College of Arts and Humanities
1401 Marie Mount Hall
Phone: 301-405-7002

Human beings share a capacity for language, unique to the species. This capacity guides the learning of language in children and constrains the character of the languages we come to have. To study it, we pursue various sources of evidence. Among them are: the grammars of individual languages; patterns of grammatical variation across languages; the development of language in children; the mental processing of language in use; the embodiment of language in the brain; and computational approaches to all of these. All of these perspectives converge on a single natural object, the human language faculty, whose study unifies our work. Research in our department spans syntax, semantics, phonology, language acquisition, computational linguistics, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics.

Chair: W. Idsardi (Professor and Chair) 

Professors: V. Hacquard, J. Lidz, C. Phillips, M. Polinsky, P. Resnik, J. Uriagereka

Associate Professors: N. Feldman, E. Lau, A. Williams

Assistant Professors: O. Agha, A. Hirsch, K. Mooney

Senior Lecturers: M. Antonisse, T. Bleam (Undergraduate Program Director) 

Assistant Research Scientist: A. Zukowski 

Professors Emeriti: N. Hornstein, H. Lasnik (Dist Univ Prof), P. Pietroski, A. Weinberg

Linguistics majors have a dual system of advising. The department advisor is a faculty member in the Linguistics Department and advises students about major requirements and courses. For more general advising (about general education requirements, ARHU requirements, etc), students will go to their college (ARHU) advisor. Students may choose to make appointments every semester with either or both advisors, but will have mandatory advising at both the departmental and college level at three different points:

  • first semester matriculated in the major
  • between 45-55 credits
  • between 86-100 credits

Failure to meet with both advisors for mandatory advising will result in being blocked from registering for classes for the following semester.

For more information about the major, advising, and how to contact a Linguistics advisor, visit the Linguistics Department web page at:

To review the academic plan for this major, go to

Undergraduate Research Experiences

There are opportunities in the department for undergraduate students to get involved in doing research. Students interested in research in linguistics should submit a resume and/or project proposal to the undergraduate advisor or to an appropriate faculty member. Attempts will be made to match students with appropriate faculty advisors. The possibility of doing research is not guaranteed for every student, but will depend on the student's skills and the availability and willingness of a faculty member to direct the project.

In addition to opportunities during the regular semester to receive course credit for research assistantships, students can also apply for funding to work as a research assistant during the summer through the Linguistics Department Baggett Scholarship program. More information about the Baggett summer program can be found on the website at:

For research opportunities in specific labs/facilities see the section "Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities" (below). For general information about research being done in our department, visit:

Fieldwork Opportunities

Students seeking an in-depth research experience doing fieldwork have an opportunity to participate in the Summer Field School at UMD's Guatemala Field Station.

Honors Program

Academically talented Linguistics majors with junior standing may petition to become honors candidates in linguistics. Honors students work on a research project under a faculty advisor, write an honors thesis, and present the work in a public forum.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

The UMD Linguistics Club is periodically active and has regular meetings, depending on the leadership of the current majors. More information can be obtained by emailing a linguistics advisor.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit:

Also, students can apply for a Linguistics Department Baggett Scholarship to work (in a paid position) as a research assistant during the summer. See "Awards and Recognition" below.

Awards and Recognition

The Department of Linguistics offers several Baggett Summer Scholarships every year. These are paid, faculty-mentored summer research positions open to UMD undergraduate students with training in linguistics or cognitive science.

More information can be found on the website at:

Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities

Students can become involved in a wide range of research activities including computer programming and experimental projects in language acquisition, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics

Selected undergraduate students work alongside faculty and graduate students—learning to design, execute, and analyze experiments—within our Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Labs, including: the Language Acquisition Lab, the EEG/ERP Lab, the Maryland-KIT MEG Lab, and the Maryland Neuroimaging Center.

Students can also take advantage of the department's affiliation with the Language Science Center which offers additional resources and programs such as PULSAR, an undergraduate certificate program offering interdisciplinary training in language science, and the Guatemala Field Station.

For more information about ongoing research, lab facilities, and opportunities for undergraduate involvement, go to the following web page and scroll down for various topics: