Natural human language is powerful information technology and the crux of culture and civilization. The fundamental question of Linguistics is this: how is it that by emitting streams of buzzing, popping,and hissing noises from our mouths, we human beings are able to transmit thoughts, intentions, and knowledge of the world from one mind to another? While immersed in language every day, we are almost unaware of this extraordinary ability. When studied consciously, human language systems are revealed to be phenomena of great structural complexity and beauty.

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Rochester is uniquely situated to address this fundamental question from many different viewpoints, giving rise to a dynamic atmosphere of dialogue and collaboration. While based in a core discipline of theoretical linguistics, we have close interdisciplinary relationships with experimental psycholinguists in Brain and Cognitive Sciences,and computational linguists in Computer Science, as well as with the departments of Philosophy and American Sign Language. These relationships are fostered by the Center for Language Sciences (CLS), an interdepartmental research entity within the College. Collaboration takes place in the form of joint research, colloquia, shared facilities, and coursework.

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