The graduate program of the UCSB Department of Linguistics focuses on the discovery of general, theoretically significant explanations for the range of linguistic structures that appear in the world's languages. Special attention is given to how language structures are shaped over time by cognition and use, and how these structures are in turn utilized for interactional, social, and cultural purposes, with a focus on the empirical analysis of language in its natural setting. Students are encouraged to gain breadth and depth in their understanding of language by becoming acquainted with a variety of structures in a wide range of languages. Such a perspective is essential to an appreciation of the deeper characteristics all languages share and the myriad ways they can differ. The Ph.D. program covers all the core areas of linguistics, with especially rich training and coursework in functional and typological linguistic theory, discourse, corpus linguistics, language and cognition, language documentation and revitalization, sign language linguistics, and sociocultural linguistics. The department has particular strength in languages of the Americas, Austronesia and New Guinea, the Caucasus, and the Himalayas, as well as varieties of English.