The Science of Language

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In business or sciences, language is the vocabulary or technical expressions used in specific applications or fields: the language of computer; the language of science. The science that deals with the study of language is known asLinguistics.

Terms related to languages

Mother tongue – is the native language of a person. The mother tongue of Filipinos is Tagalog or Pilipino. It is also a kind of language from where other languages derive.

Pidgin English – In some countries, aside from their mother tongue, they are using a kind of jargon which is a mixture of English and local native language elements which is being used as the language of commerce between the natives and foreigners. In Nigeria, for example, Pidgin English is widely used. An example of this is the one I excerpted from Babawilly’s Dictionary of Pidgin English Words and Phrases: (http://www.ngex.com/personalities/babawilly/dictionary/pidgine.htm)

Ejika ni shop: Tailor walking on the street with his portable sewing machine on his shoulder. Ejika ni is Yoruba for “shoulder is”.

Forms of Linguistics

Comparative Linguistics – is the comparison and contrast of related languages. It is formerly called comparative grammar or comparative philology. An example of this is the Pilipino language which is very much related to the Spanish language. Sanskrit is also related to Latin.

Descriptive or synchronic linguistics – the study of language or languages at a given stage of development in relation to its morphology, syntax, and semantics. It is a description on the way a language is spoken whether at present or former times, without judging their values.

Geographical linguistics – it deals with the differences of languages in regional basis or the classification of languages and dialects in its regional distributions.

Historical linguistics – deals with the evolutions and phenomenal existence of languages.

Metalinguistics – deals specifically with the study of languages in its interrelationship insofar as the meaning or structural framework of the language in a society is concerned with relevance to some cultural aspects.

Fields of Linguistics

Functional shift – the syntactic function of the word without changing its form. Example of this is the assumption of an adjective serving as a noun in the English language.

Grammar – is a set of rules that govern the use of a language to include all aspects of language, such as morphology, phonetics, etymology, etc.

Morphology – the branch of linguistics which deals with morphemes, their arrangement in words and the changes they undergo in various grammatical construction. Morpheme is a meaningful linguistic unit consisting of a word, such as man, or a word element, such as –ed in walked, that cannot be divided into smaller meaningful parts.

Phonemics – the study of the phonemic system or the phonemic pattern of a language. It refers to phonemes. Phoneme is the unit of sound in a specified language that distinguishes one word from the other. Example- bat and pat; bad and pad. Phonemics derived its origin from the Greek word phoneo which means sound.

Phonetics – the branch of linguistics which deals with the analysis, description, and classification of sounds or speech.

Semantics – the study of meaning of speech forms, especially of the development and changes in meaning of words and word groups. In Logic, it is the relation between signs or symbols and what they signify or denote. Semantics is also called as semasiology (studies the cognitive aspects of meanings), or semiotics (a philosophical theory of the functions of signs and symbols.)

Syntax – the study of the rules whereby words or other elements of sentence structure are combined to form grammatical sentences, or the pattern of formation of sentences or phrases in a language. In Computer Science, syntax means the rules governing construction of a machine language, or its systematic orderly arrangement.

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