Linguistics is a department in the College of Letters and Science. The department used to be housed in the 2nd floor of Sproul Hall, and due to a shortage of office space several faculty members had their offices off-campus in a suite at the corner of B St. and 2nd (200 B St., Suite A). Eventually, they moved to Kerr, where the department is currently housed, with the majority of offices on the 2nd floor. For detailed course and faculty info not found below please see the department web site. Also, note that the major requirements have changed starting Fall 2007.

UC Davis now has a Linguistics Club.


Lower Division

LIN 1: Intro to Linguistics - An introductory course for majors and non-majors alike, this introduces all the areas of linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. It also may include a discussion of language features and language acquisition, and sections on the evolution and genealogy of languages or sociolinguistics. The professors (mostly) share this class, so you never know who you might get. Some are much easier than others.

LIN 5: Global English and Communication - English as a global language and its uses in intercultural communication. Cultural, historical, and political dimensions of varieties of English spoken around the world. Experiential grounding in strategies for increasing interpretive and verbal communicative competence for a globalized world.

LIN 6: Language and Society - Taught as an intro to sociolinguistics. Great topic, not always great professor.

LIN 20, 21, 22, 23: 20 - Oral English, 21-23: Reading and Writing for Non-Native Speakers

Upper Division

If you are planning on majoring or minoring in Linguistics (except "Linguistics for Language Teachers" minor) you will need to take these two classes:

  • LIN 103A: Linguistic Analysis I: Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology
  • LIN 103B: Linguistic Analysis II: Morphology, Syntax, Semantics

Most, but not all of the courses below require LIN 1 and 103A/B:

  • LIN 105: Topics in Language and Linguistics (Has been about any/everything to do with language, including ASL, hearing, language and body, etc.)
  • LIN 106: English Grammar (cross-listed with ENL 106)
  • LIN 111: Intro to Phonological Theory (a.k.a. Why Generative Phonology Sucks 101)
  • LIN 112: Phonetics
  • LIN 121: Morphology
  • LIN 127: Text Processing and Corpus Linguistics (a.k.a Python for Ling Majors)
  • LIN 131: Intro to Syntactic Theory
  • LIN 141: Semantics (philosophy majors should find this one very interesting)
  • LIN 150: Languages of the World (basically a more general version of LIN 152; I wouldn't recommend taking both)
  • LIN 151: Historical Linguistics
  • LIN 152: Language Universals and Typology
  • LIN 160: American Voices
  • LIN 163: Language, Gender, and Society (this class is a lot of writing)
  • LIN 165: Applied Linguistics
  • LIN 171: Introduction to Psycholinguistics
  • LIN 173: Language Development (cross-listed with EDU 173)
  • LIN 175: Biological Basis of Language
  • LIN 177: Computational Linguistics (basically a linguistics class for computer science majors, explains concepts that are encountered in Linguistics, and to teach ways to work with them in Prolog)
  • LIN 182: Multilingualism

There's also an M.A. and Ph.D. program, which has their own coursework. Most of the graduate students are very, very passionate about linguistics You can get to know the graduate students by going to the Linguistics website, or spending 5 minutes on the 2nd floor of Kerr Hall, and seeing them run around like worker ants.

Meet the Faculty

  • Raul Aranovich. Teaches 103B, 121, 131. His confusing name results from a Russian ethnic background but Argentinian nationality.
  • Santiago Barreda. Teaches 103A, 111, 112. Shares materials with Prof. Zellou. A firm believer that phonology isn't real, which is okay. Wants students to understand the science behind linguistics.
  • Robert 'Bob' Bayley. Teaches 6, 160, 182. Great professor. Very strongly into variationist sociolinguistics. Ask him about his time doing fieldwork in Texas.
  • David Corina. Teaches 171, 175, 177. Very into psycholinguistics; works at the Center for Mind and Brain. Great professor (though he does give off the "absent-minded professor" vibe), and very approachable if you want to talk about research.
  • Patrick Farrell. Teaches 103B, 131. A little bit twitchy. Has been heard to use the word "shit" in class without it being part of data for analysis. He is very receptive to students dropping by to discuss or argue about linguistic things. Used to be the department undergraduate advisor, and was honestly not an extremely helpful one.
  • John Hawkins. Teaches 150, 151, 152. Professor Emeritus of Cambridge. Researches language universals and typology, especially between English and German (has a book out). Very interesting, and has a really cool British accent.
  • Julia Menard-Warwick. Teaches 5, 163, 180. You don't see her on campus as often. It seems she is often on sabbatical for research.
  • Almerindo Ojeda. Teaches 177. About to retire at the end of Spring 2017. Heads the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas.
  • Vai Ramanathan. Teaches 165. Great professor, encourages discussion, and usually always has easily relatable/relevant topics.
  • Kenji Sagae. Teaches 121, 177. Very good professor. I think the computer science students who are taking linguistics electives like him a lot.
  • Kathleen Ward. Teaches 6. Has been described as 'ineffectual'. Most people either like or dislike her. She is passionate about the subject, yet sarcastic and incredibly demanding. Very interesting teacher - you'll either enjoy her anecdotes and usage of outdated names, or sink into your seat.
  • Georgia Zellou. Teaches 131, 111, 112. Shares materials with Prof. Barreda. Presents things in a more straight-forward manner, not questioning the theories as much (or expecting students to do so).
  • Various Grad Students. The department will sometimes have grad students teach LIN 1, 5, 6, 103A, and 103B. They'll usually have experience TAing for a few quarters before being given their first solo class, but it's still a mixed bag, so maybe ask around, or e-mail them first to feel them out.