What term should I use to describe the branches of linguistics studying a specific language or language family such as "Chinese philology"? Is it possible to call it "regional linguistics"?

1 Answer 1


Sounds like what I'd call philology.

  • Hm...could you please complete this sentence: The concept of ideophones have been named in several ______ differently. We have ideophones in Africanist literature, expressives for Austroasiatic languages and mimetics for Japanese and Korean.
    – Probably
    Mar 12, 2017 at 18:10
  • ... philologies... Mar 12, 2017 at 18:40
  • Nice, that's what I wanted to know, thank you.
    – Probably
    Mar 12, 2017 at 18:54
  • 3
    I disagree. 'Philology' normally refers to the study of ancient languages/cultures via their literature and texts. By extension it is also sometimes used to refer to diachronic linguistics, but only where there are ancient texts to be analysed. Mar 12, 2017 at 23:15
  • @GastonÜmlaut I've frequently heard "philology" being used for modern languages, especially in the context of the contrasting terms "classical philology" vs. "modern philology". Possibly the use of these terms varies between countries or even departments. Mar 13, 2017 at 17:37

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