22 Definitions of Linguistics by Different Authors

In this post, you will discover a wide variety of definitions of Linguistics by different authors ranging from Noam Chomsky and Edward Sapir to Leonard Bloomfield and Victoria Fromkin.

Are you looking for definitions of linguistics by different authors, including some less commonly known sources? You will have them all here.

Without wasting much time, let’s check them out.

Definitions of Linguistics from William O’Grady to Noam Chomsky

Find below the first set of definitions of Linguistics from different authors such as William O’Grady, Noam Chomsky and Lyle Campbell.

1. “Linguistics is the scientific study of language and its structure, including the sounds, words, and grammar used in communication.” – William O’Grady

2. “Linguistics is the systematic inquiry into human language: its nature, structure, origin, and use.” – George L. Trager

3. “Linguistics is the study of the structure and development of language in general or of particular languages, especially by analyzing their history and structure and by comparing and contrasting them.” – Oxford English Dictionary

4. “Linguistics is the scientific study of language, involving the sounds, words, and sentences used in communication.” – Victoria Fromkin

5. “Linguistics is the study of the nature, structure, and variation of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, and psycholinguistics.” – Lyle Campbell

6. “Linguistics is the discipline that investigates all aspects of language, focusing on the systems of sounds, words, and grammar as well as on language use in social and cultural contexts.” – Adrian Akmajian

7. “Linguistics is the scientific study of language, encompassing its structure, meaning, and usage across different cultures and communities.” – David Crystal

8. “Linguistics is the exploration of how language works, from its smallest units (sounds) to its largest (discourse), and how it functions in communication, thought, and society.” – Victoria Yaguello

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9. “Linguistics is the systematic and scientific study of language and its various components, including phonetics, syntax, and semantics.” – Edward Sapir

10. “Linguistics is the scientific study of language and its components, aiming to understand its structure, meaning, and use in human communication.” – Bernard Bloch

11. “Linguistics is the study of language as a complex and dynamic system, investigating its rules, patterns, and variations across different linguistic communities.” – Noam Chomsky

From Deborah Tannen to Benjamin Lee Whorf

Here are additional definitions of Linguistics from different authors including Deborah Tannen and Benjamin Lee Whorf.

12. “Linguistics is the discipline that explores the principles governing the structure and function of language, encompassing both its internal organization and its role in human interaction.” – Deborah Tannen

13. “Linguistics is the systematic examination of the structure, evolution, and social context of language, aiming to uncover the fundamental principles that underlie human communication.” – Ferdinand de Saussure

14. “Linguistics is the scientific inquiry into the nature of language, its sounds, symbols, and grammar, as well as its cognitive and social aspects.” – Leonard Bloomfield

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15. “Linguistics is the investigation of the human capacity for language, analyzing its components and how they are used to convey meaning and facilitate communication.” – Steven Pinker

16. “Linguistics is the study of language as a cognitive phenomenon, exploring the mental processes involved in language comprehension and production.” – Elizabeth Bates

17. “Linguistics is the systematic examination of the form, meaning, and use of language, encompassing its various levels of analysis and its role in shaping human culture.” – Ronald Wardhaugh

18. “Linguistics is the field that seeks to uncover the universal principles underlying all languages while also acknowledging the diversity and richness of individual languages.” – Charles Hockett

19. “Linguistics is the scientific discipline that investigates the properties of human language and how it is used for communication and thought, drawing on a wide range of methodologies and theoretical frameworks.” – Geoffrey Leech

20. “Linguistics is the exploration of language as a dynamic and multifaceted system, investigating its phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic aspects, as well as its social and cultural dimensions.” – Deborah Cameron

21. “Linguistics is the study of the structure, history, and social context of language, with a focus on understanding how languages are organized and how they function as vehicles of human expression and thought.” – Joan Bybee

22. “Linguistics is the systematic inquiry into the nature of language, encompassing its sounds, words, and grammar, as well as its role in shaping human identity and culture.” – Benjamin Lee Whorf

Final Thoughts

The above definitions provide a diverse perspective on the field of linguistics. They highlight its multidimensional nature as a subject of academic study.

What other definitions of academic concepts would you like to see here? State them in a comment below.

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Ralph Nyadzi is the Director of Studies at Cegast Academy. He is a qualified English tutor with decades of experience behind him. Since 2001, he has successfully coached thousands of High School General Arts WASSCE candidates in English, Literature and related subjects. He combines his expertise with a passion for lifelong learning to guide learners from varying backgrounds to achieve their educational goals. Ralph shares lessons from his blogging journey on BloggingtotheMax. He lives with River, his pet cat, in the Central Region of Ghana.

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