Exploring Applied Linguistics at CoLang

Hi guys! My name is Marissa Messner, and I’m a rising sophomore and a future Linguistics/Computer Science double major. This summer, I’ll be attending CoLang, a two-week linguistics workshop/summer school in Arlington, TX.

For those of you who haven’t gotten a chance to interact with the Linguistics department here, I urge you to take Study of Language if you have any free space in your schedule. Before taking that class, I had no idea that this field even existed. I was hooked within a week. The professors are amazing, and linguistics is kind of the coolest thing ever.

Even though we have a fantastic program here, we can only offer so many classes. Most of our courses focus on giving us the strongest background possible in the basics of theoretical linguistics, meaning there’s less room to explore more specific subjects. That’s where CoLang comes in.

CoLang meets every other year and brings linguists from all over to teach a workshop on their topic of interest, with a focus on Native American language documentation and revitalization within the US. Attendees can sign up for a total of eight classes (four per week, meeting four times per week), and there are also two-hour workshops offered on a few days. There will also be film screenings (including Star Wars dubbed in Navajo!) and additional talks. Basically, I’m going to be around a bunch of people who are as crazy about linguistics as I am and it’s going to be awesome.