In the programming language theory world, there are two important terminologies, i.e syntax, and semantics.

I can understand these two terminologies:

syntax is about sentence's structure (e.g. a valid sentence by some grammar)

semantics is about sentence's meaning (e.g. operational semantics, denotational semantics, etc)

But recently the third word appeared in some PL papers i.e. linguistics, although it is very rare.

What's the meaning of linguistics?

What's the relationship between linguistics and syntax/semantics ?


PS: I'm sorry, I don't know whether it’s suitable to post this question here, because my vision is very narrow...

The following are some PL papers that used this term:



Note that this is not a temporary question. The word "linguistic(s)" is not just appeared in these two papers. It also appeared in other papers, but I can't remember all (sorry). Failure to understand the "linguistic(s)" does not affect the understanding of the paper. I am just curious about the meaning of the "linguistic(s)".

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In both papers it appears only in the abstract, so I doubt it's important to understand. Anyway, I guess by "linguistic constructs" they probably mean this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_construct $\endgroup$
    – user114966
    Jul 19, 2020 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Dmitry As I mentioned above, failure to understand the "linguistic(s)" does not affect the understanding of those papers. But if I can understand the precise definition of this term, then I can use it in my own articles confidently. $\endgroup$
    – chansey
    Jul 20, 2020 at 7:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Both linked papers use adjective “linguistic”, which is just a proper way to say “languagy”. But your question is about a noun. Do you have examples that use the noun “linguistics”? $\endgroup$ Jul 21, 2020 at 8:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Linguistics is the scientific study of language, and its focus is the systematic investigation of the properties of particular languages as well as the characteristics of language in general. $\endgroup$
    – user16034
    May 21, 2023 at 16:51


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