You are on page 1of 23

Introduction to Applied Linguistics

Introduction: What You Need to Know Before Studying Applied Linguistics By: Soth SOK

What is language?
Language is a set of rules for generating speech Languages come in many shapes and sounds. Language is simultaneously a physical process and a way of sharing meaning among people.

What is language?
Language is made up of socially shared rules that include the following: What words mean (e.g., "star" can refer to a bright object in the night sky or a celebrity) How to make new words (e.g., friend, friendly, unfriendly)

What is language?
Language is made up of socially shared rules that include the following: How to put words together (e.g., "Peg walked to the new store" rather than "Peg walk store new") What word combinations are best in what situations ("Would you mind moving your foot?" could quickly change to "Get off my foot, please!" if the first request did not produce results)

What is language for?

A communication medium Presumably a memory medium (internal language) Presumably the foundation of generalization and learning Presumably the foundation of thought and reasoning

Why study language?

Communication, School curriculum, Integrative purpose, Instrumental purpose, Curiosity, Self development, etc.

What about/of a Language to Study?

Phonetics (study of principles governing the nature and use of speech sounds) Phonology (study of the sound system of language) Syntax Morphology The Lexicon Semantics Pragmatics

Phonology is the study of
The sound system of a language How the particular sounds contrast in each language to form an integrated system for encoding information How sound systems differ from one language to another

What sounds have you heard in other languages that are not in English? Exactly how do you move your articulators to pronounce the tt sound in butter?

The structure of words in a language, including patterns of inflections and derivation The study of how words are formed in a language

What is grammar?
the system of a language a field of linguistics that involves all the various things that make up the rules of language

Kinds of Grammar
Descriptive grammar
is the objective description of a speakers knowledge of a language (competence) based on their use of the language (performance).

Prescriptive grammar
is a set of rules designed to give instructions regarding the correct or proper way to speak or write.

Descriptive or prescriptive?
Never end a sentence with a preposition. In casual styles of speaking, people frequently end sentences with prepositions, but this is generally avoided in formal styles.
Between you and me is correct; Between you and I is ungrammatical.

What grammar is this?

Aint no way hes gonna. Between you and I, hes wrong. Danny gone he be working down to the factory. Whatsa matter you? He said he may can have these by the first of the month.

Why does your language vary?

It depends who you are. It depends what youre doing. It depends where you live. It depends how old you are. It depends what social class you come from. It depends on your gender. It depends what youre talking about.

The Linguistic Facts of Life

All spoken language changes over time. All spoken languages are equal in linguistic terms. Grammatical and communicative effectiveness are distinct and independent issues.

The Linguistic Facts of Life

Written language and spoken language are historically, structurally, and functionally fundamentally different creatures. Variation is intrinsic to all spoken language at every level.

the way words are put together in a language to form phrases, clauses, or sentences the discipline that examines the rules of a language that dictate how the various parts of sentences go together

A lexicon is the knowledge that a native speaker has about a language. This includes information about:
the form and meanings of words and phrases lexical categorization the appropriate usage of words and phrases relationships between words and phrases, and categories of words and phrases.

study of meaning in communication the study of interpretation of signs as used by agents or communities within particular circumstances and contexts science of meaning in language

Study of relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent (also called semasiology) The meaning or the interpretation of a word, sentence, or other language form: We're basically agreed; let's not quibble over semantics

the meanings between the lexis and the grammar and the phonology pragmatics studies how people comprehend and produce a communicative act or speech act in a concrete speech situation which is usually a conversation

Example of Pragmatics
When a diplomat says yes, he means perhaps; When he says perhaps, he means no; When he says no, he is not a diplomat.
When a lady says no, she means perhaps; When she says perhaps, she means yes; When she says yes, she is not a lady.
Voltaire (Quoted, in Spanish, in Escandell 1993.)