ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

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Graduate: Linguistics

  • Program Overview

    Description of the Linguistics Department

    The Stony Brook Linguistics Department, in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a leading center for research and training in all areas of modern linguistics. The Department offers graduate training that leads to the M.A. and Ph.D. in Linguistics, the M.A. in Computational Linguistics, and the M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

    The department has a long-standing focus on theoretical linguistics, with core research areas in syntax, semantics, morphology, phonology, phonetics and first and second language acquisition as well as experimental and computational approaches to these areas. Recently, the department has introduced a focus on Computational Linguistics. In addition to the full range of theoretical areas of linguistics, faculty have expertise in a wide range of languages/language areas including Amazonian, Austronesian, East Asian, Romance, Semitic, Slavic and signed languages, as well as in language documentation and revitalization.

    The M.A. in Computational Linguistics focuses on the computational mechanisms that are required to process language. This includes both theoretical issues --- how is language computed by humans and what is the computational complexity of natural language --- and practical ones. The latter subsumes a large and growing area of modern software engineering that is concerned with problems such as the automatic translation of text from one language into another, reading out written text, or using linguistic criteria to optimize the placement of online ads. Just like the theoretical questions, these applications require a good understanding of contemporary linguistics as well as programming skills and general training in computer science.

    The M.A. in TESOL is designed to prepare students to become professional teachers, teacher educators, and curriculum designers. The program offers courses in theoretical linguistics and its applications as well as pedagogy. It provides extensive supervised field experience in schools and in the English courses offered by the university for International students. Graduates of the program are successfully employed in public and private schools at K-12 levels, colleges, and universities in the United States and abroad. The requirements of the M.A. TESOL program satisfy a substantial portion of the requirements for New York State certification in TESOL, and students may arrange to complete the requirements for state certification in conjunction with pursuit of the M.A.

    The M.A. in Theoretical Linguistics is a stand-alone 30 credit degree in all core areas of linguistic theory designed to give students an opportunity to carry out graduate work in linguistics in preparation for a doctoral degree in Linguistics or other field, or other career .

    The Ph.D. program prepare s students for advanced research in all branches of theoretical linguistics , especially Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics , and Computational Linguistics Ph.D. students also work with students and faculty in Psychology, Computer Science, Philosophy, Music, and the Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS).   Ph.D students assist in and/or teach MA and BA courses in Linguistics.

  • Admissions
     

    Admission requirements for Linguistics Department

    Admission requirements for Linguistics Department:

     

    Deadlines (for Fall admission) :

    • Ph.D:---------------------------------------------------- January 15
    • M.A. (LIN, CompLing , TESOL )
      •   Full consideration: ---------------------------------- March 1
      • Final deadline ( international students ):--------- April 1
      • Final deadline (domestic students):------------- July 1

     

    Notes :

    • PhD admissions is for full-time study only
    • All applications are for Fall admissions only
    • Admission to all programs is competitive and no single factor (GRE scores, letters, grades, etc.) will exclude anyone from being admitted. Similarly, no single factor will ensure admission.
    • Students must be accepted by both the Department of Linguistics and the Graduate School.

    For admission to all graduate program in the Department of Linguistics, the following, in addition to the minimum Graduate School requirements, are normally required:

    A. Baccalaureate Degree: Students must present evidence that such a BA or BS degree will be awarded by the time they begin graduate work. A final transcript is required prior to registration.

     B. M inimum grade point average of 3.0 : A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (or its foreign equivalent) on a 4-point scale is required. (If you have attended graduate school and obtained a master's degree, and the GPA is over 3.00, then the GPA of the undergraduate school can be below 3.00 for regular admission.)

      C. 3 Recommendation: Letters of recommendation from three former instructors are required.

     D. Graduate Record Examination (GRE): The GRE is required for all graduate programs. There is no subject test for linguistics; the general test is all that is required. Please have the testing service send a copy of your score to the Linguistics Department.

      E. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume

     F. Writing Sample:

    PhD: The writing sample should be a short paper written for a previous course taken in linguistics, or if that is not available, a paper on any subject is acceptable.

    MA CompLing The writing sample may take one of two forms: (a) a short paper written for a previous course, ideally related to language, mathematics, or computation, or (b) a 2-page document describing a completed or ongoing programming project, including a link to an online repository hosting the code.

    G. Foreign Language Requirement:

    PhD program : Proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to two years of college work is required.

    MA programs :

    Native speakers of English must provide evidence of at least one year (or six credits) of study of one language other than English at the college level with a grade of C or better.

    Students who are seeking New York State certification will need to satisfy additional requirements for foreign language study before receiving certification.

    H. English proficiency ( for students whose native language is not English):

    • PhD , MA LIN, MA Comp Ling : 600 (paper), 250 (computer), or 100 (iBT) on the TOEFL test or 6.5 (IELTS).  
    • MA TESOL:
      • Minimum total score: 90 (iBT TOEFL) or 6.5 (IELTS).
      • Minimum speaking component scores 22 (iBT TOEFL) or 6.5 (IELTS).

    Please note that non-native speakers who are seeking New York State certification must achieve a speaking component score of 28 (iBT) or the equivalent.

    Note: For all programs, students who do not meet the above requirements may be admitted conditionally. Their status will be reviewed after their first semester of graduate study.

  • Degree Requirements
     

    Requirements for the M.A. in Linguistics

    The MA LIN is a 30 credit Masters program aimed at students interested in pursuing linguistics beyond the BA level, but not yet ready for, or not planning to go on to, the PhD. The curricular focus of the MA LIN is on theoretical rather than applied linguistics. Students interested in applied or computational linguistics at the MA level are encouraged to consider the MA TESOL or MA Computational Linguistics program.

    The MA LIN is a coursework degree, consisting of 12 credits of required courses and 18 credits of electives.

    Core courses: (12 credits, required)

    LIN 521 Syntax I
    LIN 621 Syntax II
    LIN 523 Phonology I
    LIN 623 Phonology II

    Electives NB: Courses not listed here can be counted as an elective if 1) this is explicitly stated in the course description, or 2) the student has written permission from the program director.

    LIN 522 Phonetics; LIN 523 Phonology ILIN 526 Analysis of an Uncommonly Taught Language; LIN 538 Statistics; LIN 539 Mathematical Methods in Linguistics; LIN 621 Syntax II; LIN 623 Phonology II; LIN 624 Morphology and Word Formation; LIN 625 Semantics; LIN 626 Computational Phonology; LIN 627 Computational Semantics; LIN 628 Computational Syntax; LIN 629 Learnability; LIN 630 Parsing and Processing; LIN 651 Syntax Seminar; LIN 653 Phonology Seminar; PSY 520 Psycholinguistics

    Requirements for the M.A. in Computational Linguistics

    The MA in Computational Linguistics is a 36 credit coursework degree consisting of multiple components.

    • Core courses (12 credits)
    • Formal methods requirement (3 credits)
    • Linguistics requirement (3 credits)
    • Electives (12 credits)
    • Final project (6 credits)

    Core courses (4 courses, 12 credits)

    • LIN 521 Syntax I
    • LIN 522 Phonetics or LIN 523 Phonology I
    • LIN 537 Computational Linguistics 1
    • LIN 637 Computational Linguistics 2

    Other requirements are satisfied by passing a fixed number of courses from a pre-defined list. Courses that appear on multiple lists cannot be used to satisfy multiple requirements at once. For example, if LIN 523 is taken as part of the core sequence, it cannot be used to satisfy the linguistics requirement.

    Formal methods: ( 1of the following):

    • LIN 538 Statistics
    • LIN 539 Mathematical Methods in Linguistics

    Advanced Linguistics: ( 1 of the following not taken as another requirement )

    • LIN 522 Phonetics
    • LIN 621 Syntax II
    • LIN 623 Phonology II
    • LIN 624 Morphology and Word Formation
    • LIN 625 Semantics

    Electives (4 of the following not taken as a Core or Linguistics course above):
    NB: Courses not listed here can be counted as an elective if 1) this is explicitly stated in the course description, or 2) the student has written permission from the program director.

    CSE 512 Machine Learning;

    CSE 537 Artificial Intelligence;

    CSE 542 Speech Processing;

    CSE 628 Introduction to NLP

    LIN 522 Phonetics;

    LIN 523 Phonology I

    LIN 526 Analysis of an Uncommonly Taught Language;

    LIN 538 Statistics;

    LIN 539 Mathematical Methods in Linguistics;

    LIN 621 Syntax II;

    LIN 623 Phonology II;

    LIN 624 Morphology and Word Formation;

    LIN 625 Semantics;

    LIN 626 Computational Phonology;

    LIN 627 Computational Semantics;

    LIN 628 Computational Syntax;

    LIN 629 Learnability;

    LIN 630 Parsing and Processing;

    LIN 651 Syntax Seminar;

    LIN 653 Phonology Seminar;

    PSY 520 Psycholinguistics

    Students must also complete a final project as part of LIN 595. (6 credits)

    Requirements for the M.A. in TESOL

    The MA in TESOL is a 30 credit coursework+practicum degree consisting of multiple components.

    A. Coursework
    1. required courses (21 credits) :

    • LIN 522 Phonetics
    • LIN 524 TESOL Pedagogy: Theory and Practice (Methods I) and

                  --LIN 579 Field Experience N-12

    • LIN 527 Structure of English
    • LIN 529 TESOL Pedagogy: Content-based Language and Literacy Development Practice (Methods II) and

                   --LIN 579 Field Experience N-12

    • LIN 530 Introduction to General Linguistics
    • LIN 571 TESOL Pedagogy: Curriculum Design and Evaluation and

                   --LIN 578 Field Experience in Adult and Tertiary Contexts

     2. Electives (9 credits)

          -- 2 of the following: (o r any other TESOL-related courses approved by the program director )

    • LIN 525 Contrastive Analysis
    • LIN 526 Analysis of an Uncommonly Taught Language
    • LIN 532 Second Language Acquisition
    • LIN 541 Bilingualism
    • LIN 542 Sociolinguistics
    • LIN 555 Error Analysis

     --one additional elective course to be approved by the department; this may be a third course from the list above.

     

    B. Performance

    Students must achieve a grade point average (GPA) of B (3.0) or higher in all graduate courses taken at Stony Brook in order to receive a degree.

    C. Course Waivers

    Certain required courses may be waived for students showing an exceptional background in linguistics or TESOL. Application for such waivers must be made in writing to the department. In any case, all students must complete 30 graduate credits of approved coursework to receive a degree.

    New York State Teacher Certification: TESOL Teacher Certification program requirements are listed in the Professional Education Program (PEP) section of this bulletin.

    Requirements for the Ph.D. in Linguistics

    In addition to the minimum Graduate School requirements, the following are required:

    A. Course Requirements

    Students must complete a minimum of 60 credits; 30 of them before advancing to Candidacy.

    1. Required Courses (12 credits)
    • LIN 521 Syntax I
    • LIN 621 Syntax II
    • LIN 523 Phonology I
    • LIN 623 Phonology II
    1. Elective Courses: (minimum of 18 credits from the following before advancing to candidacy)
    • LIN 522 Phonetics
    • LIN 537 Computational Linguistics 1
    • LIN 538 Statistics
    • LIN 539 Mathematical Methods in Linguistics
    • LIN 624 Morphology and Word Formation
    • LIN 625 Semantics
    • LIN 637 Computational Linguistics 2
    • LIN 650 Linguistics Seminar ( distinct seminars may count separately )
    • LIN 651 Syntax Seminar (distinct seminars may count separately)
    • LIN 653 Phonology Seminar (distinct seminars may count separately)
    • other Linguistic s 500 and 600 level courses

    Cou r ses from other departments may also b e counted as electives with permission from th e Program Director

    Students must take three 3-credit courses each semester before advancing to candidacy.

    B. Qualifying Papers

    Acceptance by the department of two papers of publishable quality in distinct areas of linguistics (“Qualifying Papers) is required. Each paper will be defended orally before a committee of at least three faculty members, at least two of whom will be full-time faculty from within the department. The inside membership of the two qualifying paper committees must not be identical. The pre-defense draft of a qualifying paper must be submitted to the committee at least three weeks before the defense date. Each qualifying paper requirement will be completed after the committee’s acceptance of revisions decided upon at the defense.

    The final version of the first Qualifying Paper must be submitted not later than the last day of classes of the fourth semester and the final version of the second Qualifying Paper must be submitted not later than the last day of classes of the sixth semester. Failure to meet the first deadline may affect the student’s priority for funding. Students who have not had the final versions of both Qualifying Papers accepted by their committees by the end of the sixth semester will normally be dismissed from the program.

    Public presentation of one of these papers is required, as is submission of a revised version of one of the Qualifying Papers for publication in an appropriate journal.

    C. Language Requirement

    Demonstrated knowledge of two foreign languages other than the student’s mother tongue. This requirement may be satisfied by any of the following methods:

    1. Submission of an analytic paper demonstrating knowledge of the structure of the language.
    2. Satisfactory completion of a course in the structure of the language.
    3. Satisfactory performance on a standardized exam designed to measure language proficiency.
    4. Satisfactory completion of two years of college-level instruction in the language.

     

    D. Advancement to Candidacy

    Advancement to candidacy takes place upon the successful completion of the following: the required courses in A, the qualifying paper requirement in B, and the language requirement in C.

    E . Teaching and Research
    Students become qualified in teaching and research by working with faculty on an individual basis as teaching assistants and by participating in research projects. They have the opportunity to prepare and teach undergraduate classes during the academic year and in summer sessions.

    F . Dissertation
    Before a student proceeds to write the dissertation, a dissertation proposal must be accepted by the department. The dissertation proposal outlines the topic and how the student plans to go about investigating this topic. The advisor will organize a discussion in which a committee considers the proposal with the student. The purpose of this discussion is to ensure that the topic is manageable and substantive.

    The dissertation committee will consist of a minimum of four members, at least three from the full-time faculty in the department and at least one from outside the department (or University). The committee will be chosen in consultation with the dissertation supervisor, who will be a full-time member of the department faculty. The formal public defense of the dissertation requires the full attendance of the dissertation examining committee.

  • Facilities

    Facilities of the Linguistics Department

    The Department of Linguistics has several lab facilities.

    Laboratory for the Phonetic Documentation of Languages (Director: José Elías-Ulloa)

    The Laboratory for the Phonetic Documentation of Languages’ mission is to provide equipment and training to carry out phonetic and phonological documentation of languages in the field. The lab has already been used to document acoustically an Amazonian language (Shipibo-Konibo - Pano) and it is currently being used in the documentation of the intonational patterns of Peruvian and Colombian Spanish. It houses equipment for high quality audio recording in the field (this includes a Marantz solid state digital recorder, several Zoom H4 and H4n digital recorders, omni- and uni- directional XLR SHURE microphones and pre-amps). The lab also has a RAID server for data storage and equipment for carrying out electroglottography (EGG) and measurements of oral/nasal airflow.

    Phonetics Lab (Director: Marie Huffman)

    The phonetics lab provides equipment for investigation of a wide range of linguistic questions, with special emphasis on speech acoustics, dialogue, and speech perception. The lab suite includes a lab classroom, a recording room and a research annex, with digital tape recorders, microphones, and headphones as well as facilities for computer based data acquisition and video recording of spoken or signed language.

    Semantics Lab (Director: Richard Larson)

    The semantics Lab was created in 1992 by Richard K. Larson (Linguistics) and David S. Warren (Computer Science) as part of the NSF-sponsored Grammar as Science Project. Along with primary research in semantics, a focus of the lab has been the creation of software tools for linguistics research and education.  Productions to date include Syntactica, a program for teaching transformational syntax and Semantica, a companion program for teaching truth-conditional natural language semantics.  At present we are authoring a web-based application to assist students in developing basic parsing skills with phrase structure trees.  This work is part of a new departmental hybrid on-line course The Anatomy of English (developed in collaboration with M. Aronoff and M. Lindsay).

    Computational Linguistics Lab (Directors:  Thomas Graf, Jiwon Yun)

    Research in the Computational Linguistics Lab is concerned with the analysis of natural language phenomena using tools and concepts from mathematics and computer science, in particular statistics and probability theory, formal language theory, machine learning, algebra and logic. The lab suite includes a class room, workstations, a library, and access to a large number of corpora and software

  • Faculty

    Faculty of Linguistics Department

    Distinguished Professors


    Aronoff, Mark, Ph.D., 1974, MIT: Morphology; orthography.

    Professors


    Bailyn, John F., Ph.D., 1995, Cornell University: Syntax; Russian syntax; Slavic linguistics.

    
Broselow, Ellen, Ph.D., 1976, University of Massachusetts-Amherst: Phonology; phonetics; second language acquisition.

    Finer, Daniel L., Ph.D., 1984, University of Massachusetts-Amherst: Syntax; semantics; language acquisition.


    Heinz, Jeffrey, PhD 2007, UCLA, Phonology, Grammatical inference, Formal language theory and learnability, Linguistic typology, Control synthesis and hybrid systems.

    Hoberman, Robert, Ph.D., 1983, University of Chicago: Semitic linguistics, phonology, morphology.

    Larson, Richard K., Ph.D., 1983, University of Wisconsin: Semantics; syntax.

    Repetti, Lori, Ph.D., 1989, UCLA: Italian linguistics; Romance linguistics; phonology; Italian dialectology.

    Associate Professors


    Elías-Ulloa, José Alberto, Ph.D., 2006, Rutgers University: Prosody (syllable weight, metrical stress, intonation) and its interaction with segmental phenomena.

    Huffman, Marie K., Ph.D., 1989, UCLA: Phonetics; phonology, second language phonetics.

    Ordóñez, Francisco, Ph.D. 1997, City University of New York: Syntax of Spanish, its varieties, and other Romance languages (Catalan, French, Italian and Occitan dialects).

    Assistant Professors


    Graf, Thomas, Ph.D. 2013, UCLA: Mathematical linguistics, syntax, phonology, psycholinguistics.

    Yun, Jiwon, Ph.D. 2013, Cornell University: Semantics, prosody, computational linguistics, cognitive science.

    Other Linguistics Faculty

    Antonenko, Andrei Ph.D. 2012, Stony Brook University: Syntax, Sociolinguistics

    Janzen, Joy, Ph.D., Northern Arizona University: TESOL, Literacy, Teacher Education.

    Kaufman, Dorit, Ph.D., 1991, Stony Brook University: Language acquisition and attrition; language education.

    Liu, Jun, Ph.D. 1996, Ohio State University, Second language acquisition, language education, intercultural communication.

    Shideler, Annette: English as a Second Language Teaching K-12.

    Affiliated Faculty

    Susan Brennan, Professor   of Psychology, Ph.D. Stanford University  

    Jiwon Hwang, Lecturer, Asian & Asian American Studies, Ph.D. Stony Brook

    Gary Mar, Associate Professor   of Philosophy , Ph.D. UCLA

    Arthur Samuel, Professor   of Psychology, Ph.D. UC San Diego  

    Number of teaching, graduate, and research assistants, Fall 2016: 21/23

    NOTE: The course descriptions for this program can be found in the corresponding program PDF or at COURSE SEARCH.

     

  • Contact

    Linguistics Department

    Chairperson
    Lori Repetti, Social and Behavioral Sciences S-233, lori.repetti@stonybrook.edu

    Sandra Brennan (Department Administrator)
    S-201 Social and Behavioral Sciences, (631) 632-7777, sandra.brennan@stonybrook.edu )

    MA LIN Program
    Michelle Carbone, (Graduate
    Coordinator)
    S-201 Social and Behavioral Sciences, (631) 632-7774,
    michelle.carbone.1@stonybrook.edu

    MA CompLing Program Director
    Thomas Graf, N-249 Social and Behavioral Sciences, t.graf@stonybrook.edu

    MA TESOL Program Director
    Daniel Finer, S-223 Social and Behavioral Sciences, daniel.finer@stonybrook.edu

    PhD Program Director
    John Bailyn, S-217 Social and Behavioral Sciences, john.bailyn@stonybrook.edu

    Michelle Carbone, (Graduate Coordinator), S-201 Social and Behavioral Sciences, (631) 632-7774, michelle.carbone.1@stonybrook.edu

    Degrees Awarded
    M.A. in Linguistics
    M.A. in Computational Linguistics
    M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
    Ph.D. in Linguistics

    Web Site
    http://www.linguistics.stonybrook.edu

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