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Linguistics and Philosophy (24) - Archived

Research and Teaching Output of the MIT Community

Linguistics and Philosophy (24) - Archived


As its name suggests, the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy houses a linguistics section and a philosophy section. Though they share a number of intellectual interests and a joint undergraduate major, these two sections are administratively autonomous with separate chairpersons, faculties, admissions procedures, curricular and degree requirements, and financial aid programs.


The research conducted by the MIT Linguistics Program strives to develop a general theory that reveals the rules and laws that govern the structure of particular languages, and the general laws and principles governing all natural languages. The core of the program includes most of the traditional subfields of linguistics: phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and psycholinguistics, as well as questions concerning the interrelations between linguistics and other disciplines such as philosophy and logic, literary studies, the study of formal languages, acoustics, and computer science.

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The Philosophy section of MIT's Department of Linguistics and Philosophy offers two undergraduate majors: one a general philosophy major, and another joint major with the linguistics section in the foundations of the study of language and mind. For more than 30 years, the Department has also had an outstanding Ph.D. program that attracts students from around the world, and has placed its graduates on the faculties of the world's leading universities.

The Department's faculty is small, but has research and teaching strengths in a wide range of areas of philosophy, including metaphysics, logic, the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind, ethics,
and political philosophy. The MIT philosophy program also offers the opportunity for interdisciplinary work in linguistics, mathematics, and political science.

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Recent Submissions

  • Gibson, Edward (2005-06)
    This course covers central topics in language processing, including: the structure of language; sentence, discourse, and morphological processing; storage and access of words in the mental dictionary; speech processing; ...
  • Flemming, Edward (2005-12)
    This course is a study of speech sounds: how we produce and perceive them and their acoustic properties. It explores the influence of the production and perception systems on phonological patterns and sound change. Acoustic ...
  • Haslanger, Sally (2012-12)
    This course explores the values (aesthetic, moral, cultural, religious, prudential, political) expressed in the choices of food people eat. It analyzes the decisions individuals make about what to eat, how society should ...
  • Fintel, Kai von; Heim, Irene (2005-06)
    Current work on semantics and questions of logic and meaning for syntactic systems in generative grammar. From the course home page: Course Description This course is the second of the three parts of our graduate introduction ...
  • Haslanger, Sally Anne (2001-12)
    The course has two main goals: First, to give you a sense of what philosophers think about and why. This will be done through consideration of some perennial philosophical problems, e.g., the existence of God, reason and ...