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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 Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics, an M.A. program in Computational Linguistics, as well as a course of study that leads to the Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

    The department has a long-standing focus on theoretical linguistics, with core research areas including 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 two new Experimental Linguistics laboratories supplementing our existing laboratories in Semantics and Phonetics, and we have developed new specializations in Speech and Language Pathology for undergraduates and Computational Linguistics for graduate students. 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 Ph.D. program is designed to prepare students for advanced research in all branches of theoretical linguistics. Students develop their research interests further through advanced seminars in Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics and Computational Linguistics as well as courses in Psychology, Music, Computer Science, Philosophy, and Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS).

    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 Linguistics is a stand-alone 30 credit degree in Theoretical Linguistics designed to give students an opportunity to carry out graduate work in linguistics without making the long-term commitment required for a doctoral degree.

  • Admissions

    Admission requirements for Linguistics Department

    Students interested in the PhD in Linguistics should begin the application process as early as possible, especially if they plan to apply for financial aid. New applications will be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program for the fall semester only. Usually only applications for full-time study will be considered. M.A. applications are normally considered for fall admission….

    M.A. applications are normally considered for fall admission.

    Ph.D. application materials should be submitted by January 15.  M.A. applications should be received by March 1 for best consideration, but the final deadline for M.A. applications is April 1 for international students and July 1 for domestic students. 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.

    For admission to  Ph.D. and the M.A. in Linguistics graduate programs in the Department of Linguistics, the following, in addition to the minimum Graduate School requirements, are normally required:

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

    B. Cumulative Grade Point Average: A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (or its foreign equivalent) on a four-point scale. 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. Letter of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation from three former instructors are required.

    D. Graduate Record Examination: 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. Foreign Language Requirement: Proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to two years of college work is required.

    F. Writing Sample: 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.

    G. Curriculum Vitae or Resume.

    H. TOEFL Score: Non-native speakers of English must have obtained a minimum score of 600 (paper), 250 (computer), or 100 (iBT) on the TOEFL test.

    I. Acceptance: Students must be accepted by both the Department of Linguistics and the Graduate School.

     

    For admission to the M.A. program in Computational Linguistics, the following, in addition to the minimum Graduate School requirements, are normally required:

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

    B. Cumulative Grade Point Average: A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (or its foreign equivalent) on a four-point scale. 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. Letter of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation from three former instructors are required.

    D. Graduate Record Examination: There is no subject test for computational 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. Writing Sample: 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.

    F. Curriculum Vitae or Resume.

    G. TOEFL Score: Non-native speakers of English must have obtained a minimum score of 600 (paper), 250 (computer), or 100 (iBT) on the TOEFL test.

    H. Acceptance: Students must be accepted by both the Department of Linguistics and the Graduate School.

     

    For admission to the M.A. TESOL program in the Department of Linguistics, the following, in addition to the minimum Graduate School requirements, are normally required:

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

    B. Cumulative Grade Point Average: A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (or its foreign equivalent) on a four-point scale. 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. Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation from three former instructors are required.

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

    E. Foreign Language Requirement: 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.

    F. English language proficiency: For students whose native language is not English, both (a) and (b):

    1. Minimum total TOEFL/IELTS score: 90 (iBT TOEFL) or 6.5 (IELTS).
    2. Minimum scores on the speaking component of the TOEFL/IELTS:
      • 22 (iBT TOEFL) or 6.5 (IELTS). Accepted students with scores 22-24 (iBT TOEFL) or 6.5-7 (IELTS) will be required to complete ESL 598 in their first semester in the program.

    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.

    G. Curriculum vitae or resume.

    H. Acceptance: Students must be accepted by both the Department of Linguistics and the Graduate School.

     

    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. Degree 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)

    The program builds on the following 12 credit sequence of core courses:

    ·             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.

    Students must demonstrate their knowledge of formal methods by passing one (1) of the following courses:

    ·             LIN 538 Statistics

    ·             LIN 539 Mathematical Methods in Linguistics

    Similarly, students must take at least one (1) advanced linguistics course:

    ·             LIN 522 Phonetics

    ·             LIN 523 Phonology I

    ·             LIN 621 Syntax II

    ·             LIN 623 Phonology II

    ·             LIN 624 Morphology and Word Formation

    ·             LIN 625 Semantics

    In addition, four (4) elective courses must be chosen from the list below. 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.

     

    Requirements for the M.A. Degree 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 linguistics at the MA level are encouraged to consider the MA TESOL program.

    The MA LIN is a coursework degree, comprising the following 15 credit base sequence of courses:

    LIN 521 Syntax I

    LIN 621 Syntax II

    LIN 523 Phonology I

    LIN 623 Phonology II

    plus an additional 18 credits of elective courses at the graduate level,. Electives may include courses in other departments. The student’s choice of electives is decided in conjunction with faculty and must be approved by the MA program director.

    Requirements for the M.A. Degree in TESOL

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

    A.   Coursework
    1. All of the following: 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. Two of the following: 6 credits

    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

    Or any other TESOL-related courses approved by the program director

    3. Elective (3 credits): one elective course to be approved by the department; this may be a third course from the list above.

    B. Performance
    The student 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. Degree 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.

    1. Required Courses

    LIN 521 Syntax I

    LIN 621 Syntax II

    LIN 523 Phonology I

    LIN 623 Phonology II

    2. Elective Courses: Electives may include courses in other departments. The student’s choice of electives is decided in conjunction with faculty and must be approved by the doctoral program director.

    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.

    Advancement to Candidacy: Advancement to candidacy takes place upon the successful completion of the following before the beginning of the fourth year of full-time study: the required courses in A, the qualifying paper requirement in B, and the language requirement in C.

    D. 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.

    E. 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.

    Experimental Linguistics Lab (el.lab) (Director: John Drury)

    Research in the el.lab seeks to better connect linguistics and psycholinguistics with cognitive neuroscience. Ongoing work examines the representation, processing, acquisition, and breakdown of language using behavioral, electrophysiological (EEG/ERPs), and eye-movement monitoring techniques. We study a range of languages (English, Spanish, Mandarin, Turkish, Serbo-Croatian, Korean) and populations (e.g., native-speakers, late second language learners, adult patient groups), aiming to better understand universals and variation in processing/acquisition. The el.lab also investigates the connection between language and music (and emotion) since part of our mission is to help illuminate the extent to which circuitry underlying language carries out similar computational jobs in other cognitive/perceptual domains.

    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: Michael Becker, 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

    Professors


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

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

    Bethin, Christina Y., Ph.D., 1978, University of Illinois: Slavic linguistics; phonology.

    
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.

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


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

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

    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


    Becker, Michael, Ph.D. 2009, University of Massachusetts-Amherst: Phonology, morphology, learning, modeling, acquisition.

    Drury, John E., Ph.D. 2005, University of Maryland: Language processing and acquisition, neurolinguistics, experimental linguistics, syntax, cognitive science.

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

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

    Visiting Assistant Professors and Lecturers

    Hoffman, Joseph, Ph.D. 2014, Hofstra University: Speech and Language Pathology.

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

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

    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
    Richard Larson, Ward Melville Social and Behavioral Sciences Building S-219 (631) 632-7776

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

    Masters (LIN) Program Director
    Francisco Ordonez, N-243 Social and Behavioral Sciences

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

    Director of the Computational Linguistics Program
    Jeffrey Heinz, N-237 Social and Behavioral Sciences

    Doctoral Program Director
    John Bailyn, S-217 Social and Behavioral Sciences, (631) 632-1388

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

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

    Application
    https://app.applyyourself.com/AYApplicantLogin/fl_ApplicantLogin.asp?id=sunysb-gs

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