Language is one of the most complex and fascinating biological, cognitive, cultural, and social features of humans. Linguistics is the study of language in all its variety and richness across different groups, populations, and ages.

UC San Diego Linguistics Department commitment to anti-racism

June 2020

The UC San Diego Linguistics faculty express our sadness and anger over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless other Black individuals. As linguists, we understand that language is political and that silence is complicity. Therefore, we affirm unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. We express our support of ongoing protests and other actions against the circumstances of systemic racism that lead to the murders of and violence against Black individuals. We condemn the recent acts of police brutality against protestors, and we condemn those political leaders whose reactions to these events have varied between threatened violence and near-total inaction.

We stand in solidarity with all who seek to make fundamental and lasting change to the institutions that we represent and that represent us. As humanistic social scientists who study the structure, acquisition, processing, and use of human language in all of its forms, we understand how language is all too often judged and manipulated in ways that perpetuate systemic racism, that support racist institutions, and that fail to achieveanti-racist goals. We also commit to fighting against the racism which has long persisted in our field, and will continue working to dismantle many of the field's methodological practices and academic incentive structures which have upheld and perpetuated colonialism and white supremacy (​cf. ​​Charity Hudley, Mallinson, & Bucholtz, to appear​). This is despite the fact that decades of linguistic research have provided a very compelling argument for the underlying equality of all humans and all human cultures. This fundamental equality should lead us to proclaim, both in word and action, that Black Lives Matter.

Alongside the goals and strategies for supporting anti-racist efforts within linguistics stated in the Linguistic Society of America’s ​Statement on Race​, and more recently amplified by their ​Statement on Racial Justice​, we hereby commit as a Department to the following concrete actions.

  • We will continue to educate ourselves about active anti-racism, and we will consciously aim to resist institutional pressures and practices that directly or indirectly perpetuate racism, social injustice, and inequality.
  • We will review our undergraduate and graduate curricula and, wherever feasible, add substantive and relevant content to our courses that advocates foranti-racism, social justice, and equality.
  • We will create events and training opportunities to provide our faculty, lecturers, graduate students, and IAs with resources to promote anti-racism, social justice, and equality in the context of our diverse range of linguistics courses.
  • We will feature talks in our colloquium series by language researchers whose work is informed by anti-racism, social justice, and equality.

UC San Diego Linguistics Department commitment to anti-racism (PDF)


The situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) is evolving rapidly across the United States. Please see Return to Learn for the most up-to-date campus information.

Linguistics Department faculty, lecturers, graduate students, language program instructors and staff are working remotely and all linguistics and language courses will be offered online. The physical facilities are closed. View student resources for online learning here.

Who We Are

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Founded in 1963, the UC San Diego Linguistics Department conducts research and offers in-depth instruction in the main areas of linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics), contributing to both theoretical and empirical/experimental approaches to language, including computational linguistics, fieldwork, language acquisition, neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and sign language.

We are an active and integral part of the large language community at UC San Diego, together with colleagues in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, computer science, anthropology, communication and philosophy.

We offer five undergraduate majors, three minors, and a Ph.D. program. Students also have the opportunity to obtain an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Linguistics and a graduate Specialization in Anthropogeny. There is active involvement and collaboration among our undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, visitors and faculty in our many research labs and reading groups, as well as through our Linguistics Undergraduate Association (LingUA), and our department colloquia.

The Linguistics Department is also the home of the Linguistics Language Program (LLP), which offers beginning language instruction in American Sign Language (ASL), ArabicFrench, GermanItalianPortuguese, and Spanish. It also houses the Heritage Language Program (HLP), which offers courses in ArmenianFilipinoHindiKoreanPersian, and Vietnamese for heritage language speakers.

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Interested in trying Linguistics or learning more about our field? Take LIGN 101! The course is open to all students of all levels and years, just enroll or submit an EASY request. All requests will be approved!