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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

Tess Monks, '20 was selected as one of Harvard’s newest Presidential Scholars after being accepted into several of the world’s premier Ph.D. programs for historical linguistics. Read more about Tess's accomplishments here.

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 2019, Prof. Giancaspro's "Spanish for Heritage Speakers" course was officially approved by Arts & Sciences. Starting in Fall 2020, Spanish for Heritage Speakers, which counts for the LALIS major and minor, will be taught every fall semester as LAIS 310: Spanish for Heritage Speakers. 

In Spring 2020, Prof. Giancaspro taught LAIS 497: "Bilingual Education in the US," an upper-level linguistics seminar that focused on child bilingualism, dual immersion education, and obstacles to educational equality for Spanish-speaking students in the United States.  

In Fall 2020, Prof. Giancaspro is teaching LAIS 497: "Spanglish", a linguistics seminar that teaches students not only to identify the variety of bilingual practices commonly known as Spanglish but also to appreciate the subtle and sophisticated ways in which bilingual speakers produce (and comprehend) them. Guest speakers this semester include Dr. Jorge Valdés Kroff (University of Florida), as well as Dr. Jonathan Rosa (Stanford University).

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

  • Giancaspro Published

    David Giancaspro, assistant professor of spanish, published “The later bird gets the verb?: Effects of age of acquisition of English on adult heritage speakers’ knowledge of subjunctive mood in Spanish” in Languages.

  • Giancaspro in Heritage Language Journal

    David Giancaspro, assistant professor of spanish, published “Over, under, and around: Spanish heritage speakers’ production (and avoidance) of subjunctive mood” in Heritage Language Journal.

  • Giancaspro Publishes Chapter

    David Giancaspro, assistant professor of spanish, published the chapter “Not in the mood: frequency effects in heritage speakers' knowledge of subjunctive mood” in Lost in Transmission: The Role of Attrition and Input in Heritage Language Development.

  • Gunkel Awarded

    Dieter Gunkel, assistant professor of historical linguistics, has received an $18,000 fellowship from the Center for Hellenic Studies. Gunkel plans to explore modern studies of languages similar to Greek, ancient descriptions of the Greek language, and fragments of ancient Greek music.

  • 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."

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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