Choosing to join SFU Linguistics

Linguistics is the scientific study of language, including the formal properties of language, how it evolves, and how it is used in social situations. Linguistic research advances knowledge on how we communicate, how we function in society, and how we interpret the world around us. The work conducted in our laboratories aims to address questions such as how language is acquired in infancy, how second languages are acquired, and how language can be processed by computers. Areas of study and research within linguistics include sounds (phonetics and phonology), words (morphology), sentences (syntax), narratives and conversations (discourse analysis), meaning (semantics and pragmatics), and the study of individual languages such as Indigenous languages.

SFU Linguistics is one of the largest and most diverse linguistics programs in Canada. We offer a wide range of courses about language at the undergraduate level, including certificate programs in Linguistics of Speech Science and Teaching English as a Second Language. We also offer graduate programs leading to MA and PhD degrees. Research in linguistics at SFU is characterized by interdisciplinarity, breadth in research methodology, and diversity in theoretical perspective.

Career pathways related to linguistics are expanding each year, as the value of skills such as computational text analysis, practical application of phonetic science, and sociolinguistic analysis is being recognized more and more in the data-driven job market. Linguistics graduates may work as ESL teachers, speech language assistants, and in information technology. With further education, a student can become an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist. A student can also continue graduate studies in Linguistics to become a professional linguist and have a career in education and academia. Learn more here. Our Undergraduate Advisor is available to help with Linguistics career planning.  

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