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Linguistics - Essay Example

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The researcher of this following paper will attempt to describe and present how argue why linguistics should take a descriptive approach since it tries to explain things as they are not what they wish them to be as it is with prescriptive approach…
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Download file to see previous pages The paper throws light on language as a device for communication, which gives people a means of comprehending each other. According to some English dictionaries the word “ain’t” is considered inappropriate. However, words are not described by short, clever explanations but are defined by the experiences of the listening. Language is known to change frequently. It is sometimes difficult to comprehend someone who uses terms, words or phrases that you have never heard before. The descriptive approach suggests that people should study language as it is rather than taking the models of language and enforcing them on people. As linguists affirm that the need of updating language manuals and dictionaries is becoming more vital. This materializes since new technologies, ideas, concepts, and new styles of communication and words shape themselves within the people and supplant older ones. Industries and sciences develop new concepts and technologies daily. Therefore, they ought to be and are being mirrored in our day-to-day language, acknowledged in our daily life. Particular words change their connotation; some become obsolete, others gain new meanings which are diverse from earlier ones. Alterations such as the creation of new words, concepts and ideas are not happening in some specific language, but in most of the languages in the world. Descripts suggest there is a need to study and understand words and languages or in other words describe them. (Rogers, p. 81). Supporters of descriptive approach claim that it is imperative to know them, notice, contemplate and become used to the vicissitudes. Not only does the industry influence the language, but the language is also influenced by it too. In his graft David Crystal explicated this portent as follows: "This would form a fragment of a much broader economic perspective, in which the traditional view, that the economy influences language, is supplemented by the notion that language exercises a strong influence on the economy. There are several domains in which languages play an important role, and thus contribute to their economic success" (Crystal, p. 172). As prescripts argue that there is a need for people to learn how to pronounce words and speak the languages since new and alternative words appear to name new things and processes, new idiomatic expressions, metaphors, similes and spellings appear to express older ones which are progressively getting out of use. Therefore, prescripts claim that these innovations sometimes stay undetected or not much responsiveness is paid to them. They become parts of our day-to-day communication and are used as though there is nothing new in them and hence there is more to be done than just describing them (Renouf & Kehoe, p. 31). Nonetheless, supporters of descriptive approach claim that if the change is recognized, it can face two likely reactions. The first one entails noting on them, trying to describe and categorize them, determining whether to take them or not or merely accommodating them without any reservations. This is what is involved in descriptive approach. The approach intends to clearly and precisely define how some features of the language are made use of in communication (Kroch, p. 90). On the other hand, this may result to the comprehension that all the etymological units have same the features and may be categorized similarly. Contemporary linguists have a preference of applying descriptive approach to language since it does not necessitate them to decide what the language must look like or recommend what particular rules must be used. The descriptive approach obliges them only to define what language is, what fresh changes have surfaced, what their basic qualities are, and in what way are they used in communication ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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