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Linguistic typology (or language typology) is a field of linguistics that studies and classifies languages according to their structural features to allow their comparison. Its aim is to describe and explain the structural diversity and the common properties of the world's languages. Its subdisciplines include, but are not limited to phonological typology, which deals with sound features; syntactic typology, which deals with word order and form; lexical typology, which deals with language vocabulary; and theoretical typology, which aims to explain the universal tendencies.
Linguistic typology is contrasted with genealogical linguistics on the grounds that typology groups languages or their grammatical features based on formal similarities rather than historic descendence. The issue of genealogical relation is however relevant to typology because modern data sets aim to be representative and unbiased. Samples are collected evenly from different language families, emphasizing the importance of exotic languages in gaining insight into human language.
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