Linguistics as a Science

B. Clark*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A common description of linguistics is that it is the 'scientific study of language.' Like other scientists, linguists are engaged in a process of inquiry, attempting to understand phenomena in the world. Linguistics faces specific issues associated with the fact that its subject matter is the linguistic knowledge and behavior of humans. The work of many theoretical linguists can be understood in broadly Popperian, or post-Popperian, falsificationist terms. But not all work in linguistics can be understood in this way. Descriptive linguistics, for example, is less concerned with theory than with the pure description of linguistic facts. Some approaches are based on an inductivist model of science.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Language & Linguistics
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780080448541
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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