noun (used with a singular verb)
the study of changes in a language or group of languages over a period of time.
5 Important Historical Events That Changed LanguageMajor events in history have not only changed the world in significant ways, but they have also transformed the ways we speak. So, we wanted to share a few words we still use today that actually came about in an interesting historical way.
Origin of historical linguistics
First recorded in 1920–25
Also called diachronic linguistics.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for historical linguistics
(functioning as singular) the study of language as it changes in the course of time, with a view either to discovering general principles of linguistic change or to establishing the correct genealogical classification of particular languagesAlso called: diachronic linguistics Compare descriptive linguistics
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012