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Linguistics is the scientific study of patterns in natural human languages. The [http://www.williams.edu/CFLang/depts/linguistics/linguistics.html Linguistics Program], part of the [http://www.williams.edu/CFLang/ Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Culture], is a rather small program, with only one full-time professor
. In Fall 2007, this will increase to include a Mellon Fellow.
Despite its small size, the Linguistics Program offers [http://www.williams.edu/Registrar/catalog/depts/ling/linglist.html a variety of courses], and it's even possible to create a [[Contract Major]] [http://wso.williams.edu/~nsanders/majors.html focused on linguistics], in conjunction with other fields of study, such as psychology or a foreign language.
Linguistics offers an interesting, and often surprising, perspective on language, and its interdisciplinary nature makes it suitable for people with a broad range of interests. In particular, though the Linguistics Program is officially categorized as Div.I, many people find the abstract thinking required for linguistics to be more like Div.III. The Linguistics Program is also notable for offering [http://wso.williams.edu/~nsanders/LING230 the only course in Div.I that satisfies the Quantitative and Formal Reasoning requirement].