Interdisciplinary minor in




The Linguistic Studies minor is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program that exposes students to the many ways that humans use and interact with language. The student will gain a comprehensive view of how linguistics is examined in the disciplines of anthropology, English, psychology, communication disorders, classical and modern languages, and philosophy. Upon completing the minor, the student will have broad knowledge of linguistic principles, as well as specific knowledge relating to a chosen language of focus.

What are Linguistic Studies?

Language is one of the capabilities that most sharply distinguishes humans from the rest of the animal kingdom, so studying language provides unique insight into what it means to be human. The student will gain knowledge of:

  • how language reflects the realities of human society and culture;
  • how humans learn and comprehend language;
  • what happens when language ability is impaired;
  • different approaches to language research and fieldwork;
  • a specific language of global relevance.


The minor requires eighteen semester credit hours. The curriculum includes one three-hour foundation course (ENGL 3570), nine hours of formation courses (guided electives), three hours of foreign language, and one three-hour general elective. Course substitutions or directed readings courses may be approved by the Minor Advisor.


Students who wish to pursue the minor in Linguistic Studies should contact the minor Advisor Dr. Richard E. Morris – rmorris{at}mtsu{dot}edu – in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures to discuss interests and career goals as well as to identify which courses will be taken to satisfy the requirements for the Minor. If the planned course of study is acceptable, then the Advisor will grant approval. Students are expected to consult with the Advisor at least once a semester to discuss progress and changes in plan.


Foundation (3 hours):

[NOTE: For best orientation, it is recommended that LS minors complete this required course during the first two semesters of enrollment in the program.]

ENGL 3570 Introduction to Linguistics

Formation (9 hours from the following list, from 3 different course prefixes):

ANTH 3410 Anthropological Linguistics
CDIS 3260 Language Acquisition & Analysis
ENGL 4520 Structure of English
ENGL 4570 Special Topics in Linguistics
HUM 3000 Special Topics in Foreign Language Linguistics
PHIL 4350 Philosophy of Language
PSY 4820 Psychology of Language

Language (3 hours from the following list, or placement credit through the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures)

[NOTE: The prerequisite for each of the following Language courses is the equivalent 1010 course or placement credit for that course; the 1010 course carries no credit toward the minor.]

ARAB 1020 Elementary Arabic II
CHIN 1020 Elementary Chinese II
FREN 1020 Elementary French II
GERM 1020 Elementary German II
HEBR 1020 Elementary Hebrew II
ITAL 1020 Elementary Italian II
JAPN 1020 Elementary Japanese II
LATN 1020 Elementary Latin II
PORT 1020 Elementary Portuguese II
RUSS 1020 Elementary Russian II
SPAN 1020 Elementary Spanish II

Electives (3 hours from the following list, or any Formation course):

CDIS 3050 Introduction to Communication Disorders
CDIS 3150 Phonetics
CDIS 3400 Anatomy & Function of the Speech Mechanism
ENGL 4510 Modern English Grammar & Usage
ENGL 4530 History of the English Language
SPAN 3120 Spanish Phonetics & Pronunciation

Directed readings or special topics courses in any pertinent department may be pursued with prior approval of the course instructor and the Linguistic Studies Advisor.
Students with transfer credit in a language not offered at MTSU may request a course substitution from the Advisor.

Course Descriptions

ANTH 3410 Anthropological Linguistics. Language in its anthropological contexts with a focus on language as one element of culture.

ARAB 1020 Elementary Arabic II. Continuation of ARAB 1010.

CDIS 3050 Introduction to Communication Disorders. Overview of the most common disorders of hearing, speech, and language, and intervention measures.

CDIS 3150 Phonetics. Training in the recognition and production of the sounds of speech with an analysis of their formation; extensive practice in phonetic transcription.

CDIS 3260 Language Acquisition & Analysis. Child speech and language acquisition from birth through the early school years. Emphasizes normal linguistic development.

CDIS 3400 Anatomy & Function of the Speech Mechanism. The structures and function of the speech mechanism.

CHIN 1020 Elementary Chinese II. Continuation of CHIN 1010.

ENGL 3570 Introduction to Linguistics. Anatomy of sound production, levels of structure in language: phonological (sound), morphological (meaningful segments), syntactic (interrelation of words in a sentence), various meanings of language.

ENGL 4510 Modern English Grammar & Usage. Traditional English grammar and the principles upon which grammatical analysis is based.

ENGL 4520 Structure of English. Introduction to the structure of modern English and overview of current syntactic theories (transformational grammars, dependency grammars, construction grammars, and optimality theory). Course explores phrase structure of English sentences and examines select issues in syntactic analysis.

ENGL 4530 History of the English Language. Political, social, intellectual forces determining historical development of English; internal structural changes (sounds, inflections) resulting from those forces.

ENGL 4570 Special Topics in Linguistics. The study of a selected topic in theoretical linguistics. Content will vary from semester to semester. May be repeated under a different subtitle.

FREN 1020 Elementary French II. Continuation of FREN 1010.

GERM 1020 Elementary German II. Continuation of GERM 1010.

HEBR 1020 Elementary Hebrew II. Continuation of HEBR 1010.

HUM 3000 Special Topics in Foreign Language Linguistics.  Selected topic in theoretical linguistics.  Content will vary from semester to semester.  May be repeated under a different subtitle.

ITAL 1020 Elementary Italian II. Continuation of ITAL 1010. Increased emphasis on the acquisition of fluency in Italian.

JAPN 1020 Elementary Japanese II. A continuation of materials introduced in 1010.

LATN 1020 Elementary Latin II. Continuation of materials introduced in LATN 1010. Increased emphasis on reading Latin texts.

PHIL 4350 Philosophy of Language. Most influential analyses of meaning, reference, and truth of early twentieth century Anglo-American philosophy, the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein, metaphor in human communication and understanding.

PORT 1020 Elementary Portuguese II. Continuation of materials introduced in PORT 1010.

PSY 4820 Psychology of Language. How people learn to use language to communicate. Covers basic psycholinguistics (production, perception, comprehension, mental representation), language acquisition, applied psycholinguistics (bilingualism, language disorders, machine language).

RUSS 1020 Elementary Russian II. A continuation of RUSS 1010.

SPAN 1020 Elementary Spanish II. Continuation of SPAN 1010.

SPAN 3120 Spanish Phonetics & Pronunciation. A practical introduction to phonetic principles involved in achieving native-sounding Spanish pronunciation, including sounds, stress, intonation, and smooth speech stylistics.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Richard E. Morris
Advisor of Linguistic Studies
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
P.O. Box #79
(Boutwell Dramatic Arts Building #310)
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Phone: (615) 898-2284