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What is Scope of linguistics? and its Branches

Before the 20th century, the research of language was not considered as a distinct area of study in its own right. It was observed to be a part of studying the history of language or the philosophy of language. Now, Linguistics, as compared to past ages, is being deciphered as an independent discipline of descriptive study that keeps changing, as languages change. So, it continues to evolve out of old boundaries into new ones, with developments and research that occur in different languages.

The scope of Linguistics is very broad and covers a wide range of complex fields and topics. Many extensive research studies have also been significantly conducted on the linguistic perspectives of every language whose aim is to find out the features of the language by applying the scope of linguistics to comprehend the specific characteristics of literature, including prose and poems in different languages. Another reason for the scope of linguistics is its application that extends from anthropology to speech therapy in modern medicine amongst others. Consequently, linguistics is split into two major categories as per its scope:

  • Micro-linguistics
  • Macro-linguistics

Both fields of study of linguistics emphasize language and its layout and meanings and the changes that take place due to other factors. Micro-linguistics is the study of how a language is a system with a structured set of rules whereas macro-linguistics is the study of how language and societies interact and how language develops the contexts in which it is used.

Micro-linguistics or Core Linguistics (abstract level of study inwardly)

examines language on a micro level, or in a more specific and particular way. It refers to the development of models of linguistic knowledge. Micro-linguistics focuses on the study of language itself, including its sound (phonetics and phonology) grammatical structures (morphology and syntax), and meanings (semantics) in context (pragmatics).

scope of linguistics

scope of linguistics

In Core Linguistics, if it is imagined in circular form, there is phonetics in the centre which means the study of the production of human speech and the position of the tongue, teeth, vocal cords, etc during the production of sounds and also the analysis of sound waves. Phonetics is surrounded by phonology which means the study of the pattern and function of the sounds. Morphology and syntax are placed outside phonology. Thus, Micro-Linguistics studies language and all of its properties, elements, and concepts in greater detail.

Macro-linguistics (broaden level of study outwardly)

examines language on a macro level, or in a more general frame of mind. It refers to the implementation of linguistics theories to identify, inspect, and offer solutions to language-related real-life problems. Macro-linguistics focuses on the social, cultural psychological, and neurological factors and how they're connected to language and its structure.

Many linguistic fields investigate the connection or relations between language and other subject matter related to other disciplines, such as sociolinguistics (sociology and language) and psycholinguistics (psychology and language). Apparently, applied linguistics is any application of linguistic methods to resolve problems associated with language, but actually, it is inclined to be limited to second-language instruction. However, different subjects create links or relations with language as a result different fields of linguistics are organized.

Connection of other disciplines with linguistics

Connection of other disciplines with linguistics

Macro-linguistics studies language and the impact on language in general. It relates language to society and connects it to different types of science. It often compares languages across counties or cultures, the change of language overtime, or other large outside societal influences.


In conclusion, the domain of systematic study of the scope of linguistics is very huge and dynamic with different core areas such as phonology, phonetics, syntax etc. It is also intertwined with various components of a language and their relations with other languages constitute as sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics etc. Therefore, micro-linguistics is an in-depth view of language and its structure and does not focus on how a language affects society. On the other hand, macro-linguistics views language from a broader perspective.