Historical linguistics  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Historical linguistics (also called diachronic linguistics) is the study of language change. It has five main concerns:

  • to describe and account for observed changes in particular languages;
  • to reconstruct the pre-history of languages and determine their relatedness, grouping them into language families (comparative linguistics);
  • to develop general theories about how and why language changes;
  • to describe the history of speech communities;
  • to study the history of words, i.e. etymology.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Historical linguistics" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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