Linguistics Track

Basic Requirements: 12 half-courses
Requirements for Honors Eligibility: 14 half-courses

  1. Required non-tutorial courses (9 half-courses):

    1. Linguistics 110: Introduction to Linguistics or Social Analysis 34: Knowledge of Language.

    2. Linguistics 112a: Introduction to Syntactic Theory.

    3. Linguistics 115a: Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology.

    4. One of the following:

      1. Linguistics 114: Introduction to Morphology.

      2. Linguistics 116a: Introduction to Semantics.

      3. Linguistics 117r: Linguistic Field Methods.

    5. Linguistics 120: Introduction to Historical Linguistics.


      Linguistics 122: Introduction to Indo-European.

    6. Four additional half-courses, at least one of which must be in linguistics. For the other three courses, any course in linguistics or in the Supplement to the Related Field Requirement (also available upon request from the department) is acceptable. Alternatives outside this domain must be approved by the head tutor.

  2. Required Tutorials (Basic: 3 half-courses; for Honors eligibility: 5 half-courses):

    1. Sophomore year: Linguistics 97 is required in the spring term and consists of two consecutive six-week small-group tutorials.

    2. Junior year: Linguistics 98a (fall) consists of two consecutive six-week small-group tutorials. Linguistics 98b (spring) is a one-term individual tutorial with a faculty member (for Honors candidates) or two consecutive six-week small-group tutorials (for non-honors candidates).
      The specific topics covered in group tutorials change from year to year. Students are free to choose the tutorials they find most interesting, though the head tutor may require a student to select a different tutorial if enrollments have exceeded a certain level. With respect to group tutorials, non-honors candidates must take at least one tutorial in phonetics/phonology, one in syntax/semantics, and one in historical linguistics. Honors candidates must take a group tutorial in at least two of these fields.

    3. Senior year: Linguistics 99a (fall) and 99b (spring), required for Honors candidates and focused on the research and writing of the senior Honors thesis. Linguistics 99a is a one-term group tutorial led by the Head Tutor with the participation of Honors candidates’ thesis advisers. Linguistics 99b is a one-term individual tutorial with each Honors candidate’s thesis adviser. Graded SAT/UNS.

  3. Required Languages:

    1. Basic concentrators must demonstrate knowledge of one foreign language by the end of the junior year. This can be done in the following ways:

      • by being a native speaker of the language.
      • by obtaining at least a B grade in a full-year, second year language course.
      • by passing a Harvard College language placement exam.
      • in some cases, by passing a special departmental reading exam.

    2. Honors candidates must demonstrate a knowledge of an additional foreign language by the end of the junior year, either by the appropriate coursework (as described above) or by a placement exam.

      Note: Native speakers of a foreign language are normally not allowed to take courses of basic instruction in that language. Any such courses taken by a native speaker will not be counted toward the departmental language or related field requirements.

  4. Thesis:

    1. Basic: Not required.

    2. Honors candidates: Required. During the fall term of the senior year, Honors candidates produce a thesis prospectus for approval by the head tutor. After completing the thesis, Honors candidates present the results of their research at a departmental colloquium during Reading Period of the spring term.

  5. Other information: Courses taken Pass/Fail may not be counted for concentration credit.