What Is Linguistics And Who Is A Linguist

Many people today (both literate and illiterate) in our society are of the notion that a linguist is one who speaks many languages fluently without much difficulty...LoL...Of course this is no doubt a general misconception about the subject (linguistics) and the student  (Linguist). This misconception have been tagged an “innocent ignorance” by chumbow( a scholar).

linguistics is the scientific study of language, well a lame man will ask scientific in what way, did you do chemistry or physics?. To  correct this wrong notion  it is pertinent to state  the clear difference between a linguist and a plygot, and also explain how linguistics is scientific in nature. 

A linguist is an analyst whose subject matter is language, his task is to analyse and classify the fact of speech as he hears them uttered by the native speaker or finds them recorded in writing. A linguist is not necessarily required to be able to speak a language before he can analyse the data of such language, though it a added advantage if he can speak two or more languages fluently, but bear in mind it not a criteria to be a linguist. Someone that speaks many languages is a plygot, this is someone that might have learned the langues due to traveling a lot or for business purposes.

I sincerely hope I was able to correct the wrong notion people have about a linguist and linguistics. Now lets talk about the scientific procedures and fields in linguistics. 

My reference to linguistics as the scientific study of language might prompt the question "what is scientific in language study?", well let me shed light on that. Like I have stated in my previous post linguistics seek to know more about the phenomenon in all it complexity.

linguistics is scientific because it approaches the study of language through scientific method and practice. Such methodology and practice employed include

1. Data collection, transcription, observation and analysis

2. Hypothesis formulation based on the observed fact from language data.

3. Empirical verification of the postulated hypothesis and

4. Formulation of law/ grammatical rules that are relevant to and derivable from certain scientific theoretical framework in linguistics.

having listed all that, linguistics is divided into two broad aspect 

micro(theoretical) linguistics

macro( applied linguistics)

i will focus on the  macro,

under macro, here are the field of the linguist

1. Sociolinguistics

2. Psycholinguistics

3.Linguistics's and language teaching

4. Nur o linguistics

5. Clinical linguistics

6. Computational linguistics and many More.

linguistics is more than what people have perceived it to be, it a fun course, technical and interesting, 

So for does seeking admission, when you given linguistics, know it not a useless course.


Comments Reply
  • You are correct. Linguistic is the study of language and a linguist is the person who studies a language. But many people have the misconception that linguistic is the study of different languages and a linguist must be able to speak different languages

    - Abdulmaliq Dere - 2019-10-06 09:16:41 Quote

  • It is very funny when I tell people that am studying linguistics, they will be like wow you will be able to speak many languages, I just laugh them off cos no matter how hard I try yo explain to them they seem not to understand. 

    - Luqman Atanda - 2019-10-06 11:37:02 Quote

  • The concept of linguistic is to study and have good knowledge of a foreign language or different language and also to be able to interact and properly communicate proficiently in those areas, while the linguist is the individual who is concerned with learning these new languages and also been able to speak the languages. 

    - PETER MMADUEKE - 2019-10-06 13:21:26 Quote

  • Truthfully, I have been hearing of linguistics but I don't know the course content neither what it is really about. I only it's related to English which I am not even sure of but reading your post today I now have an idea what linguistics is

    - Christopher Peace - 2019-10-06 13:46:33 Quote

  • Well, linguistics as a course is a study of any foreign language. Some even go to the extent of having to study two at a time. On the other hand, a linguist is a master of more than one foreign language.

    - Philip Fadoyin - 2019-10-06 14:26:50 Quote

  • Linguistics are just funny just funny course because people don't seem to understand that linguistic is not the study of languages. They always think anybody studying linguistic will understand many languages which is not so. 

    - Akinmoyede Bolanle - 2019-10-06 15:33:32 Quote

  • Wow, this is quite interesting and also educative all my life I have believed that a linguist is someone that can speaks different language proficiently, now I know more thanks for sharing 

    - Adekunle Victor - 2019-10-06 19:17:07 Quote

  • Wow! This one burst my brain ooh. I'm also a lame man then, because I do think you'll he able to speak different languages when you study linguistics in higher institutions. Thank you for the enlightenment. So I guess majority of people have been having wrong concepts about linguist(me included). 

    - Adesina Oluwadare - 2019-10-06 21:08:46 Quote

  • Theatre was my thing and very choice in school but I was offered something different and that was the study of linguistics and African languages.

    I learned German, French phonetics etc 

    This course helps me a lot, I might not be good with this languages but trust I'm happy getting ideas and studying the datas.

    Get to know more about, Yoruba, uhrobo, pidgin and all that.

    Being a linguist is fun.

    - Prince Esua - 2019-10-09 19:11:34 Quote

  • You're right with the correction cos most people always interprete the two phrase word meaning which mislead their understanding I think you have enlighten the public with the article write up

    - Oretan Ayomipo Micheal - 2019-10-09 20:38:42 Quote

  • Linguistics is a very broad but interesting course. You have to have the knowledge of phonetics phonology semantics syntax to be able to grab everything well. I have benefited from linguistics in somany ways and now I can analyse and point out error in languages I i can speak and those I cant speak. 

    - Idi Grace - 2019-10-09 22:20:55 Quote

  • Thank God i joined this forum 

    U know i also had that notion that a linguist could speak many languages fluently,na so I for go disgrace myself outside lol.nothing is a waste of time in this life.

    - Endy Joe - 2019-10-13 19:51:53 Quote

  • Great writeup, Linguistics is the Scientific study of Language and Linguists work on specific languages, but their primary Goal is to understand the nature of the language in general. They just deal with words in General.

    - Osita Olisa - 2019-10-13 19:54:10 Quote

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