Linguistics

Start Your Free Trial

Is linguistics a science? Please explain with examples.

Expert Answers info

Ben Orn eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write638 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

Linguistics is a science. It is the scientific study of language. The term "linguistics" was first used in the mid-nineteenth century. It is an extremely broad field which encompasses grammar, phonology, and semantics. Before the mid-nineteenth century, the field was known as philology.

Comparative philologists, such as Sir William Jones (1746–1794), laid the foundation for what would become comparative historical linguistics. They discovered that Sanskrit resembles Greek and Latin in its influence on the development of languages and that languages often have a common source. (For instance, the five Romance languages are derived from Latin.)

Language acquisition theories are part of linguistics. Audiolingualism, popular in the 1950s and and 1960s, was based on behaviorism—habit formation. Accuracy, drills, and repetition are part of this teaching method. Noam Chomsky, an erudite scholar, refuted Audiolingualism. Chomsky claimed that children are born with a "universal grammar" and...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 687 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write784 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Kale Emmerich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write1,161 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

marbar57 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write551 answers

starTop subjects are Science, Literature, and Social Sciences





check Approved by eNotes Editorial