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“Sociolinguistic Discontinuity in Minority Language Communities”.

Before the 20th century, the term philology, first attested in 1716,[19] was commonly used to refer to the study of language, which was then predominantly historical in focus.[20][21]Since Ferdinand de Saussure‘s insistence on the importance of synchronic analysis, however, this focus has shifted[22] and the term philology is now generally used for the “study of a language’s grammar, history, and literary tradition”, especially in the United States[23] (where philology has never been very popularly considered as the “science of language”).[19]

Although the term “linguist” in the sense of “a student of language” dates from 1641,[24] the term “linguistics” is first attested in 1847.[24] It is now the usual term in English for the scientific study of language,[citation needed] though linguistic science is sometimes used.

Linguistics is a multi-disciplinary field of research that combines tools from natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.[25][26][27] Many linguists, such as David Crystal, conceptualize the field as being primarily scientific.[28] The term linguist applies to someone who studies language or is a researcher within the field, or to someone who uses the tools of the discipline to describe and analyse specific languages.[