Out of Enlightenment thinking emerged the social and linguistic sciences. This chapter considers this development before focusing on the ideas of four thinkers who were instrumental in the emergence of sociology and modern linguistics as disciplines – Marx, Durkheim, Weber and Saussure. Metaphysics merges with distinctive perspectives or problematics as the social and linguistic sciences take form. Durkheim’s focus on consensus contrasts with Marx’s conflict perspective, while Weber strives to articulate the social system with interactionism. These differences have implications for how language is understood by reference to contrasting sub-categories within sociology. Saussure established the basis of modern Linguistics as a closed system within which the dynamics of language change could be understood and analysed. His work sought to explain the facts of language, how the function of languages allows the creation of new statements while placing the work of the linguist within the context of other disciplines.