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In your linguistics studies at Western, different courses will focus on the various sub-disciplines that together represent the systematic structure of a language. Phonetics and Phonology (the study of the distinctive sounds in a language, their articulation and their variants given a specific environment), provide a more profound understanding of the mechanics of tone, accentuation and articulation (sound production). The study of Syntax (word order and sentence structure) will help you understand what languages have in common and what makes them unique. The study of Morphology (the forms and functions of words in a given language) and Semantics (word and sentence meanings) will complement your understanding of your own mother tongue and how it is related to yet different from other languages.
The program in Linguistics will familiarize you with the analytical tools needed to understand the internal functioning of language, as well as introducing you to historical and social variation in language. Historical Linguistics requires that you integrate all of the various sub-disciplines (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax) providing a synthetic understanding of language: its structure and nature.
Discipline specific knowledge is only one of the many benefits of pursuing an undergraduate degree. However, this knowledge alone is not enough to prepare you for entering the world of work. You will discover that the content of your degree does not restrict your job opportunities.
Being aware of the transferable skills you've developed throughout your studies will better prepare you for entering the job market and allow you to articulate the skills that are so valued by employers.
Examining word structure, speech sounds, sound systems, sentence structure, and meanings of languages
Understanding of language systems and how they change over time
The ability to compile and organize facts and information and to comprehend and apply new and/or unfamiliar information to different situations and settings
Obtaining information about the nature and internal organization of language in general
Skills enabling you to work effectively as part of a team by identifying your role and contributing, through leading, teaching, motivating and/or encouraging others, to the success of the team
For a more complete list of transferable skills click here.