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.

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 (recently (Winter 2013/2015), it has been Topics in Sign Language taught by Corina.)
  • LIN 106: English Grammar (same as ENL 106)
  • LIN 111: Intro to Phonological Theory aka Optimality Theory 101
  • LIN 112: Phonetics
  • LIN 121: Morphology
  • LIN 131: Intro to Syntactic Theory
  • LIN 141: Semantics (philosophy people should find this one very interesting)
  • LIN 150: Languages of the World (as it's 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
  • LIN 165: Applied Linguistics
  • LIN 171: Introduction to Psycholinguistics
  • LIN 173: Language Development (same as EDU 173)
  • LIN 175: Biological Basis of Language
  • LIN 177: Computational Linguistics - A class about working with human language on computers. Prof. Ojeda teaches this class. He covers sound, meaning, morphology, and syntax, mostly focusing on using computers to express the linguistic concepts. I haven't once heard him discuss any particular applications of Computational Linguistics, but you're free to imagine — the goal is to teach the concepts that are encountered in Linguistics, and to teach ways to work with them in Prolog.
  • LIN 182: Multilingualism

There's also graduate and Ph.D. programs.

Some faculty members

  • Will Benware. (Emeritus) Grandfatherly figure and one of the clearest speakers you may ever have the pleasure of hearing. Comes to class every day in a three-piece suit, and for a lack of a more eloquent (and accurate) way to put it, he knows his sh*t. Usually teaches 103A, 151, and 50.
  • Patrick Farrell. 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. Usually teaches 103B and 152.
  • Raul Aranovich. His confusing name results from a Russian ethnic background but Argentinian nationality. Usually teaches 103B, 121, and 131. Current undergraduate advisor.
  • Jason Schneider. Young, possibly attractive, professor who teaches course 1. Very helpful and will make you want to switch majors.
  • Almerindo Ojeda. Very intensely involved with Comp Lin. Teaches 141 and 177. Also heads the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas.
  • Kathleen Ward. 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. She teaches LIN 1, 106, 160, and 163.
  • Michael T. Wescoat. Teaches Linguistics 1 and various upper division and graduate classes. Very approachable if one has questions about the subject matter.
  • Vai Ramanathan. Mainly teaches graduate courses, but occasionally dips into upper division to teach 165. Great professor, encourages discussion, and usually always has easily relatable/relevant topics.
  • Orhan Orgun (former). Usually teaches 111 and 112. Very well-liked, easy-going, and humorous professor with an intense passion for phonology (which is to be expected).
  • David Corina. Teaches 177. Very into psycholinguistics and 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 psycholinguistics.
  • John Hawkins. Teaches 150/152 and some graduate courses. Professor Emeritus of Cambridge, and an expert in language universals and typology, especially between English and German (has a book out). Very interesting, knows everything about every language, and has a really cool British accent.

We are also getting new professors Georgia Zellou and Santiago Barreda. They are both phonologists, and will be teaching 103A, 111, and 112.