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What is linguistics?
While language is the knowledge and ability that allows us to communicate with each other, linguistics is the study of knowledge systems. Language helps humans express emotions, ideas, thoughts, desires, etc. Linguists look for answers to questions like the common properties in all human languages, how languages are different, variations in patterns, and so on. Linguists also work with children to figure out how children acquire such complete knowledge of a language at an early age in such a short time.
The fields of linguistics
Linguistics that is concerned with the structure and nature of language is divided into the following categories –
- Phonetics – is the study of speech sounds in their physical surroundings.
- Phonology – the analysis of speech sounds in their cognitive mode.
- Morphology – the study of the development of words.
- Syntax – the study of the creation of sentences.
- Semantics – the study of meaning.
- Pragmatics – the study of language use.
Interdisciplinary branches of linguistics
Apart from language structure, there are a few other specialized or interdisciplinary branches of linguistics, such as –
#1. Historical linguistics
It is the study of how languages change over time. This branch deals with the relationships among languages and reconstructs earlier stages of languages.
This is the study of sociological aspects of a particular language. The branch of study teaches you why language is important and how it helps maintain the social roles in a community.
Psycholinguistics is the discipline that investigates and researches the psychological processes involved in language development and how humans of all ages can understand and use language.
Also known as anthropological linguistics, it is the study of the relationship between language and culture.
It is the study of dialects and focuses on the variations due to geographic and social isolation. As a matter of fact, it has a sweet effect on vocabulary, grammar, or pronunciation (accent).
#6. Computational linguistics
As the name suggests, this branch of linguistics teaches the techniques of computer science, their application, analysis, and synthesis of language and speech.
Our brains are the storehouse of the knowledge of the language. All in all, this branch deals with how the languages that we speak, understand, read and write are represented in our brains.
The importance of studying linguistics
#1. The need for variety
The field of linguistics is incredibly varied. There are several different aspects, and each one requires a different skill set. For example, while the study of syntax has a more mathematical and scientific approach, semantics classes demand a philosophical mindset. What’s more interesting is that you can assess and choose modules according to your preferences.
#2. Opportunities to study abroad
As mentioned before, linguistics is the study of languages and different languages. This discipline gives you a chance to explore the world as a part of your studies. Every country in the world has a language. Hence, the variations are endless. As a matter of fact, it is exciting and will likely help you travel overseas to learn and examine another language firsthand.
#3. Exciting career opportunities
Pursuing a degree in linguistics will give you several exciting career options, including teaching and writing. In addition to this, you may also think of becoming a forensic linguist, speech therapist, and social worker among the possible future careers.
#4. Transferable skills
A few jobs specifically require applicants to have a degree in linguistics. The skills you acquire during a linguistics degree are highly desirable to employers. Hence, knowing and having a good grasp of using language can help you achieve a promising career. As a matter of fact, linguistics will train you to conduct research, analyze data, and present results.
#5. Combined honors
The study of linguistics works well with any language. Language is a core feature of human beings, and linguistics is related to many other social science disciplines. As a matter of fact, linguistics can be a part of a joint honors degree.
The knowledge gained through the study of linguistics has immense practical uses. We feel the need for language; be it in the office or at a restaurant, we use language. All in all, linguistic degree programs usually have a tenure of three-four years in total. Students learn through seminars, lectures, and tutorials. However, the skills gained during the course, such as critical thinking, statistics, and presentation skills, will boost your career in education, publishing, writing, and teaching.
- Every human knows at least one language. Linguistics is the science of language; the creative aspect of language, words, sounds, and grammar sets it apart.
- As a matter of fact, there are approximately 7,000 languages to date.
- What’s more interesting is that linguists have discovered that these languages are more alike than different.
- All in all, the future of Linguistics looks very promising. In recent years, the demand for linguists has been high.
- A degree in linguistics is of great value. There is immense scope for linguistics as it paves the path for various career opportunities. You can work in the computer industry, as a journalist, become a consultant in the law or medical field, work in advertising, even for the government.
Additionally, drop a comment below or get in touch with us to know more about linguistics and how to pursue it abroad.
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Question 1: Who can study linguistics?
Answer: Anyone interested in learning about new languages and their origins can study linguistics. As a matter of fact, it contributes to translation activities and can even help in treating speech disorders.
Question 2: Do linguists earn well?
Answer: Yes, linguists earn a good salary. They know various languages, which is rare, so linguistic skills are in high demand, and linguists are paid well. However, as a forensic linguist working for the government, you may earn exceptionally well.
Question 3: Does becoming a linguist mean I should speak in more than one language?
Answer: A linguist doesn’t need to speak several languages. An experienced linguist may only be able to speak one language with fluency.