Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It comprises many sub-fields, in which the different aspects of language are investigated. The topics studied in linguistics range from the mechanisms of human speech production to the nature of linguistic meaning, from historical relations among languages to current linguistic change, from writing systems to abstract linguistic structure. This course will provide a broad introduction to the field of linguistics, surveying a number of the major sub-fields. The focus of the course is not on describing or analyzing one particular language, but on understanding the properties and nature of language as a human phenomenon.