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Linguistics, the systematic study of human language, lies at the crossroads of the humanities and the social sciences, drawing on a special combination of intuition and rigor that the analysis of language demands. With its further goal to model the cognitive mechanisms for acquiring and storing the knowledge of language, linguistics is also closely related to the cognitive sciences.

The department’s focus spans most of the major subfields of linguistics, with particular strengths in areas of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, as well as computational linguistics, historical linguistics and language documentation. Our department integrates a strong theoretical emphasis with experimental approaches and careful attention to language description and documentation. The Cornell Phonetics Laboratory is fully equipped and provides an integrated environment for the experimental study of speech and language, including its production, perception and acquisition. The Computational Linguistics Lab supports theoretical and applied work in the area of computational modeling.