What is Philology? Philology pertains to the field of studies devoted to the study and definition of the history of the world as a whole through its various cultures. It is the interaction of literary criticism, literary interpretation, socio-linguistic analysis, socio-historical and sociological study, and ethnomuscular methodology. It can be seen as a branch of history that has as its premise the idea of the significance of literary texts in the historical development of the world.
One may be interested in what is philology and want to pursue such a degree. In order to study philology one must first learn about the Latin origins of the word. The word came from the Greek translation “kristos,” which literally means “church.” It was eventually decided to translate it into Latin so that it would have something to do with religious matters; therefore, “church” became philology.
The first portion of what is philology concerns the question, what is philology. Various people have offered answers to this question over time. One popular response centers on how it relates to religion. If religion could be located in what is philology, then one could deduce that it also contains within its corpus a significant amount of factual information regarding the religions. This would explain why the religious texts of various religions are such important reading.
Another popular answer to what is philology is that it is a part of academic study. There are those who believe that it should form a part of the curriculum for anyone who desires to be a professor of classics. It must, they say, complement studying the works of Homer, Virgil, and Ovid. The belief is that classic works like the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles demand that the student is conversant with classical languages. This would explain the extensive use of the Greek language throughout the works of these ancient writers.
The third common answer to what is philology is that it is primarily a study of word meaning. What is philology most often associated with is a book filled with literary pieces. The book is called philology, because its intent is to look at word usage throughout literature. The book ends up explaining what the word means in each written work.
An answer to what is philology that sheds more light on this subject is that it belongs to the area of meta- philology. This school of thought regards what is philology as a subset of meta- philology. What is in meta- philology refers to the actual works themselves; what is in the meta- philology refers to the larger field of literary studies. That is, it is a sub-field of humanities research. The main difference between what is in philology and what is in the meta- philology comes from the fact that what is in philology pertains only to literary works written in English while what is in the meta- philology encompasses any work written in English.
In terms of its definition, one might make a distinction between what is in literary studies and what is in philology. What is in literary studies is a field of research about literary works but which also studies words in literary works (as in literary terminology, which can be studied as a sub-field of philology). One could also make a distinction between what is in literary studies and what is in philology. What is in literary studies is a sub-field of what is in philology.
Finally, one could make a distinction between what is in grammatical studies and what is in philology. What is in grammatical studies pertains to a set of studies about how language works. One might label these studies grammatology. What is in philology is a field of study about word meaning but this word meaning is not related to any grammatical construction of the language. As a result, what is in philology can be called a different kind of word meaning, but it still has to do with the relationship between the words that are used and their meanings.
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