Take Advantage from Basic concepts of linguistics

Take Advantage from Basic Linguistic concepts


Here are some important  Concepts of linguistics

Prescriptive vs. descriptive

Prescriptive and descriptive grammars are two different approaches of learning language.Prescriptive study deals with grammatical rules. The job of the linguist is to prescribe the language not describe the language. It focuses on what the speaker should speak or should not speak. For example, when any patience goes to the doctor for treatment the doctor gives prescription of medicine. He also guides the patience which medicine you should take and which medicine you should avoid. Same is the case of linguist when he teaches the prescriptive grammar he prescribe the students how you should speak correctly and what type of language should not speak in particular situations.

There is the need of prescription in language study for example: when a second language speaker learns the foreign language they desperately want someone to prescribe them a set of rules to follow and a teacher or book to set forth those rules. We should keep this thing in our mind prescription only work when description has been described before. There is a very close connection between prescription and description


It is said modern linguistics is descriptive. It focuses on to describe and analyze the language people actually use. It explains things as they actually are not bound for should or should not say. It tries to know unconscious rules that people speak, for example, mental process in deep and surface structure. They say the ultimate job of the linguist is to describe the language as it used by the people. Noam Chomsky and Bloomfield is descriptive linguist.

Synchronic vs. diachronic:

Synchronic linguistics analyzes the usage of language at a given particular time. For example, in a sentence synchronic approach analyzes that how this particular word is not used instead of this word? It just will analyze the structure and functions as relate to the particular fixed time. Modern linguistics prefers synchronic linguistics because they say that it is very difficult to find out the historical changes in language. Description of language in current existence is promoting now a days.


Diachronic linguistics is also called historical linguistics. Its aim is to find out the changes in language over time. How the language has changed through history. What is the historical development of language over time? How does the elements of linguistic changes through time. For example: if you want to analyze the vocabulary change in English literature you will compare all orders of words of Middle English and modern English. Then you will show your result how and why these vocabularies are changed.


Vocal form of human communication is called speech. When we study speech in linguistics, then production, perception, repletion and speech error process are involved. It is the central area of linguistic communication. Modern linguistics claims that spoken language is a natural phenomenon that is why speech has priority to writing in linguistics. For example, children acquire spoken before they learn to read and write.

They learn to speak naturally in their home (mother tongue) both for reading and writing they have to go the school. So writing is difficult then reading. There are many languages in the world which are just spoken. They have no written system. Speech and writing are produced in very different situations. So in terms of communication, speech represents more real than writing.


There is one universal thing about writing it cannot be learnt naturally. Writing is required consistent instruction and practice. For writing, there is a need to follow standard rules of grammar and organized vocabulary. Sometime the response about writing is very delayed while in speaking the response is very quick. It is not repetitive like speech. In linguistics, writing is formal and complex in nature. It is normally taught with lessons and logical explanations.

 concepts of linguistics: Is Not That Difficult As You think

Langue and parole

Langue and parole Language refers what is shared by all the members of the community. It is that kind of language which defines the speech community. It is the complete system of language than produces the speech. For example, grammar, vocabulary, words, syntax, spellings are the core element of language. Everyone must learn these linguistics elements for to learn the language.

Parole refers to the individual performance of language in speech and writing. It is the awareness of language in actual use. It is a concrete manifestation of speech. The main difference between language and peril is langue is a stable set of rules. It cannot change: while parole changes from person to person and situation to situation in different social groups. It is not regarded as a system, but the unsafe of the system.

Competence and performance:

This is very important concepts of linguistics. Noam Chomsky defines competence and performance. Competence is a native speaker’s underlying linguistic ability to produce and comprehend sentences. Competence exists in the mind of native speakers.

For example one can recognize vocabulary of language easily whether there is spelling mistake such as slip,slib,sbill. He can also understand the sentence with different format and structure such as

The thief followed a thief.

The thief was followed by police.

Performance is the actual realization of language. Chomsky suggests that performance may also include speech errors, psychological difficulties, and lapses of memory and some time slip of the tongue. But the speaker knows they have made the mistake

For example:

They have broke the promise

As a native speaker you know that past tense of broke is broken. But you have just mistakenly performed the regular rule to irregular rule. You make this kind of error sometime by mistakenly but your competence is fine. You will never say many time word broke.

The Reason of this imperfect performance may involve neurological and psychological factors, stress, anxiety and ambiguity of your behavior. That is Noam Chomsky suggests that linguist should study the native speaker competence not his performance. This is psychological view of Chomsky in language.



by Abdullah Sam
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