By Kaeli Ward
“Linguistics? That must be the study of foreign languages, right? I love languages! I’ll try that!” Welcome to the thought process that brought me quite accidentally to my favorite area of study. Like many, I honestly thought that linguistics was just the study of foreign language. Since I loved Spanish, it seemed that it might even be a good major for me in college. First semester, I went ahead and registered for Ling201, Intro to Linguistic Theory. Naturally, on the first day of class I was disabused of my wayward thinking, but what I learned instead was even more intriguing. There’s a science of language? Awesome! I was hooked-completely fascinated by the fact that simple rules could govern all of the different languages that I had been hoping to learn. So I was right, and linguistics was a great major for me, even though it wasn’t quite like foreign language class.
From then on I took linguistics every semester, steadily moving toward senior year. I can still remember the day I learned about trisyllabic laxing. I was so excited that a simple (or somewhat simple) rule could explain why we all say ominous instead of oh-men-ous. Naturally I went home and told all my friends and family about this really cool linguistic fact, and just as naturally, they were slightly less impressed, but that’s not the point. The point is, every facet of language is entertaining to explore through linguistics. Now, in my senior year, I have a better understanding of what linguistics is, and I look forward to adding what I can to the field in my graduate studies.
Reflections of a graduating linguistics major
By Kaeli Ward