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synchronic linguistics

descriptive linguistics

noun
1.
the study of the grammar, classification, and arrangement of the features of a language at a given time, without reference to the history of the language or comparison with other languages.
Also called synchronic linguistics.
Origin
1925-1930
1925-30
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for synchronic-linguistics

descriptive linguistics

noun
1.
(functioning as sing) the study of the description of the internal phonological, grammatical, and semantic structures of languages at given points in time without reference to their histories or to one another Also called synchronic linguistics Compare historical linguistics
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for synchronic-linguistics

synchronic linguistics

the study of a language at a given point in time. The time studied may be either the present or a particular point in the past; synchronic analyses can also be made of dead languages, such as Latin. Synchronic linguistics is contrasted with diachronic linguistics (or historical linguistics; q.v.), the study of a language over a period of time. In the 20th century, synchronic description has come to be regarded as prior to diachronic description; the latter presupposes that synchronic descriptions at various stages of the development of a language have already been carried out. Previously, linguists had placed emphasis on diachronic linguistics. The terminological distinction between synchronic and diachronic linguistics was first made by the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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