WHAT IS LINGUISTICS? OR DEFINITION OF LINGUISTICS
The word ‘Linguistic’ has been derived from Latin lingua (tongue) and istics (Knowledge or science). Etymologically, therefore, linguistics is the scientific study of language. But it is the study not of one particular language but of human language in general, it studies language as a universal and recognizable part of human behavior, It attempts to describe and analyze language, the field of linguistics comprises understanding of the place of language in human life, the ways in which it is organized to fulfill the needs it serves, and the functions it performs.
So linguistics is that science which studies the origin, organization, nature and development of language descriptively, historically, comparatively and explicitly, and formulates the general rules related to language. Diachronic (Historical) Linguistics studies the development of language through history through time, for example, the way in which French and Italian have evolved form Latin, Synchronic Linguistic investigates how the people speak and use language in a given speech community at a given time. In Comparative linguistics one is concerned with comparing two or more different language.
Linguistics, therefore, is the science that describes and classifies languages. The linguist identifies and describes the unites and patterns of the sound system, the words and morphemes, and phrases and sentences, that is structure of language, as completely, accurately, and economically as possible.