University of Minnesota
Institute of Linguistics

Undergraduate Studies.

Senior Project in Linguistics

The College of Liberal Arts requires that you complete a senior project to earn your bachelor’s degree. The senior project in linguistics consists of a research paper, usually 15 - 25 pages, written and revised during the Major Project Seminar in Linguistics (LING 4901W).

Typically, you will expand and rewrite work done in a previous course. The previous work could be a term paper, squib, group project, or in some cases an oral presentation.

Senior project requirements for students in the University of Minnesota Honors Program are different. See the honors section for information.

LING 4901W - Major Project Seminar in Linguistics

Ling 4901W is offered on an S-N basis only. By University and College policy, the quality of your paper must be good enough to earn at least a C-, although it is anticipated that most senior linguistics majors will produce higher quality papers for their final projects.

Prerequisites for admission to LING 4901W

  • Linguistics major status
  • Completion of most of the course work for the major
  • Demonstration of preparation for the seminar in the form of a previously written paper to be expanded or a detailed proposal for a new paper, including evidence of your qualifications to do the necessary research on the chosen topic.

Sample senior project titles

The following are some of the senior papers written by linguistics students in recent years:

  • No Verb is an Island: The secondary effects of verbal semantics, and the semantic effects of secondary verbs
  • Spanish-English Bilingual Effects on Child Phonology: An Optimality Theory Perspective
  • Verbal and Nonverbal Repetition in Storytelling
  • The status of person deixis in ASL
  • Computing scalar implicatures: Do we underestimate children?
  • The use of the subject-pronoun by native speakers of Guatemalan Spanish Abkhaz: A description
  • Berber syllable structure
  • The structure of infinitival verbal complements
  • Triggering V2 in English
  • Challenges related to Korean-English bilingualism

Contact Information

Portrait: Brian Reese
Brian Reese
Director of Undergraduate Studies

S314 Elliott Hall
Spring advising hours:
Mondays 3:00pm–5:00pm
Thursdays 10:00pm–11:00pm
and by appointment

Undergraduate News

LSA 2014 Annual Meeting
Three of our Linguistics undergrads have been selected to give talks at the LSA 2014 Annual Meeting, held in Minneapolis this January.  Carolyn Spadine will be presenting “Circumstantial voice and aspect in Malagasy”, Andrew Hedding and Hannah Sande will be presenting “Geminates and weight in Amharic”, and Maria Stolen will be presenting “Fixed aspect in Amharic Conditionals” which she co-authored with Professor Claire Halpert.

Talle Family Scholarships (2013-2014)
Congratulations to our student Christopher Hammerly! Chris has been awarded a Talle Family Scholarship, which provides full tuition support for his senior year. Read more.

Selmer Birkelo Scholarship for 2013-2014
Congratulations to our undergraduate student Mary Elson! Mary was awarded the prestigious Selmer Birkelo scholarship for 2013-2014. The scholarship was awarded on the basis of academic merit, and only 18 students in CLA were awarded the scholarship for 2013-2014. The recipients receive up to $4000.

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