what are the major difference between modren linguists and the traditional grammarians in the study of a langauge?
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It seems likely that the human brain is one of the most complex structures in the universe, and that language is the most complicated function of that brain. If so, language research is an immense continent unlikely to be mapped in our lifetimes. Its vastness encompasses physics, psychology and physiology, to molecular biological level in brain function. It extends to sociology and, of course, to philosophy, which has been prominent in the weighing of words for more than two thousand years and all these now in the nexus of mathematics strengthened by immense computer power. Modern Linguistics has horizons that were invisible to the phoneticians and grammarians of a hundred years ago; its present corpus is far beyond the compass of any individual scholar, and growing by the day. Graduates in Linguistics legitimately class themselves as scientists. The Cambridge Paperback Encyclopaedia, whose editor is a prominent professor of the subject describes Linguistics as The scientific study of Language. So no surprise that confidence in their discipline gives many of them assurance of being better fitted to pronounce on language than even consummate users of it. Here is that belief stated authoritatively by Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill, editors of the book
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