Historical Linguistics (field) the scientific study of language change over time

Historical Linguistics is a sub-field of study within Linguistics that concerns the scientific study of language change over time. It belongs to the broader branch of science called Integrated Science. This term belongs mainly to the broader category called Language.

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Fields derived from Historical Linguistics

  • Applied Lexicography (interdisciplinary sub-field) the practice of creating dictionaries
  • Epigraphy (interdisciplinary sub-field) the study and interpretation of ancient inscriptions
  • Etymology (interdisciplinary sub-field) the study of word origins
  • Lexicography (interdisciplinary field) the study of vocabulary in a given language
  • Literary Science (interdisciplinary field) the scientific study of literature, its history, development, and theory
  • Palaeography (interdisciplinary sub-field) the study of past writing systems and the dating of historical manuscripts
  • Philology (interdisciplinary sub-field) the study of oral and historical written language

Terms related to Historical Linguistics

  • Attested Language "a language with documented writing"
  • Language Family "a collection of languages derived from a common ancestor"
  • Proto- "a prefix used to denote hypothetical aspects of ancestral languages"
  • Proto-Language "a hypothetical ancestor language of other languages"
  • Reconstruction "a procedure for determining the ancestral form of a word in an unattested language"



PsychLing Contributors. "Historical Linguistics." PsychLing, OMNIKA Foundation, 9 Sep. 2023, psylng.org/glossary/field/historical-linguistics. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.


PsychLing (2023, September 9). Historical Linguistics. Retrieved from https://psylng.org/glossary/field/historical-linguistics

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PsychLing Contributors. "Historical Linguistics." Las Vegas, NV: OMNIKA Foundation. Created September 9, 2023. Modified September 15, 2023. Accessed February 26, 2024. https://psylng.org/glossary/field/historical-linguistics.


APA Dictionary

APA Contributors. "APA Dictionary of Psychology." Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Accessed September 14, 2023. https://dictionary.apa.org. [Visit]


Crystal, David, ed. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2011.


Internet Archive Contributors. "Wayback Machine." San Francisco, CA: Internet Archive. Created October 24, 2001. Accessed July 21, 2023. https://web.archive.org. [Visit]


OMNIKA Foundation Contributors. "OMNIKA: Digital Mythology Library." Las Vegas, NV: OMNIKA Foundation. Created January 21, 2019. Accessed July 28, 2023. https://omnika.org. [Visit]

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