Role Of Language In linguistics is very important debate. Every uses language so you must know How Language plays an important role in the field of linguistic study. We wilL discuss about that in this Article.
Every human child, with a few pathological exceptions, learns the language of the society in which it grows up. A child acquires the fundamentals of that language in the first five or six years of life—perhaps the greatest intellectual feat of its lifetime. How the child does this is one of the most intriguing puzzles in the study of human nature.
All we know is that the child follows a general timetable in the process of acquisition. Just as the baby sits up, then crawls, stands and walks according to an innate timetable, so the child, at about the age of twelve months, begins to imitate its parents’ ways of naming what is in the environment (bed, bottle, doll, baby, mama, etc.) and of telling the characteristics and events in which these things can be observed (wet, empty, up, sit, all-gone)
Children who can hear learn speech and deaf children learn sign language, provided they are exposed to a medium which they can perceive. By the age of eighteen months the child is likely to be producing two-word utterances (Baby up Daddy byebye, Mama shoes, Dolly sit). Soon utterances become more and more complex, and these utterances are clearly invented, not just repetitions of what parents may have said. Processes like making questions and negative statements are acquired—processes that go beyond a mere reflection of what is in the environment and make it possible for the child to express himself and interact with others.
The child acquires the ability to make use, as speaker and hearer, of the most important communication system of the community. Through this possession the individual enjoys a life of being able to inform,
to express feelings and thoughts, perhaps to influence others in smaller or larger ways, and to learn. Our ability to use language and our ability to think and conceptualize develop at the same time and these abilities depend on each other. So, while we may retain some memory of learning to read and write, which we began around the age of six, we do not remember learning to understand what was spoken to us in the first four or five years of life and still less our struggles to speak.
Facts You Must Know About Role Of Language In Linguistics
Thus it happens that the knowledge which each of us has about our native language is partly
conscious and explicit but to a large extent unconscious and implicit. We know the language but we do not fully know what we know. We know in the sense that we successfully communicate our intentions to others and we correctly interpret what others tell us—we know how to use the language.
But we are not likely to be cognizant of the multiple meanings that common words can have, of the ways in
which words are related to one another, of all the potential ambiguities
that are always lurking in language.
Because language is creative, our communication is not restricted to a fixed set of topics; we constantly produce and understand new messages in response to new situations and new experiences. At the same time, language use is subject to very specific rules and constraints. There seems to be an infinite number of things we can say, but a language does not have an infinite number of words or an infinite number of ways of combining words. If it had, we could not learn it.
What is the knowledge that a speaker of a language has about that language? Quite simply, a vocabulary and the ways to use it. More specifically, speakers have two vocabularies, one that they use in producing utterances and a somewhat larger one that is needed for understanding a variety of people.The vocabulary contains numerous names of people and places, as well as what we might think of as ordinary words. The productive vocabulary grows rapidly in early childhood, and for most people changes somewhat throughout life.
And what knowledge does one have that makes one capable of using the vocabulary, productively and receptively? We have to know how to combine the vocabulary items into utterances that will carry meanings for others and we have to grasp the meanings of complex utterances that others produce.
With this goes the knowledge of how to pronounce words and utterances and how to recognize the pronunciation of words and utterances produced by others. So,for every word that speakers know, for production or recognition,they must know the pronunciation, how it fits into various utterances, and what it means Whether we think of the grammar of a language as the knowledge that every speaker of the language has, or the explicit description made by a linguist, or both, the grammar must contain three parts. One part, of course, is semantics, the knowledge (from the point of view of the individual who speaks and hears others speaking), or the description (from a linguist’s point of view), of meaningful units like words and meaningful combinations of words like sentences.
Phonology is the knowledge, or the description, of how speech
sounds are organized in a particular language—there are units called
phonemes which combine in various possible ways (but not all possible
ways) to express meaningful units such as words. These phonemes
contrast with one another to make different units of meaning.
Syntax is the knowledge, or the description, of the classes of
words, sometimes called parts of speech, and of how members of
these classes go together to form phrases and sentences. Syntax
deals with grammatical categories like tense, number, aspect—categories
that differ from language to language and which yet are present
somehow in all languages
Another part of grammar is morphology, the description or the knowledge of word formation: the account
of different forms of the ‘same’ word (cat, cats; connect, connecting, connected) and the derivation of different words which share a basic meaning (connect, disconnect, connection). It is impossible to explore semantics without also dealing with syntax (and vice versa) because the two are closely interrelated: the meaning of a sentence is more than the meanings of the words it contains, and the meaning of a word often depends partly on the company it keeps—what other words occur in the same sentence.
When we say that speakers of a language know the phonology
of their language, we mean that they can accurately produce the
sequences of sounds that signal different meanings and can recognize
the sequences of sounds produced by other speakers and can connect
these sequences to the meanings intended by those speakers. But
ordinary speakers do not ‘know’ in the sense that they can describe
the complex manipulations of their vocal organs in pronouncing.
Any native speaker of English can pronounce and recognize beat,
bit, meat and meek, but the ability to explain how bit differs from
beat in articulation, and beat from meat and meat from meek, is
not part of native-speaker knowledge.
Similarly, a speaker knows how to combine words into complex
sentences and to grasp the meanings of complex structures that other
speakers produce. Any adolescent or adult speaker can produce and
can understand a sentence like We shouldn’t expect whoever took
these things to be likely to want to return them, but few speakers
would be able to explain the syntax of it.