- Zec, Draga Professor
Linguistics, the systematic study of human language, lies at the crossroads of the humanities and the social sciences, and much of its appeal derives from the special combination of intuition and rigor that the analysis of language demands. The department's interests span most of the major subfields of linguistics, with particular strengths in the core disciplines of phonology, syntax and semantics, as well as historical linguistics, phonetics, computational linguistics and several interface areas—phonetics/phonology, phonology/syntax and syntax/semantics.
Although the program has a strong theoretical emphasis, the curriculum also incorporates the detailed study and analysis of particular languages, with a commitment to student fieldwork. The Cornell Phonetics Laboratory is fully equipped and provides an integrated environment for the experimental study of speech and language, including its production, perception and acquisition. The Computational Linguistics Lab supports theoretical and applied work in the area of computational linguistics.