Welcome to the website of the Interdisciplinary Program in Linguistics at Tulane! Our research and teaching aim at discovering the rules and representations of languages and the interpretation of languages in context. Linguistics is at the intersection of many disciplines; therefore, core faculty members are drawn from the School of Liberal Arts (Anthropology, French, Spanish, Philosophy, etc.) and the School of Science and Engineering (Neuroscience, Psychology). Tulane has a long and distinguished record in leading in-depth study of Mesoamerican languages and Louisiana French and Creole. In addition, we are gaining an excellent reputation for our work in theoretical linguistics and African languages, as well as fieldwork, language documentation, and revitalization. Our program stands out as a center for the linguistic study of a variety of less commonly taught languages, many of which are made available through our collaboration with the Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant program.
Although our graduate program is relatively new and small, our major strength is in our interdisciplinary focus. Faculty and graduate students see themselves as members of the linguistic community with a shared interest in the wellness, growth, and future of the program.
Our most recent collaboration with Computer Science produced an innovation—a masters' degree in computational linguistics. Through this program, our students get a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience through an internship program at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Florida. We are excited about this program and the opportunities our students have to become leaders at the forefront of one of today's dynamic fields.
The program has strong external academic networks. For example, our new journal, Fleur de Ling: Tulane University Working Papers in Linguistics, is published by MIT Linguistics. Not only are we building strong professional networks through the journal, but our students are trained in communicating their research through the publication process. They also gain experience working in a team, which is an asset in today's global academy.
The Linguistics Program recognizes that Tulane University and the city of New Orleans occupy the unceded land of the Chitimacha people. New Orleans is located in the area known by indigenous peoples as Bulbancha, meaning ‘place of many tongues’ in Choctaw. The area has been a place of meeting and trade between over 40 different Indigenous groups, including the Chitimacha, Choctaw, Caddo, Coushatta, Atakapa, Houma, Natchez, Quapaw, and Tunica. The history of where we currently are is important to recognize and continuously re-recognize so that we may act respectfully in life. Therefore, we must not shy away from the fact that Tulane University and the academic disciplines of Linguistics and Anthropology have roots in colonialism, and have benefited from the exploitation of this land’s original inhabitants. Only after recognizing this history can we begin to use our resources in collaboration with Indigenous interests, which has been the focus of many students and faculty in this program. Therefore, the Tulane Linguistics Program acknowledges and respects the Indigenous peoples of Bulbancha and Louisiana, past, present, and future.