Establishment and Mission

The Department of Linguistics and Philology (originally Department of Linguistics) was established in the academic year 1978 as one of the four departments which constituted the former Institute of Language Studies (ILS). The mission of the Department is to produce high-level skilled man power and problem-solving as well as theoretical research outputs in the field of scientific study of languages. To achieve its goal of training scholars for studying, documenting, and describing the Ethiopian languages as well as contributing to their development, the Department conducts practical undergraduate and research-oriented graduate programs. In addition, it encourages its academic staff to engage in research that would result in meaningful outcome.  Apart from engaging in teaching and research, the Department provides community services and consultancy. It has a long tradition in research and in contributing to the preservation of the linguistic heritage of the country.

The Department has trained scores of linguists and philologists. Most of the graduates have assumed important positions in the ministries of culture and education, in institutions of higher education and research, as well as in organizations concerned with information and communication both at central and regional levels. Internationally, the Department takes advantage of exchange and collaboration with universities.  Augmenting its capacity with the knowledge and experiences obtained from renowned scholars, the Department is advancing in effectively implementing its academic programs and in conducting research in the fields of phonetics, computational linguistics, sign language, theoretical and descriptive linguistics as well as philology.


The vision of the Department is to advance in its effort to achieve its teaching and research objectives as well as contribute meaningfully to the international endeavour to further unravel the mysteries of the human language.  Thus, it aspires to be one of the leading institutions in the world that are engaged in studying languages from historical, psychological, social and technological perspectives.

Special feature

The Department has a bulletin, Bulletin of the Department of Linguistics and Philology (BLDP), through which it communicates its activities at home and abroad.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The Department occasionally organizes field trips for undergraduate students.