Graduate Studies

Director of Graduate Studies: Claire Bowern

Linguistics at Yale has a long and storied history in traditional approaches to the study of language. Today the department takes a distinctively integrative and interdisciplinary approach in investigating the systems of knowledge that comprise our linguistic competence. We are convinced that an understanding of the human language faculty will arise only through the mutually informing relationship between formally explicit theories and insights from wide ranging descriptive and experimental work. Thus at Yale, theoretical inquiry grounded in introspection proceeds in partnership with historical and comparative studies, fieldwork, experimental investigations of normal and impaired language processing, cognitive neuroscience, laboratory phonetic analysis, and computational and mathematical modeling.

PhD Program

Students in the PhD program are exposed to these methodological approaches, while receiving firm grounding in the traditional domains of linguistics. PhD students participate in research in historical linguistics, language documentation, phonetics, phonology, morphology, neurolinguistics, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, and explore data from a wide variety of languages, both well-studied and less well documented, with particular faculty expertise in Romance, Australian, Mayan, and Indo-Aryan languages.

PhD students in the program are provided financial support for up to 6 years of study. We have an active mentoring program and a lively and collegial research environment. The department and university provide financial support for travel to conferences and workshops. Generous funding for fieldwork and other overseas research is available through Yale’s Macmillan Center.

Information on applying to the program can be found here.