In a love-hate relationship with linguistics

This week, I have an exam, so I would feel guilty taking the time to write a long post. But I could never leave my self-appointed duty to have a new post every week for my faithful readers. 😉

It’s a linguistics exam. This semester, we went through phonetics, phonology, morphology, and syntax.* Out of these, morphology is my baby. And the IPA (phonetics and phonology) is the bane of my existence.

I never intended to get into linguistics. I stumbled into it because it was a requirement in my JSL studies at UWI. The funny thing is, when I got into studying Japanese and JSL, people used to call me a linguist (because of a lack of knowledge of what linguistics is), and I’d adamantly say, “No, I’m not a linguist.”

Um... doc, are you sure this is the right chart?

Um… doc, are you sure this is the right chart?

The idea of scientifically analysing a language was… not very appealing to me. I preferred studying languages themselves rather than the science of them. But then I got exposed to it more and more.

And I came to realise… I liked it. In spite of all my attempts not to. I found that I had already been applying the principles of using syntactic and morphological evidence to determine word classes (finding out that ‘niem‘ [‘name’] in Patois is a verb was fun!), I spend time reading through articles about different linguistic ideas and terms… And I’ve even been having a discussion with an Israeli friend about whether or not Hebrew has circumfixes. (I’m not done with that yet, חברה!) Looking at the relatively unexplored fields of JSL and Patois linguistics got me especially excited.

But in some ways, I find linguistics hard. The big words, and the theories involved… I don’t care for theories; I can’t even remember them most of the time. One of my lecturers says she thinks I’d be good at applied linguistics, though not theoretical linguistics, and I think she may be right.


So, is there a future for me in the field of linguistics? We’ll see. (A scholarship would be nice, wouldn’t it?) 😀

Anyway, off to study for my exam…

*Phonetics: The study of the sounds of human speech
Phonology: The study of how sound is used in a particular language
Morphology: The study of words and their structure in a particular language
Syntax: The study of sentences/phrases and their structure in a particular language

This entry was posted in Linguistics, Miscellaneous Language Issues, Patwa, עברית and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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