Some basics: What is linguistics and how is it used?
What is linguistics?
Linguistics is the study of language – not just particular languages,
but the system of human communication. Some of the basic issues of this
* What is language? How is it organized?
* How is it analyzed? How are its units discovered and tested?
* Where is language stored and processed in the brain? How is it learned?
* What do all languages—including nonvocal systems of communication (e.g. writing and sign languages)—have in common? What do these properties show us about human cognition?
* How did language originate? What does it have in common with animal communication? How is it different?
* How many distinct families or stocks of languages are there in the
6000 or so known languages today? What original languages did they come
from? How have they changed over time?
* What does dialectal and social variation show us about the use of
language? How has this diversity affected issues of social, political,
and educational policy?
* What is the relationship between language and culture? Language and thought?
What are some of the branches of linguistics?
applied linguistics: application
to areas such as speech pathology, reading, social work, translation,
dictionary compilation, language teaching, error analysis, computer
dialectology: investigation of regional variation in language.
ethnolinguistics (anthropological linguistics): investigation of the relation between a people's language and culture.
historical (diachronic) linguistics: study of language change and evolution.
morphology: study of word formation and inflection.
neurolinguistics: research into the specific location of language in the brain.
paralinguistics: study of nonverbal (auxiliary) human communication.
philology: study of how language has been used in literature, especially in older manuscripts.
phonetics: description of how speech sounds are articulated and heard.
phonology: study of how languages organize the units of speech into systems.
pragmatics: study of the strategies people use to carry out communicative business in specific contexts.
psycholinguistics: investigation of language as cognitively-based behavior; how it is acquired and processed.
second language acquisition (SLA): study of how older learners acquire language, and of ways to improve it.
of social variation in language: the relation between social structure
and language usage, and of social issues involving language.
semantics: study of word and sentence meaning.
syntax: study of the structure of sentences and of underlying principles for generating and processing them.
How is linguistics applied?
Many students find linguistics useful because it
broadens and deepens their understanding of related fields: languages
and literature (English and foreign), social sciences (especially
anthropology, sociology, and psychology), education, philosophy,
communication... Those who obtain degrees in linguistics often proceed
to careers in:
* foreign language teaching
* instructional technology
* ESL (teaching English as a second language)
* teaching and research in general linguistics (phonology, syntax...)
* translation (human and machine-assisted)
* speech pathology and audiology.
صلى الله على محمد صلى الله عليه وسلمسبحان الله وبحمده، سبحان الله العظيم