2019-20 Pomona College Catalog 
    Sep 23, 2023  
2019-20 Pomona College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Use the dropdown above to select the current 2023-24 catalog.

Linguistics and Cognitive Science

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Associate Professor Michael Diercks, department chair, Linguistics coordinator
Professor Lise Abrams
, Cognitive Science coordinator

Professors Abrams, Paster
Associate Professors Diercks
Assistant Professors Holliday, Melnick, Zirnstein
Visiting Assistant Professors Brogan, Johnson
Elizabeth Contreras, academic coordinator


The curriculum of the Linguistics and Cognitive Science Department offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of language and mind. The department offers two majors: one in linguistics and one in cognitive science.

Linguistics as a discipline focuses on the scientific study of human language including its theoretical, descriptive, social and behavioral bases. It also serves as a privileged window into human cognition. Our evolving understanding of language has had, and continues to have, a profound influence on fields as diverse as philosophy, psychology, anthropology, sociology, literature, music and computer science.

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the mind that includes consciousness, language, action, meaning, knowledge, decision making, thinking, perceiving, remembering, emotion, and other mental phenomena. Central issues in the discipline include the organization, use, and internal representation of language; the interpretation of sensory experience; the development of reasoning skills; the nature of consciousness; the structure of memory; and the neural basis of cognition. These issues are investigated using the tools of psychology, neuroscience, computer science, philosophy, and linguistics.

The Linguistics and Cognitive Science curricula are cooperative intercollegiate programs of the Claremont Colleges; linguistics and cognitive science classes taught at the other Claremont Colleges count as Pomona courses in the completion of the major.


1On leave fall 2019 2On leave spring 2020 3On leave 2019-20


Read more about our learning objectives:

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