List of Free Linguistics Courses and Classes

Learn about linguistics with these free online courses. Find out if these courses provide college credit. See the full list of free linguistics courses and find the course that's right for you.

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Online Linguistics Course Information

These classes give students an overview of linguistics, including the theories, concepts and research that promote an understanding of language and its implications in the world. These classes are not offered for college credit. Rather, they allow students to work at their own pace and independently.

Free Online Linguistics Courses

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Some of MIT's courses in linguistics require students to download special software. In most classes, students can access PDF files of assignments, exams and lecture notes.

  • Transcribing Prosodic Structure of Spoken Utterances with ToBI is designed for students who have a background in linguistics who want to learn about the formation and function of speech. Students can download the specialized ToBI software through the online class and then access exercises to help understand the online lecture notes.
  • Introduction to Linguistics gives students an overview of human language through lessons that cover semantics, syntax and phonology. The online class offers numerous resources online, including lecture notes, assignments, projects, exams and additional study materials.
  • Language Acquisition provides some course materials about the latest research in how people develop language skills. A reading list and abstracts from two readings used in the original class can be accessed, and students can view two problem sets with answers.
  • Linguistic Studies of Bilingualism includes some course materials that take a historical look at bilingualism, ways that bilingualism benefits the human brain and language acquisition. Students can access a list of readings and a research proposal assignment that was part of the original course. Students who want to learn about phonetics, speech perception and speech acoustics can take
  • Topics in Linguistic Theory: Laboratory Phonology is a series of lecture notes covering concepts like intonation, statistics, lexicon and phonology. Students can also download linguistics software that was used in the original course.
  • Topics in Linguistics Theory discusses how people communicate and the role of sentence construction in communicating concepts and thoughts. There are three lecture note files that can be downloaded.
  • Topics in Linguistics: Creole Languages and Caribbean Identities focuses specifically on Creole languages spoken in the Caribbean. Students can see assignments from the original course and access a reading list.
  • Language Processing is a graduate-level course covering how people process language in real time. Some lectures can be downloaded and cover sentence comprehension, memory and language theories.
  • Special Topics in Linguistics: Genericity is another graduate course focusing on generic sentences and allows students to download lectures about theories and strategies in the linguistics field. Students can also see writing assignments and a list of recommended readings for the original class.
  • The Lexicon and Its Features is a graduate course teaching students about what makes languages unique. Some of the course's lecture notes are available to download, including notes on linguistics theories and concepts.
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