Linguistics

Linguistics is the scientific study of language,[1] meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language.[2] Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modelling them.

The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.[3] Each of these areas roughly corresponds to phenomena found in human linguistic systems: sounds (and gesture, in the case of signed languages), minimal units (phonemes, words, morphemes), phrases and sentences, and meaning and use.

Linguistics studies these phenomena in diverse ways and from various perspectives. Theoretical linguistics (including traditional descriptive linguistics) is concerned with building models of these systems, their parts (ontologies), and their combinatorics. Psycholinguistics builds theories of the processing and production of all these phenomena. These phenomena may be studied synchronically or diachronically (through history), in monolinguals or polyglots, in children or adults, as they are acquired or statically, as abstract objects or as embodied cognitive structures, using texts (corpora) or through experimental elicitation, by gathering data mechanically, through fieldwork, or through introspective judgment tasks. Computational linguistics implements theoretical constructs to parse or produce natural language or homologues. Neurolinguistics investigates linguistic phenomena by experiments on actual brain responses involving linguistic stimuli.

Linguistics is related to philosophy of language, stylistics and rhetoric, semiotics, lexicography, and translation.

  1. ^ Halliday, Michael A.K.; Jonathan Webster (2006). On Language and Linguistics. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. vii. ISBN 978-0-8264-8824-4.
  2. ^ Crystal, David (1981). Clinical linguistics. Wien: Springer-Verlag. p. 3. ISBN 978-3-7091-4001-7. OCLC 610496980. What are the implications of the term "science" encountered in the definition on p. 1? Four aims of the scientific approach to language, often cited in introductory works on the subject, are comprehensiveness, objectivity, systematicness and precision. The contrast is usually drawn with the essentially non-scientific approach of traditional language studies—by which is meant the whole history of ideas about language from Plato and Aristotle down to the nineteenth century study of language history (comparative philology).
  3. ^ Adrian Akmajian, Richard A. Demers, Ann K. Farmer, Robert M. Harnish (2010). Linguistics (6th ed.). The MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-51370-8. Retrieved 25 July 2012.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

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