Linguistics makes the leap from program to full-fledged department at WWU

For the first time in 30 years, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences has added a new department, the Department of Linguistics. This was possible due in large part to the diligence of Kristin Denham, a professor of Linguistics and the new department’s first Chair.

The Linguistics major has been growing in recent years, with on average 140 majors and 25 minors. The department currently has 13 contributing faculty members, five of which have their full-time faculty appointments in Linguistics and eight of which have shared appointments in Modern and Classical Languages or Anthropology. There are also associated faculty from other departments and programs such as Communication Sciences and Disorders; Computer Science; English; Education (ELL, TESOL); Modern and Classical Languages; Philosophy; and Psychology.

Linguistics, the science of language, is an interdisciplinary field which relates to the diversity of the cultures and languages of the world. It is an integral part of most serious pursuits dealing with aspects of language study and/or analysis. As the boundaries of the world change, an understanding of individual languages and cultures becomes increasingly more important. Communication in this complex society requires knowledge of the workings of languages as well as their interrelationship with their respective cultures. The mission of the department is to pursue the scientific investigation of language as a human phenomenon in its historical, psychological, and social dimensions.

To learn more, visit the new linguistics department office in Bond Hall 418 or contact Sara Helms at

Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 10:02am

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