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Branches of Linguistics

Branches of Linguistics.

SOCIOLINGUISTICS:  Sociolinguistics is the study of language in different social contexts. These contexts include age, ethnicity, social class and other factors. It studies the existence of language among different classes of people and the differences in the dialects. It also looks into how people conform to that language and the attitudes of the people that arise because of the use of different dialects and languages. As the name implies the social context in which the language exists is a very important phenomenon. Factors such as gender, age and ethnicity separate people into different classes which lead to the formation of different languages and different dialects. Thus, the use of language differs among various classes and so the main focus of sociolinguistics is to study this variation and the differences in language usage.

NEUROLINGUISTICS: This is another branch of linguistics that studies the relations between different aspects of the brain and human language and communication. It looks into how the brain understands and helps in the production of language, and how it helps in the process of language acquisition.

COMPUTATIONAL LINGUISTICS:  This branch of linguistics was used in the 1950’s to translate texts in different languages into English. Since it was seen that the computer could perform mathematical and other logical operations much faster than humans the same could be said for its ability to translate different languages. Research however showed that human language was much more complex then people thought and so computational linguistics often work as members of interdisciplinary teams, including linguists , language experts and computer scientists.

PSYCHO LINGUISTICS:  This branch of linguistics is related to psychology and studies the involvement of mental processes in understanding, using and acquiring language. Since cognition is an important part of psychology it also involves the study of cognitive processes and how they help in the accquistion of language, and the formation of certain sentences. There are many sub divisions of this branch and they include:

Syntax: Study of word patterns and the combination of words used in the formation of sentences.

Morphology: The study of the relation between certain words.

Semantics:- Study of the actual meanings of sentences.

Phonology:- As the name indicates it involves the usage of sounds and phonology studies  how the brain process and understands these sounds.

Some other branches of linguistics are:-

HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS:- It looks into the study of different languages and how languages changed over time. It also refers to how and why these changes in language take place.

COMPARATIVE LINGUISTICS:- This compares different languages as they exist in various social contexts.

BIOLINGUISTICS:- It studies the evolution of language and is an interdisciplinary field, including linguists, biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, mathematicians, and others.

PARALINGUISTICS:-  Paralanguage refers to the non verbal means of communication in order to produce a meaning.  It is often used as a cover term for body language and can include the pitch and volume of speech. This study of paralanguages is called para linguistics.

CORPUS LINGUISTICS:- This is the e study of language as expressed in samples or “real world” text. This method represents a digestive approach to obtaining a set of abstract rules by which a natural language is governed or else relates to another language.

ANTHROPOLOGICAL LINGUISTICS:-  This is the  study of  the relations between language and culture and between human biology, cognition and language. It studies humans through the language they use.

COGNITIVE LINGUISTICS:-  This branch of linguistics places a huge emphasis on the role of cognition in acquiring, understanding and learning language. They view meanings in terms of conceptualizations and deny that the humans have an automatic tendency to learn language that is unique.

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