Student on laptop

What is Linguistics?

Linguistics is the study of human language. It provides tools for understanding how we acquire and produce distinctive sounds, words, phrases and sentences. It also helps us understand how people in different cultures use language to interact and express meaning. At UAF you can learn about the variety of human languages in the world and you can focus on a particular language, either from the Foreign Languages offerings or from the Alaska Native Language program. If you are interested in a career of language teaching or speech pathology, a B.A. in Linguistics is good preparation.

Applied Linguistics at UAF

Applied linguistics at UAF is defined broadly to include traditional applied areas related to second language acquisition as well as applied language documentation and revitalization. Graduate students interested in second language acquistion have the opportunity to complete a mentored internship. Students interested in language documentation and revitalization may complete a three-course sequence in documentary linguistics (LING 627-631-634) and have the opportunity to work closely with Alaska Native Language Center faculty on Alaska language projects.

Languages Taught at UAF

  • Asian: Chinese, Japanese
  • Alaskan: Yup'ik, Inupiaq, Gwich'in (and others by independent study)
  • European: French, German, Latin, Russian, Spanish


Faculty Research

  • Piciryaramta Elicungcallra (Teaching our Way of Life through our Language) 
    US Department of Education grant to PI Sabine Siekmann 
    [project website]
  • Alaska Native Education Computer Assisted Language Learning (ANE CALL) 
    US Department of Education Grant to PI's Sabine Siekmann and Patrick Marlow. 
    [project website]

What Our Graduates Are Doing

  • Attending graduate school in a Speech Pathology program.
  • Teaching English in Japan in the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program.
  • Teaching Siberian Yupik.
  • Coordinating a language revitalization program for Athabaskan Languages.
  • Working for a State Legislator.
  • Teaching Spanish.
  • Teaching English in the Peace Corps.
  • Attending graduate school in Linguistics.
  • Coordinating Native language teacher training programs
  • Directing tribal language programs