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This article discusses notable unsolved problems in linguistics.

Some of the issues below are commonly recognized as unsolved problems; i.e., it is generally agreed that no solution is known. Others may be described as controversies; i.e., although there is no common agreement about the answer, there are established schools of thought that believe they have a correct answer.


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Philosophy of language

Main article: Index of philosophy of language articles

Historical linguistics and the evolution of language

The evolution of language

Language classification


Main article: Psycholinguistics § Issues and areas of research


Main article: Sociolinguistics

Computational linguistics

Main article: Computational linguistics

Lexicology and lexicography

Main articles: Lexicology and lexicography




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