Modern linguists approach their work with a scientific perspective, although they use methods that used to be thought of as solely an academic discipline of the humanities. Contrary to previous belief, linguistics is multidisciplinary. It overlaps each of the human sciences including psychology, neurology, anthropology, and sociology. Linguists conduct formal studies of sound structure, grammar and meaning, but they also investigate the history of language families, and research language acquisition. And as other scientists, they formulate hypotheses, catalog observations, and work to support explanatory theories. 

Place of linguistics in cognitive science



The resources on this page offer some perspectives on the science and applied science of linguistics.

Below are a series of FAQ pamphlets which offer particular insights into language from a scientific perspective.



The Routledge Guides to Linguistics series, produced as part of the LSA’s publishing partnership with Routledge, is a new series of publications meant to serve as introductions to various topics and questions within the field of Linguistics. You can find a full list of available, new titles here. The series includes approachable and informative guides to many topics in Linguistics:

  • Language in Children by Eve V. Clark
  • Language and Meaning by Betty J. Birner
  • Is English Changing? by steve Kleinedler
  • Sign Languages by Diane Lillo-Martin, Sandra Wood, and Joseph Hill (forthcoming)
  • Why Study Linguistics by Kristen Denham and Anne Lobeck (forthcoming)
  • Language, Gender, and Sexuality by Scott F. Kiesling (forthcoming)
  • Bilingulaism by Sharzad Mahootian (forthcoming)
  • Ebonics by Sonja L. Lanehart (forthcoming)

The Domain of Linguistics is a series first published by the Linguistic Society of America in 1982. It was written to explain the discipline to the general public, facilitated by a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

More articles in the Domain of Linguistics