Definition of historical linguistics in US English:

historical linguistics

plural noun

  • treated as singular The study of the history and development of languages.

    • ‘And why was this published in Nature, a journal with no expertise in historical linguistics?’
    • ‘Since historical linguistics is by now a firmly grounded science, there really was no doubt about this.’
    • ‘Training in psychology does not normally cover historical linguistics.’
    • ‘Many of the established holders of chairs in historical linguistics don't believe in investigating these distant relationships, but I strongly disagree with them.’
    • ‘The methodology of historical linguistics developed for a reason - replacing it with a methodology that cannot be falsified.’
    • ‘The concepts of ‘Aryan’ and ‘Semitic’ races were gradually transferred out of historical linguistics into anthropology.’
    • ‘He also uses as evidence facts from the more traditional fields of archeology and historical linguistics.’
    • ‘An example that I've discussed is New York Times science reporter's lack of understanding of the rudiments of historical linguistics.’
    • ‘There had been isolated sprouts of good ideas but scientific historical linguistics had yet to develop.’
    • ‘He has published articles on historical linguistics in the Cahiers d' Etudes Africaines.’
    • ‘No, I don't want to disown Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, the first of whom is something of a hero of historical linguistics.’
    • ‘Also at issue in virtually all of his stories is his fascination with both literary and linguistic theory and historical linguistics.’
    • ‘The search would be most effective if it involved the fields of archaeology, historical linguistics and genetics.’


historical linguistics

/hɪˈstɔrəkəl lɪŋˈɡwɪstɪks/