The Department of General Linguistics was founded in the academic year 1990/91, and the first students were enrolled in the General Linguistics programme in 1991/92. Professor Ranko Bugarski, who played the key role in the founding of the Department, was also its first Head. However, the study of linguistics at the Faculty of Philology has a much longer tradition. General Linguistics was first taught as a self-standing subject at the beginning of the 20th century by Professor Aleksandar Belić, within the then “Serbian Seminar”. For quite some time, the discipline continued to develop within the Department of Serbian. The first lecturer appointed specifically to teach General Linguistics was Professor Dušan Jović. Today, the Department of General Linguistics has eight permanent teaching staff members, and is helped in its activities by lecturers from other departments of the Faculty of Philology, as well as guest lecturers from other faculties and other universities.
At the undergraduate level, the teaching in the Department of General Linguistics is centred around the General Linguistics Group (Group 26 in the Faculty’s administration system). The curriculum covers the principal levels of linguistic description – phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, text linguistics and discourse analysis, but great attention is also given to applied and interdisciplinary areas such as field linguistics, computational linguistics, forensic linguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, language acquisition, etc. Starting from the academic year 2009/10, the students enrolled in the General Linguistics programme have to combine the study of General Linguistics with the study of a modern foreign language. Most of the undergraduate courses offered by the Department of General Linguistics are also open to students studying in other departments of the Faculty of Philology. The Department also has an important role in teaching and thesis supervising at the postgraduate level. The Department is involved in organising courses in Slovenian language and literature, as well.