Re: what is lingustics?

Posted by Tim Luo on 2006/3/3 22:11:50

gogogo wrote:
could you give us a short explanation and example about what are phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, grammar? I mean each term's definition and example.

ps:if anyone is interested in this topic. please do say something here.

Phonetics is the systematic study of sounds and how they are produced and how they should be represented in symbols. Like in Taiwan, people are all familiar with "KK". That's what phonetics is about. /fə́nɛtɪks/ is the transcription for phonetics.

Phonology is the study of speech sounds. It also includes the changes through time.

Morphology is the study of the structure word forms. So words like happy, happiness or child, children are what morphology deals with.

Syntax is the study of sentence structures. Things like why you say "I am happy" instead of "I happy am."

Semantics is the study of meanings. This is like why sometimes a sentence can have more than one meaning depending on the context.

As to grammar, I think there's no need to explain it here.

I forgot to mention a part of linguistics that I personally like very much in my previous post. That branch is called etymology. Etymology is the study of the origins of words. Most college editon dictionaries and above include an etymology section that tells you something on the history of words. Like in Chinese we have a book called 說文解字, the first etymology dictionary in China that was published about 2000 years ago.


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