Prospective students often wonder how cognitive linguistics is different from neurolinguistics (how language is represented in the brain), psycholinguistics (the psychological processes of language production and understanding), “regular” linguistics (the study of language), or from cognitive science (the study of the mind). Cognitive linguistics is really a way of doing linguistics. Cognitive linguists believe that language is not separate from other cognitive processes like memory, attention, categorization, social cognition, etc., and that language is influenced by the way the body interacts with the world. The field of cognitive linguistics arose for historical reasons, and practitioners often use tools and theories like conceptual metaphor theory, conceptual integration, cognitive grammar, construction grammar, embodied cognition, etc. (See the bottom of this page for more information about those tools and theories.) There are many neurolinguists, psycholinguists, and cognitive scientists who work within cognitive linguistics.
Cognitive linguistics provides tools that bring language and cognition together, making it possible to study very disparate topics such as how joint attention is involved in reading novels, which metaphors are most effective in getting people to change their minds, or how teaching can be improved through the use of gesture. See a range of current research here.
Our faculty are leaders in the field of cognitive linguistics and our program is designed to be very flexible. Students who come to this program tend to:
Faculty work with MA students beginning in their first semester to help them take a strategic approach to their time in the program. We will help you move towards your goals, whatever they are.
We only admit students we believe will flourish in the program, and we only admit about five students per year. Because our students are often working already or bridging between their undergrad and grad experiences, there are no requirements for GPA or GRE scores. There are also no requirements for undergrad degree—our students come from many fields, including linguistics, psychology, computer science, English, comparative literature, etc. The admissions committee simply looks for a fit between our program and the candidate.
You can also download a copy of this flyer for more info. We look forward to hearing from you!