The minor was designed with three student-centric goals in mind:
- to provide the students with a non-biased, well-rounded view of the discipline of linguistics;
- to prepare students to use their newly found linguistic knowledge after graduation-whether their plans include graduate school or the workplace;
- to involve students in collaborative research outside the classroom (see Faculty/Student Collaborations).
One of the most unique aspects of our program is its course offerings: we offer the only face-to-face undergraduate forensic linguistics course in the U.S.; we offer an invented languages course, which--as far as we know--is only offered as a full-fledged course at one other U.S. university; and we strive to offer rigorous courses like Field Methods for our students, which are often only offered at graduate levels.
The minor also reflects the interdisciplinary nature of linguistics itself, and, as such, it can complement any major. As the promotional posters state, "It goes with everything."
While at the conference, the students (along with Dr. Jessie Sams) were able to meet David Peterson, who created Dothraki for Game of Thrones and all the alien languages for Defiance.
Dr. Paul Frommer, who invented the Na'vi language for the movie Avatar, spoke with all conference attendees via Skype and allowed time for a Q&A session with the attendees.
To open his talk, Dr. Frommer spoke to the students in Na'vi:
"Kaltxì, ma eylan. Oel ayngati kameie nìwotx. Furia fitsenget tok ìlä Skype fte teri lì'fya atxawnula ayngahu pivängkxo, oero prrte' lu nìngay."
The translation of that into English is "Hello, friends. I See you all. It's a real pleasure to be here via Skype to chat with you about constructed language(s)."
You can listen to the recording of the greeting here.