• martha dist prof
    Dr. Martha Palmer named Professor of Distinction

    Dr. Martha Palmer, Professor of Linguistics and Computer Science and Faculty Fellow in the Institute of Cognitive Science, has been named a Professor of Distinction by the College of Arts and Sciences. The honorific title 'College Professor of Distinction' is reserved for scholars and artists of national and international distinction who are also recognized by their College peers as teachers and colleagues of exceptional talent. Dr. Palmer gave a talk about her research -- past, present, and future -- at a special reception earlier this Fall. 

  • Pamela Wright
    Linguistics graduate student Pamela Wright works with deaf refugees

    Like spoken languages, sign languages differ greatly across the globe. Nonetheless, many deaf refugees are evaluated and declared to have no language ability and/or severe mental deficiencies simply because they cannot communicate in American Sign Language (ASL). Linguistics graduate student Pamela Wright is working to help these individuals communicate in the U.S. context. To read more about this important work, check out the article in "CU Boulder Today" here.

  • The CU Department of Linguistics is pleased to announce the launch of the Undergraduate Certificate Program in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Visit the program site and contact tesol@colorado.edu with any questions.





  • Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students gathered in early December to honor the career of Professor David Rood, who is retiring this year after having been a member of the Department since 1967. Here he is pictured with some current and emeritus faculty members. At this event, Professor and Chair Andy Cowell announced the creation of an undergraduate scholarship in Prof. Rood's honor. Details about the scholarship fund can be found here

  • clasic martha
    Training the Next Generation of Computational Linguists

    The Department of Linguistics now offers a Master’s Degree program in Computational Linguistics, Analytics, Search and Informatics (CLASIC). This interdisciplinary MS degree provides a solid foundation in both computer science and linguistics, as well as incorporating several courses focused on data-driven linguistics, computational linguistics and information processing. Applications are due December 15th. The program contact is director Professor Martha Palmer

  • CU Linguistics Professor Zygmunt Frajzyngier, together with recent BA graduate Megan S. Schwabauer, CU Research Assistant Professor Erin Shay, Roger Prafé in Cameroon, Henry Tourneux in France, and the late Paul Eguchi, have created an online lexicon of Hdi, a Central Chadic language with 10,000 to 29,000 speakers in the Far Northern Province of Cameroon. The lexicon is available via the Lexus lexical resource tool.

  • Child in lab
    Investigating how Children Learn Language

    Research in the the Department's interdisciplinary Language, Cognition and Development Lab investigates how language relates to cognition and how children learn languages. The lab's research is based on longitudinal and cross-sectional corpora of spontaneous and elicited production in different languages, as well as data obtained in experimental settings. 

  • Nano Nano game
    Teaching Language through Gesture

    CU Linguistics PhD students Steve Duman and Kevin Gould, co-founders of Inherent Games, LLC, won a $150,000 Small Business and Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation to develop language-learning games. Leveraging the ability of current handheld devices to detect motion through built-in gyroscopes and accelerometers, Gould and Duman invented Nano Nano, a language game that teaches Spanish with gesture. Nano Nano is now available in the App Store. 

  • Hellems
    Where we Live

    The Linguistics department is located in the historic Hellems building, in the southeast corner of the second floor. This image features the east side of the building, looking west toward the Flatirons in early morning. 

  • Opening a gourd
    Documenting Languages of Central Africa

    Researchers in the Colorado Linguistics department document the emergence of grammatical structures in understudied, and frequently endangered, languages of Chad and Cameroon. The image depicts a speaker of Hdi, a language spoken in Tourou (Turu), a far north province of Cameroon, as she opens a gourd. Much larger gourds, painted in red and richly decorated, serve as women's head ornaments.

  • Arapaho elicitation
    Saving a Part of Colorado's Native Heritage

    CU Linguistics Professor Andy Cowell is helping to revive the Arapaho language through research and documentation, also offering support to Arapaho people learning the language. With Alonso Moss, Sr., Cowell has authored a definitive reference grammar of Arapaho, The Arapaho Language, and, with funding from the National Science Foundation, he and his research team have created the Arapaho language learning site

  • Nasal transducer
    Analyzing Speech Production and Perception

    The Colorado Linguistics department features a state of the art phonetics lab, which offers a variety of hardware and software for analyzing and synthesizing speech, running experiments and testing models of speech perception. Here lab researcher Dr. Will Styler demonstrates the nasal transducer, a device used to study the aerodynamics of speech production. 

The faculty of language is unique to humans and the study of language is the study of our shared human heritage. Linguistics is the scientific study of human language, its structure and its diversity, how children learn it and how adults produce and understand it, how social practices shape and are shaped by it.

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Colorado Boulder is a major center of interdisciplinary research in cognitive-functional linguistics. It offers a range of research programs targeting properties of spoken language. The Department's orientation is empirical: its approach to the structure and use of language confronts theory with first-hand observations. Analysis of video and audio data (typically conversational data), acoustic measurements of speech, computational modeling and statistical analysis, psycholinguistic experimentation and fieldwork in local communities and abroad all contribute to this enterprise.