Research into speech and gesture at NZILBBResearch into speech and gesture at The New Zealand Institute of Language Brain and Behaviour (NZILBB)


Why study Linguistics?

The ability to communicate in complex ways using language is arguably what sets us apart from other animal species. But where did language come from? How are we able to make speech sounds, to put these sounds together to form words, and then put these words together to form sentences? Why do we sometimes change our language in different social situations? Why does language change so much over time? And what does all this tell us about how our minds work? These are just some of the questions that are being addressed in Linguistics.

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It bridges the social sciences, the humanities and the natural sciences. The study of Linguistics would be especially beneficial to anyone with an interest in languages, psychology, sociology, communication disorders, computer science and anthropology.

Did you know?

  • The Linguistics Department at UC is a thriving research hub which attracts internationally renowned scholars.
  • ONZE logoThe Origins of New Zealand English corpus is housed at UC, giving students a unique opportunity to explore New Zealand English from its earliest inception in the 1800s.
  • The Linguistics department at UC has close ties with
    The New Zealand Institute of Language Brain and Behaviour (NZILBB) which is a multi-disciplinary research centre dedicated to the study of human language.
  • Our research feeds into all areas of our teaching. Students have the opportunity to help with this while gaining valuable experience and paid employment by working as research assistants on some of the many research projects underway in the Linguistics department at UC.
  • You can follow what we’re up to on our facebook page, on twitter (@UCLinguistics) and our blog.
  • te reo is the journal of the Linguistic SocietyTe Reo is the Journal of the Linguistic Society of New Zealand


News and Announcements


Koenegracht, F. 2014. Selected poems.  Translated by Sarah Hart and Koenraad Kuiper. Lyttleton: Cold Hub Press.

RSNZ International Mobility Funding

Beth Hume has been awarded RSNZ International Mobility Funding for her project “Predicting sounds patterns: A cross-linguistic theory of vowel epenthesis.” The funds will be used to bring Associate Professor Florian Jaeger (Univ. of Rochester, Brain & Cognitive Sciences) to UC to work on the joint research project.