Why Study Linguistics?
The study of linguistics is the scientific examination of language. The aim of this study is to figure out one of the most important characteristics of the human brain: how we all, as children, learn our own language so well— and so quickly.
We linguists assume that all of us humans are born with an ability to learn a human language. As young children, we all learn the language of our community, no matter what it is. But how do we do this? As many of us adults know, learning a language can be very difficult; yet every child does it.
One of the ways linguists try to learn how we all manage this enormous task is by examining the properties of adult language—the sounds, the structures, and the meanings. Any human language constitutes material for this research because any human language is learnable by a human brain. Linguists, then, may study the properties of one particular language or properties that are common to many languages in order to understand what human language is.