historical linguistics

noun (used with a singular verb)

the study of changes in a language or group of languages over a period of time.

Nearby words

  1. historic episcopate,
  2. historic places trust,
  3. historical,
  4. historical fiction,
  5. historical geology,
  6. historical materialism,
  7. historical method,
  8. historical novel,
  9. historical present,
  10. historical school

Origin of historical linguistics

First recorded in 1920–25

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for historical linguistics

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
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