Linguistics is the systematic study of language. Its focus is on language, in general , not on any individual language. The word linguistics is derived from Latin lingua meaning tongue and istics meaning knowledge or science. It studies language as a universal and recognizable part of human behavior . It investigates how the language is constructed, how it varies through space , how it is used, and how it is related to other languages. Hence the linguist studies the origin , organization ,nature and development of language descriptively ,historically , comparatively and explicitly and formulates general rules related to language . The linguist is one who studies language objectively , observing it scientifically , recording facts about language objectively , observing it scientifically , recording facts about language and deriving general principles for them. First study the language and second it tries to describe the language apply those theory in language .
The facts about language that interest a linguist are its sounds ,forms of words and the arrangement of words to form meaningful utterances. There are various approaches to the study of linguistics : historical, descriptive and comparative.
HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS :-
It studies the facts about a language for the purpose of describing the development of the language for a period of time. It traces language change and the causes and results of such changes that occurred from time to time.
It deals with the description and analysis of the ways in which a language operates and is used by a given set of speakers at a given time. it is based on a structural approach to language.
It is concerned with comparing two or more languages .It traces the evolution of language and by comparing one with another , establishes the relationship between them .
Linguistics may be considered as science . Like any other branch of science it has a well – defined subject matter called language. It makes use of methods like observation , recording and analysis of the various phenomena related to the study of language.