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Linguistics is the science of language and languages.

Subtypes or branches


The term arose in the first half of the 19th century, apparently under the influence of German (Linguistik) and/or French (linguistique). The OED's first attestation is from 1837 ("linguistic").

  • "We may call the science of languages linguistic, as it is called by the best German writers." (Whewell 1837 I. p. cxiv) (cited after OED)


  • Whewell, William. 1837. History of the inductive sciences, from the earliest to the present times.

other languages

German Linguistik, Sprachwissenschaft