The Top 10 Linguistics Term Paper Topics To Consider


Linguistics is a field that is becoming more and more popular because of its usefulness in a wide range of industries. If you have decided to major or take a few courses in this subject, chances are you will be required to write at least one term paper for every module you sign up for. Sometimes your professors will assign a few essay questions for you to choose from, but sometimes you will have the freedom to choose you own. This is your chance to work on something that you have a passion for. If you want to explore the possibilities beyond what you already have in mind, here are 10 topics to that you might consider using for your term paper.

Historical linguistics

  • The history of surnames in different languages: the changes in communication and terms of address caused by the introduction of surnames
  • History of the codification of English: the influence of politics, history, and language shift in the syntax of the English language in the past century
  • The consequences of literary differentiation: an analysis of the divide between spoken and written registers and how it impacted literacy and education levels across the decades

Corpus linguistics

  • The hidden opinions: the political stance of newspapers as revealed through a corpus analysis of vocabulary usage in the reporting of political news
  • A corpus study of today’s most widely-read magazines: whether magazines marketed at readers with higher education levels necessarily use more complex language

Second language acquisition

  • Vowel shift and its legacy on English spelling: why tourists struggle to pronounce the names of British street names and landmarks
  • A comparative study of countries where English is taught as a second language: how the first language affects learners’ performance in language proficiency tests
  • Power relationships for second language learners: how learners acquire the ability to transmit implicit information about hierarchies within social circles in a second language

Discourse analysis

  • The concept of face: how speakers of different languages respond to verbal conflict in Hollywood films and whether such differentiation is reflected in box office performance
  • International aggression and language use: a survey of how language contributes in the conveyance of messages in non-military cross-border conflict