自考00830现代语言学复习1

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自考00830现代语言学复习1

1/ What is linguistics?

什么是语言学?

 

Linguistics is generally defined as the scientific study of language. It studies not any particular language, but languages in general.

 

2/ The scope of linguistics

语言学的研究范畴

 

The study of language as a whole is often called general linguistics. (普通语言学)

 

The study of sounds, which are used in linguistic communication, is called phonetics. (语音学)

 

The study of how sounds are put together and used in communication is called phonology. (音系学)

 

The study of the way in which morphemes are arranged to form words are called morphology. (形态学)

 

The study of how morphemes and words are combined to form sentences is called syntax. (句法学)

 

The study of meaning in language is called semantics. (语义学)

 

The study of meaning in context of use is called pragmatics. (语用学)

 

The study of language with reference to society is called socio-linguistics. (社会语言学)

 

The study of language with reference to the working of mind is called psycho-linguistics. (心理语言学)

 

The study of applications (as the recovery of speech ability) is generally known as applied linguistics. (应用语言学) But in a narrow sense, applied linguistics refers to the application of linguistic principles and theories to language teaching and learning, especially the teaching of foreign and second language.

 

Other related branches include anthropological linguistics, (人类语言学) neurological linguistics, (神经语言学) mathematical linguistics, (数字语言学)and computational linguistics. (计算机语言学)

 

3/ Some important distinctions in linguistics

语言学研究中的几对基本概念

 

Prescriptive and descriptive 规定与描写

 

If a linguistic study describes and analyzes the language people actually use, it is said to be descriptive, if it aims to lay down rules to tell people what they should say and what they should not say, it is said to be prescriptive.

 

Modern linguistics differs from traditional grammar. Traditional grammar is prescriptive while modern linguistics is descriptive. The task of linguists is supposed to describe the language people actually use, whether it is “correct” or not.

 

Synchronic and diachronic 共时和历时

 

The description of a language at some point in time is a synchronic study; the description of a language as it changes through time is a diachronic study. In modern linguistics, synchronic study is more important.

 

Speech and writing 口头语与书面语

 

Speech and writing are the two major media of communication. Modern linguistics regards the spoken form of language as primary, but not the written form. Reasons are: 1. Speech precedes writing; 2. There are still many languages that have only the spoken form; 3. In terms of function, the spoken language is used for a wider range of purposes than the written, and carries a larger load of communication than the written.

 

Langue and parole 语言和言语

 

The Swiss linguist F. de Saussure made the distinction between langue and parole early 20th century.

 

Langue refers to the abstract linguistic system shared by all the members of a speech community, and parole refers to the realization of langue in actual use. Saussure made the distinction in order to single out one aspect of language for serious study. He believes what linguists should do is to abstract langue from parole, to discover the regularities governing the actual use of language and make them the subjects of study of linguistics.

 

Competence and performance 语言能力和语言运用

Proposed by American linguist N. Chomsky in the late 1950’s.

 

He defines competence as the ideal user’s knowledge of the rules of his language, and performance the actual realization of this knowledge in linguistic communication. He believes the task of the linguists is to discover and specify the language rules.

4/ What is language?

语言的定义

 

Language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols used for human communication.

 

Sapir uses “ideas” “emotions” and “desires” in his definition. Hall, like Sapir, treats language as a purely human institution. Chomsky’s definition is quite different, it focus on the purely structural properties of languages and to suggest that these properties can be investigated from a mathematically precise point of view.

 

5/ Design features

语言的甄别性特征

 

Design features refer to the defining properties of human language that distinguish it from any animal system of communication. American linguist Charles Hockett specified twelve design features, five of which will be discussed here.

 

Arbitrariness 语言的随意性

 

Arbitrariness means that there is no logical connection between meanings and sounds. It is not entirely arbitrary.

 

Example: different sounds are used to refer to the same object in different languages.

 

Productivity 语言的创造性

 

Language is productive in that it makes possible the construction and interpretation of new signals by its users. This is why they can produce and understand an infinitely large number of sentences, including sentences they have never heard before.

 

Duality 语言的二重性

 

The duality nature of language means that language is a system, which consists of two sets of structure, or two levels, one of sounds and the other of meaning.

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