Linguistics is the (scientific) study of natural human language. See a reasonably good page at Wikipedia.


Linguists may deploy formal methods to analyse the syntax of natural language.

Formal grammars characterize which strings of words are considered grammatical, they come in many different flavours:

These different frameworks come in a hierarchy of expressive power, see Chomsky hierarchy.


Formal theories of meaning are based on the principle of compositionality: the semantics of a sentence is a function of the meanings of its words, and of its grammatical structure.


Pragmatics is concerned with the meaning of language in context.


Linguistics per se

  • diverse materials and corpora can be found at extensive web site The Linguist List
  • Wikipedia linguistics, philology, phonetics, morphology (linguistics), syntax, semantics, pragmatics, semiotics, linguistic typology, historical linguistics, comparative linguistics
  • LaTeX for linguists
  • F. de Saussure, Cours de linguistique générale
  • André Martinet, Éléments de linguistique générale, (Engl. transl.: Elements of General Linguistics)
  • Adrian Akmajian, Richard A. Demers, Ann K. Farmer, Robert M. Harnish, Linguistics, an introduction to language and communication
  • John Lyons, Semantics; Linguistics semantics
  • Bernard Comrie, Language universals and linguistic typology, syntax and morphology, 1981, 1989
  • Peter Ladefoged, Keith Johnson, A course in phonetics
  • Steven Pinker, The language instinct, 1994
  • Winfred P. Lehmann, Historical linguistics: an introduction
  • George Lakoff, Women, fire and dangerous things, 1987
  • Ronald Langacker, Foundations of cognitive grammar, vol. 1, 1987, vol. 2, 1991
  • Pieter A. M. Seuren, The logic of language, vol. II of Language from within; (vol. I: Language in cognition) Oxford University Press 2010
  • David Mumford, Grammar isn’t merely part of language, 2016 blog

Category theory and linguistics

  • Joachim Lambek, Pregroups and natural language processing, The Mathematical Intelligencer 28 (2006), 41–48 pdf
  • Bob Coecke, Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, Stephen Clark, Mathematical foundations for a compositional distributional model of meaning, in the Lambek Festschrift, special issue of Linguistic Analysis, 2010 arxiv/1003.4394
category: philosophy

Last revised on January 28, 2021 at 16:51:45. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.