Linguistics is the scientific study of natural language. Someone who engages in this study is called a linguist. Linguistics can be theoretical or applied.


  • Theoretical linguistics
  • Cognitive linguistics
  • Generative linguistics
  • Functional theories of grammar
  • Quantitative linguistics
  • Phonology
  • Graphemics
  • Morphology
  • Syntax
  • Lexis
  • Semantics
  • Pragmatics
  • Descriptive linguistics
  • Anthropological linguistics
  • Comparative linguistics
  • Comparative method
  • Historical linguistics
  • Phonetics
  • Graphetics
  • Etymology
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Applied linguistics
  • Computational linguistics
  • Evolutionary linguistics
  • Forensic linguistics
  • Internet linguistics
  • Language acquisition
  • Language assessment
  • Language documentation
  • Language revitalization
  • Language development
  • Language education
  • Linguistic anthropology
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Second-language acquisition
  • 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.
  • 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.