Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them.
The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Each of these areas roughly corresponds to phenomena found in human linguistic systems: sounds (and gesture, in the case of signed languages), minimal units (words, morphemes), phrases and sentences, and meaning and use.
Linguistics studies these phenomena in diverse ways and from various perspectives. Theoretical linguistics (including traditional descriptive linguistics) is concerned with building models of these systems, their parts (ontologies), and their combinatorics. Psycholinguistics builds theories of the processing and production of all these phenomena. These phenomena may be studied synchronically or diachronically (through history), in monolinguals or polyglots, in children or adults, as they are acquired or statically, as abstract objects or as embodied cognitive structures, using texts (corpora) or through experimental elicitation, by gathering data mechanically, through fieldwork, or through introspective judgment tasks. Computational linguistics implements theoretical constructs to parse or produce natural language or homologues. Neurolinguistics investigates linguistic phenomena by experiments on actual brain responses involving linguistic stimuli.
Linguistics is related to philosophy of language, stylistics and rhetoric, semiotics, lexicography, and translation.