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When you tell people you're a linguist,
sometimes they look at you funny...
like, they have no idea what you do.
Even worse, you get
"You're a linguist? Oh, I hate grammar..."
or "How many languages do you speak?"
People have some strange ideas about linguistics.
So, let's clear up these misconceptions.
Hi, Welcome to Snap Language. I'm Marc Franco,
the resident linguist here.
Misconception Number 1: "Linguists love formal grammar."
Actually, what's interesting in language is *not*
the rules set by some panel of grammarians.
That's prescriptivism.
Instead, most linguists follow the practice of descriptivism.
They try to describe and understand the language that people actually use it.
It doesn't matter if the grammar a group of speakers uses is considered "incorrect."
We know there's a standard language, and we follow
grammar rules (for example, when we write or give a lecture).
Formal grammar's appropriate in those situations.
But, to understand language, we want to understand how people
actually use it in all contexts .
So, if a linguist corrects your grammar,
it's not because he or she is a linguist.
Maybe, they're just being kind of obnoxious.
Misconception Number 2:
"A linguist knows everything about language."
OK. All medical doctors study medicine, but they specialize
in a particular field, right?
If you have stomach problems, you don't go to a cardiologist, do you?
The same way, linguists study language
but specialize in a particular field.
You can specialize in historical linguistics,
language acquisition, phonetics, syntax,
sociolinguistics... and so on.
Also, language is so central to being human that
linguistics overlaps with many other disciplines.
That's why you might study some linguistics in education,
sociology, literature, computer science, and so on.
So, if you ask your favorite linguist a question about language,
don't make them feel bad if they don't know the answer.
(I don't feel bad; I just look it up...)
Misconception Number 3:
"Linguists are translators or interpreters."
No... A few linguists may go on to become translators
or interpreters, but these are just two possible career paths.
Speaking of careers:
Misconception Number 4:
"Linguists are academics who work in universities."
Yes, we can all imagine the lonesome linguist...
sitting in a dark office cluttered with old books...
that old-book smell in the air.
Nah... Many linguists do research in universities but, remember,
there are many fields in linguistics.
A linguist can also have a career in industry, for example,
working on speech recognition or natural language processing for a company.
You could work in education, designing literacy programs
or teaching English as a second language.
Some linguists work in the field,
sometimes even in the middle of a jungle,
documenting and analyzing an indigenous language.
You may find a linguist (or two) working in the government,
working as a voice coach in the film industry, or
specializing in speech pathology.
Misconception Number 5:
"Linguists speak many foreign languages."
(I hate this one.)
What do you call someone who speaks several languages?
A polyglot... not a linguist.
In fact, many linguists work in their own native language,
so they don't need to know a foreign language at all.
Of course, there are many foreign-language buffs among linguists. 
(We can't help it! We love languages!)
But learning or speaking a foreign language
is not a requirement to be a linguist.
So, what is linguistics, and what do linguists do?
Linguistics is the study of language.
Linguists study how language works,
how it evolves over time, how it is perceived,
how it affects social behavior...
essentially, linguists study some aspect of this amazing thing
humans do that we call "language."
It doesn't even have to be spoken language.
There are linguists who study sign language, for example.
If it's a language, chances are a linguist will want to study it.
And chances are you found this video
because you like languages yourself, so
if there's something you'd like to add or know
about this topic, please leave a comment.
And don't forget to like and share this video,
and subscribe.
And thanks for stopping by and watching this video.
Does my office smell like old books?


Misconceptions about Linguistics

1359 タグ追加 保存
Sh, Gang (Aaron) 2016 年 7 月 13 日 に公開
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