A jumbled pile of English language letters


The scientific study of language
Finding out what language is like and why so we can understand communication, culture, social life and the human mind.

Our discipline explores relations between language and culture, language and mind, language in social interaction, cross-cultural communication, and analysis of language structure and function, from sounds to grammar, meaning and texts. We offer expertise in languages of the Asia-Pacific region, language in media and education, varieties of English spoken worldwide, language history, systems of sound and grammar, and relations between language, society, culture, and mind.

We have strong connections to linguistic researchers throughout the University, in several language departments as well as in English, education, psychology, information technology, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, , and the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC).

Our study offering

Linguistics is the study of human language. It aims to find out what language is like and identify ways to use this knowledge in understanding communication, culture, social life, and the human mind. Each of the world’s 6000 languages is a rich and textured system. From the Amazon to Africa, Southeast Asia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia, learn how we use language for thinking, gathering information and structuring our societies.


*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.  


The Master of Crosscultural and Applied Linguistics deepens your knowledge of linguistics and cross-cultural communication and you will develop new skills as you put this knowledge into practice. Analyse the forms and functions of language, both spoken and written, and study how language connects with visual contexts – gesture, image, film and sound, and digital platforms. You will develop a critical awareness of the connections between language, culture and society.


Our academics are involved in major research projects, tackling subjects as diverse as anthropological linguistics, field linguistics in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, language use in television series, news discourse, language and evaluation, genre relations, literacy, semantics, multimodality, classroom discourse, youth justice conferencing, and World Englishes. Research students will join a vibrant community of researchers.

Our research

  • Research on languages of Australasia
  • Indigenous languages of the world
  • Language and the emotions
  • Language and mind
  • Language and multimodality
  • Language in education
  • Media discourse
  • Systemic functional linguistics
  • Field linguistics and language documentation
  • Functional linguistics
  • Corpus linguistics and Digital Humanities
  • Sociolinguistics and socio-cultural linguistics
  • History and philosophy of linguistics
  • Language contact

Our people




The Discipline of Linguistics is home to a lively seminar series. Details of our seminars can be found on the School of Humanities link on the University's What's On calendar.

Please complete this form to register your interest in joining our event mailing lists  and for notifications about events that interest you.

Discipline Chair

Professor Ncik Enfield

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