Intoduction to Descriptive Linguistics

Intoduction to Descriptive Linguistics

  • Submitted By: ktown
  • Date Submitted: 10/29/2010 7:47 PM
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Words: 570
  • Page: 3
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John Smith


If I were a descriptive linguist, a simplified language to me would mean that the language is broken down so that it is easy to learn/understand. Simplified languages are basic forms of contact communication that have some sort of a grammatical system. The system isn’t fully developed. For example, “De put da bebi awn tap da ka”. There is still evidence of grammar as there is word order. There is a subject, verb, and object. Simplified languages are by no means incorrect. These languages are correct and represent speech communities consisting of various ethnic groups. As a descriptive linguist, I analyze how these communities speak these languages. I ignore the main structural categories of language and look at whether or not simplified languages are efficient in terms of communication. For example, can I still understand the sentence, “Hi neva hit wan homran.” If I were a prescriptive linguist, I would describe simplified languages as broken languages. They are characterized as sloppy, poor form, incorrect, and lazy. These languages don’t have the phonology, morphology, lexicon, and syntax that are correct and approved. For example, how words are spelled and get their meanings is incorrect and unacceptable. How can the word, “paip” actually be “pipe?” Another example is how can the word “muvi” actually be “movie”.
If I were a descriptive linguist, a “richer set of linguistic features” would mean that creoles are used in more domains/aspects of life. For example, they are not only used at work, but as well as home and school. Since the use of creoles is expanded into more areas compared to pidgins/simplified languages, they require linguistic characteristics that are suitable/expressive for each situation. This is because speakers don’t speak the same way in all areas of their lives.
We all style shift. For example, at home we might speak stronger pidgin than at work. As a prescriptive linguist, a “richer set of linguistic features”...

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