Department of Linguistics
Linguistics is the study of how human language is structured, acquired and used, how it changes over time and how words and constructions mean what they do in human interaction. As a linguistics student you will learn about the analysis of speech sounds, the structure of words and sentences, the meanings they transmit and differences and similarities between spoken and signed languages.
Our faculty offer a range of theoretical perspectives and practices, including generative, cognitive, functional and sociolinguistic approaches to language. The program specializes in both spoken and signed language linguistics, with a particular focus on local languages.
Programs of study
Clinical and Developmental Linguistics
Becoming a professional practitioner in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology (SLP/A) requires a master's degree from an accredited program in communication disorders and professional certification.
We offer a number of UM courses for students looking to be accepted into a graduate school in communication disorders. Our list of courses is designed to help you fulfill the entrance requirements for a wide range of graduate programs.
Preparation for SLP/A graduate studies
Professional practitioners in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology (SLP/A) should have a master's degree from an accredited program in communication disorders and professional certification.
The curriculum here was developed for students preparing for graduate study in SLP/A and eventual certification with either the Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC, formerly the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA)) or the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).
Almost all SLP/A graduate programs require strong undergraduate backgrounds in linguistics, psychology and research methods (or statistics). Many also require or prefer a background in science and math. Questions regarding coursework should be directed to the Department Head or to the graduate program you are interested in.
These recommendations are based on our best information regarding the requirements and recommendations from Canadian and select US programs regarding their successful applicants.
Admission rates are extremely competitive: Speech-Language and Audiology Canada numbers indicate approximately one admission for every five applicants.
These courses are required as prerequisites to other courses in the curriculum. They are also prerequisites for many courses (especially "core" courses in the Linguistics major or Psychology minor). They should be completed as early as possible.
- LING 1000 Introduction to Linguistics and LING 1100 Language in Context
- LING 2100 Phonetics and Phonology
Most UM students making successful applications for graduate study in SLP/A have taken most of these courses. While no single course is absolutely critical, it is important that you know what the rest of the applicant pool has in their background. Many of your competition will have many of these courses. Please note that some of these UM courses are typically offered in alternating years.
- LING 2800 Communication Disorders
- LING 2840 Anatomy of Speech Production
- LING 2870 Neuroanatomy of Hearing and Speech
- LING 3860 Child Language Development (co-offering with PSYC 3680)
Other recommended courses
This list of "other" courses are those regularly offered at UM that may be relevant to the field. It is not expected that you will take all of these courses, but again most of our successful students have taken some of them. Many are courses which fill a Linguistics or Psychology major or minor requirement.
- LING 1440 Descriptive Grammar of Modern English
- LING 2400 Morphology and Syntax
- LING 3130 Acoustic Phonetics
- LING 3410 Syntactic Analysis
- LING 3110 Phonological Analysis
- LING 3330 Structure of ASL
Advice for preparing for SLP/A admission
About this information
This is our best advice for anyone wanting to get into a graduate school in communication disorders. However, the only person responsible for making sure you have the right entrance requirements is you. Check the calendars of the universities you're interested in — either on the web or in the UM Career Resource. If in doubt, ask the grad program directly.
Preparing for grad studies
There is much more to getting into a graduate program than having a strong transcript. You must demonstrate knowledge of the field and familiarity with clinical situations, as well as good grades in applicable areas.
Volunteering time with a practicing Speech Language Pathologist in a school, hospital or private practice will also strengthen your application, and you will develop a professional contact you may need for a letter of recommendation.
Your transcript is not just to list things you've studied in the past – it should convince an admissions committee that you are prepared for and can handle the courses and practica they will provide.
If you have a specific graduate school in mind, get the list of courses that that school expects and make sure you take the UM equivalents for as many of them as possible.
Our list of recommended courses is designed to help you fulfill the entrance requirements for a wide range of graduate programs. Even if you have a specific grad school in mind which has fewer requirements, you want to look as well-prepared for graduate studies as possible.
By itself, missing one of the courses that a grad school lists as "suggested" or even "required" won't get you rejected. But it may make a difference when the committee has to choose between you and another applicant with the same GPA and volunteer experience.
On the other hand, most admissions committees are at least a little bit flexible. If you are an absolutely outstanding student who is missing one of their required courses, you may still be accepted. Many graduate programs allow students to enrol in a pre-master's year where they can catch up on missing entrance requirements.
While most programs are nominally two-year master's programs, most schools (particularly US schools) will have some preparatory coursework they will require before you can 'officially' begin master's degree work and see patients in the clinic.
We're finding that students are placed more successfully if they have the equivalent coursework to an undergraduate degree in communication disorders. The courses we offer cover some of that material, but not all of it. It is becoming increasingly common for students to do preparatory work at another school before applying for graduate work. Such 'post-baccalaureate' or 'pre-master's' programs are available at many schools; we commonly hear of students going to UND, Minot, Moorhead, and St. Cloud as the nearest options. Programs in Canada may offer similar coursework as part of a continuing-education system (whether part of a formal program or not).
Generally speaking, if you have a close analog of a course from UM, that particular requirement may be waived from the post-baccalaureate program. Post-baccalaureate programs typically offer one intensive year of coursework and clinical practica (30-36 credit hours) after which an application may be made to any graduate program in communication disorders.
A number of grad programs, particularly in Canada, accept students from a wide range of disciplines, without a lot of training in things related directly to SLP/A. One of the things these admission committees will be looking for is interesting, well-rounded human beings. If you're interested in botany or medieval Icelandic literature or jazz clarinet performance, by all means take courses in them.
All programs want to see that you have some kind of practical clinical experience. The school divisions and most of the hospitals with SLP/A programs are often in need of volunteers to assist with treatments, as are many day-programs, nursing homes, rehab clinics, etc.
The other part of practical experience is working with certified clinicians. Almost all programs require three letters of reference: two academic (from professors able to assess your potential for graduate study) and one clinical (from a certified professional able to assess your potential for professional practice). While we don't recommend you view your practical experience as networking, it is an opportunity to interact and get to know professionals, and for them to get to know you.
US graduate programs
Most US programs ask for an undergraduate degree in communication disorders or its equivalent.
While no such degree is offered at the the University of Manitoba (or any other Canadian university), it's still possible to get a BA from UM while taking almost all the same courses that you would have taken for a communication disorders bachelors degree from an American university.
In general, expect to be required to do post-baccalaureate work when applying to a US program.
Student resources and opportunities
Speech-language pathology sites
Undergraduate student resources
Graduate student resources
Finding a graduate advisor
Before submitting your application to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for the Linguistics MA or PhD program, potential students are advised to contact at least one potential advisor from among the members of the Department of Linguistics.
In an email, please let the potential advisor know the following:
- your area(s) of interest (e.g. syntax, phonetics, language variation, etc.)
- a brief summary of your undergraduate education,
- any relevant community, work and/or research experiences,
- a description of your proposed research topic.
Please note that tentative acceptance from an advisor does not guarantee admission into the program.
Areas of specialization
The expertise of departmental faculty covers a range of topics:
- laboratory phonology,
- cognitive linguistics,
- signed languages,
- interpretation theory,
- language variation and change,
- language attitudes,
- language documentation and revitalization,
- Algonquian linguistics.
Students are expected to have an educational background in linguistics before being admitted to a graduate program in the department. Please be advised that our departmental faculty do not have research expertise in translation, language teaching or literature, and students applying with these research topics are advised to apply elsewhere.
- Chantale Cenerini: Li zistwer Michif: aspects of narrative structure in Michif storytelling (2022). Advisor: Nicole Rosen.
- Yadong Xu: How far can a probe agree: Microvariation in Algonquian peripheral agreement (2022). Advisor: Will Oxford.
- Lanlan Li: A sociophonetic study of Filipino English in Winnipeg, Canada (2021). Advisor: Nicole Rosen.
- Amani Makkawi: Preverbal Subjects in Makkan Arabic: A feature-inheritance approach (2021). Advisor: Jila Ghomeshi.
- Hai Thi Than Tran: A Corpus-based Study of Inanimate Classifiers in Vietmnamese (2021). Advisor: Terry Janzen.
- Thu Trang Nguyen: A Corpus-based Study of the Grammaticalization in Duoc in Vietmnamese (2021). Advisor: Terry Janzen.
- Viktoria Bokova: The Prosodic Grammar of Contemporary Standard Ukrainian (2020). Advisor: Terry Janzen.
- Hanadi Azhari: Morphologically-marked Transitivity Alternations in Makkan Arabic: Morphology as a Reflex of Argument Structure (2019). Advisor: Jila Ghomeshi.
- Meera Sahawneh: Probes and Pronouns: Variation in Agreement and Clitic Doubling in Arabic (2017). Advisor: Will Oxford.
- Moh'd Al-Omari: Topics in Arabic Auditory Word Recognition: Effects of Morphing and Diglossia (2017). Advisor: Kevin Russell.
- Zeyad Al-Daher: Pseudo Wh-Fronting: A Diagnosis of Wh-Construction in Jordanian Arabic (2017). Advisor: Will Oxford.
View additional past theses on MSpace
Research within the Department of Linguistics covers a broad scope of topics related to the scientific study of languages.
Areas of strength include:
- syntax (Jila Ghomeshi, Will Oxford, Julie Doner)
- phonetics, sociophonetics and laboratory phonology (Rob Hagiwara, Kevin Russell, Nicole Rosen)
- sociolinguistics (Verónica Loureiro-Rodriguez, Nicole Rosen)
- ASL and signed languages (Terry Janzen)
- psycholinguistics (Sunyoung Ahn, Kevin Russell)
- multilingualism (Verónica Loureiro-Rodriguez, Sunyoung Ahn)
Algonqiuan and Iroquoian Linguistics memoirs
The Algonquian and Iroquoian Linguistics Memoirs series features critical editions of texts as well as dictionaries, grammars, and related materials on Algonquian and Iroquoian (and in one case Athabaskan) languages.
Volumes in the memoirs series
|Vol||Title and details||Price|
|1||Essays in Algonquian Bibliography in Honour of V.M. Dechene (edited by H.C. Wolfart; 1984; pp. [vii],78; 0-921064-01-2)||--|
|2||kiskinahamawâkan-âcimowinisa / Student Stories (written [in Plains Cree] by Cree-speaking students; edited, translated and with a glossary by Freda Ahenakew; 1986; pp. [vii], 76; second edition, 1989; pp. [vii],91; 0-921064-02-0)||--|
|3||Tuscarora Roots, Stems, and Particles: Towards a Dictionary of Tuscarora (by Blair A Rudes; 1987; pp. [vi], 380; 0-921064-03-9)||--|
|4||náévåhóo'xhtséme / We Are Going Back Home: Cheyenne History and Stories Told by James Shoulderblade and Others (edited by Wayne Leman; 1987; pp. [xvi],436; 0-921064-04-7)||$48|
|5||pisiskiwak kâ-pîkiskwêcik / Talking Animals (told [in Swampy Cree] by L Beardy; edited and translated by H C Wolfart; 1988; pp. xxiii,90; 0-921064-05-5)|
|6||Kickapoo Vocabulary (by Paul H Voorhis; 1988; pp. [vii],205; 0-921064-06-30||--|
|7||The Micmac Grammar of Father Pacifique (translated and retranscribed by John Hewson and Bernard Francis; 1990; pp. [iv],xi,280; 0-921064-07-1 )||--|
|8||Linguistic Studies Presented to John L Finlay (edited by H C Wolfart; 1991; pp. [vii],190; 0-921064-08-X)||$30|
|9||Concerning the League: The Iroquois League Tradition as Dictated in Onondaga by John Arthur Gibson (newly elicited, edited and translated by Hanni Woodbury in collaboration with Reg Henry and Harry Webster, on the Basis of A A Goldenweiser's manuscript; 1992; pp. lxi,755; 0-921064-09-8) Winner of the 1994 SSILA Book Award (in the US, this volume is distributed by Syracuse University)|
|10||Wiyot Handbook I: Glossary and Concordance (by Karl V Teeter & John D Nichols; 1993; pp. vii,423; 0-921064-10-1)||$60|
|11||Wiyot Handbook II: Interlinear Translation and English Index (by Karl V Teeter & John D. Nichols; 1993; pp. vii,315; 0-921064-11-X)||$50|
|Volumes 10 and 11 (Wiyot Handbook I & II) may be ordered as a set for a special price of $90.|
|12||Leonard Bloomfield's Fox Lexicon: Critical Edition (edited by Ives Goddard; 1994; pp. [v],296; 0-921064-12-8)||--|
|13||nikotwâsik iskwâhtêm, pâskihtêpayih! Studies in Honour of H C Wolfart (edited by John D Nichols & Arden C Ogg; 1996; pp. [x],490; 0-921064-13-6)||$40|
|14||Ninoontaan / I Can Hear It: Ojibwe Stories from Lansdowne House Written by Cecilia Sugarhead (edited, translated and with a glossary by John O'Meara; 1996; pp. [xxxiii],224; 0-921064-14-4)||--|
|15||The Student's Dictionary of Literary Plains Cree, Based on Contemporary Texts (by H C Wolfart & Freda Ahenakew; 1998; pp. [xiii],425; 0-921064-15-2)|
|16||Essays in Algonquian, Catawban and Siouan Linguistics in Memory of Frank T Siebert, Jr (edited by Blair A Rudes & David J Costa; 2003; pp. ix,296; 0-921064-16-0)||$40|
|17||A Grammar of Dëne Suliné (Chipewyan) (by Eung-Do Cook; 2004; pp. [xxvi],454; 0-921064-17-9) Special Athabaskan volume||$70|
|18||The Autobiography of a Meskwaki Woman: A New Edition and Translation (edited and translated by Ives Goddard; 2006; pp. [iv],224; 0-921064-18-7)||$40|
The Owl Sacred Pack: A New Edition and Translation of the Meskwaki Manuscript of Alfred Kiyana (edited and translated by Ives Goddard; 2007; pp. [vi],239; 0-921064-19-5)
|20||A Grammatical Study of Innu-aimun Particles (by Will Oxford; 2008; pp. [xii],301; 978-921064-20-6)||$40|
How to order volumes
These volumes are available by conventional mail only.
- Make cheques payable to "University of Manitoba - Voices of Rupert's Land Fund."
- Prepayment requested.
- Listed prices include postage and handling (not subject to GST).
- No trade discounts, no returns.
- For international (including US) orders, we accept personal cheques with the listed price in US dollars (read at par) or US dollars converted to Euros.
Institutional or commercial orders
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- Postage and handling charges ($5 per book) are applied.
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Address orders and enquiries to:Voices of Rupert's Land
c/o Department of Linguistics
Room 534 Fletcher Argue Building
University of Manitoba
CANADA R3T 5V5
Department of Linguistics
Room 534 Fletcher Argue
15 Chancellor’s Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 5V5 Canada