Outline of linguistics
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to linguistics:
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Nature of linguistics
Linguistics can be described as all of the following:
- An academic discipline – a body of knowledge given to—or received by—a disciple (student); a branch or sphere of knowledge, or field of study, that an individual has chosen to specialise in.
- A field of science – a widely recognized category of specialized expertise within science, embodying its own terminology, nomenclature, and scientific journals.
- A social science – a field of academic scholarship that explores aspects of human societies related to the languages they speak.
Branches of linguistics
Subfields of linguistics
- Theoretical linguistics - the study of language in abstract and model form
- Cognitive linguistics - the study of language and cognition (thinking)
- Generative linguistics - the theory of grammar as a mental system that generates complete sentences
- Functional theories of grammar - language as used and coming from use
- Quantitative linguistics - the study of mathematical language laws and corresponding general theories
- Phonology - the usage of vocalized sounds and systems of sounds to form language
- Graphemics - the study of language writing systems
- Morphology - the property of sound and meaning change in language
- Syntax - the property of grammar that governs sentence structure
- Lexis - the complete set of words in a language
- Semantics - the study of meaning as encoded in language
- Pragmatics - the study of how context contributes to meaning
- Descriptive linguistics - describing how a particular language is used
- Anthropological linguistics - the place of language in its wider social and cultural context, and its role in making and maintaining cultural practices and societal structures
- Historical linguistics - study of historical language change over time
- Comparative linguistics - comparing languages to find similarities and historical connections
- Phonetics - the study of the speech faculty
- Graphetics - the study of writing shapes as assigned to sounds or ideas
- Etymology - the study of word histories and origins
- Sociolinguistics - the study of society's effects on language
- Applied linguistics - finding solutions to real-life problems related to language
- Computational linguistics - the use of computation applied to language databasing, analysis, translation, and synthesis
- Forensic linguistics - language science applied to the processes of law and justice
- Internet linguistics - the study of language usage on the Internet
- Language assessment - assessing first or second language faculty in individuals
- Language documentation - comprehensive description of the grammar and use practices of languages of a particular group
- Language revitalization - is an attempt to halt or reverse the decline of a language or to revive an extinct one
- Language education - teaching specific language and language science
- Linguistic anthropology - study of how language influences social life
- Psycholinguistics - is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, comprehend and produce language
- Language acquisition - the study of how children and adults acquire language knowledge and ability
- Language development - the study of early language formation
- Second-language acquisition - the study of how a second language is learned
- Neurolinguistics - study of language from a neuroscience perspective
- Evolutionary linguistics - is a subfield of psycholinguistics that studies the psychosocial and cultural factors involved in the origin of language and the development of linguistic universals
Subfields, by linguistic structures studied
Sub-fields of structure-focused linguistics include:
- Phonetics – study of the physical properties of speech (or signed) production and perception
- Phonology – study of sounds (or signs) as discrete, abstract elements in the speaker's mind that distinguish meaning
- Morphology – study of internal structures of words and how they can be modified
- Syntax – study of how words combine to form grammatical sentences
- Semantics – study of the meaning of words (lexical semantics) and fixed word combinations (phraseology), and how these combine to form the meanings of sentences
- Pragmatics – study of how utterances are used in communicative acts – and the role played by context and nonlinguistic knowledge in the transmission of meaning
- Discourse analysis – analysis of language use in texts (spoken, written, or signed)
- Linguistic typology – comparative study of the similarities and differences between language structures in the world's languages.
Subfields, by nonlinguistic factors studied
- Applied linguistics – study of language-related issues applied in everyday life, notably language policies, planning, and education. (Constructed language fits under Applied linguistics.)
- Biolinguistics – study of natural as well as human-taught communication systems in animals, compared to human language.
- Clinical linguistics – application of linguistic theory to the field of Speech-Language Pathology.
- Computational linguistics – study of linguistic issues in a way that is 'computationally responsible', i.e., taking careful note of computational consideration of algorithmic specification and computational complexity, so that the linguistic theories devised can be shown to exhibit certain desirable computational properties implementations.
- Developmental linguistics – study of the development of linguistic ability in individuals, particularly the acquisition of language in childhood.
- Evolutionary linguistics – study of the origin and subsequent development of language by the human species.
- Historical linguistics – study of language change over time. Also called diachronic linguistics.
- Language geography – study of the geographical distribution of languages and linguistic features.
- Neurolinguistics – study of the structures in the human brain that underlie grammar and communication.
- Psycholinguistics – study of the cognitive processes and representations underlying language use.
- Sociolinguistics – study of variation in language and its relationship with social factors.
- Stylistics – study of linguistic factors that place a discourse in context.
Other subfields of linguistics
Schools, movements, and approaches of linguistics
- Semiotics – investigates the relationship between signs and what they signify more broadly. From the perspective of semiotics, language can be seen as a sign or symbol, with the world as its representation.
- Terminology - is the study of terms and their use.
History of linguistics
Timeline of discovery of basic linguistics concepts
When were the basic concepts first described and by whom?
- Ancient Sanskrit grammarians
- Ancient Greek study of language
- Roman elaborations of Greek study
- Medieval philosophical work in Latin
- Beginnings of modern linguistics in the 19th century
- Behaviorism and mental tabula rasa hypothesis
- Chomsky and functionalism
- Generative grammar leads to generative phonology and semantics
- Alternate syntactic systems develop in 80s
- Computational linguistics becomes feasible the late 80s
- Neurolinguistics and the biological basis of cognition
Questions in linguistics
- What is language?
- How did it/does it evolve?
- How does language serve as a medium of communication?
- How does language serve as a medium of thinking?
- What is common to all languages?
- How do languages differ?
What basic concepts / terms do I have to know to talk about linguistics?
Languages of the world
Languages by continent and country
People who had a significant influence on the development of the field
- John Langshaw Austin
- Émile Benveniste
- Leonard Bloomfield
- Franz Bopp
- Noam Chomsky
- David Crystal
- Daniel Everett
- M.A.K. Halliday
- Louis Hjelmslev
- Roman Jakobson
- Sir William Jones
- Kenneth L. Pike
- Rasmus Rask
- Edward Sapir
- Ferdinand de Saussure
- August Schleicher
- John R. Searle
- Nikolai Trubetzkoy
- Noah Webster
- Benjamin Lee Whorf
- Alphabets & Orthography
|Kannada||Hiragana||Katakana||Morse code||ICAO spelling||Phoenician|
|Runic||SAMPA chart||English SAMPA||Shavian||Thai|
- Glottopedia, MediaWiki-based encyclopedia of linguistics, under construction
- Subfields according to the Linguistic Society of America
- Glossary of linguistic terms and French<->English glossary at SIL International
- "Linguistics" section of A Bibliography of Literary Theory, Criticism and Philology, ed. J. A. García Landa (University of Zaragoza, Spain)
- Linguistics and language-related wiki articles on Scholarpedia and Citizendium