Meanderings of an Amateur Linguist

Just me and my languages – a dangerous combonation

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What does it mean to be a linguist?

Posted by ILuvEire on November 23, 2008

I call myself an amateur linguist, but I’m not too sure that I use the same definition as everyone else. I take it to mean the study of the inner workings of language. I’m most interested in Psycholinguistics – the relationship between the mind and language. I believe it’s very important and that there’s a lot more to be discovered.

Wikipedia defines linguistics as

Linguistics is the scientific study of language

The Webster’s dictionary defines linguistics as

–noun (used with a singular verb) the science of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and historical linguistics.

Now that’s a definition I can work with! That supports my definition. The definition everyone seems to attack me with is similar to this:

…individual speaker who uses two or more languages,

AKA the definition of Multilingualism from Wikipedia.

That’s quite interesting. 🙂


One Response to “What does it mean to be a linguist?”

  1. Danny said

    I know, it’s frustrating. Whenever I tell people I’m interested in Linguistics the first thing they ask is how many languages I speak. While I do like learning languages and I am multilingual, that’s not what being a linguist is about. Most people have no clue… I used the word morphology when I was with my mom the other day(I think it was an answer on a crossword puzzle), and she thought I made it up.

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