Linguistics is the scientific study of language. There are three aspects to this study: language form, language meaning, and language in context. The earliest activities in the description of language have been attributed to the 4th century BCE Indian grammarian Pini, who was an early student of linguistics and wrote a formal description of the Sanskrit language.
Linguistics analyzes human language as a system for relating sounds (or signs in signed languages) and meaning. Phonetics studies acoustic and articulatory properties of the production and perception of speech sounds and non-speech sounds. The study of language meaning, on the other hand, deals with how languages encode relations between entities, properties, and other aspects of the world to convey, process, and assign meaning, as well as to manage and resolve ambiguity. While the study of semantics typically concerns itself with truth conditions, pragmatics deals with how context influences meanings.
Grammar is a system of rules which govern the form of the utterances in a given language. It encompasses both sound and meaning, and includes phonology (how sounds and gestures function together), morphology (the formation and composition of words), and syntax (the formation and composition of phrases and sentences from words).
In the early 20th century, Ferdinand de Saussure distinguished between the notions of langue and parole in his formulation of structural linguistics. Acco . . . more