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linguistics

Linguistics is the formal study of language. If you like figuring out how words are formed and how they express meaning, you might enjoy studying the science of linguistics.

Academics use the term linguistics to describe the science of language. Linguistics includes a broad range of topics ranging from how people learn languages to how phrases and sentences are formed. Remember that linguistics is a plural noun: although it takes a singular verb, it always has an “s” at the end. If you drop the “s” you get a different word, the adjective linguistic, which means "related to language."

Definitions of linguistics
  1. noun
    the scientific study of language
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    types:
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    computational linguistics
    the use of computers for linguistic research and applications
    dialect geography, linguistic geography
    the study of the geographical distribution of linguistic features
    etymology
    the study of the sources and development of words
    diachronic linguistics, diachrony, historical linguistics
    the study of linguistic change
    neurolinguistics
    the branch of linguistics that studies the relation between language and the structure and function of the nervous system
    pragmatics
    the study of language use
    semantics
    the study of language meaning
    sociolinguistics
    the study of language in relation to its sociocultural context
    structural linguistics, structuralism
    linguistics defined as the analysis of formal structures in a text or discourse
    synchronic linguistics
    the study of a language without reference to its historical context
    descriptive linguistics
    a description (at a given point in time) of a language with respect to its phonology and morphology and syntax and semantics without value judgments
    prescriptive linguistics
    an account of how a language should be used instead of how it is actually used; a prescription for the `correct' phonology and morphology and syntax and semantics
    MT, machine translation
    the use of computers to translate from one language to another
    grammar
    the branch of linguistics that deals with syntax and morphology (and sometimes also deals with semantics)
    phonemics, phonology
    the study of the sound system of a given language and the analysis and classification of its phonemes
    morphophonemics
    the study of the phonological realization of the allomorphs of the morphemes of a language
    lexicostatistics
    a statistical technique used in glottochronology; used to estimate how long ago different languages evolved from a common source language
    deixis
    the function of pointing or specifying from the perspective of a participant in an act of speech or writing; aspects of a communication whose interpretation depends on knowledge of the context in which the communication occurs
    formal semantics
    the branch of semantics that studies the logical aspects of meaning
    lexical semantics
    the branch of semantics that studies the meanings and relations of words
    cognitive semantics, conceptual semantics, semasiology
    the branch of semantics that studies the cognitive aspects of meaning
    type of:
    science, scientific discipline
    a particular branch of scientific knowledge
  2. noun
    the humanistic study of language and literature
    synonyms: philology
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    dialectology
    the branch of philology that is devoted to the study of dialects
    lexicology
    the branch of linguistics that studies the lexical component of language
    onomastics
    the branch of lexicology that studies the forms and origins of proper names
    toponomy, toponymy
    the branch of lexicology that studies the place names of a region or a language
    type of:
    arts, humanistic discipline, humanities, liberal arts
    studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills)
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