Linguistics – the scientific study of language – is inherently interdisciplinary and at Binghamton University crosses all three divisions of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences: humanities, social sciences, and science and mathematics.
Linguistics began as the historical study of the classical languages including Latin, Greek and, eventually, Sanskrit, so its strong ties to literary and philosophical studies as well as to the study of languages makes linguistics one of the humanities.
Early in the 20th century, linguistics established itself as a valuable tool in the study of the ways of life of non-literate peoples, becoming recognized as one of the four major subfields of anthropology and making linguistics one of the social sciences.
Later in the 20th century, many linguists identified themselves as cognitive psychologists because linguistics is essential to an understanding of language as a human ability. Increasing study of the biological and neurological bases of language, and development of computational models of language processing, made the case for including linguistics in the Division of Science and Mathematics. Language is an object with innumerable facets, and linguistics encompasses them all, using analytical methods, theoretical constructs and specific objects of study across disciplinary lines.
Binghamton University’s Linguistics Program provides a strong foundation in the principles of linguistic theory and method, as well as a wide variety of cross-disciplinary and sub-disciplinary offerings.