Monday, February 19, 2007

What Is Linguistics?

Linguistics is, according to Merriam-Webster, "the study of human speech including the units, nature, structure, and modification of language." It is important to note that linguistics deals with the analysis of any language, not just English.

A lot of ground is covered in linguistics. Some topics include: the evolution of language, how do languages differ from each other, the structure of human languages, dialects, speech acts, pronunciation, historical linguistics, and even informal topics like "made-up" languages, puns, and how the internet has influenced our language.

In the next few entries, I will talk about the sounds that make up language (phonetics), what certain letter combinations are allowed in the English language and how that compares to other languages.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Why Linguistics?

One of the questions you may ask is why study linguistics?

Linguistics deals with how to analyze any human language, thus making it an interesting subject. One doesn't necessarily need to speak any language other than English to understand linguistics. It is not as narrow as one might think, there are plenty of applications of linguistics that are useful in everyday life. Like I mentioned earlier, it does not necessarily have to be a technical topic at all. I will focus on using terms that most people can understand, and if a technical term does pop up, I will explain it fully.