Studying General Linguistics

Our degree courses provide a solid foundation in the various areas of general linguistics and its research methods. General linguistic is a very interdisciplinary field and has close connections to cognitive psychology – in studying universal human tendencies – and to ethnology, cultural/social anthropology, geography, history, archeology and population genetics – in studying regional differences and developments. These connections will be emphasized in our courses on psycho- and ethnolinguistics.

If you consider studying General Linguistics we recommend the following two documents providing insights into the topic:

What is General Linguistics? (PDF, 132 KB)

Sprachliche Vielfalt im Wechselspiel von Natur und Kultur (PDF, 4188 KB)
(Transcript of Balthasar Bickel's talk at the lectures series «Sprache(n) verstehen» / «Understanding language(s)» in fall 2012; in German only)

General Linguistics can be studied in four different BA-programmes and four different MA-programmes. In addition there are two PhD-programmes.

If you have any questions regarding our degree programmes, please contact Mathias Jenny.


Exchanges abroad of one or two semesters are recommended to enrich your studies in General Linguistics. We have SEMP ("Erasmus") agreements with six European partner universities (list). Additionally the UZH has worldwide agreements. Please refer to Exchange Programs for further details.

If you have any questions regarding exchanges for students of General Linguistics, please contact Sascha Völlmin.