Linguistics As A Science and scientific study of language. Because all other sciences linguistics has a well-defined subject matter. it employs careful methods to observe, record and analyses the various phenomena related to its subject matter and hopes to produce unprejudiced, objective and verifiable descriptions. The approach and methodology of linguistics is scientific. It is as, inductive as a science could be, and is based on observations, formation of hypothesis, testing, verification, tentativeness and productiveness.
Again like a scientist a linguist develops hypotses, makes generalized statements and tests them against the fact of languages. When a linguist or a phonetician makes a statement about languages, he makes it on the basis of observation. First he observes linguistic events. He finds some similarities and contrasts on the basis of which he makes second generalization. On the basis of these generalizations hypotheses are formulated to account for the events. These are tested by further observations, and out of them is constructed a theory of how language works. From the theory are derived methods for making statements about linguistic events.
The statements link the theory to the events it is set up to account for, and they can now be evaluated by reference both to the theory and to the events: the best statements are those which make maximum use of the theory to account most fully for the facts. And finally, like a true scientist, he is constantly engaged in discovering more about languages, in refining his methods of investigation, and in constructing better theories. He also tries to find out linguistic universals.
IT Is A Truth Universally Acknowledged That Linguistics AS A Science Subject.
Like any scientific discipline, linguistics too is not static. Viewpoints and theoretical models in the field change even in fundamental ways from time to time, and different aspects come to receive primary focus at different times. Linguistics has more than its share of unresolved controversies and unsolved questions, which is a part of fascination and challenge.
Finally its closeness with other natural sciences like mathematics, physics, physiology, biology, zoology, etc., is another proof of its scientific nature. It touches on physics through acoustics, on physiology through the structure of the human vocal organs, on zoology through the comparative study of the communicative systems of living being. A glance of any book on transformation generative grammar would convince any objective onlooker how linguistics is becoming more and more scientific.
Furthermore, as mentioned by R H. Robins, linguistics in its operations and statements is guided by three canons of science: (1) exhaustiveness, the adequate treatment of all the relevant material; (2) consistency, the absence of contradiction between different parts of the” total statement and (3)
economy, whereby, other things being equal, a shorter statement or analysis employing fewer terms is to be preferred to one that is longer or more involved. Consequently, linguistics is getting more and more technical and sophisticated every day. Yet it is not a pure science. Its position, says R.A. Hall, is between the natural and social sciences, like that of geology. To Robins it is an empirical science,’ and within the empirical sciences it is one of the social sciences, because its subject matter is human and is very much different from that of natural sciences.