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linguistic anthropology: a subdivision of anthropology that is concerned primarily with unwritten languages (both prehistoric and modern), with variation within languages, and with the social uses of language; traditionally divided into three branches: descriptive linguistics, the systematic study of the way language is constructed and used; historical linguistics, the study of the origin of language in general and of the evolution of the languages people speak today; and sociolinguistics, the study of the relationship between language and social relations. Source: Anthromorphemics