1. What is linguistics, anyway?

    Linguistics is the scientific study of language.  Its sub-fields include:

    • phonetics: the study of speech sounds
    • phonology: the study of how sounds are organized in natural languages.
    • morphology: the study of word structure
    • syntax: the study of how words are arranged into phrases and sentences
    • semantics: the study of meaning
    • pragmatics: the study of how language is used in social contexts.

    Other sub-fields result from the intersection of linguistics with other fields:

    • Historical linguistics is the study of how language changes over time.
    • Sociolinguistics is the study of language in society.
    • Psycholinguistics studies how language is processed in the mind.
    • Neurolinguistics studies how the brain encodes language.
    • Computational linguistics studies how computers and computational models can be used to model and process natural language.


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