What is Linguistics?

Linguistics is concerned with the nature of language and communication. It deals both with the study of particular languages, and the search for general properties common to all languages or large groups of languages.

Linguistics at UPRM

Our program has a long and significant history in the field of applied linguistics. Many of our students have earned PhDs in prestigious universities such as UT Austin and Penn State. Some have even managed to secure positions as English teachers not only in Puerto Rico, but in places such as Japan. Our faculty specializes not only in Literature, but in applied Linguistics as well and are actively pursuing research in these areas. We count with skilled linguists that work in the areas of syntax, morphology, phonetics, and phonology from a variety of perspectives. If you wish to learn more about what areas our faculty specialize in, feel free to visit the faculty listing site. Don’t forget to take a look at our student site and learn what some of our accomplished graduate students are currently working on.

Curriculum for Bachelors in English (including teacher preparation program)


Chair of the Linguistics Sector: Dr. Cristopher Font (cristopher.font@upr.edu)

Our Faculty

Font, Cristopher

Careers in Linguistics

People with training in linguistics often pursue further study and specialization in its various sub fields, and go on to work in academics as researchers and/or professors. Some of these scholars do experimental work, travel to collect data on less familiar languages, and work in their community to study the role that language plays in identity, among many other research and teaching paths. However, many linguists with a BA, MA, or PhD choose to work in industries for technology with companies such as Microsoft, Google and Yahoo. Others find careers in consulting firms, advertising companies, language education companies, the government, among other areas. They can use their knowledge to become translators, editors, technical writers, speech pathologists, teachers, lawyers, or become forensic linguists. Several linguists have made careers in the film industry using their linguistics knowledge to help actors learn certain accents, as well as to develop languages such as Klingon for the Star Trek series. One of the growing areas that attracts many linguists is the area of speech recognition and speech technology.

In short, there a great number of fields where linguistic knowledge is needed. An advantage to our program and students is the bilingual environment in which we are situated. Bilingual speakers with linguistics training have significant advantages in the job market, research areas, and educational settings. To have a look at some of the jobs available, visit the Linguist List blog, where you’ll find jobs in academics in various of its sub fields, as well as industry.