Category Archives: Anatomy of Linguistics

Shortening – contraction – clipping – blending – abbreviation

Dear All, One can hear people using a variety of terms to refer to “shortened words” such as ‘shortenings’, ‘abbreviations’, etc. This post looks at these terms from the linguistic perspective to explain and help use them correctly. This post focuses on the lexical layer of the language. Let’s start with the most generic term: …

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What is language

Dear All, There exist dozens of definitions of “language” (L.). This post focuses on what a good definition of L. should cover and formulates a new definition of the notion. To begin with, what is the most important objective of L. from the linguistic perspective? Most objective of L. from the linguistic perspective is communication. …

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Mother tongue

Dear All, If you write a paper on teaching/learning foreign languages, sometimes it is desirable to find an appropriate synonym that fits the context best and corresponds well to the given context. Below are the forms which are synonymous to “mother tongue”: native language native tongue first language father tongue arterial language L1 (the use …

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Comparative linguistics

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech (Gen. 11:1, KJV). Dear All, Have you ever heard the story about the tower of Babel? It is described in Genesis 11:1-9. The quote above is the beginning of this story. What is important for us in this discussion is that there is …

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How linguistics can help in space exploration

Video credit: SpaceX, “CRS-8 Dragon Hosted Webcast” April 8, 2016, via YouTube. Dear All, The video above shows the first successful launch + landing (on a landing pad in the ocean) of the first stage of a rocket delivering cargo to space (see also the first successful launch + landing on a landing pad on …

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Why linguistics matters

Dear All: When it comes to University courses some students opt out for “the real thing” which, in their opinion, is more related to something they want to do in their future profession. Today I would like to speak about linguistics and why it is the real thing. Regardless of what profession a student chooses …

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Descriptive linguistics

Dear All: I have recently come across two sources which seem to understand descriptive linguistics (L.) in opposite ways. The Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures’ Web page on the University of Kentucky website explains how the field of descriptive L. is represented there in the following way: “Descriptive Linguistics research is …

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Theoretical linguistics

Dear All, The previous post has focused on applied linguistics (L.). This post focuses on theoretical L. Theoretical L. is a branch of L. that is focused on developing linguistic knowledge in general (e.g. what are the linguistic levels of any language) and concrete models in particular (e.g. how the phonemes are organized in a …

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Applied linguistics

Language acquisition is “the greatest intellectual feat any of us is ever required to perform” (Bloomfield, 1933, p. 29). Dear All, The previous two posts have defined linguistics (L.) and discussed briefly its structure. This post focuses on one of the branches of L. called “applied L.” Applied L.is a conglomeration of linguistic sub-disciplines and …

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Structure of linguisitcs

Image credit: Aucasin, “Branches indo-européen” September 13, 2015, via Wikimedia Commons, (CC BY-SA 4.0). Dear All: This post continues exploring what linguistics (L.) is. This post is going to focus on the branches of of L. which do study language, but are not directly focused on a particular structural level of language. Depending on what …

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What is linguistics?

Video credit: The Virtual Linguistics Campus, “What is Linguistics (not)?” July 31, 2014, via YouTube. Dear All: We have been discussing so many interesting linguistic topics on BLOGONLINGUISTICS blog, but what is linguistics? Linguistics (L.) (from Lat. lingua – “language”) is scientific study of language. The core branches of L. are associated with language structure …

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Argot, jargon, professionalism, and slang

Dear All, Argo, jargon, professionalism, and slang are the terms which are used not only by linguists, but by people with any other background in their everyday life. The everyday use of these terms contributes to the fact that sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. Even linguists who do not work closely with these notions …

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