Language use is an essential human ability: Whether it's telling a joke, naming a baby, using voice recognition software, or helping a relative who's had a stroke, you'll find the study of language reflected in almost everything you do. Linguists spend their days seeking answers to questions like the following and so many more, because language and linguistics play such a fundamental role in every human's life.


Commonly Asked Questions

  • How do you speak differently when you're talking to your friends, your parents, or your boss? (LSA article: Discourse analysis)
  • Would you write an essay and a text message the same way? (LSA article: Linguistics and literature)
  • Why do people who speak the same language as you still sound different from you? (LSA pamphlet: Accents)
  • Where do words come from? (LSA pamphlet: Origins of language)
  • How do words change over time? (LSA YouTube: Language change)
  • Does our knowledge of language differ from how we produce it? (LSA article: Language and thought)
  • What about when we know more than one language? (LSA pamphlet: Bilingual children)
  • How do services like Google Translate work? (Blog post: Machine translation)
  • How can someone's language abilities change when they suffer a stroke? (LSA pamphlet: Strokes and aphasia)
  • What are sign languages, and how do they work? (LSA pamphlet: Sign languages)
  • Why do languages die, and how can one on the brink of death be preserved? (LSA article: Endangered languages)

These questions are just a taste of the diverse issues that linguists seek to answer about some of the little things we don't often notice in our everyday lives. 

FAQ pamphlets

"The Domain of Linguistics" is a series of over 20 articles  on linguistics in everyday life.

Podcasts on Linguistics and Language.


The LSA welcomes suggestions for additional resources to include on this page. Please reply using the comment feature or contact the Secretariat: [email protected].