Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Simon Fraser University has 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.

The use of language is a vital part of what makes us human. Linguists study the formal properties of language, how it evolves, and how it is used in social situations. Though linguists do study topics related to specific languages, the ultimate goal is to understand the nature and purpose of human language use as a whole. 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 linguistic labs 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.  

We offer undergraduate courses about sounds (phonetics and phonology), words (morphology), sentences (syntax), narratives and conversations (discourse analysis), and meaning (semantics and pragmatics), and Indigenous languages.


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