Some Linguistic Lingo

The Areas of Linguistics

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Phonetics: The connection between linguistics and physics. It deals with the sounds of language as a physical phenomenon, which is a sound wave (Acoustical phonetics). It also has a look at the human anatomy and how the sounds are actually produced (Articulatory phonetics).

Phonology: The rules that govern the sounds of language. Sometimes, a sound changes depending on the sounds that surround it. Example: the English plural -s is pronounced differently depending on the sound that precedes it. [z] in "birds", [Iz] in "houses", [s] in "blocks".

Prosody: This deals with the melody of a language, like it's stress patterns, rhythms, where do you raise your voice etc.

Morphology: How you construct words. There are two subareas: Inflectional morphology is how you change a word according to grammar, e.g. forming a plural. Derivational morphology deals with how you create new words.

Syntax: Constructing sentences from single words.

Semantics: The meaning of words and how you put them together to form the meaning of a sentence.

Pragmatics: How language is actually used, depending on context. For example, if I say "Sod you!", you might laugh or punch me in the face, depending on context.

These areas sometimes overlap a bit, then you talk e.g. of morpho-syntax or morpho-phonology. An example for morpho-phonology is English sing - sang - sang, you change a vowel and thus inflect the verb for tense.
Last edited: 12 June 2022 20:37:35