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НазваLinguistics and Other Fields (реферат)
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Реферат на тему:


Linguistics and Other Fields


Crystal D. Linguistics. Second ed.


Penguin Book, 1990. – pp. 256-267.


The main merit of research over the past few years is that people now

have a much clearer idea as to what the important questions of

linguistic theory are: over the next few years, we may go some way

towards solving some of them. It should be clear from this attitude,

then, that those who clamour for applications of linguistics - myself

included - are not likely to be satisfied for a while. Too much of the

subject is in an unformulated state to be able to be applied in any

useful way to the study of some other field - though, as we shall see,

some restricted areas have come to be fairly well investigated and

introduced. The absence of any complete grammar of English (which has

been the most analysed of all languages) is one of the most obvious

limitations of the applicability of linguistics at the present time. The

presence of so much fundamental theoretical disagreement, which has to

be gone into before one can adopt a particular 'applied' line, is

another. However, it would be wrong to criticize linguistics for failing

to come up to expectations, or for being too negative (in its criticisms

of earlier work), or for being too complicated and abstract - such

criticisms are not uncommon. The negative flavour of early linguistics

was, as we have seen, an essential preliminary to the development of a

more constructive and open-minded state of mind on the part of language

scholars. Understanding the weaknesses of early accounts of language

helped them to reach an understanding of the fact that it was complex,

and to appreciate the nature and extent of its complexity. It was this

awareness which promoted the careful analysis of data and the

development of the necessary (albeit abstract) distinctions of

phonetics, morphology, and the other levels. It is in fact this very

complexity which is the reason why linguistics has not developed further

than it has. It would be perfectly possible for any competent linguist

to sit down and write a linguistic grammar of English, in the light of

available knowledge, for the purpose of language teaching; but it is

unlikely that it would be a wholly satisfying job. There is still too

much dispute about the theoretical principles on which such a grammar

should be based, too much dispute over terminology, and too much

uncertainty over the facts of the language, to produce a sound,

comprehensible and comprehensive grammar. And bearing in mind that

linguistics has been with us such a short time, this inadequacy is

perhaps not surprising. A great deal has nonetheless been achieved.


Awareness of this inadequacy has not of course stopped people from

trying to write such grammars; nor should it. The more attempts there

are to formulate adequate grammars for particular applications in

teaching and elsewhere, the more quickly the difficulties will be

appreciated, and the sooner they will be overcome. What is important is

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