Portal:Linguistics
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Portal:Linguistics
For a topical guide of this subject, see Outline of linguistics

Welcome to the Linguistics Portal!

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It involves analysis of language form, language meaning, and language in context, as well as an analysis of the social, cultural, historical, and political factors that influence language.

Linguists traditionally analyse human language by observing the relationship between sound and meaning. Meaning can be studied in its directly spoken or written form through the field of semantics, as well as in its indirect form through body language and gestures under the discipline of pragmatics. Each speech sound particle is called a phoneme. How these phonemes are organised to convey meaning depends on various linguistic patterns and structures that theoretical linguists describe and analyse.

Some of these patterns of sound and meaning are found in the study of morphology (concerning how words are formulated through "morphemes"), syntax (how phrases and sentences are structured), and phonology (the study of sound patterns). The emergence of historical and evolutionary linguistics has also led to a greater focus over studying how languages change and grow, particularly over an extended period of time. Sociolinguists also study how language develops among different communities through dialects, and how each language changes, grows, and varies from person to person and group to group.

Macrolinguistic concepts include the study of narrative theory, stylistics, discourse analysis, and semiotics. Microlinguistic concepts, on the other hand, involve the analysis of grammar, speech sounds, palaeographic symbols, connotation, and logical references, all of which can be applied to lexicography, editing, language documentation, translation, as well as speech-language pathology (a corrective method to cure phonetic disabilities and disfunctions). (Full article...)

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Most modern English speakers think of "thou" as a relic of Shakespeare's day

The word thou was a second person singular pronoun in English. It is now largely archaic, having been replaced in almost all contexts by "you". Thou is the nominative form; the oblique/objective form is thee (functioning as both accusative and dative), and the possessive is thy or thine. Originally, thou was simply the singular counterpart to the plural pronoun ye, derived from an ancient Indo-European root. In imitation of continental practice, thou was later used to express intimacy, familiarity, or even disrespect while another pronoun, you, the oblique/objective form of ye, was used for formal circumstances (see T-V distinction). After thou fell out of fashion, it was primarily retained in fixed ritual settings, so that for some speakers, it came to connote solemnity or even formality. Thou persists, sometimes in altered form, in regional dialects of England and Scotland. The disappearance of the singular-plural distinction has been compensated for through the use of neologisms in various dialects. Colloquial American English, for example, contains plural constructions that vary regionally, including y'all, youse, and you guys. (more...)

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From Wikipedia's "Did You Know" archives:

The number 605 in Khmer Numerals


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