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It is language that most clearly separates humans from all other species on the planet. Human affairs revolve around language. Linguistics—the systematic study of language—enables students to understand the inner workings of this most special human tool: who and why communication happens, or fails to happen; how language is used to support people in groups; how the structure of language is the structure of human intelligence. Linguistics has many subfields, including the history and relationship among languages; the study of meaning, grammar, and context; the sound patterns of language; the interplay between language and society; the role of language and cognition in human evolution; the importance of language in interpersonal and intergroup communication; and the significance of linguistic analysis in law.

"Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a massive and anonymous work of unconscious generations."
–Edward Sapir

Hofstra University offers the following programs in Linguistics:

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