Applied Linguistics

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Applied Linguistics


a division of linguistics that studies methods of solving practical problems associated with the optimization of language use. Applied linguistics not only depends on general linguistic theory but also influences it, since special research, which constitutes the basic content of applied linguistics, is usually required to solve practical problems.

Applied linguistics has existed as a scientific discipline since the second half of the 20th century. Its range is determined by practical needs. Applied linguistics has taken five principal directions:

(1) Recording and preservation of speech information. This includes the creation of alphabets and writing systems, as well as orthography, practical transcription and transliteration, chiefly in connection with geographic and proper names, and the creation of machine languages.

(2) Transfer of speech information. This encompasses the theory of translation, primarily scientific and technical translation, and the creation of automatic translation systems. Also included are automatic recognition and synthesis of speech, foreign-language-teaching theory, and the teaching of language to deaf-mutes and blind deaf-mutes. The theory of speech perceptibility is studied to improve speech transmission in the communications media.

(3) Automation of intellectual activity associated with the use of language. This includes the creation of systems of artificial intelligence for automated information retrieval systems and also the creation of automatic information annotating and abstracting systems.

(4) Use of language in medicine. Neurolinguistics studies speech pathologies and aphasia to diagnose brain damage.

(5) Use of language as a means of mass communication. This embraces language planning in countries with multilingual populations and language standardization—prescriptive grammars and dictionaries, orthoepy, standardized terminology, and the study of trademarks. It also includes the creation of artificial international languages, field linguistics (describing unstudied languages), and the study of the influence of language on human behavior through content analysis and the linguistic theory of advertising and propaganda.


Strukturnoe i prikladnoe iazykoznanie: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’ literatury, izdannoi v SSSR s 1918 po 1963. Moscow, 1965.
Mel’chuk, I. A., and R. A. Ravich. Avtomaticheskii perevod, 1949-1963: Kritiko-bibliograficheskii spravochnik. Moscow, 1967.
Mel’chuk, I. A., and R. A. Ravich. Avtomaticheskiiperevod, 1964-1970. Moscow, 1974.


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