Linguistics is devoted to the scientific study of language. The central goal of the discipline is to provide a theoretical account of the human cognitive capacity that underlies language production and comprehension. As one of the world's leading programs, the Linguistics department at USC is at the forefront of scientific progress in the study of language. The Linguistics department conducts research in diverse fields — syntax, semantics, phonetics, phonology, psycholinguistics, and pragmatics, sometimes in collaboration with other programs in USC such as Psychology, Philosophy, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Neuroscience.
USC Dornsife linguistics professor Khalil Iskarous led a group of students to northern Taiwan this summer to conduct field research on Atayal, an Austronesian language spoken fluently by only a few hundred people today. When languages and cultures die, he said, an important part of our human heritage and culture is lost.
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