Linguistics

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Language experts generally define linguistics as ``the scientific study of language``. (Lyons, 2002:1). According to many linguists ``language means any distinct linguistic entity variety which is mutually unintelligible with other such entities``. (Campbell, 2006:184). Some scholars indicate that ``language is a cognitive system which is part of any normal human being`s mental or psychological structure``. (Radford, Atkison, Britain, Clashen and Spencer, 2003:1).

Grammarians usually point out that linguistic theory is concerned ``not only with the knowledge that an adult speaker has of his or her language, but also with explaining how that knowledge is acquired``. (Fromkin, Rodman and Hyams, 2007:18).

 Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language in context, language meaning, and language form. Language in its broader context includes: language acquisition, neurolinguistics, psycholingustics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, and evolutionary linguistics. The study of language meaning is concerned with how languages employ logical structure and real-world references to convey, process and assign meaning, as well as to manage and resolve ambiguity. A lot of authors emphasize that ``by scientific study of language is meant its investigation by means of controlled and empirically verifiable observations``. (Lyons, 1995:1).

 The study of language structure or form, focuses on the system of rules followed by the speakers (or hearers) of a language. It consists of morphology, phonology, phonetics, and syntax. Many linguistic experts point out that ``a theory of grammar specifies the nature of all these components and the universal aspects of all grammars``. (Fromkin, 2001:8). Linguistics is also a branch of cognitive science. Cognitive science is a term for a group of disciplines that have the same goal: defining and analyzing human being`s ability to think. Some scholars emphasize that ``the discipline of linguistics, along with psychology, philosophy, and computer science thus forms an important subdiscipline within cognitive science``(Carnie:2002:4).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Campbell, Lyle. (2006). Historical Linguistics. Cambridge, Massachussetts: The MIT Press.

2. Carnie, Andrew. (2002). Syntax – A Generative Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

3.Fromkin, Victoria. (2001). Linguistics – An Introduction to Linguistic Theory. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

4.Fromkin, Victoria, Rodman, Robert and Hyams, Nina. (2007). An Introduction to Language. Boston: Wadsworth Cenage Learning.

5. Lyons, John. (2002). Language and Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

6. Radford, Andrew, Atkinson, Martin, Britain, David, Clashen, Harold and Spencer, Andrew. (2003). Linguistics – An Introduction.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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