Introduction to Linguistics Essay

What is meant by the field of linguistics? This introductory chapter concerns some dimensions of linguistics, which give us a general idea of what linguistics is, including the history of linguistic, grammar, and other disciplines of linguistics study.

What does grammar consist of and what are the relationship between one and another? How many languages do human beings have the capacity to acquire? What other studies are made in recent centuries?

Each of these aspects are clearly described, and other chapters will go into further details. While in this chapter we will provide some less detailed information on the various aspects of linguistics mentioned so far. 1. 1 Defining Linguistics There is nothing that can be said by mathematical symbols and relations which cannot also be said by words. The converse, however, is false.

Much that can be and is said by words cannot successfully be put into equations, because it is non-sense. C. Truesdell Linguistics is a study to describe and explain the human faculty of language. There is no doubt that linguistics has changed through human development. 1. 1. 1 History of linguistics The history of linguistics can be divided into three periods: antiquity, middle ages and modern linguistics. 1. 1. 1. 1 Antiquity Dating back to earlier period of linguistics, linguistics is often associated with a need to disambiguate discourse, especially for ritual texts or in arguments.

Ancient Indians made a big contribution to linguistics development. Similarly, ancient Chinese played a key role in improving linguistics development. Around the same time as the Indian developed, ancient Greek philosophers were also debating the nature and origins of language.

During this period, syntax and the use of particles developed fast. In addition, scholars proposed that word meanings are derived from sentential usage. 1. 1. 1. 2 Middle Ages In Middle East, in terms of expanding Islam in 8th century, a large number of people learn Arabic.

Because of this, the earliest grammar came to being gradually. At the same time, Sibawayh, a famous scholar, wrote a book to distinguish phonetics from phonology. In the 13th century, Europeans introduced the notion of universal grammar. 1. 1. 1. 3 Modern Linguistics Modern linguistics’ beginning can date back to the late 18th century.

With time passing by, the study of linguistics contains increasing contents. Meanwhile, it is used in other fields, computer, e. g. , has come to be called computational linguistics. The study of applications (as the recovery of speech ability) is generally known as applied linguistics. But in a narrower sense, applied linguistics refers to the application of linguistic principles and theories of language teaching and learning, especially the teaching of foreign and second language.

Other related branches include anthropological linguistics, neurological linguistics, mathematical linguistics, and computational linguistics. However, linguistics is only a part of a much larger academic discipline, semiotics. It is the scientific study of language. It studies not just one single language of any one society, just like Chinese or French, but the language of all human beings.

A linguist, though, does not have to know and use a large number of languages, but to investigate how each language is constructed. In short, linguistics studies the general principles whereupon all human languages are constructed and operated as systems of communication in their societies or communities. 1. 1. 2 An Interesting Comparison. Linguistics is a broad field to study, therefore, a linguist sometimes is only able to deal with one aspect of language at a time, and thus various branches arise: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, applied linguistics, pragmatics, psycholinguistics, lexicology, lexicography, etymology and so on.

Suppose that the study of linguistics can be considered to be a computer, so linguistics is equal to the CPU, which supports all the other parts. Moreover, sound card would stand for phonetics and phonology, and then morphology and semantics are like the memory of the computer. What’s more, syntax plays as an important role to translate single words to a whole sentence which is full of meaning, just like a graphics card, which uses picture to make sense of the idea of memory stick. Finally, everything is ready, it’ s time to use computer and the same goes for language acquisition.

Very interestingly, the properties of computer are amazingly similar to human language. from www. iflytek. com/english/Research-Introduction%20to%20TTS. htm Above all, linguistics is concerned with the study of verbal language particularly speech and written language. What’s more, language is a system and there is a set of options of which one must be chosen depending on the purpose and context. (Marie E. & John P. , 1991, p. 64). 1. 2 The broad study of language Language is a highly complex system of communication, so it sometimes will be called a system of systems’. It is used to construct, exchange, express, and record information and ideas.

It performs these functions effectively because it is based upon systems that are understood by those using the language. In this chapter, four topics will be concerned. They are phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. In this section, some overall definitions and interactions among the four parts will be talked about.

1. 2. 1 Phonology In order to assist learners at the early stages of literacy, it is very important to understand the relationship between sounds and letters. The sounds of speech are studied in phonetics and phonology. (Marie E. & John P, 1991) 1. 2. 1. 1 Definitions of phonology and phonetics Phonology is the study of sound systems- the invention of distinctive speech sounds that occurs in a language and the patterns wherein they fall. In other words, we study the abstract side of the sounds of language, a related but different subject that we call phonology (Peter, 2000). In short, it is about patterns and roots. On the other hand, it is more strict linguistics.

Phonetics is the science which studies the characteristics of human sound-making, especially sounds used in speech, and provides methods for their description, classification and transcription. In common, speech sound is used everywhere, and it can be divided into three parts: articulatory phonetics, auditory phonetics, and acoustic phonetics. 1. 2. 1. 2 The difference between phonology and phonetics It seems that phonology and phonetics are similar.

That is why both of them make learners confused. In fact, they have great difference. Phonology pays attention to how speech sounds of a language pattern are put together according to regular rules. On the contrary, phonetics focuses mainly on description of how speech sounds are made.

For instance, if someone says we should get our two lips close together and then push them open with a strong air, that means he or she is relevant to phonetics field. Another example is no words should begin with the ng’/N/ sound, the sound only occurs at the end of words, and this concerns phonology area. Plenty of terms are used to describe different patterns of letters and sounds. Some of the common used terms are blend, digraph, schwa, syllable and phonics, which are widely and frequently applied.

1. 2. 2 Morphology Morphology has been regarded as a necessarily synchronic discipline. That means the rules focusing on the study of word structure instead of the development of words (Katamba, 1993, p.3). It is the basic element used in a language, and the concept of morphemes’ is one of the main aspects in the study of morphology’ (Yule, 2006, p. 66). Basically, it is the branch of linguistics that studies the internal structure of words. In morphology, morphemes are the minimal units that have semantic meaning.

It is the linguistic term for the most elemental units of grammatical form (Fromkin, Rodman, & Hyams, 2006, p. 77). 1. 2. 2. 1 The classification of morphemes Morphemes are composed of free and bound morphemes. Free morphemes are the morphemes that can stand by themselves as single words, while bound morphemes are those that can not normally stand alone, but that can be attached to affixes (Yule, 2000, p. 75). Free morphemes contain lexical and functional morphemes. The first category, free morphemes, is the set of ordinary nouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs which carry the content of the conveyed messages (Yule, 2000, p. 76), and most English words refer to this category.

The functional morphemes consist largely of the functional words, including conjunctions, prepositions, articles and pronouns (Yule, 2000). Bound morphemes can also be divided into two categories. They are derivational and inflectional morphemes.

Derivational morphemes are those which make new words in the language and make words of a different grammatical category from the stem (Yule, 2000, p. 76), which means that it can change the meaning or the word class, whereas the inflectional morphemes are used to indicate aspects of the grammatical function of a word (Yule, 2000, p. 77). 1. 2. 2. 2 The interaction with other aspects Morphology has interactions with phonology. The selection of the form that manifests given morpheme may be affected by the sounds that realize neighboring morphemes (Katamba, 1993). For example, prefixes and suffixes will normally affect the stress.

Meanwhile, there is interaction between morphology and syntax. The form of words may be influenced by the syntactic construction in which the word is used (Katamba, 1993, p. 13). 1. 2. 3 Syntax So far in our study of language, we have made studies of phonetics, phonology and morphology. We have analyzed the structure of sounds and words. Therefore, we have been concentrated on the level of small units of language.

After our analysis of words, we move to the consideration of larger structural units of language: phrases and sentences. If we concentrate on the structure and ordering of components within a sentence, we are studying what is technically known as the syntax of a language (Yule, 2000, p. 100). Syntax can be simply defined as the scientific study of sentence structure. According to Geoffrey (2005), syntax is a term used for the study of the rules governing the way words are combined to form sentences.

The origin of this word is from Greek and it means a setting out together’ or arrangement (Yule, 2000). In the sentence The boy hits the door, we can discover that the words are related to each other in this order that it only has one meaning. If we change the order of the words The door hits the boy, the sentence’s meaning has totally changed and it is non-sense. The reason is that the parts of the sentence are structurally related to each other, and this structure is reflected in the word order. In English, the word order is very necessary and important for the meaning of the sentence according to linguistic rules.

In some languages, word order plays a less important role. The meaning of the sentence depends more on the form of the words themselves. In such cases, it is possible for sentences with totally different word order to have the same meaning.

English used to be one of these languages. The following examples are taken from Old English: Se cyning metech thone biscop-The king meets the bishop Thone biscop meteth se cyning-The king meets the bishop Although the words are arranged differently, they still mean the same. However, nowadays, the word order is very crucial for meaning. As a consequence, there is a great need for us to explore syntax.

Some important concepts are included in the study of syntax. 1. 2. 3. 1Complex and compound sentence Three sentence types are basic in the syntax. There are simple sentence, compound sentence and complex sentence. A simple sentence includes one word.

However, in some situation, the simple sentence contains two words. A compound sentence contains at least two simple sentences. The sentences are linked with a conjunction. A Complex sentence composes of at least one main clause and one subordinate clause. 1. 2. 3. 2 Syntax Analysis The following example is provided for syntax analysis.

The football team won the match last year. S NP VP NP Det N Vt Det N Adv Ext(time) The football team won the match last year. The chart above is called tree diagram.

The letters above each indicate: S = sentence, NP = noun phrase, VP = verb phrase, N = noun, V = verb, and so on. The syntacticians use this method to analyze the sentences. 1. 2. 3. 3 Basic Syntactic Structure In English, the structure of sentence depends heavily on word order. The four basic structures are listed as follows: S>NP + Vc + NP ( NP>N, NP >Det + N) S>NP + VP ( NP>N, VP>Vc + Adj) S>NP + VP ( NP>N, VP>V) S>NP + VP (NP>N, VP>Vt + NP, NP>Det + N) 1. 2. 3. 4 Basic Syntactic Generative Process. There are four basic syntactic generative processes: substitution, expansion, extension, transformation.

Take the following sentence as an example to clarify these three concepts. Ken is a policeman. Substitution: Ken is a policeman. >Tom is a policeman. Expansion: Ken is a policeman. >Ken is a bad policeman. Extension: Ken is a policeman. >Ken is a policeman at that time.

Transformation: Ken is a policeman. >Can be Ken a policeman? 1 . 2 . some Semantics Semantics, a subfield of linguistics, is the study of literal meaning. It is the the latest addition to the English language. (Palmer, 1976, l. 1).

In accordance to Matthews (2007), throughout the early years study regarding meaning centered on the lexicon alone. The scope of the study provides expended since 1960s to feature both semantics and pragmatics (analyzed in 1 . 3), which come to the main areas of the research of linguistic meaning(Katamba, 2000& Matthews, 1997). Semantic which means is fixed and summary. It can be realized by surface area. However , it truly is de-contextualized.

Within word, it really is easily subverted by diverse gestures or perhaps intonations. Semnatics interacts with additional aspects of linguistics. For example , when synonyms are used, they can be understood, so it fits the guideline of syntax. However , alternatives are used to identify something similar. In a phrase, a suggestions can be substituted by an additional synonym.

Yet , the meaning of synonyms speaker or article writer determines or predicates have different degrees, signifies the meaning is in fact different (Alan, 2004). As a result, it is the connection between format and semantics. As for the interaction with phonology, the definition of tonic syllable in phonology has 3 kinds of features.

The first one is a accentual function, which is to show the focus from the information. The second one is the attitudinal function that is to indicate the speaker’s attitude. As well as the last the first is grammatical function. If audio speakers use these kinds of functions, the same sentence is going to turn out to possess various connotations.

To conclude, from this section, linguistics is analyzed from the facets of sounds, expression structure, grammatical rules and meaning. Each of them is in charge of a specific system. Thus linguistics may help people to connect, to express, and be comprehended.

1 . several Other procedures Apart from the primary subparts of linguistics, which will we have demonstrated before, for even more reading, we introduce another exciting aspects in the field of linguistics. There are a lot even more to discover than patients areas. 1 . 3. you Sociolinguistics People may find out something about you through the approach you speak, for example , where you come from, where you spend most of your life period, your interpersonal identity and so on. Two people growing up in similar geographical place, at the same time, may speak differently owing to numerous social factors (Yule, 2000).

Consequently, it’s very important to consider the sociable aspects of terminology. It’s mainly because speech is a form of social identity and is used, knowingly or unconsciously (Yule, 2000). The study of the social facet of language is recognized as sociolinguistic.

Sociolinguistic is concerned with investigation in the relationship among language and society (Ronald, 2006, l. 13). That consists of ethnical norms, anticipations, and circumstance on the way dialect is used. The first language specialists who examined the interpersonal aspect of dialect are Of india and Japan in the 1930s.

Another person called Gauchat who have came from Swiss had a analysis of this in 1900s too. However , these kinds of three people didn’t acquire much attention in the West. Until the late 19th century, the study of social facets of language laid its foundation.

Sociolinguistics steadily appeared almost 50 years ago in the West. Linguistics such as William Labov in the usa and Tulsi Bernstein in the united kingdom first brought out this concept and explored it. (Wikipedia, 3 years ago, para. 1) 1 . three or more.

2 Neurolinguistics Though the neural structures of most animal species are very faraway from gentleman, there are still resemblances between human and pet languages (Marler, 1981; Nottebohm, 1970), seeing that neurons operate both. Mental faculties contains billions of neural skin cells, and so far, the exact range of those apparent neurons remains to be to be identified (Fabbro, 99, p. 21). These teeny tiny neurons have close link while using production of language. There can be innate or learnt oral utterances.

Oral language is most likely the innate real estate of the mental faculties, written vocabulary, however , is an invention of humankind. Canines can start barking, cats can easily miaow, and man can cry actually after the associated with the midbrain, whereas parrots cannot copy human appears, and we cannot produce individual language (Fabbro, 1999, p. 21). Consequently , the neural center of our brain is playing an special role in the production of language.

How can the main desapasionado structure serve the production of human vocalizations? The study of neurolinguistic count on the study of neurology and neurophysiology, and in these types of fields, all parts of the stressed system, every single having several functions in generating terminology, are discovered. Theories are normally found based on plenty of experiments about the removals of different sections of the brain.

The devastation of different terminology areas ruins language distinguishingly. 1 . several. 3 Historic linguistics Historic linguistics is certainly not concerned with the history of linguistics, though historical linguistics has enjoyed an important role in the progress linguistics. It’s the main sort of linguistics applied in the nineteenth century (Campbell, 1998, l. 5).

Traditional linguistics concerns the exploration and information of how different languages change or maintain their particular structure in the course of time. Vocabulary change may be easily proved by documents written inside the same language but in different periods of history. The differences of wording and composition of paragraphs can indicate the famous development of vocabulary.

From series of datable files, Lord’s Prayer widely noted the history of mankind, and different versions support us examine the language of each period (Bynon, 1978, l. 7). At the same time we can also find that certain composition rules remain used in current language. There are a few constructs and rule that link the grammars of two diverse but related languages, which will descend by a single original language, writing a common ancestral.

More accurately, famous linguistics handles the types of changes, plus the techniques and methods we certainly have use to discover history, rather than the origin of words themselves (Campbell, 1998, p. 5). 1 . a few. 4 Anthropological linguistics Anthropological linguistic is definitely the study of relations between language and culture. It really is related to human being biology, honnetete and vocabulary.

It is one of the field of linguistic anthropology, which is a branch of anthropology that studies human-beings through the dialect they use(Wikipedia, 2007, para. 1). A lot of Linguists who also explore theanthropological linguistics to understand topics just like chimpanzee interaction, pidgins and creoles, strength linguistics, total languages, whorf hypothesis, etc . 1 . 3. 5 Pragmatics According to Kate (2000), pragmatics is among the two key fields in the study of linguistic that means. Pragmatics relates to natural terminology, while language is always utilized in context for an intended purpose.

The listeners need to try to hold the meaning intended, enrich the ideas, and ultimately make out the opinion that what the audio speakers meant the moment talking about a specific expression (Kate, 2000). In accordance to Yule (1996), pragmatics studies the context when the utterance can be produced in addition to the intention of language end user. ‘ Meaning pragmatic meaning depends on context or situation. Without circumstance, meanings may be vague and may be misitreperted by persons. Two of the branches will be: speech works that cover requesting’, commanding’, questioning’ and informing’, and politeness that shows the understanding of another person’s face. In other words, sociolinguistics is a analysis of interrelationship of language and society.

Neurolinguistics is the research of the head and how it functions in language. Historic linguistics may be the consideration of language transform and how diverse languages will be related to one another. Anthropological linguistics is the examine of terminology and traditions. There are some additional disciplines in linguistics.

Pragmatics deals with the speakers’ meaning. The five mentioned above a few main exercises in linguistics. Different exercises of linguistics enrich this content of linguistic. The study of linguistics tends to be more and more detailed and completed.

1 . 4 Dialect Acquisition This kind of chapter began with a basic introduction to terminology study. It might end with a thought of the purchase of language, made up of first, second and foreign language, which is affected by the relationship among teacher and learner. A lot of experienced teachers advise that it is only through learning to speak a vocabulary that you can completely analyze this (Everett 2001). Acquisition’ is usually described as occurring in natural language contexts (Krashen, 1982), is unconscious, and leads to conversational fluency. 1 . 4. 1 Initially language buy For a child, learning initially language is usually automatic, not after beginning school, certainly not in certain circumstance and never by wonderful efforts (Yule, 2006).

It will require only basic physical capacity of sending and receiving sounds directly or indirectly, and interaction with other folks using this vocabulary. Children are brought up in particular environments, being affected by different surroundings, specifically by those individuals whom they will spend the majority of their period interacting with. Newborns start express themselves through a few simple utterance, such as a lot of vowel-like seems.

Children gain increasing abilities at distinct development stages, from creating single-unit utterance to creating speech by communicating through expressions (Yule, 2006), because they are able to determine what others stated. This a large step forward, just like quitting toddling and staying capable of walking progressively, forwards, or backwards. Because children are being increasingly exposed to communication and interaction, all their language skills are developing rapidly because of the development of terminology. They are never forced to speak first language and rarely be corrected by others, but they appropriate themselves through interactions daily.

Then kids learn to make use of verbs in different sentences, as well as how to use diverse words to form a sentence (Yule, 2006). They will gradually figure out how to ask questions appropriately and how to use the word not any in their speeches to express adverse meanings. The past stage of first vocabulary acquisition is the ability of creating meaningful phrase (Yule, 2006).

There is significant variation in the rate at which features of one’s first dialect are attained. 1 . 4. 2 Secondary language acquisition Being capable of speak first language is one of the basic expertise of second language acquisition. Apart from the group of people who happen to be bilingual speakers, most of the scholars have no use of a second vocabulary until our late child years. Actually the majority of the Chinese students are now improving proficiency in english as a foreign language, because it is right away back to Chinese language speaking time out of the class room.

But down the line they may have chance of learning it like a foreign language in a native speaking environment, during immersion semesters, when they will acquire this kind of second language in circumstances comparable to those of Oriental acquisition. There are obviously differences in foreign language accomplishment, sometimes related to differences in abilities (Carroll, 1982), sometimes to affective factors (Gardner & Lambert, 1972), sometimes to learner tactics (Naiman, Frohlicn, Stern & Tedesco, 1978), sometimes to environmental factors such as possibilities for vocabulary use or instructional conditions (Long, 1982), and sometimes in order to time (Carroll, 1975). Humans have the ability to know more than one particular language through one’s live.

Farwell (1963) (cited in Taylor, 1976) reports that a British manager in the nineteenth century stated to have voiced more than forty languages and dialects. Generally, however , following the age of 15, the acquisition of second language is extremely different from the way in which one acquired his initially language, which can be relatively reduced and simply cannot achieve native-like proficiency. 1 ) 4. a few Educational elements Most of us get started learning secondary language in teen years, spending only few hours on it each day and for the majority of the daily activities we all use the mother tongue.

Consequently, we is going to encounter plenty of difficulties in learning second language without enough exposure to it. Therefore , the largely known part of acquiring first and second language ought to be language teachers. In order to learn a second language, we should learn from a teacher, or at least follow their very own guidance. The classroom is an extremely powerful tool of instructions and it can control language learning really direct way (Richard, Big t. & Roger, H. ). As language teachers, we should focus on students’ requirements and follow learner-centered approaches. We ought to impart knowledge in a more useful way so the students can get easily.

Maintain the class disciplined and organized so that students can learn most efficiently from the lessons. There are usually the situations which the students hardly ever volunteer answers, and the tutor sometimes must call on someone and wait for long time just before a response can be forthcoming. Perhaps you should try disregarding away from typical Hong Kong class practices in class? Like, pupils do not have to endure greet educators, and they do not have to raise their very own hands or perhaps stand up whenever they answer questions.

Within a relaxed classroom atmosphere, learners will feel liberal to interact. They do not fall noiseless when the instructor enters the room, then stand and roulade a choral greeting. In the event the pupils happen to be put in it in the classroom, they could be more effectively stored in their place in social lifestyle.

During the class, we teachers should never state like this: I actually am the teacher. By authority vested in me I have the justification to ask you to respond in a selected way, whether you like it or not. And you, within your role have the obligation to obey (Widdowson, H. G. ). Whereas, we should admit in another approach: Do this since I are the teacher and I know what’s right for you, but not Do this because I are telling you and I am the teacher.

This big difference has the good thing about largely elevating participation in the use and practice of language. 1 ) 4. four Summary Methods to the purchase of language account for different backgrounds of learns’ 1st language, and various conditions of exposure. In acquiring language, scholars often proceed through transitional phases of expansion, which is for distinguished prices.

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Marie E. & Steve P. (1991). Language and Learning. Melbourne: Oxford College or university Press O’ Mally, T. M., & Chamot, A. U. (1990). Learning tactics in secondary language acquisition.

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Wikepedia: Sociolinguistics (n. d. ). Gathered 30 October 2007 coming from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Sociolinguistics Wikepedia: Anthropological linguistics (n. g. ). Retrieved 30 October 2007 via http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Anthropological_linguistics Yule, G. (2006). The study of language (3rd education. ). Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

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