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Showing posts from June, 2015


“If structuralism divided the sign from the referent, [...] [post-structuralism] goes a step further: it divides the signifier from the signified” (Eagleton, Literary Theory, p. 111).

Branches of Linguistics

So how do you categorize the multitudinous subcategories of linguistics? I am going to go with the following five divisions (a.k.a., categories, domains, fields, specializations):

1. Foundational Linguistics
2. Theoretical Linguistics
3. Descriptive Linguistics
4. Applied Linguistics
5. Mathematical Linguistics

Please feel free to quibble with this organizational schema. Feel free to entirely overthrow it, for that matter. It is just what makes the most sense to me for now.

These are all generally accepted categories except for the term “Foundational Linguistics.” I could call that category “General Linguistics” but the other gets more at what I mean. Plus, I am already using the tag/label “general linguistics” on this blog to refer to general (non-technical, non-domain-specific, I-don't-want-to-worry-about-classifying) discussions of linguistics and language.

So “Foundational Linguistics” refers to what a linguist cannot not know (and must know in the following alphabetical order, or el…