What is Linguistics?

Linguistics is the scientific study of language, examining it both as an abstract system and in its psychological and social contexts. Linguistics focuses on how the human mind structures, processes, and acquires language and on how language use serves communication.

It is a broad field, embracing such diverse subjects as comparative grammar and the search for universals among the world’s languages, language development of children, language learning and language processing in adults, the evolution of languages, and how language varies with socioeconomic class and with different social settings.

The study of linguistics develops the ability to analyze and work with formal systems, not unlike those found in mathematics and computer science, while at the same time addressing psychological and social issues, such as language teaching and acquisition, and language and culture.