Master
of Arts in Linguistics

A two-year graduate academic degree, strongly oriented towards field work.

Master of Arts in Linguistics

The Master of Arts in Linguistics (MA LING) is a two-year graduate academic degree, strongly oriented towards field work. The program emphasizes practical linguistic analysis in the development of language programs in roles such as language revitalization, orthography development, literacy program development, and translation. Graduates are prepared to publish research findings in academic journals, pursue ongoing professional development, enter doctoral programs, and integrate their faith with their work. The program is offered by Trinity Western University through Canada Institute of Linguistics. The rich field experience and expertise of the CanIL faculty, along with the applied nature of the program, makes it one of the finest field-oriented programs in North America.

Students may transfer up to 18 semester hours of graduate level credit into the program from other accredited institutions (including but not limited to other SIL training partners such as DIU (formerly GIAL), Biola, SIL UND, etc.). Transfer credit must be in the area of linguistics and must not come from a degree which has already been conferred. The registrar and program chair will determine which courses may be transferred and from which institutions at the point of admission.

The MA LING program may be completed in two years of full-time study provided there are no additional requirements of prerequisite courses or thesis research. All students must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 and any grade below B- will not count toward graduation. See full list of admission requirements here, plus additional requirements for International students here.

PREREQUISITES

Applicants do not need to have a prior Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics. Instead, applicants need an academic foundation in key areas of applied linguistics covered by CanIL’s graduate program prerequisite courses: LING 210: Language & Society, LING 310: Articulatory Phonetics, LING 330: Phonological Analysis, and LING 360: Morphosyntax I (see prereq course list below for details and sample syllabi). Most applicants take these courses at CanIL during the summer, prior to the start of a Master of Arts degree with CanIL. Applicants with a previous academic background in linguistics may request a waiver on one or more of these prerequisites. Contact inquiry@canil.ca for more information.

PROGRAM OPTIONS

Students may choose to focus on fields of interest such as tone analysis, lexicography, literacy, discourse analysis, etc. There is both a thesis and a non-thesis option.

Prerequisite LING Courses (4 courses, 12 sem. hours)
LING-210 Language & Society

This course focuses on the interaction between language and the social context within which it is used. Topics include: regional and social dialects; multilingualism; language attitudes and their impact on national and personal identity; linguistic politeness; the maintenance, shift, loss, and spread of languages; and the impact of modern technology. Applications to gender and education are explored in depth.

This course can alternatively be taken in an online format. Refer to Language and Society ONLINE.

LING-210 Language & Society - ONLINE VERSION

This online course focuses on the interaction between language and the social context within which it is used. Topics include: regional and social dialects; multilingualism; language attitudes and their impact on national and personal identity; linguistic politeness; the maintenance, shift, loss, and spread of languages; and the impact of modern technology. Applications to gender and education are explored in depth.

Offered online during intersession, usually May - June. This course can alternatively be taken in the standard classroom format which has more frequent semester offerings.

LING-310 Articulatory Phonetics

This course provides a theoretical and practical introduction to the broad range of human speech sounds that are found in the languages of the world. Through practice inside and outside of the classroom, students will learn to recognize and produce the various sounds, transcribe them with phonetic symbols, and describe how they are produced. Attention will also be given to other phonetic details such as tone, intonation, stress, and duration.

LING-330 Phonological Analysis

Theory of language sound systems, principles of analysis of sound systems, and principles of forming an orthography. Opportunity will be given to apply these principles to a wide range of natural language data.

Co-requisites:

LING 310 Articulatory Phonetics

LING-360 Morphosyntax I

This course deals with theories of grammar and principles of language analysis: morphology, syntax, stems, words, phrases and sentences. Problem solving with data from a variety of languages is a major part of the course.

Co-requisites:

LING 310 Articulatory Phonetics

Core LING Courses (5 courses, 15 sem. hours)
LING-560 Morphosyntax II

This course explores the rich variety of syntactic and semantic structures found in human language, deepening the students' understanding of syntactic phenomena addressed in the prerequisite course (360). The topics are examined within the framework of a current theory of Syntax.

Prerequisites:

LING 360 Morphosyntax I

LING-580 Field Methods: Data Management & Analysis

Practical methodology for managing, analyzing and describing language data. Working with a native speaker of a non-Indo-European language, students gain experience in the ethics of fieldwork, techniques of data collection and recording, analysis using the scientific method and the use of linguistic software.
Please note that LING LING 361 and LING 362 can be used as a prerequisite instead of LING 360 Grammatical Analysis.
NB: LING 560 is recommended in the same semester.

Prerequisites:

LING 210 Language and Society

LING 310 Articulatory Phonetics

LING 330 Phonological Analysis

LING 360 Grammatical Analysis

LING-586 Advanced Phonological Analysis

An overview of current phonological theory with an emphasis on those theories that make a significant contribution towards the development of practical orthographies. In particular, students are introduced to Stratal Optimality Theory, which they apply to the analysis of problematic data from a number of different languages. The course also emphasizes descriptive linguistics and students are taught how to integrate insights from phonological theory into phonological descriptions. Minimum grades of B- are required for LING 310 and LING 330 (program prerequisites).

LING-680 Advanced Field Methods

In this course, students transcribe, organize and analyze language data and prepare a written description of phonological, morphosyntactic, or discourse features of the language. The course focuses on applying effective fieldwork methodologies.

Prerequisites:

LING-LIN 4/586 Advanced Phonological Analysis

LING-LIN 4/580 Field Methods: Data Management & Analysis

LING-LIN 4/560 Morphosyntax II

 

LING-685 Linguistic Academic Writing - ONLINE

Develops skills in academic writing for linguistics, including how to write articles, abstracts, theses, books, etc.

Prerequisites:

LING-LIN 680 Advanced Field Methods

Elective LING Courses (5-7 courses, 15-21 sem. hours)
LING-513 Sociolinguistics

Students will develop an understanding for Sociolinguistics and be able to use principles of ethnography for classroom needs assessment. The course is taught in collaborative teams; at various stages, students are responsible for readings, lectures, and teaching their peers. Sociolinguistics begins with an overview of "classic" Sociolinguistics (e.g., language and dialect, pidgins and creoles, diglossia and multilingualism, social stratification, language and gender, language change, mainenance and death, etc.). Following that, the course focuses on ethnography (participant observation, domains and semantic relationships, multiculturalism in the classroom, the ethnographic interview, etc.), and in particular, the application of ethnographic observation principles to second language teaching.

Note: MA TESOL course

LING-555 Historical & Comparative Linguistics

This course introduces students to language change. It considers how and why languages change and the role of language contact. It also presents different theories and methodologies useful for historical and comparative linguistic investigation. Through a series of guided assignments, students will investigate a number of related existing languages from a non-Indo-European language family and reconstruct significant elements of the phonology, morphology, and lexicon of the proto-language.

LING-566 Principles of Sociolinguistic Survey

This course introduces the students to the rudiments of linguistic and sociolinguistic survey. The focus is on purpose-driven language survey design and appropriate subsequent reporting of the findings. Consideration is given to current issues in social science research such as the ethics of sampling, and statistical significance of sample populations.

Co-requisite:

LING-210 Language & Society

LING-570 Language & Culture Acquisition

This course introduces students to theories of second language and second culture acquisition. Students develop and evaluate self-directed strategies based on personal learning styles. Practical experience in the above topics is gained by working with a speaker of a non-Indo-European language.
NB: LING 560 and 580 are recommended in the same semester.

LING-576 Acoustic Phonetics

This course introduces students to fundamental principles of acoustics that are relevant to the study of human speech sounds. Students will gain a basic understanding of properties of speech sound waves and learn how to investigate these properties instrumentally using acoustic analysis software. There will be extensive practice interpreting acoustic displays such as waveform graphs, fundamental frequency graphs, and spectrograms. A major focus of the course is the effective use of these displays as an aid to correctly transcribing speech sounds and understanding their phonetic properties in the context of descriptive phonetic and/or phonological fieldwork. Significant attention is also given to the complex interrelationships among acoustic, articulatory, and perceptual correlates of speech sounds.

LING-581 Anthropological Linguistics: Ethnography

This course introduces crucial concepts in anthropology and ethnography to linguists. It focuses on cross-cultural communication with an emphasis on participant observation as an effective methodology for such research. Students will collect and analyze data related to topics such as oral traditions, kinship, and social structure. They will be introduced to various tools for ethno-semantic analysis, including analysis of cultural themes and worldview, semantic domain analysis, and taxonomic analysis. Pre-requisite: LING 210 Language and Society or equivalent introduction to sociolinguistics.

Prerequisites:

LING 210 Language and Society

LING-582 Issues in Community Literacy

The issues in community literacy work that are covered in this course include various program issues such as introducing literacy in an oral community, motivation for literacy, capacity building and sustainability, training of personnel and evaluation of the program, and using participatory approaches in all aspects of the program.

Prerequisite:

LING-LIN 4/584 Principles of Literacy

LING-582 OL Issues in Community Literacy - ONLINE VERSION

The issues in community literacy work that are covered in this course include various program issues such as introducing literacy in an oral community, motivation for literacy, capacity building and sustainability, training of personnel and evaluation of the program, and using participatory approaches in all aspects of the program.

Offered online by request only.

Prerequisite:

LING-LIN 4/584 Principles of Literacy

Note:

In the Spring semester this online class is only available for students who do not have access to the Langley campus, or who have a schedule conflict with the regular class.

LING-583 Language Programs Design & Management

This course investigates the sociolinguistic and background factors upon which a language development program for speakers of vernacular languages may be based. Students learn to work with local people and agencies in designing and implementing a program to effectively meet the needs of specific language groups.

Prerequisites:

LING 210 Language and Society

LING-583 Language Programs Design & Management - ONLINE VERSION

This course investigates the sociolinguistic and background factors upon which a language development program for speakers of vernacular languages may be based. Students learn to work with local people and agencies in designing and implementing a program to effectively meet the needs of specific language groups.

Prerequisites:

LING 210 Language and Society

LING-584 OL Principles of Literacy - ONLINE VERSION

This online course covers principles involved in the introduction of literacy to ethno-linguistic minority groups. It includes orthography design, consideration of socio-historical issues, strategies for literacy programs, stimulation of local authorship, reading theory and instructional methodologies, and a literacy tutorial practicum. Under certain conditions a term paper may be substituted for the practicum.

Prerequisites:

LING 310 Articulatory Phonetics

LING 330 Phonological Analysis

Note:

During Summer and Fall this online class is only available for students who do not have access to the Langley campus, or who have a schedule conflict with the regular class.

LING-584 Principles of Literacy

This course covers principles involved in the introduction of literacy to ethno-linguistic minority groups. It includes orthography design, consideration of socio-historical issues, strategies for literacy programs, stimulation of local authorship, reading theory and instructional methodologies, and a literacy tutorial practicum. Under certain conditions a term paper may be substituted for the practicum.

Prerequisites:

LING 310 Articulatory Phonetics

LING 330 Phonological Analysis

LING-585 Principles of Translation

This course covers the process of translating from a source language to a target language. Students will develop skill in understanding a message as originally communicated in one language and cultural setting, and in communicating essentially that message in a very different language and culture. Discussion includes source language, target language, and cross-language transfer, with particular attention to the translation of Scripture.

Prerequisites:

LING-LIN 4/570 Language and Culture Acquisition

LING-LIN 4/580 Field Methods: Data Management & Analysis

LING-LIN 4/593 OL Semantics and Pragmatics

LING-587 Lexicography

This course provides a theoretical and practical basis for analyzing the semantics of the lexicon, managing a lexical database and producing dictionaries for a variety of audiences including the local community, translators and linguists.

Prerequisites:

LING-LIN 4/580 Field Methods: Data Management & Analysis

 

LING-588 Literacy Materials Development

This course teaches students how to prepare basic pedagogical materials and early readers in languages that may not have a long written tradition. Special emphasis is given to teaching techniques for involving the local language community in the production of these materials.

Prerequisite:

LING-LIN 4/584 Principles of Literacy

LING-588 OL Literacy Materials Development - ONLINE VERSION

This online course teaches students how to prepare basic pedagogical materials and early readers in languages that may not have a long written tradition. Special emphasis is given to teaching techniques for involving the local language community in the production of these materials.

Offered online by request only.

Prerequisite:

LING-LIN 4/584 Principles of Literacy

Note:

In the Spring semester this online class is only available for students who do not have access to the Langley campus, or who have a schedule conflict with the regular class.

LING-593 Semantics & Pragmatics - ONLINE ONLY

This course provides students with the theoretical tools with which to study meaning at the word and sentence levels, and to explain how people interpret utterances in context. Students will study various models of semantics and pragmatics, and learn how to apply different approaches to the study of meaning in natural language.

This is course is only offered in ONLINE format.

LING-599 Philosophical Perspectives in Linguistics

This course will examine the philosophical basis of human language and communication, with special attention to issues relating to semantics, discourse, lexicon, metaphor, and translation--all the areas that deal with meaning creation. There will be a critical review of some major schools of thought within philosophy of language and hermeneutics. These will be examined in light of current insights in textlinguistics, cognitive linguistics, and integrational linguistics.

LING-650 Survey of Linguistic Theories

This course introduces students to a wide range of linguistic theories. Students read and discuss original works written from various perspectives and gain in the process a clearer appreciation for the range of views that exist concerning the nature of human language and its syntactic, semantic, phonological, and discourse properties.

Prerequisites:

LING-LIN 4/560 Morphosyntax II

Note: Online

LING-660 Topics in Morphology & Syntax

An article based course providing an in-depth exploration of current issues in the linguistic subfields of Morphology and Syntax. The types of topics addressed include: wordhood, clitics, grammatical relations, voice, valence, transitivity, noun incorporation, control constructions, raising, reflexivity & reciprocalization, complementation, evidentiality, secondary predication, and iconicity & economy. Students apply the acquired knowledge in producing a major paper.

Prerequisites:

LING-LIN 560 Morphosyntax II

Note: Online

LING-688 Tone Analysis

This course introduces students to a methodology for tone analysis, focusing on the analysis of one field language and incorporating the insights of current theoretical approaches. They will also learn how to apply insights from the analysis of a tone system to developing practical orthographies.

 

LING-691 Discourse Analysis

This course focuses on the question of how speakers of a given language effectively accomplish their communicative goals through the strategic use and shaping of language in both written and oral discourse. Students learn to identify different discourse genres, to chart texts for analysis, to discern hierarchical units within the macrostructure of a text, and to describe features of cohesion and participant reference, as well as identifying strategies in language for establishing the relative prominence of various streams of information. Special attention is paid to the interaction between alternate syntactic forms and their varying pragmatic functions in context.

Prerequisites:

LING-LIN 4/580 Field Methods

LING-695 Topics in Linguistics

An examination of special topics or issues in linguistics that are not covered in depth in other courses.

Thesis Courses (2 courses, 6 sem. hours)
LING-697 Linguistics Thesis I

The student, in frequent consultation with his/her advisor, selects a thesis topic and writes a thesis proposal. Once the proposal has been accepted by the student’s thesis advisory committee, he/she begins writing the thesis. There are no formal classes.

Co-requisites:

LING-LIN 680 Advanced Field Methods: Analysis and Writing

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LING-698 Linguistics Thesis II

The student, in consultation with his/her advisor, works towards completion of the thesis. Upon completion, the thesis must be defended orally before an examining committee. There are no formal classes.

Prerequisites:

LING 697 Linguistics Thesis I

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*Applicants should also have 6 semester hours of a foreign language (Biblical Greek and Hebrew are accepted). If the applicant does not meet this requirement, they can take courses in a foreign language concurrent with their graduate studies, but this does not count toward the total semester hours needed to complete the degree.

THE BOTTOM LINE

How long is the program? 2 years
How many semester hours? 36 total hours
What are the prerequisites? 4 foundational courses at CanIL (or qualifying equivalents), and 6 semester hours of a foreign language. * (BA in Linguistics NOT required)

What is the current cost? $535 per semester hour
How much does an average semester cost? $4,815 (9 semester hours)

How much financial aid is available? CanIL offers a Graduate Entrance Award of $3000.

Every MA LING student is eligible for the $3000 Entrance Award and the CanIL Bursary of $500 for each linguistics course. Launch awards are given to approved eligible students in the form of Church Matching Grants / Ministry Team Grants and Ministry Boost Awards. These can total up to $15,000.

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