Linguistics Science

Linguistics Science: Structure of Linguistics

The science of Linguistics has taken a new form in recent times. It is the scientific study of human language. This science has several subfields of study such as language form and language meaning as well as language in context. Linguistics is an in-depth study of language in accordance with human behaviour. It studies and examines language from the psychological and socio-cultural aspects of human behaviour. There are characteristics of a language which are unique and some which are universal and this aspect is also studied in linguistics.

The structure of linguistics covers the morphology and syntax of languages, phonology which is the study of sounds and semantics which is the study of meanings. A student of Linguistics is also expected to study the history of languages and their relation to each other as well as the cultural place of language in human behaviour. On the other hand, phonetics, which is the sounds of speech, is considered a separate field from linguistics, though they are closely related.

Linguistics is defined as the study of the structure and development of languages. It includes a comparative analysis of modern languages with ancient parent languages. It also traces the origin and evolution of words.

Subjects such as morphology, semantics, phonology, accent, grammar and literature are all part of linguistic science. This subject studies words and their structural characteristics. Obscure languages, both ancient and modern are identified and classified according to their family and origin. Through the study of linguistics one can also decipher and reconstruct ancient languages from archaeological remains of ancient civilizations.

Linguistic sciences also develop improved methods in translation with modern technology and they prepare a description of sounds, forms and vocabulary of the language. Teaching and translation methods are improved by preparing descriptions of comparative languages and aptitude tests for language learning and proficiency are prepared. Through the science of linguistics, language teaching materials such as dictionaries, lexicons and handbooks are prepared.

Linguistics can be studied from different points of view. Some of these tiers into which language has been divided are as follows:

  • Sociolinguistics
  • Language acquisition
  • Linguistic theory
  • Contrastive linguistics
  • Language and the brain
  • Language change

The nature of the human language can be explained through the history of linguistics and its various theories. These theories are categorized according to historical eras. The period before the 19th.century was known as the age of non-theoretical studies. The 19th century was known as the period of historical linguistics. The first half of the 20th century was devoted to structuralism and the second half to generative grammar.

General linguistics is about concepts of the language while descriptive linguistics is about describing and investigating languages. Models of language competence are developed through theoretical linguistics. On the other hand, applied linguistics deals with the practical aspect of language teaching and the uses to which linguistics can be put.

Language continuously evolves and is adapted to the needs of the people at each time. Language is the most complex system of communication and a study of linguistics science can help a student appreciate the cross-cultural variation of languages.




What is linguistic philosophy?

Linguistics is the scientific study of language – the structure, meaning, development, how humans process and interpret language. Philosophy is the academic discipline that applies logic and reason to answer questions about human nature, life, ethics and knowledge. Linguistic Philosophy in simple terms is the application of the philosophy of science to linguistics. Popular especially in the mid-20th century among British and American philosophers, this discipline believes that it is important to concentrate on language as the very method and matter core of the discipline of philosophy. Read more…

Interdependence of linguistics and philosophy

Philosophy as a discipline is essentially based on language. A lot of effort has been put in by mankind to seek the essence of the relationship between these two from a long time. The supporters of each discipline invariably got influenced by the other. It is generally very hard to distinguish between a philosopher and a linguist. “Linguistic Turn” was indeed an emphatic turning point in this relationship between philosophy and language and their followers. Read more…

What is theoretical linguistics?

Theoretical Linguistics is into developing theoretical models for linguistic knowledge. There are four sub-fields which comprise the essence of theoretical linguistics – syntax, phonology, morphology and semantics.


Syntax is the study of the structure of language and sentence formation. It analyses association and links between words at various levels. Simply using native language intuition, how are sentences formed to make up a certain language; How does the relationship between structural elements of a sentence assist in its final interpretation; these are some of the questions that are studied under the subject of syntax. Principles of logic and Set Theory are used and applied to illustrate the composition of a sentence from its various elements. Order of elements in a sentence is crucial to its correct formation. Without the right order, a sentence cannot be formed properly and thereby the sentence is mis-interpreted. Read more…

Linguistics Education – Theoretical Linguistics

Theoretical linguistics is a branch or division of linguistic education and its prime concern and motto is to develop models of linguistic knowledge. Furthermore, there are a few subdivisions of this subject, however, the core pillars of theoretical linguistics are phonology, morphology, semantics and syntax. Although phonetics is a part of phonology but it is often exclusive of the perimeter of this area of study as it is the case with psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics. Another dimension to theoretical linguistics is the constant search for linguistic universals among all different languages. Read more…

Approaches to Linguistic Theorizing

The theoretical structure that is used to study and understand language is known as linguistic theory. This generally consists of three approaches which include Externalists, and Essentialists and Emergentists. These three approaches are used to theorize the science called Linguistics. The subject matters of these three approaches differ. So do their methods of approaching the subject and studying it and the answers which are considered to be suitable for the subject concerned. Read more…

Linguistic Philosophy

Linguistic philosophy is a unique approach towards understanding languages and philosophy. It is a methodical and analytical study of a language to understand it better and includes the analyses of its structure, meaning, development and evolution through times and its varied interpretation accordingly. Linguistic philosophy believes and wants its students to believe that solutions to philosophical problems can be found by reformation of the language or a deeper and better comprehension of the language. This discipline of study has gained popularity in the 20th century and mostly among American and British philosophers and research scholars on philosophy. Read more…

Linguistic Theorizing – Approaches

Linguistic theory is the theoretical framework used in the study and understanding of language. There are three (Externalists, Emergentists and Essentialists) main approaches to theorizing the science of linguistics. These three approaches differ in what they consider as subject matter, the approach adopted to studying it and the answer considered right to subject of discussion.

The Externalists

Externalists are of the belief that the goal of linguistic theory is development of the right models for speech, words, sentences, phrases and similar linguistic matter. This would also include written and spoken material which has been recorded and filed for the purpose of studying linguistic structures. The goal, according to the externalists is to describe how the models show individual characteristics which are predictable and projectable. Corpora plays the main role for the externalists in their study of linguistics. The externalists believe that clear discernment and understanding between the speaker and listener is important for linguistics to play a role. Read more…

What is linguistics?

Linguistics is the scientific study of the human language. Human communication through signs, symbols, speech and writing are studied in this subject. The study of these vehicles of communication – their form, structure, meaning, use, context and relation to human development form the basis of this subject. Questions pertaining to language and human communication are answered in this field of study, i.e. how did language evolve? How did people communicate before modern modes of communication? Is there any relation between different languages? How does communicating in different languages affect human relationship? How does human physiology affect communicating? When and how does a small child begin talking and learning to communicate? Read more…

Influence of linguistics and philosophy on each other

Language is the basis of philosophy. Through ages, there has been much debate and study into the relationship between the two fields of science. It is interesting to note how the followers of the two individual streams got influenced by the corresponding science. There were times when it wasn’t clear who was a philosopher and who was a linguist. The “Linguistic Turn” marks a turning point in the relationship between philosophy–philosophers and linguistics-linguists. Read more…

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