Department of Theoretical Linguistics was organized in 1984. In the past, department worked as an independent department named “Department of general and typological linguistics of history”, but later for a long time worked as part of “Department of Modern Azerbaijani language”.
During this period "Theory-test-application", "Mathematical linguistics" groups on the basis of the principle of economic agreements working was included later to this section. At that time, the department has led by memorable linguist, scholar, and critic Aydin Mammadov a public figure of Moscow School of Linguistics who is going to the 70-year anniversary this year. In 1992-1997 years based on the department acting in the name of “General linguistics and language connection”, in connection with the structural changes at the institute was created “Theoretical and Applied Linguistics section”. In 1992-2001, department was headed by the director of the İnstitute Academic Aghamusa Akhundov. In 2001-2013 years department was led by the deputy director of the Institute, Professor Masud Mahmudov.
Action times the new trends of modern linguistics department, and frequency, automatically compiling dictionaries, formal synthesis and analysis, sociolinguistics and ethno linguistic issues were investigated, the study of the language and methods of engineering, formal analysis and development of machine translation systems, computer verification of the texts (proofreader) systems, general issues of brain-language problem (neurolinguistics) and other works associated with theoretical and practical issues were carried out.
The study of computer-related the statistical analysis was carried out of language of the monuments as "The Book of Dede Korkut" epos and “Muhammad Fuzuli's poetry works”. Employees of the department with Institute of Cybernetics and Information Technology joint research conducted and did work in the field of Azerbaijani-English, English-Azerbaijani machine translation system. Employees of the department PhD Kamila Aliyeva and professor Masud Mahmudov attended in the events construction seminars devoted to problems of linguistics at Bilkent University in Turkey.
As a result of the structural changes at the Institute in November 2013 major research directions of the department acting in the name of Department of Theoretical linguistics cover the study of the theoretical problems of modern linguistics, increasing the level of theoretical linguistics, Azerbaijani language texts cognitive, semi linguistics analysis and research, the study of the world's linguistic heritage and their translation to Azerbaijani language. Head of the Department of Theoretical Linguistics is Doctor of philological sciences Idris Abbasov.