About the Department

Robert Botne  
Robert Botne, Linguistics Department Chair

The Department of Linguistics at Indiana University is one of the oldest linguistics departments in the United States. Founded about 1948 as a Program in Linguistics, we offer both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in linguistics. Our graduate program has strengths in areas of theoretical and descriptive linguistics and is also strongly committed to African linguistics. Students in the M.A. degree program take general course work in linguistics. 30 credit hours are needed for the M.A. degree. An M.A. thesis is optional. We have instituted a new M.A. track in computational linguistics. Students in the doctoral degree program take advanced seminars and pursue specific dissertation research, generally in one of the areas representing departmental strengths: African languages, computational linguistics, phonetics, phonology, cognitive science, second-language acquisition, semantics, syntax, applied linguistics or field linguistics.


The department presently has approximately 70 graduate students from across the United States and many foreign countries. Currently, the department has 15 faculty members including a number with split appointments (in Anthropology, French, Slavic Languages, and Spanish). We have a number of Adjunct Faculty from other departments within the university, including French, Germanic Studies, Speech and Hearing, Psychology, Mathematics, Spanish, Second Language Studies, and East Asian Languages. The department maintains close relations with the language departments and programs at IU, such as Central Eurasian Studies, Classical Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, French and Italian, Germanic Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Slavic Languages and Linguistics, and Spanish and Portuguese, as well as with other departments and programs, such as the African Studies Program, Cognitive Science Program, Second Language Studies, the Departments of Computer Science, Psychology, Anthropology, Folklore, Mathematics, Philosophy, Sociology, and Speech and Hearing Science. Joint degrees can be arranged with any of these or with any other department that is appropriate given a student's interests and career goals.

Department information

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