According to past papers from PU Lahore
1. Linguistics is the scientific study of language Elaborate on the statement with your understanding of the study of language.
2. Discuss in detail the different branches of linguistics and their scope.
3. What is linguistics? Discuss how different levels of linguistics are linked to each other.
4. Discuss in detail various branches of linguistics and their usefulness?
5. Is your opinion what the advantage of studying various concepts in linguistics is?
6. How can the study of linguistics provide a better insight into the language and literary studies?
1. The etymology of ‘Linguistics ‘?
Latin words: Lingua (Language) and Istics (Knowledge/Science).
2. What is Linguistics?
The scientific study of language, language form, meaning, and in context …
i. Longman Dictionary, Fourth edition, JACK C. RICHARDS, and RICHARD SCHMIDT:
“The study of language as a system of human communication”.
ii. FERDINAND DE SAUSSURE (26 November 1857 – 22 February 1913), structuralist of Switzerland:
“Linguistics, recognize laws operating universally in language, strictly rational manner, separating general phenomena, branch of languages”
iii. NOAM CHOMSKY (7 December 1928-alive/United States), mentalist:
“Study of language, clarify, part substantiate certain conclusions, human knowledge, relate directly to classical issues, philosophy of mind”
3. What is Branch?
Subdivisions of any work for better understanding, a part of something larger
4. Branches of Linguistics:
i. Macro Linguistics:
a) Historical Linguistics / Comparative Historical Linguistics / Comparative Philology / Philology
d) Cognitive Linguistics / Cognitive Psychology
e) Computational linguistics
f) Applied linguistics
g) Discourse analysis
ii. Micro Linguistics:
5. Distinction in Linguistics:
i. Synchronic and diachronic linguistics
ii. Langue and Parole
iii. Competence Vs Performance
iv. Syntagmatic and Paradigmatic
Linguistics, the scientific study of language, developed in the 4th century B. C. Branches, macro linguistics(Historical Linguistics / Comparative Historical Linguistics / Comparative Philology / Philology, Sociolinguistics, Psycholinguistics, Cognitive Linguistics / Cognitive Psychology, Computational linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Discourse analysis), microlinguistics(Syntax, semantics, pragmatics, phonetics, phonology, morphology). Distinctions in linguistics (Synchronic and diachronic, langue and parole, competence and performance, Syntagmatic and Paradigmatic, descriptive and transcriptive).
LINGUISTICS AND ITS BRANCHES
The term Linguistic has been derived from two Latin words: Lingua (Language) and Istics (Knowledge/Science). Linguistics is the scientific study of language, specifically language form, language meaning, and language in context. As Wikipedia Encyclopedia sees it as “Linguistics is the scientific study of language. There are broadly three aspects to this study, which include language form, meaning and in context”. The earliest activities in the description of language have been attributed to the 4th century BCE Indian grammarian Pāṇini, who was an early student of linguistics and wrote a formal description of the Sanskrit language. According to the Fourth Edition of Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics by JACK C. RICHARDS and RICHARD SCHMIDT, Linguistic is:
“The study of language as a system of human communication”.
So, linguistics is the science of language. It is the subject whose practitioners devote their energy to understand why human language is the way. It is the study of history, acquisition, structure, and use of as many languages as possible. FERDINAND DE SAUSSURE (26 November 1857 – 22 February 1913), is a structuralist of Switzerland, says about linguistics:
“Linguistics will have to recognize laws operating universally in language, and in a strictly rational manner, separating general phenomena from those restricted to one branch of languages or another”.
It is the scientific study of language, as it is based on rules. Linguistics is the theory that human languages determine the structure of the real world as perceived by human beings, rather than vice versa and that is structure is different and Commensurable from one language to another. NOAM CHOMSKY (7 December 1928-alive in the United States), a mentalist, asserts as:
“The study of language that can clarify and in part substantiate certain conclusions about human knowledge that relate directly to classical issues in the philosophy of mind”.
Branches of Linguistics
Branches are the subdivisions of any work for better understanding and a part of something larger. Linguistics is a wider and universal concept of all the languages, therefore, it has described in various branches. These branches are further divided into Macro and Micro divisions.
Macro linguistics is the major branch of linguistics which further divides into various branches as discussed below:
a) Historical Linguistics / Comparative Historical Linguistics / Comparative Philology / Philology:
History means inquiry and the knowledge acquired by investigation. Incidents and situations before the current time are studied in history. It is an umbrella term and keeps the historical record of language also. Historical linguistics is the study of the development of language over time. How do changes occur in language? What are the causes and effects of these changes? According to Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics Fourth edition, by Jack C. RICHARDS and RICHARD SCHMIDT:
“A branch of linguistics which studies language change and language relationships. By comparing earlier and later forms of a language and by comparing different languages”.
It has been possible to show that certain languages are related, for example, the Indo-European language. It has also been possible to reconstruct forms that are believed to have occurred in a particular language before written records were available. For example *p in an ancestor language to all the Indo-European languages is said to be related to /p / in Sanskrit as in pita “father” and /f/ in English as in father.
Socio means the study of the nature and development of society. Sociolinguistics is the study of language in relation to society. Language is always meant for society. The social interaction and communication of ideas and messages can be possible only through language. JACK C. RICHARDS and RICHARD SCHMIDT define it as.
“The study of language in relation to social factors that is a social class, educational level and type of education, age, sex, ethnic origin, etc.”
Linguists differ as to what they include under sociolinguistics. Many would include the detailed study of interpersonal communication, sometimes called micro-sociolinguistics, for example, speech acts, conversation analysis, speech events, sequencing of utterances, and also those investigations which relate variation in the language used by a group of people to social factors. Such areas as the study of language choice in bilingual or multilingual communities, language planning, language attitudes, etc., may be included under sociolinguistics and are sometimes referred to as macro-sociolinguistics, or they are considered as being part of the sociology of language or the social psychology of language.
Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and how it functions. It analyses the relation of mind and language. Psycholinguistics is the study of how the mind process and produces language. It uses linguistics concepts to describe the mental process connected with the acquisition and use of language. According to Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics Fourth edition:
“The study of the mental processes that a person uses in producing and understanding language, and how humans learn the language.”
For example, parsing garden path sentences:
The novice accepted the deal before he had a chance to check his finances, which put him in a state of conflict when he realized he had a straight flush.
a) The defendant examined by the lawyer turned out to be unreliable
b) The evidence examined by the lawyer turned out to be unreliable
d) Cognitive Linguistics / Cognitive Psychology:
According to Merriam-Webster, the word “cognitive” is defined as “of, relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (such as thinking, reasoning, or remembering)”. Cognitive Linguistics (CL) Cognitive linguistics has proposed a model of grammatical knowledge, construction grammar that offers an alternative to the formalist model in which form and function (semantics and information structure) are separated into distinct components. Construction grammar hypothesizes that knowledge of syntax involves the knowledge of individual constructions that combine formal properties (syntactic structures, morphological inflections) and functional ones (semantics and discourse function). For example, the ditransitive construction [X Verb Z Y], as in Marilyn sent Gina a book, specifies not only the syntactic structure of the construction but also the semantic relationships among the participants, such as the fact that Z comes to possess Y. Constructions are organized in a network of grammatical knowledge in a speaker’s mind. More broadly, grammatical knowledge is organized as a system of signs or symbols, consisting of the form (the signifier) and function (the signified). A model organizing grammatical knowledge in terms of constructions/symbols/signs allows for a direct statement of functional properties that are relevant to particular grammatical constructions and other grammatical units. According to Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics Fourth edition, by Jack C. RICHARDS and RICHARD SCHMIDT:
Cognitive linguistics is an approach to linguistics that stresses the interaction between language and cognition forcing on language as an instrument for organizing, processing, and conveying information.
e) Computational linguistics:
Computational means using a computer. It is the study of language using techniques and concepts of computer science especially with reference to the problems posed by the fields of machine translation and artificial intelligence. The Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics Fourth edition describes it as:
“The scientific study of language from a computational perspective.”
Computational linguists are interested in providing computational models of natural language processing (both production and comprehension) and various kinds of linguistic phenomena. The work of computational linguists is incorporated into such practical applications as speech recognition systems, speech synthesis, automated voice response systems, web search engines, text editors, and language instruction materials.
f) Applied linguistics:
Applied means to use in a practical way. The universal rules of linguistics when applied of a specific language. JACK C. RICHARDS and RICHARD SCHMIDT in Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics Fourth edition define applied linguistics as:
“The study of language and linguistics in relation to practical problems, such as lexicography, translation, speech pathology, etc.”
For example, language teaching, translation, and speech therapy etc.
g) Discourse analysis:
Discourse analysis is sometimes defined as the analysis of language ‘beyond the sentence’. This contrasts with types of analysis more typical of modern linguistics, which is chiefly concerned with the study of grammar: the study of smaller bits of language, such as sounds (phonetics and phonology), parts of words (morphology), meaning (semantics), and the order of words in sentences (syntax). Discourse analysts study larger chunks of language as they flow together. RICHARDS says:
“The study of how sentences in spoken and written language form larger meaningful units such as paragraphs, conversations, interviews, etc.”
Some discourse analysts consider the larger discourse context in order to understand how it affects the meaning of the sentence. For example, CHARLES FILLMORE points out that two sentences taken together as a single discourse can have meanings different from each one taken separately. To illustrate, he asks one to imagine two independent signs at a swimming pool: “Please use the toilet, not the pool,” says one. The other announces, “Pool for members only.” If you regard each sign independently, they seem quite reasonable. But taking them together as a single discourse makes you go back and revise your interpretation of the first sentence after one has read the second.
Macro branches are the branches related to the internal structure of language. They belong to various parts of language like syntax, semantics, pragmatics, phonology, and morphology.
Syntax means structure. It deals with the combination of units as words and meaningful elements are constructed. It involves the description of rules about positioning the elements in a sentence. However, Syntax is a major component of the grammar of a language (together with the lexicon, phonology, and semantics). Longman Dictionary, Fourth Edition, JACK C. RICHARDS, and RICHARD SCHMIDT writes about it in these words:
“Syntax concerns the ways in which words combine to form sentences and the rules which govern the formation of sentences, making some sentences possible and others not possible within a particular language.”
Let’s look at examples of how a sentence can be rearranged to create varied syntax:
Ø The boy jumped happily.
Ø The boy happily jumped.
Ø Happily, the boy jumped.
By rearranging just one word in the sentence, a varied syntax is formed. Each is grammatically correct and acceptable English language form. A writer will vary sentence syntax to make writing more interesting or to emphasize a particular point. Words and phrases must follow English rules for correct arrangement and coherent sentences.
Semantics deals with the level of meaning in language or investigates the meaning of language. It is the study of all aspects of meaning in language. JACK C. RICHARDS and RICHARD SCHMIDT say:
“Semantics is the study of meaning. There are many different approaches to the way in which meaning in language is studied.”
For example, “destination” and “last stop” technically mean the same thing, but students of semantics analyze their subtle shades of meaning.
The term pragmatics was coined in the 1930s by the philosopher C.W. Morris. Pragmatics was developed as a subfield of linguistics in the 1970s. Pragmatics is context-dependent that deals with contextual aspects of meaning in a particular situation in which they are used. Different arrangements of one sentence differ in meaning according to the context. Longman Dictionary, Fourth Edition, JACK C. RICHARDS, and RICHARD SCHMIDT:
“The study of the use of language in communication, particularly the relationships between sentences and the contexts and situations in which they are used.”
Look at the following example:
[KATE is about to go out of her house]
KATE: Now I’ve lost my keys. No, I haven’t. Here they are. I mustn’t forget my keys.
KATE: Now I’ve lost my keys. No, I haven’t. Here they are. I mustn’t forget my keys.
From this we understand that: It is important that Kate takes her keys and she is afraid she might lose them or forget them because on a previous occasion she has forgotten them. These two ideas do not come from the individual words Kate has spoken. They come from the particular combination of these words with our knowledge of the situation where they are used. Some words show many different pragmatic effects. Forget is one of these, and here we show several contrasting uses of forgetting. Language users (either speakers or writers) continually make choices of words and phrases and these choices affect how they are understood.
The physical properties of all human sound. It studies the characteristics of human sound production especially those sounds used in speech and provides methods for their description, classification, and transcription. According to the Fourth edition of Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics by JACK C. RICHARDS and RICHARD SCHMIDT, it is:
“The study of speech sounds. There are three main areas of phonetics: articulatory phonetics, acoustic phonetics, and auditory phonetics”
For example, a listener may perceive:
a) Differences in aspiration e.g. between the aspirated /p/ of [phit] pit and the unaspirated /p/ of [tip] tip.
b) Other differences in sound quality, e.g. between the “clear” /i/ of [lait] light and the “dark” /i/ of [hi] hill.
The study of specific sounds that make up words of speaking and listening. The study of how languages organize the units of speech into systems According to Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics by JACK C. RICHARDS and RICHARD SCHMIDT:
“The study of word-to-word relations in sentences; that is, how sound patterns are affected by the combination of words.”
For example, /gIv/ give and /hIm/ him may combine to /gIvIm/ give him.
The study of word formation and inflection. It is a branch of grammar that studies the structure or forms of words. According to JACK C. RICHARDS and RICHARD SCHMIDT, who asserts:
“The study of morphemes and their different forms (allomorphs), and the way they combine in word formation.”
For example, the English word unfriendly is formed from a friend, the adjective-forming suffix –ly, and the negative prefix un-.
Distinctions in linguistics
Linguistics is a universal subject and deals with the rules for all languages. Therefore, for a better understanding of these major ideas. Linguistics has divided into various concepts. They are as following:
i. Synchronic and diachronic linguistics:
Synchronic is the study of language at a given time. It studies a language at one point in time. It is also called descriptive linguistics. an approach to linguistics which studies how languages change over time, for example, the change in the sound systems of the Romance languages from their roots in Latin (and other languages) to modern times or the study of changes between Early English to Modern British English. The need for diachronic and synchronic descriptions to be kept apart was emphasized by the Swiss linguist SAUSSURE. Not all approaches to linguistic analysis make this distinction. FERDINAND DE SAUSSURE (1859-1913), the structuralist is its founder:
“Synchronic linguistics will be concerned with logical and psychological relations that bind together coexisting terms and form a system in the collective mind of speakers.”
Diachronic linguistics studies the language with the historical perspective to look over a language over a period of time along with changes that occurred in it. According to Dictionary of Longman, it is:
“An approach to linguistics which studies how languages change over time.”
For example, the change in the sound systems of the Romance languages from their roots in Latin (and other languages) to modern times or the study of changes between Early English to Modern British English.
ii. Langue and Parole:
Langue is the French word for language that contains all the rules and conventions regarding the arrangement of sounds, words, phrases, and sentences. According to SAUSSURE:
The French word for “language”. The term was used by the linguist SAUSSURE to mean the system of a language, that is the arrangement of sounds and words which speakers of a language have a shared knowledge of or, as SAUSSURE said, “agree to use”. Langue is the “ideal” form of a language. SAUSSURE called the actual use of language by people in speech or writing “parole”.
SAUSSURE’s distinction between “langue” and “parole” is similar to CHOMSKY’s distinction between competence and performance. But whereas for SAUSSURE the repository of “langue” is the speech community, for CHOMSKY the repository of “competence” is the “ideal speaker/hearer”. So SAUSSURE’s distinction is basically sociolinguistic whereas CHOMSKY’s is basically psycholinguistic.
Parole is the actualization of that mental capability. The knowledge in one’s mind is when uttered. It is parole. SAUSSURE called the Langue law of language and parole is the executive side of language.
iii. Competence Vs Performance:
Competence is a person’s intuitive knowledge. It is a set of principles. NOAM CHOMSKY (1928-Alive), the mentalist affirms:
(in generative grammar) the implicit system of rules that constitutes a person’s knowledge of a language. This includes a person’s ability to create and understand sentences, including sentences they have never heard before, knowledge of what are and what are not sentences of a particular language, and the ability to recognize ambiguous and deviant sentences.
For example, a speaker of English would recognize I want to go home as an English sentence but would not accept a sentence such as I want going home even though all the words in it are English words. Competence often refers to an ideal speaker/hearer, that is an idealized but not a real person who would have complete knowledge of the whole language. A distinction is made between competence and performance, which is the actual use of the language by individuals in speech and writing.
Performance is what a speaker has done. Competence is the ability to use language and performance is the use of that ability. The competence-performance distinction also helps one’s to understand that there is no limit to the actual production of sentences, it is possible to produce an infinitely long sentence but the ability is limited and can be described in a set of principles. According to the Fourth Edition of Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics by JACK C. RICHARDS and RICHARD SCHMIDT:
(In generative grammar) a person’s actual use of language. A difference is made between a person’s knowledge of a language (competence) and how a person uses this knowledge in producing and understanding sentences (performance).
For example, people may have the competence to produce an infinitely long sentence but when they actually attempt to use this knowledge (to “perform”) there are many reasons why they restrict the number of adjectives, adverbs, and clauses in any one sentence.
iv. Syntagmatic and Paradigmatic:
Syntagmatic is the relation of the units within the sentences. They define the relation of subjects, objects, and phrasal verbs, etc. Longman Dictionary defines:
“The relationship that linguistic units (e.g. words, clauses) have with other units because they may occur together in a sequence.”
For example, a word may be said to have syntagmatic relations with the other words which occur in the sentence in which it appears, but Paradigmatic relationships are the constructive or choice relationship. Words that have something in common and which can be alternated in a sentence. Paradigmatic is a philosophical and historical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and organizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated. RICHARD asserts:
“Relations with the other words that could be substituted for it in the sentence.”
Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It developed in the 4th century B. C. There are two branches, macro linguistics, and microlinguistics. Historical Linguistics / Comparative Historical Linguistics / Comparative Philology / Philology, Sociolinguistics, Psycholinguistics, Cognitive Linguistics / Cognitive Psychology, Computational linguistics, Applied linguistics, Discourse analysis are included in macro linguistics.
Syntax, semantics, pragmatics, phonetics, phonology, morphology are part of microlinguistics. However, Synchronic and diachronic, langue and parole, competence and performance, Syntagmatic and Paradigmatic, descriptive and transcriptive are the distinctions in linguistics.