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Basic concepts in Linguistics; Brief-answer Questions

Basic concepts in Linguistics

1. What is linguistics? [NU 2017]

Ans: Linguistics is the scientific study of language.

2. Write down the branches of linguistics?

Ans: The three branches of linguistics are Descriptive linguistics, Historical linguistics, and Applied linguistics.

3. What are the major levels of linguistics? [NU 2012, 2016]

Ans: Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics, Graphology and Lexicology are the major levels of linguistics.

4. What is applied linguistics?

Ans: Applied linguistics is an interdisciplinary field of linguistics which identifies, investigates, and offers solutions to language-related real-life problems.

5. Why is linguistics considered a science?

Ans: Linguistics is considered a science because it systematically studies language by making observations, testing hypotheses, and developing theories..

6. Who is Ferdinand de Saussure? [NU 2014, 2017]

Ans: Ferdinand de Saussure is a renowned Swiss linguist and semiotician. He is the proponent of the terms Langue and Parole.

7. What is Saussure’s view of langue? [NU 2017]

Ans: According to Saussure, langue is both a social product of the faculty of speech and a collection of necessary conventions that have been adopted by society to permit individuals to exercise that faculty.

8. What is Saussure’s view of parole? [NU 2014, 2016]

Ans: According to Saussure, parole refers to the concrete instances of the use of langue. This is the individual, personal phenomenon of language as a series of speech acts made by a linguistic subject’.

9. What is linguistic competence? [NU 2015]

Ans: Linguistic competence is grammatical competence of a speaker to understand the underlying rules of a language.

10. What is ‘performance’ in language learning?

Ans: According to Noam Chomsky, performance is the production of actual utterances. It involves “doing” something with the language.

11. What is the difference between competence and performance?

Ans: According to Chomsky, competence is the speaker’s capacity to understand the underlying rules of a language and performance is the actual use of that language. 

12. What is the difference between syantagmatic and paradigmatic relation?

Ans: Syntagmatic relation is horizontal or linear relationship between linguistic units and paradigmatic relation is vertical relationship between linguistic units.

13. What is diachronic linguistics?

Ans: Diachronic linguistics is the study of a language through different periods in history. 

14. What is synchronic linguistics?

Ans: Synchronic linguistics is the study of a language at a given point in time.