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Linguistic and Other Language Theories - Term Paper Example

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The paper "Linguistic and Other Language Theories" argues language is a complex system which requires systematization and description in terms of grammar. While native speakers master the language intuitively due to spontaneously formed language patterns, which they regularly hear in everyday life.  …
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Linguistic and Other Language Theories
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Download file to see previous pages Within modern linguistic theory, claiming that a language is rule-managed is to maintain that it can be described in terms of grammar which is a set of rules (Smith and Wilson 332). Grammar has two major roles; separating grammatical from incorrect sentences and providing an explanation of each grammatical sentence indicating how it should be pronounced and what it depicts (Smith and Wilson 333). Speakers of a language habitually behave as if their language was rule-governed yet not all speakers of the same language possess same set rules. For each speaker, there is a right and a wrong way of constructing and understanding sentences. This can neither be explained exclusively in terms of customs nor are habits, since the case novel utterances, produced and comprehended without having been heard before (Smith and Wilson 333). It can also not be explained solely in terms of convention or social agreement as each speaker has varying methods of construction and understanding which he shares with no one else. Rule system can easily be created and operated by one individual such as cases of children learning their first language and that of adults with idiosyncratic speech patterns (Smith and Wilson 339).
In their discussion, Smith and Wilson assume that speakers of a language actually are familiar with language rules that they use in constructing, understanding sentences and correcting errors (339). Regrettably, the linguistic knowledge that speakers have is not conscious knowledge and this is generally expressed as a claim that grammars have psychologically real grammars –this can be used to explain their command of language (Smith and Wilson 332). The grammar that a speaker actually possesses will depend, at least in part, on the utterances he has heard in the past mainly as a child learning language for the first time. Since each speaker will have heard a different set of utterances, it is not surprising that he comes to possess a slightly different grammar from those of people around him (Smith and Wilson 333). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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