Specialized Areas of Study in Linguistics

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Computational Linguistics

The statistical and/or rule-based modeling of natural language from a computational perspective.

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Contact Linguistics

The study of the ways in which languages influence one another when people speaking two or more languages (or dialects) interact. 

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Descriptive Linguistics

The work of analyzing and describing how language is spoken.

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Historical Linguistics

The study of language change.

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Language Acquisition

The study of the acquisition of language.

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Morphology

The study of morphemes, the smallest units of grammatical meaning, such as inflection and affixes.

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Phonetics

The study of the sounds of human speech.

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Phonology

Studies the sound system of a specific language.

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Pragmatics

Studies the ability of natural language speakers to communicate more than that which is explicitly stated.

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Prosody

The study of the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech.

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Psycholinguistics

Studies the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language.

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Semantics

Refers to aspects of meaning, as expressed in language or other systems of signs.

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Sociolinguistics

The study of the effect of any and all aspects of society on the way language is used.

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Syntax

The study of the rules that govern the structure of sentences, and which determine their relative grammaticality.

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