Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...
. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context.
The first is the study of language structure, or grammar
In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics,...
. This focuses on the system of rules followed by the speakers (or hearers) of a language. It encompasses morphology
In linguistics, morphology is the identification, analysis and description, in a language, of the structure of morphemes and other linguistic units, such as words, affixes, parts of speech, intonation/stress, or implied context...
(the formation and composition of words), syntax
In linguistics, syntax is the study of the principles and rules for constructing phrases and sentences in natural languages....
(the formation and composition of phrases and sentences from these words), and phonology
Phonology is, broadly speaking, the subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the sounds of language. That is, it is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use...