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Linguistics: branches, professional programs, career opportunities

What is linguistics?

According to homework help experts linguistics is the systematic study of language. It is concerned with communication and nature of language. It deals with three aspects: language form, language in context and meaning. Linguistics can be study of a particular language or common properties of various languages.

Levels of study

Linguistics is basically concerned with nature of language. That is, sounds combine in a sequence in form a word, words combine in a fixed pattern to form a sentence and sentences are organized to create a text. Each of these is studied independently by linguists. Based on this, there are different levels of analysis:

Phonetics – it is the study of speech sound. It deals with understanding how sounds are produced. It also involved figuring out which sound you have heard.

Phonology – it is the study of organization of speech sounds in a language. According to free answers experts it also deals with syllables, tones, phrases and rhythm.

Morphology – it is concerned with structure of words. It looks at how words are formed using smaller identifiable grammatical units called morphemes. It is an interaction between phonology and syntax.

Syntax – it deals with the way words are organized into higher units like phrases, clauses and sentences. It is also a set of rules and principles that govern the structure of sentences.

Discourse – discourse is any connected piece of speech or writing. It is any stretch of language that is unified and meaningful to its users such as text, conversation, stories, speeches etc.

Semantics – it is the study of meaning. According to the experts from management help service it focuses on relationship between words, phrases, symbols and other bits of languages. It is also interested in how words are put together to create meaning.

Pragmatics – it deals with use of language in a context and how language is used to communicate. It also studies how people comprehend and produce a communicative act in a conversation.

Stylistics – it is the study of linguistic factors and interpretation of texts. It links literary criticism to linguistics. It studies linguistic devices such as rhetorical figures and syntactical patterns.

Semiotics – it deals with study of signs and sign processes like metaphor, signification, analogy, designation, symbolism, indication etc.

Specialized branches of linguistics:

Historical linguistics – it studies how language has changed over the time

Sociolinguistics – it studies how language varies in the society

Psycholinguistics – it studies the psychological factors that enable people to acquire, use, comprehend and produce language.

Ethno linguistics – it studies the relationship between language and culture.

Dialectology – it is the study of linguistic dialect and language variation based on geographical distribution

Computational linguistics – it is a statistical study of rule based modeling of language from a computational perspective

Neurolinguistics – it is the study of neural mechanisms in the brain that control the production, acquisition and comprehension of language.

Applied linguistics – Applied linguistics is concerned with acquisitions of language, role in communication, Study of structure, Language development, Interaction of social and cultural environment with language etc.

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