Linguistics refers to the scientific study of language. The word ‘linguistics’ is derived from the Latin words ‘lingua’ meaning ‘tongue’ and ‘istics’ meaning ‘knowledge’s study of linguistics encompasses many different facets of a language, including its phonetics, semantics, syntax, morphology, and stylistics, among other things. In this blog, we will discuss the scope of linguistics.
This Blog Includes:
- What is Linguistics?
- The Scope of Linguistics
- Types & Branches of Linguistics
- Why Study Linguistics?
- Linguistics Courses
- Top Universities & Colleges for Linguistic Studies
- Career Scope of Linguistics
- Famous Linguists
- Popular Books on Linguistics
What is Linguistics?
Referred to as the scientific study of Languages, Linguistics is an expanding domain of study which explores the structure, evolution and diverse communicational aspects of varied languages. It emerged with a natural curiosity to explore the formation and development of languages, how they are formed, the context they evolve in and the factors that impact their development. For those inclined toward studying languages and how they evolved over a long period, Linguistics is surely an intriguing discipline. We will further discuss the scope of Linguistics, its varied branches, jobs you can explore as well as top universities offering academic programs in this field.
The Scope of Linguistics
The scope of Linguistics is vast as it is an expansive and complex field of study which includes various aspects of a language such as phonetics, semantics, syntax, morphology, and stylistics, amongst others. The study of Linguistics is also interdisciplinary as it has many varied specialisations such as Sociolinguistics, Computational Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Psycholinguistics and so on. It is regarded as a descriptive field of study since it is always changing as languages evolve and change. So, as new developments occur in any language, Linguistics as a field of study expands and is considered dynamic, as the historical aspects of languages and dialects go from old to new.
Another reason why there is an immense scope of Linguistics is that this area is also applied in various other fields especially Speech Therapy in Modern Medicine, Literature, Anthropology, and Sociology, amongst others. Many research studies have also significantly highlighted the role of linguistics in every language as well as in comprehending the varied aspects of literature in terms of prose and poems.
Types & Branches of Linguistics
Linguistics elaborates upon the nature and constituents of different forms of languages across the globe. As an emerging field of study, the scope of Linguistics is ever-expanding in contemporary times with many promising opportunities on offer! While pondering over your decision of pursuing this area of study, you must be familiar with the major branches of Linguistics. Here are the major branches of Linguistics:
Types of Linguistics
Now that you are familiar with the key branches of linguistics, you must also know the major types of Linguistics which are:
- Applied Linguistics
- Computational Linguistics
- Descriptive Linguistics
- Historical Linguistics
Now, let’s understand some of the most important types and branches of linguistics in further detail:
Applied linguistics is simply concerned with solving real-life problems and issues encountered in the practical and real-life use of a language. The nature and scope of this branch of linguistics are interdisciplinary as it involves studying a language in terms of its psychology, sociology, etc. It is similar to theoretical linguistics which is concerned with morphology, sociology and lexis.
Sociolinguistics is an interface between humanism and phonetics or language and the general public. Sociolinguistics, another part of phonetics, centres around how individuals use languages to communicate social class, group status, gender orientation, or ethnicity, and it also studies how some languages are used and accepted widely across social groups and how they impact behavioural changes in individuals and the society at large.
Computational Linguistics integrates computer science and technology with the study of languages to understand the formation of written and spoken languages used from the computational perspective. There is an increasing scope of Computational Linguistics in the current digital era as more and more revolutionary computational devices are being created and conceptualising their languages has also become pivotal.
Phonology deals with the sound of a language and understands the patterns of sounds and organises them to use in a form of language. It also has sub-branches like Generative Phonology, Auto-segmental Phonology, Metrical Phonology, Lexical Phonology, etc.
Besides all the linguistics branches, Stylistics is one of the most fascinating parts of linguistics that examines as it peruses the style and tone of written and spoken communication of a language.
Why Study Linguistics?
Owing to the immense scope of Linguistics, it has become a popular field of study as it provides you with varied perspectives of how human languages evolved and the factors that affected them be it social, literary, economic, political, geographical, psychological, etc. The top reasons why you should study Linguistics are:
- To understand the evolution and nature of a language
- To comprehend the theory of language and understand other languages in the context of the same
- To perceive the incremental role of languages in human evolution and society
- To explore how languages and dialects evolve and grow over time
- To discover the varied aspects of a language such as speech therapy, sociolinguistics, anthropological applications, psychological aspects and so on.
By pursuing a diploma or degree in Linguistics, you will get to learn about a diverse range of languages, their evolution as well prevalence in the present times. Now that you are familiar with the nature and scope of Linguistics across its branches, let’s take a look at popular Linguistics degree courses offered around the world.
|Bachelor’s Degree Courses
|BSc in English Studies
Bachelor’s in Hispanic Philosophy
Bachelor’s of Speech and Language Therapy
Bachelor’s of Foreign Language
BSc in Linguistics
Bachelor’s in Italian and English
Bachelor’s of Communication(Linguistics)
Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies
BA in Linguistics
BA in English Philosophy
BA in Hungarian Literature
BA in American Studies
|Master’s Degree Courses
|Masters in Cognitive Science and Language
Research Masters in Linguistics
Master in Applied Linguistics
Masters in Linguistics and Literary Studies
Master in Humanities
MSc in Linguistics
Master of Western Literature
Master of Cross-cultural and Applied Linguistics
Master in English Literature
MSc in English Studies
MA in Bilingualism
Top Universities & Colleges for Linguistic Studies
For the aforementioned programs, we have enlisted the major universities around the world which are famous for linguistic studies.
- Stanford University
- University of Cambridge
- The University of Edinburgh
- University of Massachusetts Amherst
- University of Maryland, College Park
- The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
- The University of California, Berkeley
- University of Victoria
- University of Sydney
- Newcastle University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Career Scope of Linguistics
Getting a degree in linguistics opens up numerous professional pathways. Linguistics is always in demand across a plethora of sectors such as government, research, corporate, etc. To help you understand the career scope of Linguistics, we have elaborated on some of the major job prospects in this field:
Also known as a speech-language pathologist, a Speech Therapist facilitates the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of speech disorders especially those concerned with communication and pronunciation. Under the vast scope of Linguistics, this career profile is in-demand in the healthcare and educational domain and is concerned with treating children and adults by tackling their speech disorders.
Lexicography is also a distinguished branch of Linguistics and working in this field, you will be involved in studying words and accumulating them for dictionaries. Further, Lexicographers concentrate on defining the pronunciation, meaning, variations and etymology of words. Linguists in this field are generally employed by publishing houses or research institutions for studying and describing the vocabulary of a particular language.
By studying Linguistics, you will be familiarized with the specialised discipline of Translation studies which involves interpreting, localising and translating varied languages. You can explore a wide range of Language Translator jobs across different sectors with promising prospects and exciting opportunities on offer!
To know more, check out How to Become a Language Translator!
A research career is among the sought-after opportunities in the immense scope of Linguistics. Many linguists choose to work in the research arena to explore lesser-known dialects and languages or work with government organizations on language-training programmes, and intelligence projects, among others.
Along with these, here are some more job opportunities coming under the career scope of Linguistics:
- Copy Editor
- Language Teacher
- Accent Coach
- Noam Chomsky
- Ferdinand de Saussure
- Umberto Eco
- Roman Jakobson
- Robin Lakoff
- Charles Peirce
- Edward Sapir
- Benjamin Whorf
Popular Books on Linguistics
- The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker
- The Unfolding of Language by Guy Deutscher
- The Power of Babel by John McWhorter
- Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch
- Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher
- The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker
- The Study of Language by George Yule
- How Language Works by David Crystal
- In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build A Perfect Language by Arika Okrent
- Syntactic Structures by Noam Chomsky
- The Art of Language Invention: From Horse‑Lords to Dark Elves, the Words by David J. Peterson
Thus, we hope that this blog provided you with the key essentials about the nature and scope of linguistics. Planning to study Linguistics? Reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu and we will guide you through the process of choosing the best course and university as well as sorting out the admission requirements and procedure! Sign up for a free session with us today!