scientific study of language
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Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields: the study of language form, of language meaning, and of language in context.


  • Jede Sprache is ein System, dessen sämmtliche Theile organisch zusammenhängen und zusammenwirken.
    • Translation: Every language is a system all of whose parts interrelate and interact organically.
    • Georg von der Gabelentz, Die Sprachwissenschaft, ihre Aufgaben, Methoden und bisheringen Ergebnisse (1901). Leipzig: Weigel, p. 481.
  • [C]haque langue forme un système où tout se tient.
    • Translation: Every language forms a system in which everything is interconnected.
    • Antoine Meillet, Introduction à l'étude comparative des langues indo-européennes (1903). Paris: Hachette, p. 407.
  • La langue est un systéme dont toutes les parties peuvent et doivent être considérés dans leur solidarité synchronique.
    • Translation: Language is a system in which all the parts can and should be considered from the viewpoint of their synchronic interrelatedness.
    • Ferdinand de Saussure, Cours de linguistique générale (1916), Part 1, Ch. 3, sec. 3. Paris: Éditions Payot, 1995, p. 124.
  • “The long dispute about the reliability of this ‘linguistic paleontology’ is not yet finished, but approaching its inevitable end - with a negative result, of course.”
    • Stephan Zimmer, On Indo-Europeanization” in the Journal of Indo-European Studies, Spring 1990. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • Glottochronology is a methodological deadlock.
    • Harald Haarmann: “Basic’ vocabulary and language contacts: the disillusion of glottochronology”, Indogermanische Forschungen, 1990, p.35.

Example sentences


Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 460.
  • Besides 'tis known he could speak Greek
    As naturally as pigs squeak;
    That Latin was no more difficile
    Than to a blackbird 'tis to whistle.
  • A Babylonish dialect
    Which learned pedants much affect.
  • For though to smatter ends of Greek
    Or Latin be the rhetoric
    Of pedants counted, and vain-glorious,
    To smatter French is meritorious.
    • Samuel Butler, Remains in Verse and Prose, Satire, Upon Our Ridiculous Imitation of the French, line 127. A Greek proverb condemns the man of two tongues.
  • I love the language, that soft bastard Latin,
    Which melts like kisses from a female mouth.
  • * * * Philologists, who chase
    A panting syllable through time and space
    Start it at home, and hunt it in the dark,
    To Gaul, to Greece, and into Noah's Ark.
  • Lash'd into Latin by the tingling rod.
    • John Gay, The Birth of the Squire, line 46.
  • Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiss nichts von seiner eigenen.
  • Small Latin, and less Greek.
  • Omnia Græce!
    Cum sit turpe magis nostris nescire Latine.
    • Everything is Greek, when it is more shameful to be ignorant of Latin.
    • Juvenal, Satires (early 2nd century), VI, 187. (Second line said to be spurious).
  • Languages are no more than the keys of Sciences. He who despises one, slights the other.
  • C'est de l'hebreu pour moi.
    • It is Hebrew to me.
    • Molière, L'Etourdi, Act III, scene 3.
  • Negates artifex sequi voces.
    • He attempts to use language which he does not know.
    • Persius, Satires, Prologue, XI.
  • Egad, I think the interpreter is the hardest to be understood of the two!
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