Linguistics is the scientific study of language.[1] It involves analysing language form, language meaning, and language in context.[2] The earliest activities in the documentation and description of language have been attributed to the 6th-century-BC Indian grammarian Pāṇini[3][4] who wrote a formal description of the Sanskrit language in his Aṣṭādhyāyī.[5]

Linguists traditionally analyse human language by observing an interplay between sound and meaning.[6] Phonetics is the study of speech and non-speech sounds, and delves into their acoustic and articulatory properties. The study of language meaning, on the other hand, deals with how languages encode relations between entities, properties, and other aspects of the world to convey, process, and assign meaning, as well as manage and resolve ambiguity.[7] While the study of semantics typically concerns itself with truth conditions, pragmatics deals with how situational context influences the production of meaning.[8]

Grammar is a system of rules which governs the production and use of utterances in a given language. These rules apply to sound[9] as well as meaning, and include componential subsets of rules, such as those pertaining to phonology (the organisation of phonetic sound systems), morphology (the formation and composition of words), and syntax (the formation and composition of phrases and sentences).[10] Many modern theories that deal with the principles of grammar are based on Noam Chomsky's framework of generative linguistics.[11]

In the early 20th century, Ferdinand de Saussure distinguished between the notions of langue and parole in his formulation of structural linguistics. According to him, parole is the specific utterance of speech, whereas langue refers to an abstract phenomenon that theoretically defines the principles and system of rules that govern a language.[12] This distinction resembles the one made by Noam Chomsky between competence and performance in his theory of transformative or generative grammar. According to Chomsky, competence is an individual's innate capacity and potential for language (like in Saussure's langue), while performance is the specific way in which it is used by individuals, groups, and communities (i.e., parole, in Saussurean terms).[13]

The study of parole (which manifests through cultural discourses and dialects) is the domain of sociolinguistics, the sub-discipline that comprises the study of a complex system of linguistic facets within a certain speech community (governed by its own set of grammatical rules and laws). Discourse analysis further examines the structure of texts and conversations emerging out of a speech community's usage of language.[14] This is done through the collection of linguistic data, or through the formal discipline of corpus linguistics, which takes naturally occurring texts and studies the variation of grammatical and other features based on such corpora (or corpus data).

Stylistics also involves the study of written, signed, or spoken discourse through varying speech communities, genres, and editorial or narrative formats in the mass media.[15] In the 1960s, Jacques Derrida, for instance, further distinguished between speech and writing, by proposing that written language be studied as a linguistic medium of communication in itself.[16] Palaeography is therefore the discipline that studies the evolution of written scripts (as signs and symbols) in language.[17] The formal study of language also led to the growth of fields like psycholinguistics, which explores the representation and function of language in the mind; neurolinguistics, which studies language processing in the brain; biolinguistics, which studies the biology and evolution of language; and language acquisition, which investigates how children and adults acquire the knowledge of one or more languages.

Linguistics also deals with the social, cultural, historical and political factors that influence language, through which linguistic and language-based context is often determined.[18] Research on language through the sub-branches of historical and evolutionary linguistics also focus on how languages change and grow, particularly over an extended period of time.

Language documentation combines anthropological inquiry (into the history and culture of language) with linguistic inquiry, in order to describe languages and their grammars. Lexicography involves the documentation of words that form a vocabulary. Such a documentation of a linguistic vocabulary from a particular language is usually compiled in a dictionary. Computational linguistics is concerned with the statistical or rule-based modeling of natural language from a computational perspective. Specific knowledge of language is applied by speakers during the act of translation and interpretation, as well as in language education – the teaching of a second or foreign language. Policy makers work with governments to implement new plans in education and teaching which are based on linguistic research.

Related areas of study also includes the disciplines of semiotics (the study of direct and indirect language through signs and symbols), literary criticism (the historical and ideological analysis of literature, cinema, art, or published material), translation (the conversion and documentation of meaning in written/spoken text from one language or dialect onto another), and speech-language pathology (a corrective method to cure phonetic disabilities and dis-functions at the cognitive level).


Before the 20th century, the term philology, first attested in 1716,[19] was commonly used to refer to the study of language, which was then predominantly historical in focus.[20][21] Since Ferdinand de Saussure's insistence on the importance of synchronic analysis, however, this focus has shifted[22] and the term philology is now generally used for the "study of a language's grammar, history, and literary tradition", especially in the United States[23] (where philology has never been very popularly considered as the "science of language").[19]

Although the term "linguist" in the sense of "a student of language" dates from 1641,[24] the term "linguistics" is first attested in 1847.[24] It is now the usual term in English for the scientific study of language,[citation needed] though linguistic science is sometimes used.

Linguistics is a multi-disciplinary field of research that combines tools from natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.[25][26][27] Many linguists, such as David Crystal, conceptualize the field as being primarily scientific.[28] The term linguist applies to someone who studies language or is a researcher within the field, or to someone who uses the tools of the discipline to describe and analyse specific languages.[29]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Taalwetenskappe
Alemannisch: Linguistik
Ænglisc: Sprǣccræft
العربية: لسانيات
aragonés: Lingüistica
armãneashti: Lingvisticâ
asturianu: Llingüística
azərbaycanca: Dilçilik
تۆرکجه: دیلچیلیک
bamanankan: Kankalan
Bân-lâm-gú: Giân-gú-ha̍k
башҡортса: Тел белеме
беларуская: Мовазнаўства
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Мовазнаўства
भोजपुरी: भाषा बिज्ञान
български: Езикознание
bosanski: Lingvistika
brezhoneg: Yezhoniezh
català: Lingüística
Чӑвашла: Лингвистика
Cebuano: Linggwistika
čeština: Lingvistika
Cymraeg: Ieithyddiaeth
ދިވެހިބަސް: ބަހަވިއްޔާތު
dolnoserbski: Rěcywěda
Ελληνικά: Γλωσσολογία
español: Lingüística
Esperanto: Lingvistiko
Fiji Hindi: Linguistics
føroyskt: Málfrøði
français: Linguistique
Frysk: Taalkunde
furlan: Lenghistiche
Gàidhlig: Cànanachas
ГӀалгӀай: Лингвистика
한국어: 언어학
hornjoserbsce: Rěčespyt
hrvatski: Jezikoslovlje
Ilokano: Lingguistika
Bahasa Indonesia: Linguistik
interlingua: Linguistica
Interlingue: Linguistica
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ/inuktitut: ᐅᖄᓯᓕᕆᓂᖅ
íslenska: Málvísindi
italiano: Linguistica
עברית: בלשנות
Basa Jawa: Linguistik
къарачай-малкъар: Лингвистика
kaszëbsczi: Lingwistika
қазақша: Лингвистика
kernowek: Sciens yeth
Kiswahili: Isimu
Kreyòl ayisyen: Lengwistik
kurdî: Zimannasî
Кыргызча: Тил илими
Ladino: Linguistika
latgaļu: Volūdzineiba
Latina: Linguistica
latviešu: Valodniecība
Lëtzebuergesch: Sproochwëssenschaft
lietuvių: Kalbotyra
Limburgs: Taalweitesjap
Lingua Franca Nova: Linguistica
la .lojban.: bauske
lumbaart: Lenguistega
magyar: Nyelvészet
македонски: Лингвистика
Bahasa Melayu: Linguistik
Baso Minangkabau: Linguistik
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဘာသာဗေဒ
Nederlands: Taalkunde
Nedersaksies: Sproaklear
日本語: 言語学
нохчийн: Лингвистика
Norfuk / Pitkern: Linguistics
norsk nynorsk: Lingvistikk
Nouormand: Lîndgistique
Novial: Linguistike
occitan: Lingüistica
олык марий: Йылмышанче
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Tilshunoslik
پنجابی: لسانیات
پښتو: ژبپوهنه
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ភាសាសាស្ត្រ
Piemontèis: Lenghìstica
Plattdüütsch: Spraakwetenschop
Ποντιακά: Γλωσσολογία
português: Linguística
română: Lingvistică
Romani: Chhibavipen
Runa Simi: Simi yachay
русиньскый: Лінґвістіка
русский: Лингвистика
саха тыла: Тыл үөрэҕэ
संस्कृतम्: भाषाविज्ञानम्
Seeltersk: Sproakwietenskup
shqip: Gjuhësia
sicilianu: Linguìstica
Simple English: Linguistics
سنڌي: لسانيات
slovenčina: Jazykoveda
slovenščina: Jezikoslovje
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Ѩꙁꙑкоꙁнаниѥ
کوردی: زمانەوانی
српски / srpski: Лингвистика
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Lingvistika
Basa Sunda: Linguistik
suomi: Kielitiede
Tagalog: Lingguwistika
Taqbaylit: Tasnilest
татарча/tatarça: Tel beleme
Türkçe: Dilbilim
Thuɔŋjäŋ: Piööcëthook
українська: Мовознавство
اردو: لسانیات
vèneto: Łenguìstega
vepsän kel’: Kelentedo
Tiếng Việt: Ngôn ngữ học
walon: Linwince
文言: 語言學
Winaray: Lingguwistika
吴语: 语言学
粵語: 語言學
Zeêuws: Taelkunde
žemaitėška: Kalbuotīra
中文: 语言学