Lecture 2 What Is Linguistics
Definition of linguistics • Branches of linguistics • Macrolinguistics • Important distinctions in linguistics
Definition Linguistics is the scientificstudy of language. = Looking at patterns and systems in language.
Branches of linguistics • Phonetics • Phonology • Morphology • Syntax • Semantics • Pragmatics
Phonetics Phonetics is the study of speech sounds. (Refer to handout)
Phonology Phonology studies the sound system of languages. The aim of phonology is to demonstrate the patterns of distinctive sounds found in a language, and to make as general statements as possible about the nature of sound systems in the languages of the world. The object of study in phonology is phoneme.
Morphology Morphology studies the formation of words, that is, how words are formed from smaller units of meaning – morphemes. Morphemes are the minimal units of meaning. They can be used to derive words and to give grammatical information about a word.
Languages differ in their degree of dependence on morphological components. English: Boy: I’m a student. Girl: I’m a student. Boys: We’re students. Girls: We’re students. French: Garçon: Je suisétudiant. Fille: Je suisétudiante. Garçons: Nous sommesétudiants. Filles: Nous sommesétudiantes.
Syntax Syntax studies the rules that govern the formation of sentences from words. These rules specify word order, sentence organization, and the relationship between word order, word classes and other sentence elements. Emma loaded the groceries into the car. Emma loaded the car with groceries.
Semantics Semantics is the study of meaning. It’s not only concerned with the meaning of words, but also that of morphemes and of sentences.
Pragmatics Pragmatics is the study of meaning in context. It deals with specific utterances in specific situations.
Macrolinguistics Psycholinguistics linguistics and psychology Sociolinguistics–language and society Applied linguistics- linguistics and language teaching
Psycholinguistics • Psycholinguistics studies the correlation between linguistic behavior and the psychological processes thought to underlie that behavior: (a) the mental process that a person uses in producing and understanding language, and (b) how humans learn language. • cognitive linguistics • the study of language development in the child
Sociolinguistics • Sociolinguistics studies all aspects of the relationship between language and society. It includes studies on the social functions of language and the social characteristics of its users. = change in language due to social conditions.
Applied linguistics • In the broad sense, applied linguistics is concerned with the application of linguistic theories and findings to the clarification and solution of language problems which have arisen in other areas of experience. • But the most well-developed branch of applied linguistics the teaching and learning of foreign languages. • = This is what we are doing!
Anthropological linguistics • This is a branch that studies language variation and use in relation to the cultural patterns and beliefs of man, as investigated using the theories and methods of anthropology. • Did English and German diverge from a common ancestral language? If they are related, how far back in time did they begin to differ? • = Etymology
Competenceand performance Competence---- a person’s knowledge of his language, the system of rules which he has mastered so that he is able to produce and understand an indefinite number of sentences, and to recognize grammatical mistakes and ambiguities. Performance---the actual realization of language knowledge, language seen as a set of specific utterances produced by language speakers, as encountered in a corpus. D. H. Hymes: communicative competence M. A. K. Halliday: Linguistic potential and actual linguistic behavior
Formalism or formal linguistics • The study of the abstract forms of language and their internal relations. • It fixes on the forms of languages as evidence of the universals without considering how these forms function in communication and the ways of social life in different communities. • Representative: Noam Chomsky, Transformational-generative grammar (universal grammar)
Activity: • Using the information given produce your own poster to illustrate aspects of Linguistics and your understanding of it. • Finish this off for homework!