Lubbock Christian University

What is Linguistics?

Linguistics is the scientific study of language structure and use. As a uniquely human trait, language is a complex system of elements (such as sounds and words) combined in systematic ways to accomplish specific purposes in specific contexts. There are approximately 7,000 languages spoken in the world today. One in five American residents report speaking a language other than English at home, and in Texas, this percentage increases to approximately one in three. With the advent of advanced digital technologies and social media, vast amounts of information are shared at a fast pace with diverse audiences. An understanding of what language is and how to use it effectively is therefore a powerful tool for any professional who wants to become an effective communicator in a world marked by multilingualism, multiculturalism, and globalization.

What Can You Do with a Linguistics Degree?

Linguistics can prepare you for careers in a variety of areas, including the following: 

  • Bible Translation: Translate the Bible into one of the 1000+ languages that have no Scripture.
  • Technology: Work on computer-mediated language learning, speech recognition, and artificial intelligence.
  • Language Education: Teach English as a Second Language (ESL) and other languages in the U.S. or abroad.
  • Translation: Work as an interpreter or translator in medical, governmental, and other professional settings.
  • Writing and Publishing: Work as a professional writer, writing consultant, or editor.
  • Law Enforcement: Perform discourse analyses, voice identification, and other language analyses in legal processes and crime investigations.
  • Marketing: Develop research-based advertising materials and campaigns.
  • Film Industry: Train actors in pronunciation and grammar so they sound like speakers of a particular speech community.
  • Medicine: Study the relationship between language and the brain.
  • Speech-Language Pathology: Diagnose and provide therapy for speech and communication disorders.
  • Language Documentation of Endangered Languages: Document and help preserve languages that face the risk of extinction.
  • International Development: Serve as an aid worker in developing communities around the world.

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The Linguistics Minor at LCU

Our mission is to equip you for successful work in multicultural and multilingual settings. The minor is housed in the Honors College, and requires 18 hours of coursework, including:

This course introduces you to principles of language and linguistic analysis. Learn about the major subfields of linguistics, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, and language acquisition. The course is helpful for those who want to evaluate spoken or written language data, learn and/or document another language, or pursue further studies in linguistics.

This course introduces you to the speech sounds in human language, including their production, classification, and organization. Learn to recognize and transcribe sounds using the International Phonetic Alphabet as well as analyze the patterns for speech sound distribution in various languages.

In this course, you will be introduced to grammatical analyses of language with a focus on word formation (morphology) and sentence structure (syntax). Learn to classify words, identify inflectional and derivational morphemes, and apply various patterns of word formation. In addition, you will learn to describe constituent structure, identify syntactic categories, and apply phrase structure rules and other syntactic tools in cross-linguistic data analyses.

Sociolinguistics introduces you to the study of language in the social and cultural context. Explore such topics as linguistic variation, regional and social dialects, the effect of culture on language, gender differences in language use, bilingualism, code-switching, and other linguistic phenomena in situations where multiple languages and cultures are in contact.

In this course, you will learn the structure of the second language acquisition process for adult learners and the internal and external factors associated with this process. In addition, explore the distinct but related process of second culture acquisition with the goal of identifying and applying optimal practices for both successful language and culture acquisition.

This course introduces students to various interdisciplinary topics in theoretical and applied linguistics in order to broaden your knowledge and skills related to language study in multiple disciplines. Some of the topics include: gender and language, bilingualism in the U.S., first and second language acquisition, second language and ESL teaching methods, language and the brain, language and writing, conversational storytelling, forensic linguistics, psycholinguistics, historical linguistics, semantics, pragmatics, computational linguistics, and other language-related topics with a strong multicultural component.

Note: Up to six hours of language-related coursework from other disciplines can count towards the linguistics minor with the approval of the linguistics minor coordinator. 

For questions or further information, please contact Dr. Olga Pahom at