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Linguistics‏‎

In grammar a Verb Tense is a form of a verb‎ used to indicate roughly the time when the action described by the verb takes place. Here we talk about 3 basic tenses: Past, Present and Future. (Some people talk about more than 3, however.)

Compare this with Verb Form which is the form of a verb in a particular tense, e.g. present simple, present continuous, etc.

For more, see Verb Tenses‏‎ & Forms in English Grammar.

When a student learns English‏‎ in order to live and work in an English speaking country we say they are learning English as a Second Language. Compare this to someone who does not live in an English speaking country but learns the language to do business in another country; they learn English as a Foreign Language.

For more see Foreign Language‏‎ and Second Language.

An open book with various symbols in it.Linguistics is the scientific and academic study of language. It tries to answer basic questions such as

  • What is language?
  • How is language represented in the mind?
  • How does language work?

The underlying goal of linguists is to discover the underlying rules of all languages; that is, the common elements which form a language.

Of course, the person who studies linguistics is known as a linguist.

Areas of Study

General Linguistics is the study of

  • grammar – the rules which govern how language is put together
  • semantics – the meaning of words & language
  • morphology‏‎ – how words are formed
  • syntax – how sentences are formed
  • phonology‏‎ – sound patterns in language
  • phonetics‏‎ – the production/perception of sounds

Applied Linguistics is the study of the way in which language is used and looks at areas such as

  • teaching methodologies – different approaches to teaching language
  • second language acquisition‏‎ – how languages are learnt
  • speech therapy and pathology

In addition, there are specialist fields such as:

  • computational linguistics – studying language using technology
  • corpus linguistics – the study of language by comparing corpora (usually with computers)
  • psycholinguistics – the psychology involved in language
Image © Lefty LeMur
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