What does it mean to be able to speak a human language? Language is what differentiates human beings most from animals. Language constitutes the most important precondition for the greater part of human activity, both social as well as technological. But what is it that we 'know' when we have command of a language? This is the question that the discipline of linguistics attempts to answer.
Linguistics can be studied in two subdisciplines at Lund University: general linguistics and phonetics. General linguistics deals with the study of the different components and processes that characterize human language, e.g. how languages' words, sentences, and discourse can be structured and processed, as well as how they change over time, and how they are learned. The subdiscipline of phonetics deals with specific questions regarding spoken language, e.g. how the speech apparatus functions, i.e. how sounds are produced, how sounds can be described as well as how they are perceived.
In conjunction with the Humanities Laboratory at Lund University, linguistics students and researchers can study different aspects of human cognition as well as what mechanisms regulate human communication. With the help of experimental equipment in the laboratory, students can for example investigate how humans process language and speech in the brain while they speak, read, and write.
An education in linguistics can lead to employment in several different areas. In addition to a university career as researcher and teacher, one can apply education in linguistics in professions such as foreign language teacher, translator, journalist, computer scientist, speech therapist, language coach, audiologist, as well as cognitive psychology. Other applications for people with a background in linguistics are language and speech technology, forensic phonetics and work within the entertainment industry, e.g. computer game development where language is involved. Since linguistics deals with language and communication, persons in any career can receive benefit from studies in linguistics.
Programmet vänder sig till studenter med intresse för lingvistik (allmän språkvetenskap och fonetik). Programmets målsättning är att stärka studenternas kunskap om språk i bred mening och teoretiska förståelse av språkvetenskapliga frågeställningar. Programmet kan tjäna som en förberedelse för vidare akademiska studier eller för en kommande yrkesverksamet med anknytning till språk. Programmet vänder sig till studenter med svenska eller utländsk grundexamen.