We have a number of active and exciting research communities in our program. These are great places to learn outside of the classroom about how to conduct research, how to keep up with innovations in the field, how to summarize and share ongoing work, and how to collaborate with others. 

Students can also join two student-run organizations, dedicated to supporting undergraduate and graduate Linguistics students in all aspects of their academic lives.

Language Acquisition Lab

The main focus of our research is how young children learn their first languages.

Minimalism, Learning, and Computational Psycholinguistics Lab

We ask questions about the computational nature of core operations for structure building in language and how language learners (children and adults) acquire them via what learning algorithms.

Phonology and Phonetics Group

The PhonoGroup specializes in research on the phonology and phonetics of human languages. We use a variety of experimental techniques (perceptual experiments, nasometric studies, electromagnetic articulography (EMA), acceptability judgements) to get at questions related to phonological knowledge and phonetic patterns.

Semantics-Pragmatics Lab

Watch this space for a new Semantics lab website coming soon! We’re interested in semantics and its interfaces with syntax and pragmatics. Many of us are also into semantic questions in first-language acquisition and psycho- and neurolinguistics. Or, for non-linguists: we’re interested in how linguistic meaning works—in what words mean, how their meanings are built up into the meanings of sentences, how speakers interpret sentences in the context in which they’re said or written, and ultimately how humans manage to unconsciously know all this stuff.

Sociolinguistics Lab

We conduct research and host discussion/reading groups on language variation and language change in its social context.

Undergraduate Association for Linguistics at Michigan State (qUALMS)

qUALMS is MSU’s official student organization for undergraduate linguistics majors, minors, and friends. If you’re a student at MSU who is interested in linguistics—phonemes, phrase-markers, or otherwise—we would love to have you!

Linguistics Student Organization

The Michigan State University Linguistics Student Organization, which represents MSU linguistics graduate students.