Summary: Liguistics

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  • 1 Introduction

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  • Why is it important to study all these aspects of linguistics if you want to become an English teacher?

    It is important to understand how language is structured, but also to understand how languages are learned. If the teacher understands how language is structured, he is able to analyse the language form and thus pass that knowledge on to his students.also, he will be able to give examples based on the particular language structure. Furthermore, a teacher should understand how languages are learned and what problems may arise along the learning process.
  • How many languages do you think there are in the world? Given estimation. 

    Any estimates between 3000 and 10,000. 
  • What is the study of philology?

    It studies the history of written historical sources. It is highly focused on the historical part of the language. As you will learn later, focuses nowadays mostly placed on studying a language at a given point, rather than its entire history. Therefore, philology has become a lesser popular field in linguistics.
  • What is diachronic study?

    Diachronic means studying a language in the course of history, and therefore language change. An example of this would be etymology, which studies the origin and history of words.
  • What is synchronic study?

    Synchronic study means studying a language at one specific point in time. It does not look at its course through history and future. It usually focuses on the present. Nowadays, particularly after Saussure's and Chomsky's influences, linguists prefer to study languages in a synchronic manner.
  • What does language versus parole mean?

    Saussure also distinguished between language and parole. These two French words respectively mean language and speech. The language is the language of communication, the whole language system, while the parole means the actual speaking the language itself, also known as speech acts.
  • What is important for you as a student?

    It is important as student to take in these theories and study them, always have a critical mind and ask questions. Some of these theories are already a bit outdated, some of them you completely disagree with. That is perfectly fine, as long as you have argument ready why you disagree and can show what part you do agree with. That is learning.
  • What is the great Vowel Shift?

    The great vowel shift happened gradually between the 15th and 18th century. Simply put, the way people pronounced certain vowels changed, by no longer saying them in the middle of the mouth, but higher up in the mouth. This meant that the short vowels that were used in old and Middle English were now replaced by the longer pronunciations we know today.
  • Why did the great vowel shift happen?

    The reason why this happened remains unclear today, but it might have been the plague or black death, which forced many people to move. This new social mobility in the country might have forced hypercorrection, extremely over correcting, of different dialects to change them to one standardised form. In any case, the Great Vowel Shift accounts for the strange way the English pronunciation works.
  • Linguistics is the study of human languages, what aspects do you think the subject of linguistics consists of?

    It can be divided into categories such as language form, language meaning and language context.
    It can have the following aspects:
    language history, language change, grammar, semantics, pragmatics, lexis, phonetics, phonology, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, second language acquisition, psycholinguistics, neuro linguistics,

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