I. Linguistics • 1.1 What is linguistics? • Linguistics is the systemic (or scientific) study of language. • 1.2 The scope of linguistics • 1.2.1 General linguistics • This deals with the basic concepts, theories, descriptions, models and • methods applicable in any linguistic study, in contrast to those branches • of study which relate linguistics to the research of other areas. • 1.2.2 Branches of linguistics • phonetics phonology morphology • syntax semantics pragmatics • psycholinguistics sociolinguistics applied linguistics
I. 3 Some basic Terms in linguistics 1.3.1 DescriptiveVSprescriptive linguistics • What people are really saying and what people should say 1.3.2 Synchronic linguisticsVSdiachronic linguistics • The study of a language at some point of time in history and the study • of a language as it changes through time. 1.3.3 SpeechVSwriting • Speech is prior to writing for three reasons: the evolution of mankind; the • development of individuals; the amount of information loaded 1.3.4 LangueVSparole • An abstract system shared by all the members of a speech community and • the realization of langue in actual linguistic communication 1.3.5 CompetenceVS performance • An ideal language user’s knowledge of the system of his language and the • actual use of the knowledge in linguistic communication 1.3.6Modern linguisticsVStraditional grammar a) Linguistics is descriptive, not prescriptive. • b)Linguistics regards the spoken language as primary, not the written. • c) Linguistics does not force language into a Latin-based framework. • a) Linguistics is descriptive, not prescriptive. • b)Linguistics regards the spoken language as primary, not the written. • c) Linguistics does not force language into a Latin-based framework.
1.4. Language 1.4.1 What is language? Language is a system of arbitraryvocal symbols used for human communication. 1.4.2 The designing features of human language (1) Creativity we are able to construct and understand an indefinitely large number of sentences in our native languages, including sentences that we have never heard before, but they are appropriate to that situation in which they are uttered. (2) Arbitrariness There is no intrinsic relationship between the sign and what it is a sign for. (3) Duality of structure (or double articulation) Two levels of ‘structure’ or patterning in all languages. At the higher level, language is analyzed as combinations of meaningful units (such as morphemes, words); at the lower level, it is seen as a sequence of segments which lack any meaning in themselves, but which combine to form units of meaning.
(4) Displacement Human language can cope with any subject, be it real or imaginary, and it does not matter how far away the topic of conversation is in time and space (5) Cultural transmission (the need for learning) The details of the linguistic system must be learned anew by each speaker. Though the capacity for language in human beings has a genetic basis, the particular language a human being learns is a cultural fact, not a genetic one. 1.5 Homework (1) What do you think of the definition of linguistics? In what sense it is a scientific way of studying Language? (2) Comment on the definition of language given in the textbook.