Applied Linguistics

Applied linguistics is an interdisciplinary field which identifies, investigates, and offers solutions to language-related real-life problems.

photo of people talking to each other. Applied Linguistics

Geo-linguistics

Geo-linguistics is the study of language in relation to geography. It is used to differentiate the areas where different varieties of the language are used. Linguists have also used it to differentiate between the type of sounds found in the languages of different area.

Biolinguistics

Biolinguistics, the study of the relation between humans’ biology and the properties of the Language Faculty. It is is an emergent and lively field, and is central to linguistics.

A theory developed by linguist Noam Chomsky suggesting that a basic template for all human languages is embedded in our genes. If a child is not surrounded by people who are using a language, that child will gradually lose the ability to acquire language naturally without effort.

Fundamentally, biolinguistics challenges the view of human language acquisition as a behavior based on stimulus-response interactions and associations. Chomsky and Lenneberg militated against it by arguing for the innate knowledge of language.

Related: Semantics

Neurolinguistics

Neurolinguistics, the relation between language and the structure and function of the nervous system. It is a relatively new field in psychology, which may give the interviewer two additional advantages. Neurolinguistic factors explain the probable link between eye movement and the brain’s language processing mechanisms. This explanation distinguishes among the idea and information processing modes through which we function and suggests that each of us has preferences in the way in which we process information. The three primary modes of processing information are:•

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Kinesthetic

Psycholinguistics

Psycholinguistics is the discipline that investigates and describes the psychological processes that make it possible for humans to master and use language. Psycholinguists conduct research on speech development and language development and how individuals of all ages comprehend and produce language. For descriptions of language, the field relies on the findings of linguistics, which is the discipline that describes the structure of language.

Although the acquisition, comprehension, and production of language have been at the core of psycholinguistic research, the field has expanded considerably since its inception: The neurology of language functioning is of current interest to psycholinguists, particularly to those studying sex differences, aphasia, language after congenital or acquired injury to the immature brain, and developmental disorders of language (dysphasia). Some psycholinguists have also extended their interests to experiments in nonhuman language learning (e.g., gorillas and chimpanzees) to discover if language as we know it is a uniquely human phenomenon.

Ethnolinguistics

Ethnolinguistics is an area of anthropological linguistics that studies the relationship between a language and the nonlinguistic cultural behavior of the people who speak that language.

An example is how various cultures express spatial orientation. In many societies, words for the cardinal directions east and west derive from terms for sunrise/sunset.

Historical linguistics

Historical linguistics, the study of how languages change over time, subsumes both the general study of language change and the history of specific languages and language families. Officially termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time.