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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.