The society in which the University finds itself is strikingly multilingual.This linguistic environment cannot remain unnoticed and uninvestigated.Academic curiosity about how the various languages are structured, how they are used and how they interact with a superimposed official language like English is bound to be aroused, and the appropriate place to explore this curiosity seriously is a Department of General Linguistics.
Besides, there already exist in the University and for that matter in the School of Modern Languages, departments teaching and researching into principally English, French and Ghanaian Languages. These languages are structurally different and ought to be studied on the basis of the structure intrinsic to each. Despite their individual peculiarities, they share, as human languages, certain general linguistic features. It is the Department of Linguistics that can give students pursuing courses in two or more languages an opportunity of studying how languages are related to one another.
Perhaps no period of human history has subjected language to such a rigorous study more than the second half of the century. This pre-occupation has stemmed from the sharper awareness of the central role of language in all human affairs. Consequently, in academic terms, there has been the gradual rise particularly since the 1950’s, of Linguistics Departments within the university system world-wide. Today, a university, particularly its humanities component, is considered incomplete without a Department of Linguistics. This, on its own, may be regarded adequate enough justification for the establishment of the Department of Linguistics.
- To create an awareness of the linguistic environment in which the university enterprise is conducted.
- To service the language departments by introducing their students to the general aspects of human language so that they may become better equipped to understand and analyse the structural peculiarities of particular languages which form, first and foremost, the object of inquiry of their Departments. This way, time will be made available for lecturers in the language departments to engage in other academic matters.
- To meet the linguistics requirement of the humanities.
It is envisaged that students who enrol in the B.A. programme should, at the end of their studies, be able to:
- distinguish between human language and other forms of human and non-human communication
- analyse language at all levels of structure (i.e. phonetic, morpho-syntactic and semantic).
- apply principles of linguistics in their verbal behaviour
- demonstrate clear knowledge of such inter-disciplinary areas such as sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, linguistics and stylistics, philosophy, etc.