Linguistics is the study of human language(s) by scientific method(s) in the spoken, written and preconscious form.
Languages that cannot be reliably classified into any family are known as language isolates.
In the scientific practice of linguistics, several distinct areas of study are recognized. Each represents a different aspect or level of abstraction. These range from Phonetics--the study of the acoustic, anatomical, and other such aspects of the physical production or qualities of vocal sounds; to syntax--the study of the rules and organization of words and the relationships existing between them.
- Phonetics is the study and systematic classification of the sounds made in spoken utterance.
- Phonology is the study and description of the sound changes in a language.
- Morphology is the study of the internal structure of words.
- Syntax is the study of the structure of phrases, sentences and language.
- Semantics is the study of the relationship between words and their meanings.
- Pragmatics is the study of how meaning changes according to context.
- Stylistics is the study of why a particular choice of language is used in a particular context.
Computational Linguistics[edit | edit source]
An interdisciplinary field dealing with the statistical and logical modeling of natural language from a computational perspective. This modeling is not limited to any particular field of linguistics.
There are two major purposes of computational linguistics:
- To help linguists study natural languages more easily
- To make it possible for ordinary people to use natural language when using a computer
Computational linguists often use large bodies of digitized text or speech called corpora as a basis for teaching computer programs the proper use of a language, or to compare the use of a language in one context to it's use in another context. This is also called corpus linguistics.
Some of the practical uses of computational linguistics include:
- Speech recognition
- Speech production
- Machine translation
- Improvements to data mining, including search engine design.
See Also: Wikipedia:computational linguistics