since language is multifaceted and heterogeneous, interdisciplinarity is natural to linguistic studies. in this article, after demonstrating that, i present two basic ways of doing science. one is ruled by the principle of exclusion, whereas the other is ruled by the principle of participation. the former leads to specialization, whereas the latter leads to the surpassing of specialization. from that, i discuss the advantages and problems of disciplinarity, and present the reasons why nowadays interdisciplinarity is a positive universal in scientific and pedagogical discourses. also, based on etymology, i discuss the concepts of interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity, pluridisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity. finally, i examine the bonds between linguistics and other sciences, by drawing a brief history of the relations between linguistics and literature in brazil.