These pages provide information on the LING Honours Thesis process, list links to Linguistics societies and organizations as well as Queen's library resources.
Linguistics students have the opportunity to practice and expand their subject knowledge in a variety of ways.
You can consider work as a Teaching Assistant, think of volunteering at a local hospital (work with patients with communication impairment) or at the Queen’s International Centre as part of an English Conversation group.
Linguistics Research Group
The Linguistics Research Group exists to bring together researchers at Queen’s working on topics relating to language. We aim to create an inclusive environment for discussion, and welcome anyone who is interested in language-related research to attend, including undergraduate and graduate students. Topics are determined by the current interests of attendees, and include round-table discussions of recent papers or current topics in linguistics and language research, as well as presentations of current work.
LING 100 Teaching Assistantships
Linguistics students are encouraged to apply for a Teaching Assistant position for LING 100: Introduction to Linguistics. Students wishing to apply for this position should meet the following criteria: be registered in either Major or Minor Plan in Linguistics; have completed LING-100 with a final grade of A- or above. Selection will be based on LING course grades, the number of core LING courses completed, and year of study.
Different research assistantship opportunities are available for Linguistics students every year. Look for Work-Study or SWEP positions in the Departments of Psychology, Philosophy or in Strathy Language Unit.
Network with professors and peers in your courses for the best opportunities!
There are many undergraduate student conferences for Linguistics students.
You have the opportunity to share your research, exchange ideas and network. The following is a list of undergraduate linguistics conferences in North America that have been recently active (some conferences are not held every year):
- Cornell Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium (CULC)
- Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium
- McGill’s Canadian Conference for Linguistics Undergraduates (McCCLU)
- Ottawa’s Conference for Linguistics Undergraduates (OCLU)
- Southern California Undergraduate Linguistics Conference (SCULC)
- Toronto Undergraduate Linguistics Conference (TULCon)
Volunteering in the English Conversation Program (QUIC)
Queen's University International Centre's English Conversation Program is designed to assist international students, post-doctoral fellows, staff and their spouses/partners in mastering spoken language, pronunciation and skills for daily communication. Student volunteers meet international participants weekly, for 8-10 weeks, to engage in language and cultural learning through English conversation in an upbeat small group environment (meetings are held virtually, on Zoom, or in-person, depending on Public Health and QUIC guidelines).
The Honours Thesis in Linguistics offers advanced training in Linguistics research. Working under the supervision of a faculty member who specializes in the research area you have chosen, you will choose a specific topic in a particular language, prepare a research proposal which involves the collection and analysis of data, and carry out the research project. Based on the results of your research, you will give an oral presentation and write a thesis. The course lasts two terms: Fall and Winter.
If you wish to do an Honours Thesis in Linguistics, you should first approach a professor who specializes in your intended topic area to ask if they are willing to serve as your Honours Thesis Supervisor. Next, you need to ask the Undergraduate Chair for permission to register for the course. You need to have an Academic Change Form signed by your Thesis Supervisor and by the Undergraduate Chair. Hand in the form at the front desk in the LLCU Departmental Office, room 416, Kingston Hall.
Students are expected to have regular weekly meetings with their Thesis Supervisor throughout the course to report on their progress, discuss issues emerging from their research and to receive feedback on written drafts and reports.
Research Program and Evaluation
The research program is divided into three main phases, and weighted as follows:
- Preparation of a research proposal, and ethics submission if relevant;
- Research Preparation of an oral presentation to be presented at a Linguistics undergraduate colloquium in Linguistics; and
- A written thesis, based on the results of your research.
- Research proposal - 20%
- Weekly research - 10%
- Oral presentation - 20%
- Written Thesis - 50%
Students are expected to read a representative selection of the relevant linguistic literature (both descriptive and theoretical), identify a particular problem or issue for investigation, and write a research proposal in which they present the background, the specific problem, and the proposed investigation. The research proposal should consist of 5-10 single-spaced pages, not counting the bibliography (or appendices).
Students intending to collect data from human participants must prepare submissions to the General Research Ethics Board (GREB) - and receive clearance from the GREB - before they can begin their data collection. Students intending to use data from existing sources (e.g., text corpora) need only indicate sources, method, and any software to be used.
Readings are expected to form part of the entire research program, not just the preparatory phase. The general idea is that students will read the relevant literature on specific details and issues as they emerge, and continue to do so when analysing the data and attempting to account for them. Readings will consist of book chapters, articles, and dissertation chapters selected in consultation with the Thesis Supervisor. While the readings will necessarily vary depending on the research topic and language, they are expected to conform to two general guidelines. They should include both descriptive and theoretical work on the research topic. In addition to literature focusing on the language chosen for investigation, there should be a reasonable coverage - wherever possible - of variation attested cross-linguistically (across different languages and language families).
Regular Research Work
Students will collect data, produce regular short reports in which they present, analyze, and discuss the incoming results, and meet regularly with the supervisor to discuss their progress. Students will also do additional readings, selected in consultation with their Thesis Supervisor, to follow up on specific issues as they emerge from the investigation.
Students will prepare an oral presentation based on the results of their investigation and deliver it at an Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium. A one page abstract approved by the supervisor will be required one week ahead of the presentation. The presentation must be supported by a handout approved by the supervisor.
The oral presentation will usually last 30 minutes, followed by a question period.
The question period forms an important part of the process. While you are expected to clarify your findings and defend points of analysis wherever relevant, the purpose of the oral presentation is also for you to receive useful feedback - in the form of questions and comments. You should discuss the feedback with your Thesis Supervisor, and make use of it as you develop your final thesis draft.
Finally, students will prepare a written thesis of at least 40 (and no more than 55) single-spaced pages, excluding bibliography and appendices. The thesis must contain a brief abstract (300-500 words), an introductory section giving a clear exposition of the background and the specific problem or issue addressed in the thesis, a clear and detailed discussion of the data collected, a well motivated analysis, and a careful discussion of the implications the results have for the linguistic description and/or the theoretical treatment of the phenomenon.
|Linguistics Associations and Societies|
|Linguistic Society of America||The Linguistic Society of America (LSA) was founded in 1924 to advance the scientific study of language. LSA plays a critical role in supporting and disseminating linguistic scholarship both to professional linguists and to the general public.|
|Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas||SSILA is a membership organization founded in 1981 dedicated to linguistic work on the Indigenous languages of North, Central, and South America. The organization publishes a newsletter and periodic bulletins with information about relevant conferences, publications, news notices, member solicitations, and funding. It also sponsors an annual conference conducted in association with the Linguistic Society of America conference.|
|Foundation for Endangered Languages||The Foundation aims at raising awareness of endangered languages, both inside and outside the communities where they are spoken, through all channels and media.|
|qUALMS!||Undergraduate Association for Linguistics at Michigan State, the only MSU student organization with a “q” of dubious semantics in its name. qUALMS also hosts two annual undergraduate linguistics conferences: MSULC for MSU students, and GLEEFUL for undergrads everywhere.|
|The Canadian Linguistic Association||The Canadian Linguistic Association, which was founded in 1954, has as its aim the promotion of the study of languages and linguistics in Canada.|
|The International Phonetic Association||The IPA is the major as well as the oldest representative organization for phoneticians. It was established in 1886 in Paris. 2011 marked the 125th anniversary of the founding of the IPA, and 2013 marked the 125th anniversary of the first publication of the International Phonetic Alphabet and the formulation of the principles.|
|Speech-Language & Audiology Canada||SAC is a member-driven organization that supports, promotes and elevates the professions of its members and associates. Thet are the only national organization passionately supporting and representing speech-language pathologists, audiologists and communication health assistants inclusively.|
|All Things Linguistic blog||If you are asking yourself "What can I do with a Linguistics degree?", check out this great resource curated by a popular public linguist (who also happens to be a graduate of our Linguistics Program!)|
|Strathy Language Unit||The Strathy Language Unit is a research unit at Queen's University dedicated to the study of the English language in Canada. The unit was founded in 1981 by a bequest from J.R. Strathy, a Queen's alumnus with a lifelong passion for the English language.|
|Generative Linguistics in the Old World||GLOW is an international organization founded in 1977 and based in Europe. Its goal is to further the study of Generative Grammar by organizing an annual conference and periodic summer schools, by publishing a newsletter, and by any other means that facilitate communication among practitioners of Generative Grammar throughout the world.|
|The LINGUIST List||The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world. LINGUIST is a free resource, run by linguistics professors and graduate students, and supported primarily by your donations.|
If you need help from a librarian, please contact Hannah Tanna, a Queen's Research & Instruction Librarian for the Humanities & Social Sciences.