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Department of Linguistics

Giving to the Department of Linguistics 

Linguistics is the study of the human capacity for language. Language is a defining characteristics of the human species; without language there would be no civilization, no culture, no scientific or technological development, none of the achievements and capabilities distinctive to the human species. Therefore, the study of the nature of language is fundamental to the understanding of what it means to be human.

Students and faculty in linguistics investigate the nature of human language, its structure, diversity, universality, acquisition by children and adults, historical change, and its use in society. They study how language is processed in the human mind/brain, and how it relates to other human cognitive faculties. And they study and develop applications of linguistics to teaching, technology, and many other fields.  

Unique to the Linguistics Department

The Linguistics department offers minors in Chinese, Japanese and now Hmong. The Hmong Minor Program, which started in Fall 2016, is one of only five Hmong minor programs in the country and the ONLY Hmong program in the Western United States. The Hmong Language Studies Scholarship was seeded in Spring of 2016 with the help of the Microsoft Corporation to assist students in the Hmong Minor.

Faculty and students working on the Chukchansi Language Revitalization Research Project have helped to develop Chukchansi language learning apps for mobile devices, language teaching materials, and an English-Chukchansi dictionary. This past summer, faculty and students from the department also completed linguistic fieldwork to aid in the documentation and revitalization of Crow and Hidatsa at two summer language institutes in Montana and North Dakota.

The “Touch the Community” project, started in the Fall 2016 semester, will provide great opportunities for our Teaching English as a Second Language major students to help adult ESL learners in the classrooms in Fresno Adult School.


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College of Arts and Humanities
Development Office
2380 E. Keats Avenue
M/S MB99
Fresno CA 93740-8024

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