Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Though language is a fundamental part of all our lives, few of us know much about it. Linguistics deals with questions such as: How do languages differ? What do they have in common? How do children learn such a complex skill as speaking? How does a person's language influence their thinking? How does language fit in with society and culture? How and why do languages change? Linguistics can be divided into two broad areas. One is the analytical and systematic study of speech sounds, words, sentences and meaning. The other is the study of the psychological, social and cultural aspects of language.