Linguistics

Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context. The earliest known activities in descriptive linguistics have been attributed to Panini around 500 BCE, with his analysis of Sanskrit in Ashtadhyayi.

The first subfield of linguistics is the study of language structure, or grammar. This focuses on the system of rules followed by the users of a language. It includes the study of morphology (the formation and composition of words), syntax (the formation and composition of phrases and sentences from these words), and phonology (sound systems). Phonetics is a related branch of linguistics concerned with the actual properties of speech sounds and nonspeech sounds, and how they are produced and perceived.

The study of language meaning is concerned with how languages employ logical structures and real-world references to convey, process, and assign meaning, as well as to manage and resolve ambiguity. This category includes the study of semantics (how meaning is inferred from words and concepts) and pragmatics (how meaning is inferred from context).

Linguistics also looks at the broader context in which language is influenced by social, cultural, historical and political factors. This includes the study of evolutionary linguistics, which investigates into questions related to the origins and growth of languages; historical linguistics, which explores language change; sociolinguistics, which looks at the relation between linguistic variation and social structures; psycholinguistics, which explores the representation and function of language in the mind; neurolinguistics, which looks at language processing in the brain; language acquisition, on how children or adults acquire language; and discourse analysis, which involves the structure of texts and conversations.

Although linguistics is the scientific study of language, a number of other intellectual disciplines are relevant to language and intersect with it. Semiotics, for example, is the general study of signs and symbols both within language and without. Literary theorists study the use of language in literature. Linguistics additionally draws on and informs work from such diverse fields as acoustics, anthropology, biology, computer science, human anatomy, informatics, neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and speech-language pathology.

Read more about Linguistics:  Terminology, Fundamental Questions, Description and Prescription, Speech and Writing

Other articles related to "linguistics, linguistic":

Linguistics - Speech and Writing
... For research that relies on corpus linguistics and computational linguistics, written language is often much more convenient for processing large amounts of linguistic data ... in various formats of computer-mediated communication as a viable site for linguistic inquiry ... of writing systems themselves is, in any case, considered a branch of linguistics ...
Structural Linguistics - History
... Structural linguistics begins with the posthumous publication of Ferdinand de Saussure's Course in General Linguistics in 1916, which was compiled from lectures by his students ... book proved to be highly influential, providing the foundation for both modern linguistics and semiotics ... After Saussure, the history of structural linguistics branches off in two directions ...
Language Assessment - Courses
... programs, particularly in the subjects of applied linguistics, English for Speakers of Other Languages, English as a second or foreign language, or educational linguistics ... are known as MA or PhD programs in Applied Linguistics, Educational Linguistics, TESOL, TEFL, or TESL ...
Structural Linguistics
... Structural linguistics is an approach to linguistics originating from the work of Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure ... De Saussure's Course in General Linguistics, published posthumously in 1916, stressed examining language as a static system of interconnected units ... He is thus known as a father of modern linguistics for bringing about the shift from diachronic to synchronic analysis, as well as for introducing several basic dimensions of semiotic analysis ...
Lise Menn - Professional History
... she earned a master's and doctorate in linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1975–6 ... Zaidel at UCLA, before being appointed associate professor of linguistics at the University of Colorado in 1986 ... of the governing committees of the Academy of Aphasia, the Linguistic Society of America, and the Linguistics and Language Sciences section of the American ...