Branches of Linguistics

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Branches of Linguistics

Linguistics aims to discover the science of languages, how they originate and evolved and further how our mind perceives them to communicate. For those who love learning new languages, this area of study is specifically of interest as it can help you learn the roots and history of any language thus unravelling the whole world of even the simplest of a language or dialect. Linguistics is a broad area of study and encompasses varied specializations for students to choose from. This blog brings you a detailed list of major branches of linguistics, their key features as well as how you can make a successful career in linguistics.

Phonology Sounds in a speech in cognitive terms
Psycholinguistics Psychological aspects of Language & Linguistics
Sociolinguistics Study of the impact of society on Language & Linguistics
Historical Linguistics Study of evolution and origins of Languages
Computational Linguistics Study of spoken and written language in computations & programming
Applied Linguistics Study of real-life applications of Linguistics
Phonetics Study of sounds in a speech in physical terms
Syntax Study of formation and structure of sentences
Semantics Study of meanings
Morphology Study of the formation of words
Pragmatics Study of the use of language(s)
Comparative Linguistics Study of similar and dissimilar aspects of common-origin languages
Stylistics Study and interpretation of style and tones in Languages

Types of Linguistics

Branches of Linguistics
Courtesy: Wifflegif

In simple terms, linguistics can be referred to as the scientific study of language. It involves the analysis of the many different aspects such as the meaning, form and context of language. Studying linguistics will make you familiar with the different components that make up a language.

Here are the major branches of linguistics:

  • Phonology: The sounds in a speech in cognitive terms
  • Phonetics: The study of sounds in a speech in physical terms
  • Syntax: The study of formation and structure of sentences
  • Semantics: The study of meanings
  • Morphology: The study of the formation of words
  • Pragmatics: The study of the use of language(s)

Linguists also analyse and study the effects and influences of different factors including the social, historical, political, cultural etc. on language.

Branches of Linguistics

Branches of Linguistics
Branches of Linguistics

The field of Linguistics is vast and covers a range of different subfields. Here are the main branches of Linguistics:

  • Psycholinguistics: The psychological aspects of Language & Linguistics
  • Sociolinguistics: The study of the impact of society on Language & Linguistics
  • Applied Linguistics: The study of real-life applications of Linguistics
  • Computational Linguistics: The study of spoken and written language in computations & programming
  • Comparative Linguistics: The study of similar and dissimilar aspects of common-origin languages
  • Historical Linguistics: The study of evolution and origins of Languages
  • Stylistics: The study and interpretation of style and tones in Languages

Applied Linguistics

Applied Linguistics is a branch of linguistics that is involved in the identification, investigation and providing solutions for real-life issues relating to language. It is an interdisciplinary field, drawing knowledge from different academic fields like psychology, sociology, anthropology etc.

Sociolinguistics

Sociolinguistics is the branch of linguistics that deals with the effect of society or social factors on language. It is involved in the study of the effects and interactions between language and different social factors like ethnicity, social class, gender, cultural norms etc.

Computational Linguistics

Computational Linguistics is an interdisciplinary branch of linguistics which is concerned with the study and perception of spoken and written language from a computational perspective. It combines concepts from computer science, programming and coding with linguistics to determine how language functions in the context of computing and operating systems.

Psycholinguistics

Psycholinguistics deals with the psychological aspects of language. This is one of the branches of linguistics that is involved in the study of the different psychological factors that control the processes of acquiring, understanding and use of language by human beings.  

Comparative Linguistics

Comparative Linguistics is one of the sought-after branches of linguistics that is involved in the study of identifying similar and dissimilar properties between different languages of a common origin. It studies the development of languages through a comparative analysis of two or more different languages evolved from a single parent language.

Historical Linguistics

One of the important branches of linguistics, historical linguistics studies the evolution and changes in languages through periods of time. It analyses how and in what ways language changes over time, and also involves the reconstruction of past forms of languages.

Stylistics

Another key mention amongst the various branches of Linguistics, Stylistics deals with the study and interpretation of style and tones in both written and spoken language. It involves the analysis of different features of style, including but not limited to the use of symbolism, dialogues, regional accents, rhyme, sentence structure etc.

Branches of Phonetics

There are three main branches of Phonetics:

  • Articulatory Phonetics: Study of how sounds are produced with the articulators
  • Acoustic Phonetics: Study of the acoustic production of various articulations.
  • Auditory Phonetics: Study of how the listeners perceive linguistic auditory aspects and understand these signals.

Scope and Branches of Linguistics

Linguistics is a vast and ever-evolving field of study as languages form an important part of human communication. The most popular subfields of linguistics where there is an advanced scope are:

  • Phonology
  • Phonetics
  • Semantics
  • Historical Linguistics
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Syntax
  • Pragmatics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Sociolinguistics

From sociology, computer science, language to history, psychology and real-life applications, Linguistics is filled with extensive scope to explore varied careers in. Here are the key employment areas to build a successful career in Linguistics:

  • Lexicography
  • Teaching
  • Linguistics Research
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Editing, Proofreading & Translations
  • Computer Science and Programming
  • Anthropology
  • Historical Research

Top Universities for Linguistics

Now that you are aware of the different branches of Linguistics that you can specialise in, let’s take a look at some of the universities around the world which are famous for linguistics studies. Here are the top universities around the world for linguistics according to the QS World University Rankings 2020:

University Country Rank
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United States 1
University of Massachusetts Amherst United States 2
The University of Edinburgh United Kingdom 3
University of Cambridge United Kingdom 4
Harvard University United States 5
University of Oxford United Kingdom 6
University of California, Berkeley (UCB) United States 7
Stanford University United States 8
University of Maryland, College Park United States 9
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) United States 10

Career Scope of Linguistics

Getting a degree in linguistics opens up a number of career pathways for you. The skills attained while pursuing a linguistics degree enable you to take up jobs in a variety of sectors such as education, language services, publishing etc. Some of the popular job positions for a degree in linguistics that you can choose from include:

  • Speech Therapist
  • Lexicographer
  • Language Translator
  • Research Associate
  • Interpreter
  • Translator
  • Copy Editor
  • Writer
  • Audiologist
  • Language Teacher
  • Proofreader
  • Professor
  • Copywriter
  • Accent Coach
  • Public Librarian
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Social Researcher

Branches of Linguistics PPT

Courtesy: Apurv Verma, Slideshare

What You Should Know Before Going Into Linguistics?

Credits – UBC SALSA (Youtube)

FAQ

What are the branches of macro linguistics?

Macro linguistics is further subdivided into 3 parts which are: 

Prelinguistic – Focuses on phonetics
Micro linguistics – Focuses on phonology, morphology and syntax
Metalinguistics – Focuses on the relationship between language and all extralinguistic features of communicative.

What are the core branches of linguistics?

The main subparts of linguistics are: 

Phonetics
Phonology
Morphology 
Syntax 
Semantics 
Pragmatics

What are the different branches of linguistics?

Here is the list of top linguistics branches: 

Applied Linguistics
Sociolinguistics
Computational Linguistics
Psycholinguistics
Comparative Linguistics
Historical Linguistics
Stylistics

What are the major branches of linguistics?

The major branches of linguistics are as follows: 

Phonetics – Physical aspect of the study of speech
Phonology – Cognitive aspect of the study of speech
Morphology – Formation of words
Syntax – Formation of sentences
Semantics – Study of meaning 
Pragmatics – Study of language use

Hope this blog was successful in making you aware of the different branches of linguistics and top career options that this field offers! Want to pursue a degree in Linguistics? Reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu are just a click away from giving you the best expert guidance on choosing a suitable course and university as per your interests and aspirations. Sign up for a session today!

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