Free International University of Moldova Faculty of Letters Department of Germanic Languages Zinaida Cameneva syntheses in Linguistics Suport de curs la disciplina "Lingvistica" Chişinău – 2014

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Free International University of Moldova

Faculty of Letters

Department of Germanic Languages

Zinaida Cameneva

syntheses in

Suport de curs

la disciplina "Lingvistica"

Chişinău – 2014
CZU .................

C ......................

Recommended for publication by the Senate of the Free International University of Moldova / Recomandat spre publicare de Senatul Universităţii Libere Internaţionale din Moldova (process verbal Nr. ___ din ________________)

Executive Editor: Inga STOIANOV, Ph. D., Associate Professor, ULIM

Science Editor: Tatiana PODOLIUC, Ph. D., Associate Professor, ULIM

Emilia OGLINDĂ, Ph. D., Associate Professor, Moldova State University, Department of “The Romanian Language, General Linguistics and Classical Languages”

Tamara MATEI, Ph. D., Associate Professor, Moldova State University

Descrierea CIP a Camerei Naționale a Cărții

Camenev, Zinaida

Syntheses in Linguistics (A Book for the I-year students). Sinteze în lingvistică. Suport de curs, anul I: Zinaida Camenev, ULIM, Institutul de Cercetări Filologice şi Interculturale, Fac. de Litere, resp. ed.: Inga Stoianov; red. resp.: Tatiana Podoliuc, Emilia Oglindă, Tamara Matei – Chişinău: ULIM, 2014 – 126 p.

Bibliogr.: p. 125-126
ISBN ...........................


ULIM, ICFI, 2013

Institutul de Cercetări Filologice şi Interculturale

ISBN ..................

Preface 5

Lecture 1. Linguistics as a science 6

Lecture 2. Types of linguistics 10

Lecture 3. Appearance of Linguistics 17

Lecture 5. The origin of language 36

Lecture 6. Principles of Synchronic Description of Language 41

Lecture 7. Linguistic Methods 46

Lecture 8. The Comparative Method 51

Lecture 9. Classification of the Languages 59

Lecture 10. Some concepts of phonetics and phonology 69

Lecture 11. Words and Their Meanings 78

Lecture 12. Main grammatical concepts and categories 85

Home Reading 94

Why education needs linguistics (and vice versa) 94

National Languages and Dialects 107

Conclusion 116

enGlish-Romanian-Russian Glossary 117

english Glossary 120

Bibliography 126


The book "Synthesis in Linguistics" is dedicated to linguistics which is connected with the intercourse in the general meaning of the word. The intercourse in the human society is possible by verbal and non-verbal means, among the latter we can name the gestures, mimics and movements. But the most important means of the human intercourse was and remains the language.

The main functions of the language are:

  • communicative, whose purpose is to serve as a means of intercourse and the exchange of thoughts;

  • informative – for the transmission of information;

  • gnoseological – for cognition;

  • esthetical – the language may serve as a means of esthetic satisfaction;

  • emotional – by means of the language we express the feelings and emotions.

Linguistics is the science of language, its social nature and functions, its internal structure. It treats the laws of functioning, the historical development of the language and the classifications of concrete languages.

Linguistics as a science belongs to the number of social (humanitarian) sciences. But it is not connected only with the humanitarian, but also with the other types of sciences – the natural and even the exact sciences.

Humanitarian sciences are literature, history, philosophy, logics, psychology, archeology, ethnography, pedagogics.

Natural sciences are biology, physiology, medicine, anatomy, physics, anthropology.

Mathematical sciences are statistics, mathematics, informatics, cybernetics.

The sections of linguistics: 1. Phonetics, phonology; 2. Lexics, lexicography; 3. Grammar (morphology, syntax); 4. Wordbuilding; 5. Semasiology; 6. Stylistics.

Lecture 1. Linguistics as a science

1. The Object of Linguistics

2. The Connection of Linguistics with Other Sciences

3. Definitions of Linguistics
1. The Object of Linguistics

There are many languages on the globe. Each language is characterized both by common particularities and different ones. In every language, we attest the same linguistic units: sounds, words, sentences, each of them possessing distinctive properties. In all the languages, the sentence serves as a communicative unit. The means of expressing of the parts of the sentence differ much. Let us compare the following sentences with the same meaning but expressed differently, for example: "it is raining (English)", "il pleut (French)", "plouă (Romanian)", "идет дождь (Russian)".

The variety and plurality of the world languages do not exclude their multiple similar particularities and their common functions that constitute the object of study of linguistics. Linguistics investigates all the languages irrespective of their origin and their different peculiarities, for example: English, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, French, Hindi, Chinese, Arab, etc., and the human language in its complexity, their basic units and the rules of their functioning.

Language, the main means of communication, may be studied from different points of view. In such a way, we distinguish particular and general linguistics.

Particular linguistics investigates one language apart (English, Romanian, Chinese) or a group of related languages (for example: the Romanian languages, the Germanic languages, the Slavonic languages). In the framework of the particular linguistics, we distinguish the synchronic linguistics. it examines the language (or a group of languages) respectively in a certain period of time, for example in the present period not taking into consideration the history of the language under consideration.

Particular linguistics covers contrastive linguistics (or the confrontative-contrastive) representing a description of the same language (as a rule, two-three languages) both related and unrelated from the point of view of structural analogies or divergence and the comparative-historical linguistics taking into consideration the tendencies in the development of the related languages originating from the same language. There exists a multiple of concrete aspects of the synchronic linguistics: the morphology of the Romanian language, the syntax of the Spanish language, the phonetics of the English language which reveals their functions at different levels.

The diachronic linguistics studies the evolution of a language (or a group of languages) demonstrating the stages of such an evolution.

General linguistics studies the basic features of the human language as a means of communication, the essence and the origin of the languages, the general laws of development and functioning, its linguistics methods (traditional and modern). It also researches the relations between the language and society, culture, thinking.

We also distinguish sociolinguistics, ethno-linguistics, psycholinguistics. Sociolinguistics for example examines the relation language-society: the differentiation of the social dialects, functional styles, the extralinguistic factors, the influence of the language, bilingualism, the functional styles, the formation of "hybrid languages", the interference of the languages, contacts among them, etc.

An important branch of the general linguistics is the typological linguistics that formulates the linguistics universals common to all languages (absolute universals) or to the majority of languages (relative universals). The typological investigations are based on the concept of the linguistic type – a set of structural peculiarities present in many languages of the world irrespective of their kinship.

Applied linguistics is designed to solve objectives: the elaboration of graphical system, perfection of orthography, philological commentary of the texts, compiling of dictionaries, of textbooks, of didactic materials for the study of foreign languages, different problems of the speech culture, etc. The complex and multilateral character of the languages as a means of universal communication makes linguistics be connected with other sciences.
2. The Connection of Linguistics with Other Sciences

The science of language (linguistics) is connected with philosophy and logics. Philosophy studies the general rules of the nature, society and thinking having common facts concerning the origin of the human language, the relations between language and reality, language and thought, internal contradictions of the language, its dichotomies, the material (sensorial) and ideal (contents) properties of the phenomenon under consideration, the progress of the language, etc.

Historical and comparative linguistics has been built on the hypothesis that sound changes are regular and that most morphological readjustments in language follow as by-products in these regular phonetic developments. The psychological necessity of the regularity of the sound change has been the most successful approach to the historic problems of language.

Logics reveals the laws of the process of thinking, being connected with linguistics on the basis of dichotomy language – thought and the correlation of the categories of logics and those of linguistics (concepts and word, logic judging and the sentence) and the role of language in the process of familiarization, of the concrete and abstract in language, etc.).

In psychology the common support with linguistics is represented by the psychological aspects of the generation of speech, interior speech, memorization process, assimilation of the language from the point of view of psychologic factors and from the point of view of age, etc.

The origin of the language, its development, the relation between the language and culture (material and spiritual) denotes the connection of linguistics with archeology, ethnography, history, anthropology.

Linguistics is also connected with semiotics, the general science about the sign (natural and artificial) from the framework of semantics: the study of the relation among the word as a linguistic sign and its delimitation from the artificial signs, etc.

In the process of investigating the acoustic aspect of the signs (duration, height, tembre, intensity) linguistics is connected with physics, acoustics).

The articulatory particularities (physiological ones) of the sounds evidenciate the participation of the articulatory organs (tongue, lips, teeth, alveols, etc.) at the pronunciation of the sound, these speak about the common finalities with biology, physiology and medicine, the last one examining the pathology of the language speech, different aphasia.

There exist different mathematical methods of language investigations, f.e., glottochronology that reveals the connection of linguistics with mathematics, and some aspects of the applied linguistics (the systems of automatic processing of information) which reflect the connection of linguistics with informatics.

The above-mentioned facts, on one side show the variety of the branches of the science connected with linguistics and, on the other side, its complex connections with numerous social sciences, natural sciences and exact ones.
3. Definitions of Linguistics

By the scientific study of language is meant its investigation by means of controlled and empirical observations with reference to some general theory of language structure.

Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context. The earliest known activities in descriptive linguistics have been attributed to Panini around 500 BC, with his analysis of Sanskrit in Ashtadhyayi.

The first subfield of linguistics is the study of language structure, or grammar. This focuses on the system of rules followed by the users of a language. It includes the study of morphology (the formation and composition of words), syntax (the formation and composition of phrases and sentences from these words), and phonology (sound systems). Phonetics is a related branch of linguistics concerned with the actual properties of speech sounds and nonspeech sounds, and how they are produced and perceived.

The study of language meaning is concerned with how languages employ logical structures and real-world references to convey, process, and assign meaning, as well as to manage and resolve ambiguity. This category includes the study of semantics (how meaning is inferred from words and concepts) and pragmatics (how meaning is inferred from context).

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