Zhian Fadhil Asaad
University of Sulaimani
MA First Semester
Language in general and particular can be studied from
different points of view. Therefore, the field of linguistics as
a whole can be divided into several subfields according to
the point of view.
The first distinction to be drawn is between general and
descriptive linguistics. It corresponds to the distinction
between studying language in general and describing
General and descriptive linguistics are by no means unrelated.
Each depends, explicitly or implicitly upon the other: general
linguistics supplies the concepts and categories in terms of
which particular languages are to be analysed; descriptive
linguistics, in its turn, provides the data which confirm or refute
the propositions and theories put forward in general linguistics.
For example, the general linguist might formulate the hypothesis
that all languages have nouns and verbs. The descriptive linguist
might refute this with empirical evidence that there is at least one
language in the description of which the distinction between
nouns and verbs cannot be established. But in order to refute, or
confirm, the hypothesis the descriptive linguist must operate with
some concepts of ‘noun’ and ‘verb’ which have been supplied to
him by the general linguist.
(Lyons, John. 1981. Language and Linguistics: An Introduction, p: 34-37
What is General Linguistics?
Is the scientific study of human language in all its
manifestations and usage near & far, present & past
without restriction on time, place or culture.
It supplies the concepts and categories in term of
which particular languages are to be analysed.
It's the scientific study of the theoretical bases for
describing language and methods of investigating
What does General Linguistics Study?
General Linguistics studies:
The connection between linguistics and other
fields of learning, including dialectical
materialism, logic, and psychology (language
represents consciousness in action).
The connection between linguistics and
historical materialism, inasmuch as the
development of language is conditioned by the
structure of society and social processes.
It also studies the relationship between linguistics and
semiotics (language is the most universal system of
signs used by society), as well as the connection
between linguistics and physiology and acoustics
(language is materialized and embodied in the sounds of
general linguistics studies the social functions of
language, the relationship between language and social
processes (the dependence of the form of a language at
any given period on social processes), and the reflection
of these social processes in the social and territorial
differentiation of language and in its structural and
stylistic variation .
General Linguistics feature:
One feature of general linguistics is a dual
approach to the study of language-a structural
and social approach engendered by the very
nature of language. From the standpoint of
structural linguistics, general linguistics studies
language as an integrated structure (consisting
of interrelated and interacting phonetic,
phonological, morphological, syntactical, and
other systems), with internal rules specific to
each language. From the standpoint of