Fields and aspects of linguistics - статья на английском языке
As with all the other sciences in our day, it is not possible for any one man to take all linguistics for his province. Therefore linguistics has many subdivisions, representing various ways in which the subject matter can be cut up. We may recognize three groups of these divisions, which can be called fields, aspects and branches.
The various fields of linguistics are arrived at by dividing the total subject matter into various language groups, language families, and individual languages. Thus we can speak of Indo-European, Semitic, or Algonkian linguistics, all of which deal with large language families. Or the field may be progressively narrowed. Our field, American English, belongs in the largest sense to Indo-European linguistics. This includes many lesser fields, among them Germanic, which in turn includes English. By restricting ourselves to American English, we limit our field to only part of a single language. At that we shall have more than we can do.
The aspects of linguistics are divisions of the subject matter on the basis of time or point of view. Here the fundamental distinction is between synchronic and diachronic linguistics. Synchronic, a term also used in other fields such as anthropology, means "dealing with the state of affairs at a given point of time". It takes no account of history, in other words. On the other hand, diachronic, also used in other sciences, means "dealing with changes that occur in time". History is its material. This distinction between synchronic and diachronic linguistics is very important because many mistakes and fallacies result from overlooking it. <...>
There is another kind of statement we can make about language, which, in effect, means there is another aspect under which we can study it. If we return to Shakespeare's "most unkindest cut of all" it is apparent that we can make a statement of this sort: "The double superlative was used in Shakespeare's English, but it is not used in the English of the twentieth century." <...> The study of language from this point of view is comparative linguistics. It is always based on a foundation of synchronic or historical linguistics, or both, simply because comparisons are impossible without something to compare.
Finally, before we take leave of this rather lengthy discussion of the subdivision ot linguistics according to aspect, we should take note of the term structural linguistics. This is used to denominate the kind of linguistics which is primarily interested in discovering and describing as concisely and accurately as possible the interrelationships and patterns which make up the intricate structures of languages. <...>
The third method by which the subject matter of linguistics can be subdivided is on the basis of the various parts, or layers of structure, which go to make up speech. This gives us the various branches of linguistics. <...> Four branches may be recognized. They are:
Phonetics, whose subject matter is sound-features or qualities and their organization into speech-sounds, or phones.
Phonemics, whose subject matter is the organization of phones into groups or families, called phonemes, whose members are the significant sounds of speech.
Morphemics, whose subject matter is the organization of phonemes into meaningful groups called morphs. It is also concerned with the organization of these morphs into family groups, called morphemes, and the combination of morphemes into words.
Grammar, whose subject matter is the organization of words into various combinations, often representing many layers of structure, such as phrases, sentences, and complete utterances. <...> Phonology is a cover term embracing phonetics and phonemics. <...> Morphology and Syntax are subdivisions of grammar; the former deals with the structure of words, the latter with the structure of word groups. <...>
(From "The Structure of American English" by W. Nelson Francis)