Thread: On Linguistics
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 3:14 am
canismajoris  Male.gif canismajoris is offline
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Re: On Linguistics

Originally Posted by MmeBergerac View Post
I didn't like it very much at school either, but I found it really useful when I had to study other languages (specially Latin). Later I have been a tutor in English and I've found it very hard to teach the structure of a foreign language to people who didn't know the structure of their own.
The applicability of cross-linguistics education is the most important thing I've learned by studying linguistics over the past few years, exactly. It has always been a pet ambition of mine to teach foreign languages to primary school children, just to start the ball rolling early. I don't speak any languages but English, but I'm confident in saying I wouldn't need to in this particular case.

It's my belief that everyone is a linguistic genius, they just don't know why or how. Much in the same way a professional football player may be uniquely accomplished at taking a corner kick, but most likely can't explain how he or she arrives upon the ideal the ballistic trajectory of the ball, accounts for air friction and gravity, or fully understands whether and in what way the choice of shoes matters. So what I care most about is taking these people who've always had plenty of success in, you know, doing language, and showing them how remarkable it is that anyone can do it at all.

Originally Posted by MmeBergerac View Post
Specially because you English speakers have quite a definite structure (your adjectives always go before the noun and so) while we Spanish are quite free about where to place our words.
We do now, certainly. Back in the day, by which I mean the years 500 to 1400 CE, things were a little more awesomely weird. English was then (well in the earlier part of that range) a much more inflected language, if you look at noun morphology. Our medieval forebears had four or five noun cases (there was an instrumental that seems to have merged with the dative--I blame the "Danes"), and so there was a pretty modest excess of scrambling going on. Indeed, for Modern English speakers, learning to live with a free word order is the chief obstacle to learning older forms of English.

Last edited by canismajoris; March 2nd, 2014 at 3:20 am.
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