '20

Tess Monks, '20, is heading to Oxford to study Classical Linguistics with two top-notch specialists, Philomen Probert and Wolfgang de Melo, during her year abroad. When she returns, professors Gunkel and Arnold will work with her on a project at the interface of Classics and quantitative corpus Linguistics.

Isabel Benvenuti, '18Congratulations to Isabel Benvenuti, '18, who will begin a PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures this fall at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her LALIS major research project was entitled “Transfer in third language acquisition.”

Faculty Highlights

  • Gunkel teaches mini-course at partner University of Verona Dr. Dieter Gunkel recently taught a two-day mini-course "Language change at the phonology-morphology interface"
  • Kissling Published Article Dr. Elizabeth Kissling published a study showing that teaching Spanish pronunciation can help students improve their listening skill in Spanish as a second language. The article appeared in the Modern Language Journal.
  • Gunkel Presentation

    Dieter Gunkel, assistant professor of historical linguistics, presented “Poetic meter, lexical distributions, and linguistic reconstruction” at the School of Oriental and African Studies – University of London’s workshop Recent Advances in Comparative Linguistic Reconstruction. The presentation relies on collaborative work with Mathematics Professor Taylor Arnold and Linguistics Professor Kevin Ryan (Harvard University).

  • Gunkel Linguistics Book

    Classics professor Dieter Gunkel co-edited the volume Verba Diem Celebrent (Beech Stave Press), to which he contributed a case study on reconstructing the Rigveda.

  • Gunkel Linguistics Book

    Classics professor Dieter Gunkel co-edited the volume Verba Diem Celebrent (Beech Stave Press), to which he contributed a case study on reconstructing the Rigveda.

  • Lowder Presentation

    Psychology professor Matthew Lowder was invited by the University of Maryland Linguistics department to give a colloquium talk on his recent research, "Prediction in the Processing of Repair Disfluencies."

  • Kissling Studies

    LALIS professor Elizabeth Kissling published research studies exploring the potential of cognitive linguistics for teaching Spanish prepositions in What is Applied Cognitive LInguistics? and exploring the methodological challenges of phonetics research in the highly variable population of Spanish heritage learners in the U.S. in the Heritage Language Journal.

  • Gunkel Book

    Classics professor Dieter Gunkel co-edited the book Language and Meter, and contributed a chapter to the book on Rigvedic Versification.

  • Lowder Article

    Psychology professor Matthew Lowder published, “Lexical predictability during natural reading: Effects of surprisal and entropy reduction,” in the journal Cognitive Science.

  • Bonfiglio Podcast

    Dr. Tom Bonfiglio recently appeared on Podcasts@Boatwright, discussing his new book, The Psychopathology of American Capitalism.

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Contact Us

Mailing Address:
Linguistics Program
Carole Weinstein International Center
211 Richmond Way
University of Richmond, VA 23173

Phone: (804) 289-8102
Fax: (804) 287-6446

Program Coordinator: Thomas Bonfiglio