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Linguistics is the scientific study of language, and involves an analysis of language form, language meaning, and language in context. The earliest activities in the documentation and description of language have been attributed to the 4th century BCE Indian grammarian Pāṇini who wrote a formal description of the Sanskrit language in his Aṣṭādhyāyī.
Linguists traditionally analyse human language by observing an interplay between sound and meaning.Phonetics is the study of speech and non-speech sounds, and delves into their acoustic and articulatory properties. The study of language meaning, on the other hand, deals with how languages encode relations between entities, properties, and other aspects of the world to convey, process, and assign meaning, as well as manage and resolve ambiguity. While the study of semantics typically concerns itself with truth conditions, pragmatics deals with how situational context influences the production of meaning.
Grammar is a system of rules which governs the production and use of utterances in a given language. These rules apply to sound as well as meaning, and include componential sub-sets of rules, such as those pertaining to phonology (the organisation of phonetic sound systems), morphology (the formation and composition of words), and syntax (the formation and composition of phrases and sentences). Modern theories that deal with the principles of grammar are largely based within Noam Chomsky's ideological school of generative grammar.
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