I’ve been looking at introductory books on Linguistics for people wanting to learn about it from scratch and have been, once again, startled to see how the academic understanding of the subject is growing.
Here are some of the branches, which each have their own fields of development:
semiotics, phonetics, phonology, intonation, morphology, semantics, grammar / syntax, discourse analysis
language variety, world Englishes, multilingualism, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, conversational analysis, pragmatics, language extinction, forensic linguistics, stylistics, language in education, Teaching English as a Foreign / Second Language
historical linguistics (philology), language families
Each of these branches of Linguistics (and all the others I haven’t spotted) has University Departments specializing in them. Not only is our theoretical understanding of language burgeoning, but the applications of the new insights is also proliferating.