The Department of Linguistics is a vibrant center of research and teaching, where the range of languages studied is diverse and the scope of active research and teaching is broad. As a field of study, linguistics explores and attempts to explain our ability to use language. Language is our most fundamentally human capacity, yet represents the most intricate set of behavior patterns that humans exhibit. Language has both cognitive and social facets, and so the Linguistics major cuts across the humanities and social sciences. Any background the student brings to the major is likely to enrich the study of language, and knowledge acquired about linguistics is likely to rub off on most any other discipline.