General Linguistics

General Linguistics


the branch of linguistics devoted to the study of the theoretical bases for describing language and methods of investigating linguistic phenomena. General linguistics also studies the connection between linguistics and other fields of learning, including dialectical materialism, logic, and psychology (language represents consciousness in action). In addition, it studies the connection between linguistics and historical materialism, inasmuch as the development of language is conditioned by the structure of society and social processes. General linguistics also studies the relationship between linguistics and semiotics (language is the most universal system of signs used by society), as well as the connection between linguistics and physiology and acoustics (language is materialized and embodied in the sounds of speech).

One feature of general linguistics is a dual approach to the study of language—a structural and social approach engendered by the very nature of language. From the standpoint of structural linguistics, general linguistics studies language as an integrated structure (consisting of interrelated and interacting phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactical, and other systems), with internal rules specific to each language.

The description of language as a structure may be either synchronic or, taking account of the dynamics of development, diachronic. The comparative study of different languages reveals their common features or differences on a typological or genetic level. The study of the content of language helps reveal the nature and processes of thinking and thereby relates structural linguistics to the social aspect of linguistics.

From the standpoint of sociolinguistics, general linguistics studies the social functions of language, the relationship between language and social processes (the dependence of the form of a language at any given period on social processes), and the reflection of these social processes in the social and territorial differentiation of language and in its structural and stylistic variation. The relation between language and society is particularly apparent in the intermediation between the types of social relationships and the different forms of language at different stages of social development (for example, the formation of national languages during the historical emergence of ethnic identity).


References in periodicals archive ?
Linguists provide an overview of the last 20 years of Slavonic Studies at the University of Leipzig, and call special attention to the successful periods in the history of Slavic linguistics when it worked on the same methodological basis as general linguistics and in close cooperation with it.
The second reason for the decline of general linguistics is to be sought inside the community of linguists itself.
Ferdinand de Saussure's demonstration of the arbitrary relationship between the signifier and the signified is wickedly evoked on the cover, where the slogan concrete poetry forever has its second word realized as the letters poe abutting a pictograph of a tree, recalling the one familiar from Saussure's Course in General Linguistics.
His seminal Comparative Afro-American: An Historical-Comparative Study of English-Based Afro-American Dialects of the New World (1980) uses principles of general linguistics and comparative dialectology to analyze the structures and histories of the Caribbean languages that emerged in the region as the result of European colonialism and the Atlantic Slave Trade.
LAHORE -- Punjab University Director External Linkages and In-charge Institute of Language Assistant Prof Maria Isabel Maldonado has completed her PhD in Spanish Language and General Linguistics from UNED Madrid, Spain with grade cum Laude.
Benveniste, Emile (2000a), "On Subjectivity in Language (Despre subiectivitate in limbaj)," Problems in General Linguistics (Probleme de lingvistica generala), vol.
Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics, University of Tartu
James Higginbotham, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Southern California (and formerly Professor of General Linguistics at the University of Oxford), has always been concerned with philosophical problems in linguistics, especially semantics.
As early as 1916, in Course in General Linguistics , noted Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure identified language as being composed of two parts: (a) langue or the rules within which language occurred and (b) parole or the way it was actually spoken in a given milieu.
Its fifteen chapters present a fascinating history of Saussure's best-known ideas from their first expression during his three courses in general linguistics at the University of Geneva (from 1907 to 1911) to their assessment in the pages of this book and the thousands of other works that cite him.
Not content to leave well enough alone, however, Prager insists upon mentioning Ferdinand Saussure's Course in General Linguistics without further explanation of the French linguist's system of signification.

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