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Subject: Sound engineering and linguistics
Question: Hello,

First of all I'm sorry for posing a question that seems quite personal, but I'm sure there should be a lot of other people who have similar questions in mind. I'd like to ask about moving onto linguistics from a seemingly unrelated subject, and what would be the best thing to do in order to prepare myself for this.

I'm a sound engineering student in the last year of my BA. I am extremely interested in linguistics and would like to continue my education in this field; continue on to a MA and PHD in linguistics after my BA in sound engineering.

I am a bit lost in the sense that sound engineering is not directly related to linguistics, and compared with someone who did their initial study in linguistics, continuing on to a PHD in linguistics after a basis in music and sound engineering seems a bit irrelevant. Perhaps most universities wouldn't even accept a student with this background.

I would like to ask you professional linguists if this is a big set back, or do you think I could turn it into an advantage? For example, focusing on research about speech synthesis, etc. Do you think universities (I'm thinking MIT) would be reluctant to accept a student who has no background in linguistics? What kind of extra work can I do during my last year of study to prepare for linguistic research?

To give some extra information about myself, I have 3 years teaching experience as a music teacher and I love teaching. I love learning as well, I've had very high academic performance all my life. I'm dead set on devoting the rest of my life to learning and teaching. I'm Turkish, and studied in a bilingual high school. My university is connected to a British university and during my last year of BA I will be living in London (my degree will be issued in England). I speak Turkish, English, French and Japanese fluently and am a very fast language learner.

During my last year, should I focus on learning more languages, studying to get top scores in standardized tests like the GRE, or do something else that relates to linguistics (like taking non-credit classes in SOAS if that is possible, since I will be in London)? What do you think I need to prepare for academic research in linguistics, and to show universities that I am prepared?

Reply: More formal coursework in linguistics would definitely be to your benefit; it would help
to show that you have enough background in linguistics to start a graduate program. It
used to be that since there were so few undergraduate linguistics programs, people
went to grad school in linguistics without having majored in it but the situation has
somewhat changed. Good luck in your efforts to continue in linguistics.
Reply From: Susan D Fischer      click here to access email
 
Date: 19-Dec-2013
 
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Sound engineering and linguistics    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (19-Dec-2013)
  2. Re: Sound engineering and linguistics    Herbert Frederic Stahlke     (19-Dec-2013)
  3. Re: Sound engineering and linguistics    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (19-Dec-2013)

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