Linguistics vs Literature
The key difference between linguistics and literature is that linguistics refers to the systematic study of a language whereas literature can be defined as the study of written works within a language. This clearly highlights that the main difference between these two fields of study are grounded on structure and content though both have the commonality of language as a basis for their works. This article will attempt to define these two terms, linguistics and literature, while providing an understanding of the differences that exist within the two fields.
What is Linguistics?
The human languages which enable us to communicate with one another have very systematic structures. Linguistics is a field that studies these structural aspects of a language. Hence, it can be defined as the systematic and scientific study of a language. It encompasses the study of language in relation to its nature, organization, origin, contextual impact, cognitive and dialectical formation. Linguists are concerned with the nature of languages, their systematic component, the commonalities and differences that exist among human languages and the cognitive processes that come into play.
The field of linguistics is made up of a number of parts that create the totality of linguistics. They are phonetics (the study of the physical nature of speech sounds), phonology (the study of the cognitive nature of speech sounds), morphology (the study of word formation), syntax (the study of sentence formation), semantics (the study of meaning) and pragmatics (the study of the usage of language). Other than these there are other disciplines that are connected to linguistics such as psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, dialectology, ethno-linguistics, etc.
What is Literature?
Literature includes written works that belong to many genres ranging from poetry and dramas to novels. Literature is a work of art. It is a creation of a world that allows the reader to not only dive into an alien world, but also allows the reader to reflect on various issues. It is not merely a recital of the ordinary speech but contains artistic value. There are different forms of literature mainly prose and poetry. Prose includes dramas, novels and short stories whereas poetry refers to a more melodious and rhythmic work of art. Unlike in linguistics, literature is devoid of rigidity in the structure and its relationships. It is not limited to a certain sphere and has a vast canvas. If we look at the English literature, the literary works are divided into different eras also known as literary periods in English literature for the purpose of studying, such as the renaissance, the romantic period, the Victorian period so on and so forth. For each period there are contemporary writers, poets and playwrights that were prominent figures of the time in terms of their literary work. For example, in the Victorian period Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Bronte sisters, Robert Browning and Thomas Hardy were prominent figures who gained popularity either among the societies at the time or else later in for the significance of their contribution to literature.
What is the difference between Linguistics and Literature?
• While linguistics is more of a systematic study of language and human communication, overall, literature takes a different turn, making literary works its material for study.
• A key contrast between the two disciplines stems from the systematic nature associated to the fields and subjectivity. In linguistics, there is less room for subjective ideas and it is a study that is very scientific and objective whereas literature is more subjective and is vast.
• However, both fields are built on the component of language as their main source.