Theoretical linguistics

general linguisticstheoreticallinguistic theorytheoretical linguisttheoretical linguisticformformalGeneralgeneral linguistlanguage skills
Theoretical linguistics, or general linguistics, is the branch of linguistics which inquires into the nature of language itself and seeks to answer fundamental questions as to what language is; how it works; how universal grammar (UG) as a domain-specific mental organ operates, if it exists at all; what are its unique properties; how does language relate to other cognitive processes, etc.wikipedia
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Linguistics

linguistlinguisticlinguists
Theoretical linguistics, or general linguistics, is the branch of linguistics which inquires into the nature of language itself and seeks to answer fundamental questions as to what language is; how it works; how universal grammar (UG) as a domain-specific mental organ operates, if it exists at all; what are its unique properties; how does language relate to other cognitive processes, etc. Theoretical linguists are most concerned with constructing models of linguistic knowledge, and ultimately developing a linguistic theory.
It involves analysing language form, language meaning, and language in context.

Language

languageslinguisticlinguistic diversity
Theoretical linguistics, or general linguistics, is the branch of linguistics which inquires into the nature of language itself and seeks to answer fundamental questions as to what language is; how it works; how universal grammar (UG) as a domain-specific mental organ operates, if it exists at all; what are its unique properties; how does language relate to other cognitive processes, etc. Theoretical linguists are most concerned with constructing models of linguistic knowledge, and ultimately developing a linguistic theory.
By way of contrast, such transformational grammars are also commonly used to provide formal definitions of language are commonly used in formal logic, in formal theories of grammar, and in applied computational linguistics.

Phonology

phonologicalphonologicallyphonologist
That is one obvious difference from phonology, which concerns the structure and organisation of speech sounds in natural languages has a theoretical and abstract nature.
For many linguists, phonetics belongs to descriptive linguistics, and phonology to theoretical linguistics, although establishing the phonological system of a language is necessarily an application of theoretical principles to analysis of phonetic evidence.

Applied linguistics

applied linguistappliedapplied linguistic
Since the 1960s, the term "theoretical linguistics" has typically been used in more or less the same sense as "general linguistics", even though it also contrasts with applied linguistics, and even though it is often said that language description is inherently theoretical.
As early as the 1970s, applied linguistics became a problem-driven field rather than theoretical linguistics, including the solution of language-related problems in the real world.

Syntax

syntacticsyntacticalsyntactically
Syntax is the study of language structure and phrasal hierarchies, depicted in parse tree format.
The central role of syntax within theoretical linguistics became clear only in the 20th century, which could reasonably be called the "century of syntactic theory" as far as linguistics is concerned.

Digital infinity

an infinite number of sentencesdiscrete infinityDiscreteness
Digital infinity is a technical term in theoretical linguistics.

Morpheme

morphemesmorphemicderivational
Some morphological theories operate with two distinct suffixes -s, called allomorphs of the morphemes plural and third-person singular, respectively.

Computational linguistics

mathematical linguisticscomputational linguistSymbolic Systems
Theoretical computational linguistics focuses on issues in theoretical linguistics and cognitive science and applied computational linguistics focuses on the practical outcome of modeling human language use.

Generative grammar

generative linguisticsgenerativegenerative phonology
Generative grammar is a linguistic theory that regards grammar as a system of rules that generates exactly those combinations of words that form grammatical sentences in a given language.

Biolinguistics

Biolinguistbiology
Recent work in theoretical linguistics and cognitive studies at MIT construes human language as a highly non-redundant species-specific system.

Universal grammar

linguistic nativismnativismuniversal
Theoretical linguistics, or general linguistics, is the branch of linguistics which inquires into the nature of language itself and seeks to answer fundamental questions as to what language is; how it works; how universal grammar (UG) as a domain-specific mental organ operates, if it exists at all; what are its unique properties; how does language relate to other cognitive processes, etc. Theoretical linguists are most concerned with constructing models of linguistic knowledge, and ultimately developing a linguistic theory.

Linguistic description

descriptivedescriptive linguisticslinguistic analysis
Ferdinand de Saussure's famous Course in General Linguistics), which could be contrasted with "language-particular linguistics" (which is more often called descriptive linguistics).

Phonetics

phoneticphoneticallyphonetician
Although phonetics often guides phonology, it is often excluded from the purview of theoretical linguistics, along with semantics.

Semantics

semanticsemanticallymeaning
Although phonetics often guides phonology, it is often excluded from the purview of theoretical linguistics, along with semantics.

Morphology (linguistics)

morphologymorphologicalmorphologically
The fields that are generally considered the core of theoretical linguistics are phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics.

Noun

nounssubstantiveabstract noun
Adding this suffix to a nominal stem gives plural forms, and adding it to verbal stems restricts the subject to third-person singular.

Verb

verbssubject-verb agreementv.
Adding this suffix to a nominal stem gives plural forms, and adding it to verbal stems restricts the subject to third-person singular.

Subject (grammar)

subjectsubjectsgrammatical subject
Adding this suffix to a nominal stem gives plural forms, and adding it to verbal stems restricts the subject to third-person singular.

Allomorph

allomorphyallomorphsallomorphic variation
Some morphological theories operate with two distinct suffixes -s, called allomorphs of the morphemes plural and third-person singular, respectively.

Analytic language

analyticanalytic languagesanalytical
Along one axis, analytic languages, with few or no affixes or other morphological processes, may be distinguished from synthetic languages, with many affixes.

Synthetic language

syntheticsyntheticallysynthesis
Along one axis, analytic languages, with few or no affixes or other morphological processes, may be distinguished from synthetic languages, with many affixes.

Agglutinative language

agglutinativeagglutinatingagglutinating language
Along another axis, agglutinative languages, whose affixes express only one grammatical property and are added neatly one after another, may be distinguished from fusional languages, with non-concatenative morphological processes (infixation, umlaut, ablaut, etc.) and/or with less clear-cut affix boundaries.

Fusional language

fusionalinflected languageinflected
Along another axis, agglutinative languages, whose affixes express only one grammatical property and are added neatly one after another, may be distinguished from fusional languages, with non-concatenative morphological processes (infixation, umlaut, ablaut, etc.) and/or with less clear-cut affix boundaries.

Infix

infixesinfixationinfixed
Along another axis, agglutinative languages, whose affixes express only one grammatical property and are added neatly one after another, may be distinguished from fusional languages, with non-concatenative morphological processes (infixation, umlaut, ablaut, etc.) and/or with less clear-cut affix boundaries.

Germanic umlaut

umlauti-mutationRückumlaut
Along another axis, agglutinative languages, whose affixes express only one grammatical property and are added neatly one after another, may be distinguished from fusional languages, with non-concatenative morphological processes (infixation, umlaut, ablaut, etc.) and/or with less clear-cut affix boundaries.