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Graduate Anthropology Program

Linguistic Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology at OU has a strong commitment to the study of language and its relationship to culture, society, and cognition.
Our particular strengths lie in:

  • Language endangerment and revitalization, with a collaborative approach to working in endangered language communities
  • Ethnographic and discourse-centered approaches to language, culture, and society
  • Verbal art and performance, including narrative, poetics, and ceremonial speaking
  • Documentation and descriptive linguistics, and the role of language archives in this work
  • Endangered language instruction and acquisition
  • Language and identity
  • Linguistic relativity (language and worldview)
  • Language ideologies (cultural conceptions of language)
  • Language contact and change
  • Historical linguistics and grammaticalization
  • Oklahoma and related Native languages and families, especially Athapaskan, Kiowa, Euchee (Yuchi), Siouan, Muskogean, and Algonquian
Mary Linn by a table with books

Students in Linguistic Anthropology at OU have unique research opportunities that extend beyond the classroom.

The Department of Native American Languages at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History offers students several research opportunities in Native languages of Oklahoma. The archives house over 6,000 media and print resources in languages of Oklahoma and North America. Students may use the recording facilities and equipment. They have the opportunity to participate in language programming at the museum, including the annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair and museum exhibits. The department has a two-year Graduate Research position for students in Linguistic Anthropology.

The Oklahoma Native Language Association is a Native-run organization of language teachers in state. Several faculty are members of the ONLA Teaching Team, which gives workshops in linguistics for Native communities, teaching methodology, language acquisition, and curriculum and materials development. Students may gain experience in teacher training with the ONLA Teaching Team as well as experience in organizing the annual conference and training workshops.

instructor in front of blackboard

Our department offers graduate degrees in Linguistic Anthropology and Applied Linguistic Anthropology at the M.A. level.  Additionally, students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in linguistic anthropology may do so through the Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology with an emphasis in Linguistic Anthropology.  The Department will not be accepting new students to the PhD in Anthropology with a Concentration in Socio-Cultural Anthropology and Linguistics in 2022/23 in order to develop a new strategic plan for this Concentration.  More information on program requirements can be found through the graduate program requirements page, and specific course descriptions can be found in the OU course catalog.  Please click here to see the list of courses offered during the current and upcoming semester.

The M.A. in Linguistic Anthropology is a four-field, anthropology degree emphasizing the relationship of language as it shapes and is shaped by social life. Students receive a strong foundation in ethnographic methods and skills, through which students may study language performance, language and identity, and discourse analysis, among other topics.