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 ā€œsā€ at the end. If you drop the ā€œsā€ you get a different word, the adjective linguistic, which means "related to language."

Definitions of linguistics

n the scientific study of language

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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
the study of the sources and development of words
diachronic linguistics, diachrony, historical linguistics
the study of linguistic change
the branch of linguistics that studies the relation between language and the structure and function of the nervous system
the study of language use
the study of language meaning
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
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
the study of the phonological realization of the allomorphs of the morphemes of a language
a statistical technique used in glottochronology; used to estimate how long ago different languages evolved from a common source language
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

n the humanistic study of language and literature

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the branch of philology that is devoted to the study of dialects
the branch of linguistics that studies the lexical component of language
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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