Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

advice re university

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Friday, September 8, 2000, 4:56
I sent this privately to Robert Hailman, but might as well share it with the
list too.

Hello Robert; you wrote:
>However, some time ago, Conlanging came into my life, and I've developed >a keen interest in all things linguistic. So, bingo bango, Linguistics >now comes in to add to my confusion. > >Now, in terms of interest in the three right now, Linguistics would be >#1, Comp. Sci. #2, and Elec. Eng #3. This could all change, of course. >
A voice from the far side of the generation gap: Yes, much could change in the next 2 to 4 years. I'm not sure it's necessary or even a good idea to make a firm commitment to any field much before Sophomore year (though times, and univ. requirements, may well have changed since I was there).
>In terms of difficulty getting accepted, Linguistics is probably the >easiest. The U of T website says that the minimum average required for a >linguistics major is always above 70%. Not too hard. >
Interesting. U of T(exas?) No doubt Tom Wier will weigh in there. My impression is, it's one of the better depts., though that probably can be said of every major univ. these days. Hawaii, FYI, is very strong on SE Asian and Pacific languages/linguistics, with more emphasis, I suspect, on the languages than on cutting-edge linguistics. Michigan, sad to say, no longer has a full-fledged dept., just a "Program", to be combined with some other major (actually, not a bad idea perhaps).
>So my main question is: What applications of a B.A. in Linguistics are >there, career wise? My ultimate goal would probably be a professorship,...
And that's about it. Although it's possible there is some crossover from theoretical ling. to computer sciences--- I'm no judge of that, having gone thru the mill in the olden days.
>however likely that may or may not be, but what can I do with a B.A. and >a Masters degree in the Interim....
With a masters and the appropriate coursework, you could qualify to teach Engl. as a foreign language, if that interests you. It was never my dream. A desert in the soul. Reconsidering that-- a masters in Ling. might be a plus if you were aiming at some other field. But the professoriat requires a PhD. Also, check out enrollment projections for the period after you would be graduating-- in the early 70s, PhDs (including me) were being churned out by the hundreds, even though it was known there would be a slump in college enrollments later in the decade. And indeed, there was a major job crisis. Many were called, few were chosen. That is one of the things that did me in, along with the sudden end in 1975 (end of Vietnam War) of governement funding of SE Asian studies.......(But no regrets-- the years I spent in grad school were among the best.) I don't want to get a degree in
>Linguistics if I wouldn't enjoy any of the careers I can get with it,...
I'm sure you're aware, you'll never make piles of money as a professor, but there are certainly compensatory aspects of that life.
>although in a land without consequences I'd take Linguistics in a >second.
I would have too, as an undergraduate, but unfortunately there WERE consequences, in the form of adamantly opposed parents. Hope this helps. And I trust others who are little closer to modern times will comment-- the Matts Pearson & McLauchlin, Dirk, the man at Cornell* whose name I can't locate just now........ Keep the faith. Roger Mills *I think I meant Rochester-- Sally Caves' student. The "man" at Cornell is obviously Yoon Ha Lee.