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Microlinguistics is a branch of linguistics that concerns itself with the study of language systems in the abstract, without regard to the meaning or notional content of linguistic expressions. In micro-linguistics, language is reduced to the abstract mental elements of syntax and phonology. It contrasts with macro-linguistics, which includes meanings, and especially with sociolinguistics, which studies how language and meaning function within human social systems.[1] The term micro-linguistics was first used in print by George L. Trager, in an article published in 1949 in Studies in Linguistics: Occasional Papers.[2]


  1. ^ Matthews, P.H. (2002), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics, Oxford: Oxford UP .
  2. ^ "Microlinguistics", The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.), Oxford UP, 1989 .