Applied linguistics Essay

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Applied linguistics

Applied linguistics 1 History The term applied linguistics dates back at least to the 1940s in the USA when linguists applied analytical methods to the practical problems of producing grammars and phrasebooks and developing language courses. 2 What Is Applied Linguistics? Applied linguistics: (1) was interdisciplinary, drawing on psychology, sociology, and pedagogy as well as theoretical linguistics; (2) included a range of fields including lexicography, stylistics, speech pathol ogy, translation, language policy, and planning among others; (3) performed a mediating function between theory and practice.

Аpplied linguistics must take into consideration the nature of language and the nature of the particular world in which language is used, the beliefs, social institutions, and culture of its users, and how these influence language use. Ideally, the job of an applied linguist is to diagnose a problem in real-world language use, bring the insights of linguistics to bear on the problem, and suggest solutions. 3 Relation of Theory and Practice: the Case of Language Teaching The applied linguist stands at the intersection of theory and practice, but it is not always clear how the applied linguist mediates between the two.

This suggests a one-way street in which theory is at the starting point, and the applied linguist directs traffic from theory to practice. Influenced by structuralism in linguistics and by behaviorism in psychology, applied linguists believed that language was a collection of discrete learnable structures, speaking was primary, and learning a language was a matter of correct habit formation.

To inculcate correct habits, teachers drilled students incessantly in correct pronunciation and patterned practice of grammatical structures. Under the influence of the theoretical work of Noam Chomsky, applied linguists saw language learning as a cognitive process of hypothesis testing, in which errors indicated the stage of the language learner’s interlanguage.

Instead, knowing a language means knowing how to communicate in the language; it involves acquiring “communicative competence. ” A richer model of the relationship among theory, practice, and applied linguistics sees it as a two-way street in which the applied linguist directs traffic from theory into practice and from practice into theory. Similarly in applied linguistics, practice provides a testing ground for theory, but it is more than that: real-world language use provides new questions and issues requiring new theories.

4 Recent Range of Inquiry Nevertheless, the central characteristics of applied linguistics remain: (1) focus on contextualized language use; (2) application of theory to practice and vice versa; (3) practical problem-based approach; (4) multidisciplinary perspective. 4. 1 Second language teaching and cross-cultural linguistics 2Accurate description of language use with the ultimate goal of teaching has motivated research in cross-cultural discourse and pragmatics.

Concentration on spoken language, combined with speech act theory among others, has engendered numerous research projects in applied linguistics investigating specific speech acts such as making requests and apologies in different languages and cultures. Applied linguists have examined the development of pragmatic competence in second language learners and the possibilities for teaching pragmatics. 4. 2 Language use in context: contributions of discourse analysis Outside the area of language pedagogy, the burgeoning of discourse analysis has provided a means whereby linguistic insight can be applied to real-world situations.

Other institutional and professional settings, too, have come under scrutiny from applied linguists using theoretical constructs to explain how language is used in real-world settings such as commerce, employment, and public services. A field that has developed considerably in recent years in response to societal concerns is the investigation of language and gender. Recent empirical studies have enriched understanding of the interrelationship of language and gender and demonstrated that generalizations about male and female speech are unreliable when the particular communicative contexts in which the speech occurs have not been examined.

Other work has examined gender and language cross-culturally and in specific institutional settings. 4. 3 Language maintenance and endangered languages and dialects The work of applied linguists on endangered or minority languages and dialects brings together field linguistics, anthropology, sociolinguistics and education. For example, a longitudinal study of language use and cultural context draws together sociolinguistic research into language use, research in language socialization, and second language acquisition research into educational discourse. It is not only minority languages that are under threat, but also dialects.


Contemporary linguistic approaches: Clinical, forensic, computational linguistics ( вычислительная )( 29, 30, 25) We have chosen to focus on four relatively popular areas of inquiry: • syntactic parsing; • discourse analysis; • computational morphology and phonology; • corpus-based methods. Parsing and discourse analysis have had the longest continuous history of investigation. Computational morphology and phonology began to grow as a separate discipline in the mid-1980s. Corpus-based approaches were investigated as early as the 1960s. 1 Parsing (разбор) Parsing is the act of determining the “syntactic structure” of a sentence.

The goal is to represent “who did what to whom” in the sentence. Parsing involves tagging 3the words with an appropriate syntactic category and determining their relationships to each other. Words are grouped into phrase-like constituents, which are arranged into clauses and sentences. Machine translation systems employ parsing to derive representations of the input that are sufficient for transfer from the source to target language at either the syntactic or semantic level. A great deal of attention – to the application of syntactic parsing models for language modeling for automatic speech recognition. 2 Discourse Analysis.

The area of discourse analysis is concerned with inferring the intended meanings of utterances. In order for the dialogue participants to successfully carry out a dialogue, they must be able to recognize the intentions of the other participant’s utterances, and to produce their responses in such a way that will enable the other participant(s) to recognize their intentions. A recipe is a generic template for performing a particular action. The recipe library contains a collection of generic recipes, and during discourse understanding, the plan inference module attempts to infer utterance intentions and relationships using information provided by this library.

3 Computational Morphology and Phonology Roughly speaking, the topics can be classified into computational morphology, which treats the analysis of word structure; and computational phonology, which, deals with the changes in sound patterns that take place when words are put together. 4 Corpus-based Methods The word corpus in linguistics is typically a collection of texts. Corpora have been widely used by linguists to identify and analyze language phenomena, and to verify or refute claims about language. However, a corpus also reveals important quantitative information about the distribution of various language phenomena.

29 Clinical Linguistics Clinical linguistics is the application of the linguistic sciences to the study of language disability. 1 Identifying Linguistic Symptoms Attention has now come to be focused on important symptoms of language disability, and to those aspects of the problem which have been ignored or misdiagnosed. “Less noticeable” refers to any feature other than the audible qualities of pronunciation, the order and omission of surface grammatical elements, and the actual items which constitute vocabulary.

These features exclude most of the properties of phonological systems, the sense relations between lexical items, the constraints operating on discourse in interaction, and the many ramifications of underlying syntactic structure. All of these play a major part in identifying the various kinds of language disability. The use of a clinical linguistic frame of reference has also enabled people to make progress in identifying disorders of language comprehension. That requires careful testing and the controlling of variables. Disorders of a pragmatic kind, likewise, 4 have often remained undiagnosed, or have been misdiagnosed as problems of a psychological or social behavioral type.

2 The Role of Clinical Linguistics 2. 2 Description A major area of clinical linguistic research has been to provide ways of describing and analyzing the linguistic behavior of patients, and of the clinicians and others who interact with them. 2. 3 Diagnosis An important aim of clinical linguistics is to provide a classification of patient linguistic behaviors. This can provide an alternative diagnostic model, and one which is more able to provide insights about intervention in cases where there is no clear evidence of any medical condition. 2. 4 Assessment (оценка).

Clinical linguistics has also been much involved in devising more sophisticated assessments of abnormal linguistic behavior. A diagnosis tells us what is “wrong” with a patient; an assessment tells us just how seriously the patient is “wrong. ” 2. 5 Intervention The ultimate goal is to formulate hypotheses for the remediation (оздоровление) of abnormal linguistic behavior.

Not all aspects of a patient’s problem are directly relevant to the need for linguistically based intervention, clinical linguistics can help clinicians to make an informed judgment about “what to teach next,” and to monitor the outcome of an intervention hypothesis, as treatment proceeds. To a large extent, moving well beyond the patient’s language, to include an investigation of the language used by the person(s) carrying out the intervention, the kind of teaching materials used, and the setting in which the interaction takes place.

3 Linguistic Insights The chief aim of clinical linguistics is to provide the clinician with increasing levels of insight and confidence in arriving at linguistic decisions. The three pillars of any clinical linguistic approach: description – grading – intervention.

All change needs to be regularly monitored, to demonstrate that progress is being made – this is the task of assessment. The keeping of comprehensive linguistic records is a further priority, without which the efficacy of intervention can never be demonstrated.

Forensic Linguistics Now linguists also have begun examining voice identification, authorship of written documents, unclear jury instructions, the asymmetry of power in courtroom exchanges, lawyer–client communication breakdown, the nature of perjury, problems in written legal discourse, defamation, trademark infringement, courtroom interpretation and translation difficulties, the adequacy of warning labels, and the nature of tape recorded conversation used as evidence.

1 Trademark Infringement Typically, they respond to requests of attorneys to help them with their law cases. 2 Product Liability 5But the linguist, calling on knowledge of discourse analysis, semantics, and pragmatics, can determine the extent to which the message was clear and unambiguous and point out the possible meanings that the message presents. Once this is done, it is up to the attorney to determine whether or not to ask the linguist to testify at trial. 3 Speaker Identification Linguists have been used by attorneys in matters of voice identification.

If the tapes are of sufficient quality, spectographic analysis is possible. If not, the linguist may rely on training and skills in phonetics to make the comparison. 4 Authorship of Written Documents Law enforcement agencies process provide a “psychological profile” of the person. Calling on knowledge of language indicators of such things as regional and social dialect, age, gender, education, and occupation, linguists analyze documents for broad clues to the identity of the writer. Stylistic analysis centers on a writer’s habitual language features over which the writer has little or no conscious awareness.

5 Criminal Cases Suspects are recorded with court authorized wire taps placed that none of the speakers is aware of being taped, or by using body microphones and engage suspects in conversation. If the law enforcement agency is concerned about the adequacy of the language evidence that they have gathered, they may call on a linguist to make transcripts of the conversations, analyze them. The tape recorded conversation itself points to the use of the other tools of the forensic linguist, including syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmatics, dialectology, and discourse analysis. 3. Discourse analysis (17)

Discourse analysis is concerned with the contexts in and the processes through which we use oral and written language to specific audiences, for specific purposes, in specific settings. 1 What Is Discourse? A Preliminary Characterization The big D concerns general ways of viewing the world and general ways of behaving, the small d concerns actual, specific language use.

Discourse analysis emphasizes that language is not merely a self-contained system of symbols but a mode of doing, being, and becoming. Discourse research can be divided into 2 major types of inquiries: (1) why some but not other linguistic forms are used on given occasions and (2) what are the linguistic resources for accomplishing various social, affective, and cognitive actions and interactions.

2 Communicative Motivations for the Selection of Linguistic Forms Language is inseparable from other aspects of our life and that the selection of linguistic forms should be explained in terms of authentic human communicative needs (i. e. , social, interactional, cognitive, affective needs). 2. 1 Context 6One of the first questions is what is happening in this stretch of talk, who the participants are, where they are, and why they are there.

Linguistic choices are systematically motivated by contextual factors. Context is a complex of 3 dimensions: First, the field of social action in which the discourse is embedded. Second, the set of role relations among the participants. And third, the role of language in the interaction. In this view, language is a system of choices made on the basis of a contextual configuration which accounts for field, tenor, and mode. 2. 3 Speech act What kind of speech act utterance is and whether this act is accomplished through direct or indirect means. Speech act theory says that language is used not only to describe things but to do things as well.

Further, utterances act on 3 different levels: the literal level (locutionary act), the implied level (illocutionary act), and the consequence of the implied act (perlocutionary act). 2. 4 Scripts / plans Script is to describe the knowledge that we have of the structure of stereotypical event sequences. If such knowledge can be described in a formal way, then we may have a theory of how humans process natural language. 2. 5 Referentiality How entities (лица) are referred to in utterances. Some analysts are interested in how referential forms make a stretch of discourse cohesive in form and coherent in meaning.

2. 6 Topicality and thematicity What is an utterance about, what is the starting point of a message, what is the focus of a message. Topic – the part of the utterance about which something is said. Prague School linguists developed the functional sentence perspective which says that word order has to do with how informative each element in the utterance is – communicative dynamism, or CD. A sentence begins with elements with the lowest CD and ends with those with the highest CD. Theme is the part of the utterance with the lowest degree of CD. 2. 7 Sequential organization The sequential context of the utterance.

Discourse analysts have sought to explain linguistic choices in terms of ethnographic contexts, knowledge structure, rhetorical organization, communicative intentions, textual organization, information management and sequential organization, among others. Discourse Analysis, Linguistics, and More Discourse analysts research various aspects of language not as an end in itself, but as a means to explore ways in which language forms are shaped by and shape the contexts of their use.

Further, discourse analysis draws upon not only linguistics, but also anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, cognitive science, and other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences concerned with human communication.

Discourse analysis promotes a view of language which says that 7 Resource Center Saved Recents Uploads My Answers Account Products Home Essays Drive Answers Texty About Company Legal Site Map Contact Us Advertise ©2016 StudyMode. com HOME > ESSAYS > LINGUISTICS > LINGUISTICS Linguistics Applied linguistics, Discourse analysis, Language By maor87 Apr 17, 2015 6489Words 150Views More info PDF View Text View PAGE8 OF 18 language use is not only reflective of other aspects of our lives but is also constitutive of them.

As it draws insights from various disciplines, it also contributes to interfacing linguistics with other domains of inquiries, such that we might now investigate the construction of culture through conversation or program computers to generate interactive texts based on our understanding of the rules and principles of human interaction. It focusses on language as it is used by real people with real intentions, emotions. 4. Linguistics and pragmatics (16) The Puzzle of Language Use: How Do We Ever Understand Each Other? Pragmatics is the study of communication – the study of how language is used.

This study is based on the assumption of a division between knowledge of language and the way it is used; and the goal of pragmatics is providing a set of principles which dictate how knowledge of language and general reasoning interact in the process of language understanding, to give rise to different kinds of effects which can be achieved in communication. Pragmatics as the Application of Conversational Principles to Sentence Meanings The starting point for studies in pragmatics is the mismatch between what words “mean, and what speakers “mean” by using them.

There is the knowledge of language, which dictates the meanings of words and the ways in which they can combine. This is called the encoded meaning. On the other hand, there are pragmatic principles which enable a hearer to establish some different interpretation – the nonencoded part of meaning. Moreover, given the full array of rhetorical effects such as metaphor, irony, etc. , all of which are uses of expressions in context in some sense, the proposed approach maintains a natural separation between literal uses of words, which are reflected in sentence-meanings, and the various non-literal uses to which they may be put.

Knowledge of language: sentence-meanings as partial specifications of interpretation The problem for this “clean” view is that we use commonsense reasoning, whatever this consists in, not merely in working out why a speaker has said something, but also in establishing what she has said in using the words chosen. The overall picture of interpretation is that grammar-internal principles articulate both syntactic and semantic structure for sentences, a semantic structure for a sentence being an incomplete specification of how it is understood.

Pragmatic theory explains how such incomplete specifications are enriched in context to yield the full communicative effect of an uttered sentence, whether metaphorical, ironical, and so on. The Process of Reasoning: How Do Hearers ever Manage to Choose the Right Interpretation?

Grice’s cooperative principle and the conversational maxims According to Grice who was the pioneer of the inferential approach to conversation, there is a general assumption underpinning all utterance interpretation that the interpretation of utterances is a collaborative enterprise. This 8collaborative enterprise is structured by a number of maxims, which speakers are presumed to obey:

• The maxim of quality: do not say that for which you lack evidence; do not say what you believe to be false. • The maxim of relevance: be relevant. • The maxim of quantity: make your contribution as informative as is required, but not more so. • The maxim of manner: be perspicuous (avoid obscurity, avoid ambiguity, be brief, be orderly).

Grice articulated the maxims as a means of simplifying the overall account of the relation between the use of language in logical arguments and the conversational use of language. Relevance theory This theory claims to characterize pragmatic phenomena in terms of a single cognitive concept, that of relevance, replacing the social underpinnings of Grice’s cooperative principle.

The principle of relevance Optimal relevance is getting the right balance between size and type of context and amount of information derived. The more information some stimulus yields, the more relevant it is said to become, but the more effort the interpretation of that stimulus requires, the less relevant it will become. And to be minimally relevant a stimulus must lead to at least one non-trivial inference being derived. However interpretation of an act of communication involves two agents – the speaker and the hearer.

The constraint of balancing cognitive effect with cognitive effort will also apply to what the hearer does, but here the task of interpretation is more specific because the hearer has to try and recover what the speaker intended to convey. There are two aspects to the task: 1 Decoding the information associated with an uttered expression– i. e. working out what words have been said and the information that they by definition carry. 2 Making choices which enrich that encoded information to establish what the speaker had intended to convey using those words.

Relevance and speech acts On the speech act view of language, language can best be understood in terms of acts such as these which speakers carry out in using language. The observation by speech act theorists that there is more to language than just describing things is quite uncontentious. Nonetheless, in relevance theory, where the type of implications that can be drawn is quite unrestricted, there is no need of any special discrete categories for such different kinds of act. 5. Linguistic typology and its directions (14)

1 The Diversity of Human Languages The field of linguistic typology explores the diversity of human language in an effort to understand it. The basic principle behind typology is that one must look at as wide a range of languages as possible in order to grasp both the diversity of 9language and to discover its limits. Typology uses a fundamentally empirical, comparative, and inductive method in the study of language.

That is, typologists examine grammatical data from a wide variety of languages, and infer generalizations about language from that data. The basic discovery of typology is that there are limits to linguistic diversity. By comparing diverse languages and discovering universal grammatical patterns, one can attempt to disentangle what is universal about the grammars languages from what is peculiar to each individual language.

2 The Nature of Language Universals: Word Order One of the first areas of grammar where it was recognized that there are limits to grammatical diversity was the order of words. Word order is probably the most immediately salient difference in grammatical patterns from one language to the next. First, one must examine a sample of languages in order to infer the range of grammatical diversity and its limits. A variety sample collects as broad a range of languages as possible from different geographical areas and different genetic groupings.

Its purpose is to ensure that all possible language types are identified. Second, one must be able to identify phenomena from one language to the next as comparable. The basic problem here is the great variety of grammatical structures used in the world’s languages. The solution to this problem is due to another insight of structuralism: the basic unit of the language is the sign, a form that conventionally expresses or encodes a meaning. The basis for cross-linguistic comparison is a particular linguistic meaning; once that is identified, we may examine the different structures used to encode that meaning.

Third, we must identify a range of grammatical patterns or types used to express the linguistic meaning being examined, and classify languages according to what type(s) is / are used in them. For instance, in describing word order of the sentence, the relative position of subject (S), object (O), and verb (V) are used to classify language types. Language structure is determined by factors of language use, such as processing. Language structure is also determined by historical relationships among grammatical patterns, which themselves are due to similarity in meaning.

However, these factors do not uniquely determine a language structure, but compete with each other. Speech communities resolve the competing motivations in arbitrary, language-particular ways; this leads to the diversity of languages found in the world. 3 Language Universals and the Formal Encoding of Meaning Word order universals appear to be motivated in terms of processing of linguistic structure in the act of producing and comprehending language. Word order is a fundamental grammatical property of sentences.

3. 1 Typological markedness and morphological representation 10Some of the earliest work in typology examined the coding of grammatical and lexical concepts in inflected word forms. The universals go under the name of (typological) markedness.

Typological markedness represents an asymmetric pattern of the expression of meaning in grammatical categories across languages. Typological markedness has two central characteristics. First, typological markedness is a property of conceptual categories – e. g. singular and plural – or more precisely, how those conceptual categories are expressed in languages. For number, the singular is unmarked and the plural is marked. Second, unmarked status does not imply that the unmarked member is always left

unexpressed and the marked member is always expressed by an overt morpheme. The presence / absence of an overt inflection encoding a conceptual category is only one symptom of markedness, namely structural coding. Typological markedness is found in another aspect of the coding of concepts in words and constructions. Most words in sentences express more than one conceptual category. Pronouns in English, for instance, can express gender as well as number. In English, neither the singular nor plural pronouns express number by a separate inflection; instead number is implicitly expressed by distinct forms such as he and they.

The grammatical coding of additional, cross-cutting, distinctions in the singular but not in the plural is an example of the second symptom of markedness, called behavioral potential. Behavioral potential is also represented by an implicational universal: If the marked member of a category grammatically expresses a crosscutting distinction, so does the unmarked member. A third property of typological markedness points to its underlying explanation. The unmarked member is more frequent than the marked member in language use. Concepts that occur more frequently in language use (e. g.

singular) will tend to be expressed by fewer morphemes than less frequently occurring concepts (e. g. plural). This explanation for how meaning is encoded in grammatical form is a processing explanation, called economy or economic motivation.

3. 2 Hierarchies and conceptual spaces We can describe the cross-linguistic distribution of plural markings across classes of pronouns and nouns with the animacy hierarchy. The hierarchy is a succinct way to capture a chain of implicational universals: if any class of words has a plural, then all the classes to the left (or higher) on the hierarchy have a plural. These patterns are defined over a conceptual space.

The conceptual space describes a network of relationships among conceptual categories which exist in the human mind and which constrains how conceptual categories are expressed in grammar. Grammatical change must follow the links in conceptual space. For instance, a plural marking spreads from left to right in the animacy space. Conceptual spaces specify what grammatical category groupings are found in, and how constructions spread (or retreat) over time in their application to grammatical categories.

If we compare absence vs. presence of case marking on nouns for the grammatical 11 relations hierarchy, we find that absence of case marking occurs at he higher end of the hierarchy, and presence thereof at the lower end of the hierarchy. The grammatical relations hierarchy also defines the distribution of verb agreement across languages.

Verb agreement is associated with the higher end of the grammatical relations hierarchy – the ability to trigger verb agreement indicates the greater behavioral potential of the grammatical relation. These facts demonstrate that the two grammatical relations hierarchies in fact reflect a deeper cross-linguistic universal pattern, found in many different parts of

the grammar of languages. 3. 3 Economy and iconicity Economic motivation: the more frequently used category is more likely to be reduced in expression or left unexpressed. Iconic motivation – the structure of language reflects the structure of concepts. In the example, each conceptual category, both singular and plural, are overtly encoded in the word form. A subtype of iconicity called isomorphism: the correspondence between forms and meanings. There are two ways in which isomorphism occur in human languages. The first way is in the correspondence of forms and meanings in the combination of words and inflections in a sentence.

This is called syntagmatic isomorphism. Economic and iconic motivation compete to produce the range of attested and unattested correspondences between form and meaning. There are 3 predicted patterns. Overt expression is iconically motivated: there is a one-to-one correspondence between meanings and forms. However, it is only moderately economically motivated: it is more economical than expressing a meaning with more than one word or morpheme, but less economical than not expressing the meaning at all. Non-expression of a particular meaning, such as the singular of English nouns like car-O (vs.plural book-s), is economically motivated: zero expression breaks one-to-one correspondence between forms and meanings.

The third possible option, zero marking of both singular and plural, corresponds to the absence of expression of the category. This option is economically motivated: either the meaning can be inferred from context, or it is not relevant to the communication. There is another economically motivated pattern of expressing meaning in form: the combination or fusion of discrete meanings in a single form. For example, the suffix -s in English run-s indicates 3rd person subject, singular subject and present tense, all in a single suffix. In other languages, inflectional categories are found in separate suffixes, as in Turkish.

The second type of isomorphism is the correspondence between form and meaning in the inventory of words stored in the mind; paradigmatic isomorphism. 12The possible means of expression of meanings in words are limited by economy and iconicity. Unmotivated possibility: the existence of more than one word with the same meaning, synonymy. It is not iconically motivated. A one-to-one match between a word and a meaning is called monosemy. It isiconic ally motivated but not that economically motivated: we would need very many words to express each discrete meaning.

Homonymy is economically motivated, but it is not iconically motivated (many unrelated meanings are expressed by a single form). By far the most common state of affairs in languages, however, is polysemy: the grouping of related meanings under a single form. Polysemy is economically motivated because it subsumes several meanings under a single form, as with homonymy. It is iconically motivated, because the meanings are related. 4 The Dynamic Approach to Language Universals The most common word.

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