What does a historical linguist do
What is linguistics?
As a linguist, you don't have to speak or learn many languages; rather, you are learning something above Language. Linguistics is the scientific study of human language, its structure, its history, its acquisition and its use in communication.
In systems linguistics, similarities and differences between languages are researched and systematic descriptions of individual languages, e.g. English, are developed. System linguistics is divided into the following areas:
- Phonetics and Phonology - the exploration of linguistic sounds and their rules
- morphology - Word formation and word structure
- syntax - sentence structure
- semantics - Theory of meaning
- Pragmatics - Use of language
In addition, there are many areas in linguistics that deal with the development and use of language. For example, linguists research how languages are learned, how languages change and how they are used in production and understanding or by different social and ethnic groups. These questions are examined in the following areas:
- Historical linguistics / diachrony - History and change of language
- Sociolinguistics- Use of language in social contexts
- Psycholinguistics - Language processing in production and understanding
- Neurolinguistics - language in the brain
- Language acquisition and bilingualism - Acquisition of language (s) by children and adults
- Anthropological Linguistics - Language in different ethnic contexts
- Dialectology - internal language variation
- Computational linguistics - Language as a formal algorithm
Linguistics is in dialogue with many other subjects and disciplines in the humanities, social and natural sciences, e.g. philosophy, psychology, literary studies, language didactics and pedagogy, sociology, biology, computer science and life sciences.
By studying linguistics, you will discover exciting things about language that are useful for language learning, language teaching and communication. And last but not least, linguistics is fun!
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