The Linguistics Department at KU offers a full range of degrees: B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. The first linguistics courses at KU were offered in 1957. In 1968, Linguistics became a department and was authorized to offer a Ph.D. degree. Today, the unique strength of the Linguistics department is the systematic pairing of theoretical and experimental investigations of linguistic knowledge. Its nucleus of full-time faculty members in Linguistics, plus several actively involved faculty members in other departments, serves a student body of about 35 graduate students, 80 undergraduate majors, and many non-majors taking introductory and intermediate courses each semester.

Areas of special strength in the graduate program include Phonetics, Phonology, Syntax, First and Second Language Acquisition, Psycholinguistics, and Neurolinguistics. The department also cooperates with other departments, such as Speech-Language-Hearing, Child Language, Indigenous Nations Studies, Anthropology, Education, and Psychology.

Chancellor's Doctoral Fellowship

The Linguistics Department has been awarded a Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowship for the 2017-18 academic year. Fellows receive a $25,000 stipend plus tuition and required fees for five years of doctoral study. Each Fellow is appointed as a GRA during the first year and the final dissertation year, allowing for early engagement in research during the first year and focused dissertation work during the final year. The Linguistics Department will appoint the Fellow as either a GRA or GTA in the intervening years with a tuition waiver.

Fellows enroll fulltime during the first year of study and are provided with sufficient financial and mentoring support to make it possible to complete the doctoral degree by the end of the 5th year. The student’s program will provide them with a plan for timely completion, and the student is expected to actively participate in the mentoring relationship, including full-time work on the dissertation during the final year of fellowship support. Fellows have the opportunity to meet with Fellows from other programs, including those at different stages of their doctoral education. These gatherings provide an opportunity to make informal connections with doctoral students in other disciplines.

The Linguistics Department at KU has undergone significant changes in the past decade to position itself as a unique program that unites linguistic theory and experimental research. We have particular strengths in experimental phonetics and phonology, first and second language acquisition, developmental psycholinguistics, second language psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics, the cognitive neuroscience of language, linguistic fieldwork, and theoretical syntax/semantics. Our faculty members and graduate students study a broad range of languages including understudied language varieties in Asia and the Americas. The department has six active research labs, which have all successfully competed for external funding and provide support for graduate studies. The department has both head-mounted and remote eye trackers, an EEG laboratory, and on the KU medical center campus, cortical MEG, fetal MEG and MRI systems.

All doctoral students who are admitted to the program will be offered five-year packages that include graduate teaching or research assistantship positions. We will be able to award one Chancellor’s Fellowship, the university’s most prestigious graduate award, which offers a very generous funding package.

All Ph.D. applicants to the program will be automatically considered for all awards.

Information on admission requirements is available at:

The deadline to apply for the Fall 2017 semester is January 1, 2017. 

Linguistics Colloquy Schedule

(Thursdays at 4pm in Blake 206)

January 26- Phil Duncan (KU Linguistics)
February 9 - Dr Mythili Menon (Wichita State University)
February 23- Mingxing Li (KU Linguistics)
March 9- Dr Panying Rong (KU Speech-Language-Hearing)
March 27 (MONDAY, 4pm, 206 Blake)- Quentin Zhen Qin (KU Linguistics)
April 6- Dr Navin Viswanathan (KU Speech-Language-Hearing)
April 21 (FRIDAY, 3:30pm, 100 Stauffer-Flint)- Dr Jim Magnuson (Univ. of Connecticut) (Ingemann lecture)
May 4- Undergrad honors presentations

Recent Publications

  • Examining visible articulatory features in clear and plain speech.
    Lisa Y.w. Tang, Beverly Hannah, Allard Jongman, Joan Sereno, Yue Wang, and Ghassan Hamarneh, Speech Communications. More»
  • What comes after /f/? Prediction in speech derives from data-explanatory processes.
    Bob McMurray and Allard Jongman. Psychological Science. More»
  • Cross-modal priming differences between native and nonnative Spanish speakers. 
    Wendy Herd, Joan Sereno, & Allard Jongman. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics More»
  • Acquisition and use of linguistic knowledge: scrambling in child Japanese as a test case.
    Minai, Utako; Isobe, Miwa & Okabe, Reiko. Journal of Psycholinguistics Research. More»
  • Acoustic evidence for diachronic sound change in Korean prosody: A comparative study of the Seoul and South Kyungsang dialects.
    Hyunjung Lee and Allard Jongman. Journal of PhoneticsMore»
  • The relative contribution of segments and intonation to the perception of foreign-accented speech.
    Joan Sereno, Lynn Lammers, and Allard Jongman. Applied Psycholinguistics. More»
  • Morphological decomposition in de-adjectival nominals in Japanese: Masked and overt priming evidence.
    Robert Fiorentino, Yuka Naito-Billen, and Utako Minai. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. More»

More Publications»


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