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Current topic A gentle introduction to linguistics

Linguistics is the science that studies how language works. The major branches include the following:

  • The articulation, transmission, reception, and interpretation of speech sounds: Phonetics
  • The inventory, organization, and combination of speech sounds and how speech sounds influence each other's pronunciation: Phonology
  • The internal structure of words, the ways by which new words are created, and the morphological marking of grammatical information: Morphology
  • The internal hierarchical structure of phrases, clauses, and sentences: Syntax
  • The meaning of words, phrases, clauses, and sentences, independent of context: Semantics
  • The meaning of words, phrases, clauses, and sentences in context: Pragmatics
  • The representation, storing, and processing of language in the brain and the acquisition of language: Psycholinguistics
  • The variation of language due to a speaker's socioeconomical, geographical, and ethnical identity: Language Variation
  • The influence of languages over each other when their speakers come in contact: Language Contact
  • The change of a language over time: Language Change (Historical Linguistics)
  • Languages without speech sounds: Sign Languages
  • The use of computers to process language: Computational linguistics
  • The exploration and description of the features of unknown languages: Field Linguistics

Before we explore the above aspects, let's talk about the features of languages in general.


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