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Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does linguistics mean? 

  The noun LINGUISTICS has 2 senses:

1. the scientific study of language
2. the humanistic study of language and literature

  Familiarity information: LINGUISTICS used as a noun is rare.

 Dictionary entry details 


Sense 1linguistics [BACK TO TOP]


The scientific study of language

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents

Hypernyms ("linguistics" is a kind of...):

science; scientific discipline (a particular branch of scientific knowledge)

Domain member category:

cognate (having the same ancestral language)

New (in use after medieval times)

Modern; New (used of a living language; being the current stage in its development)

late (of a later stage in the development of a language or literature; used especially of dead languages)

middle (of a stage in the development of a language or literature between earlier and later stages)

Old (of a very early stage in development)

early (of an early stage in the development of a language or literature)

uninflected (not inflected)

inflected (showing alteration in form (especially by the addition of affixes))

cacuminal; retroflex (pronounced with the tip of the tongue turned back toward the hard palate)

inanimate (belonging to the class of nouns denoting nonliving things)

animate (belonging to the class of nouns that denote living beings)

synthetic (systematic combining of root and modifying elements into single words)

received; standard (conforming to the established language usage of educated native speakers)

acceptable; accepted (judged to be in conformity with approved usage)

nonstandard (not conforming to the language usage of a prestige group within a community)

vocative (relating to a case used in some languages)

prepositional (of or relating to or formed with a preposition)

aspectual (of or belonging to an aspect (as an aspect of the verb))

ablative (relating to the ablative case)

homophonous (characteristic of the phenomenon of words of different origins that are pronounced the same way)

polyphonic (having two or more phonetic values)

radical (of or relating to or constituting a linguistic root)

synsemantic (of a word or phrase meaningful only when it occurs in the company of other words)

autosemantic (of a word or phrase meaningful in isolation, independent of context)

segmental (divided or organized into speech segments or isolable speech sounds)

suprasegmental (pertaining to a feature of speech that extends over more than a single speech sound)

unacceptable; unaccepted (not conforming to standard usage)

bad (nonstandard)

analytic; uninflected (expressing a grammatical category by using two or more words rather than inflection)

geminate; reduplicate (form by reduplication)

topicalize (emphasize by putting have stress on or by moving to the front of the sentence)

base; radical; root; root word; stem; theme ((linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed)

descriptor; form; signifier; word form (the phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something)

derivative ((linguistics) a word that is derived from another word)

prescriptivism ((linguistics) a doctrine supporting or promoting prescriptive linguistics)

descriptivism ((linguistics) a doctrine supporting or promoting descriptive linguistics)

phonemics; phonology (the study of the sound system of a given language and the analysis and classification of its phonemes)

generative grammar ((linguistics) a type of grammar that describes syntax in terms of a set of logical rules that can generate all and only the infinite number of grammatical sentences in a language and assigns them all the correct structural description)

syntax (studies of the rules for forming admissible sentences)

phrase structure; sentence structure; syntax (the grammatical arrangement of words in sentences)

prescriptive grammar (a grammar that is produced by prescriptive linguistics)

descriptive grammar (a grammar that is produced by descriptive linguistics)

grammar (the branch of linguistics that deals with syntax and morphology (and sometimes also deals with semantics or morphology))

complementary distribution; complementation ((linguistics) a distribution of related speech sounds or forms in such a way that they only appear in different contexts)

participant role; semantic role (an entity realized by a noun or noun phrase in a clause or sentence)

postposition ((linguistics) the placing of one linguistic element after another (as placing a modifier after the word that it modifies in a sentence or placing an affix after the base to which it is attached))

etymologise; etymologize (construct the history of words)

voice ((linguistics) the grammatical relation (active or passive) of the grammatical subject of a verb to the action that the verb denotes)

linguistic process (a process involved in human language)

aphaeresis; apheresis ((linguistics) omission at the beginning of a word as in 'coon' for 'raccoon' or 'till' for 'until')

phylum ((linguistics) a large group of languages that are historically related)

sign (a fundamental linguistic unit linking a signifier to that which is signified)

linguistic universal; universal ((linguistics) a grammatical rule (or other linguistic feature) that is found in all languages)

linguistic rule; rule ((linguistics) a rule describing (or prescribing) a linguistic practice)

allophone ((linguistics) any of various acoustically different forms of the same phoneme)

phoneme ((linguistics) one of a small set of speech sounds that are distinguished by the speakers of a particular language)

morphophoneme ((linguistics) the phonemes (or strings of phonemes) that constitute the various allomorphs of a morpheme)

topicalization ((linguistics) emphasis placed on the topic or focus of a sentence by preposing it to the beginning of the sentence; placing the topic at the beginning of the sentence is typical for English)

preposition ((linguistics) the placing of one linguistic element before another (as placing a modifier before the word it modifies in a sentence or placing an affix before the base to which it is attached))

tone ((linguistics) a pitch or change in pitch of the voice that serves to distinguish words in tonal languages)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "linguistics"):

descriptive linguistics (a description (at a given point in time) of a language with respect to its phonology and morphology and syntax and semantics without value judgments)

synchronic linguistics (the study of a language without reference to its historical context)

structural linguistics; structuralism (linguistics defined as the analysis of formal structures in a text or discourse)

sociolinguistics (the study of language in relation to its sociocultural context)

semantics (the study of language meaning)

pragmatics (the study of language use)

neurolinguistics (the branch of linguistics that studies the relation between language and the structure and function of the nervous system)

diachronic linguistics; diachrony; historical linguistics (the study of linguistic change)

etymology (the study of the sources and development of words)

dialect geography; linguistic geography (the study of the geographical distribution of linguistic features)

computational linguistics (the use of computers for linguistic research and applications)

prescriptive linguistics (an account of how a language should be used instead of how it is actually used; a prescription for the 'correct' phonology and morphology and syntax and semantics)

Holonyms ("linguistics" is a part of...):

cognitive science (the field of science concerned with cognition; includes parts of cognitive psychology and linguistics and computer science and cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of mind)

Sense 2linguistics [BACK TO TOP]


The humanistic study of language and literature

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents


philology; linguistics

Hypernyms ("linguistics" is a kind of...):

arts; humanistic discipline; humanities; liberal arts (studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills))

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "linguistics"):

dialectology (the branch of philology that is devoted to the study of dialects)

lexicology (the branch of linguistics that studies the lexical component of language)

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