Today’s cutting-edge teaching and research in linguistics at USYD has a long and distinguished history, going back to pioneering field work in Australia and the Pacific some 70 years ago. In the Department of Linguistics, we offer expertise in research on endangered languages of the Asia/Pacific region, language in media and education, varieties of English spoken worldwide, relations between language and culture, language and mind, language in social interaction, cross-cultural communication, and analysis of language structure, from sounds to grammar to meaning to texts. We have strong connections to linguistic researchers throughout the university, in several language departments as well as in English, Education, Psychology, Information Technology, the Conservatorium of Music, and the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC).
The goals of linguistics are to find out what language is like, and why, and to find ways to use this knowledge in understanding communication, culture, social life, and the human mind. Each of the world’s 6000 languages is a rich and textured system, with its own sounds, its own grammar, and its own identity and style. Language everywhere is used for thinking, persuading others, gathering information, organizing our activities, gossiping, and ultimately structuring our societies. We welcome all interested students to join our department for an engaging and eye-opening study experience in linguistics.