• Phonetics – the study and classification of speech sound
  • Phonology – deals with systems of sounds
  • Morphology – the study of the forms of things, in particular

o   Linguistics the study of the forms of words.

  • Syntax – the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language
  • Semantics – the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning.

What is Linguistics?

  • the scientific study of language
  • how it works, how it is used, how it changes
  • what does it mean to “know” a language?
  • make and interpret the meaningful sounds of the language
  • break down words and put them together
  • vocabulary and meanings of words
  • produce a correct sentence
  • and use appropriate sentences
  • how to use it appropriately

What is Language?

  • language makes us human
  • innate ability to learn language
  • all humans learn a language
  • language plays an important role in
  • communication
  • conveying thoughts, emotions
  • differentiating groups: social, national, cultural
  • language is a system regulated by rules – a grammar
  • language is a creative system
  • language is not writing
  • don’t need writing to have language
  • not all languages have writing systems
  • there can be more than one writing system per language
  • writing = physical representation of speech
  • writing is secondary to language – doesn’t need writing

Linguistic Knowledge

  • linguistic competence = what you know
  • ability to produce and understand an unlimited number of utterances
  • ability to recognize what does not belong in a language or is not acceptable
  • linguistic performance = how you use it
  • what we say and understand on a given occasion
  • may contain errors
  • incomplete representation of competence
  • linguistic knowledge is mostly unconscious knowledge

What linguists do…

  • analysis of rule system (grammar)
  • components of grammar (phonetics, phonology, syntax…. )
  • meaning, form and structure
  • describe grammar as it is used
  • track grammatical changes – languages are always changing and will continue to change
  • describe grammar
  • all languages have a grammar
  • all grammars are equal to linguists
  • all grammars are “good enough: for human expression
  • all languages are grammars change over tie
  • all grammars are alike in basic ways

What linguists don’t do

  • “a linguist speaks many languages”
  • linguistics is not the study of language in general, not the knowledge of specific languages
  • language is an abstract system regulated by rules; linguists are interested in the system
  • “a linguist knows how to speak properly”
  • “a proposition is not a good word to end a sentence with”
  • “it is a good idea to no split infinitives”
  • “I didn’t do nothing”

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