Overview of Research

The UCLA Linguistics Department focuses on the scientific study of language in all aspects. The fields represented include phonetics, phonology, syntax, and semantics, as well as the interdisciplinary areas of psycholinguistics, language acquisition, historical linguistics, and mathematical linguistics. The department has a strong emphasis on linguistic theory as well as on fieldwork and experimental study. Three laboratories are housed in the department: the Phonetics Laboratory, the Language Processing Laboratory, and the Language Acquisition Laboratory.

In the 2015 QS World University Rankings, the department placed second worldwide.

Some recent developments in research we’re particularly excited about:

  • A number of faculty and graduate students have been working on the semantics of evidentiality, including Margit Bowler and John Gluckman (on Logoori); Sozen Ozkan (on Romanian); Travis Major and Maura O’Leary on Turkic languages; Nikos Angelopoulos on Greek; and Nina Hyams and Jessica Rett on the acquisition of evidentiality.
  • The Language Processing Lab has been conducting research on prosodic processing, including focus association (Harris & Carlson 2017) and in garden path sentences (Harris, Jun, & Royer 2016).
  • Led by Hilda Koopman, several members of the department have been contributing to SSWL, a searchable database of the grammatical properties of languages across the world.