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Linguistic Anthropology

Language is part of what makes us human. Linguistic anthropologists study language, and how language is used in order to understand culture. Linguistic anthropologists are interested in how many languages there are, how those languages are distributed across the world, and their contemporary and historical relationships. We are also interested in language variation, why variations exist, how the variations are used (i.e., do you say ‘tomAto’ or ‘tomahto’?!), and what they mean when they are used in various contexts. Our specializations at CSULB include language and education, language socialization, language and gender, language in medical settings, language and policy, language loss, maintenance, and revitalization. Increasingly, linguistic anthropologists are in the forefront of these fields providing essential information for program development, policy formation, and practical solutions to everyday language and cultural issues. There are many opportunities for students to become involved with linguistic anthropological research in local and international contexts through CSULB.