Have you ever wondered why a child might say ‘I sleeped’ rather than ‘I slept’? Or how a sentence can have more than one meaning? Or why speakers of the same language can sound so different from one another? These are exactly the kind of questions that linguists seek to answer.
Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Linguists aim to describe and understand the structure of language, how it changes over time, and how it is used; they are not concerned with enforcing ‘rules’ of grammar that say how language should be, nor do they necessarily speak a lot of different languages. If you’re interested in studying language in all its aspects, then Linguistics is the subject you’re looking for!
This UNIQ course will introduce you to Linguistics and in particular how it is taught at Oxford. There will be a session on General Linguistics to introduce you to the subject, as well as separate sessions focusing on Phonetics and Phonology and Grammatical Analysis. Together these will prepare you for a Linguistics tutorial on the final day of the course. You’ll also get valuable insights into the admissions process for Linguistics at Oxford, including an introduction to the Linguistics Admissions Test.
Currently, two degree course are available which include a significant Linguistics component: a degree in a Modern Language and Linguistics (which can include French, German, Modern Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish), or the degree in Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics. This UNIQ course will include teaching and information sessions on both types of degree, but no prior knowledge of philosophy, psychology or a foreign language is assumed or required.
In addition you might also be interested in a lecture delivered by Professor Aditi Lahiri FBA, Professor of Linguistics, University of Oxford entitled “Observing language change and language processing: Old manuscripts, new brains”. This was the Anna Morpurgo Davies Lecture held at the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences on 8th May 2015.