linguistics
Definition - The science and study of language.

Notes:
1. The word philology used to be the common name for the study of language, but in the 20th century it was superseded by linguistics, especially in the United States. Thus, those whose were once called philologists are now called linguists.

Etymology -
The term in the sense "science of language" was probably introduced to English by the polymath William Whewell (see the citation below). It derives from the Latin lingua, language or tongue.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation in this sense is from 1837:
"We may call the science of languages linguistic, as it is called by the best German writers."
(Whewell Hist. Induct. Sci. (1840) I. p. cxiv)



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