Language: a language is a system of conventional signals used for communication by a whole community. This patterns of connections covers a system of significant sound units (phonemes) the inflexion and arrangement of “words”, and the association of meaning with words. (Guimsons page 4 1.3)
Phonetics and Linguistics: the Phonetics of a language concerns thecharacteristics (articulatory, acoustics, auditory) of the sounds and Phonology concern how sounds function in a systemic way in a particular language. Phonetics and Phonology must also describe the combinatory possibilities of the sounds and the Prosody of the language, that is, how features of tone, loudness, and length work to produce accent, rhythm, and intonation. Also, a study can be made of therelationship between the sound of a language and the letters used in its writing system.
Other components of the language are: The Lexicon -the words of a language, the sequence of phonemes of which they are composed, together with their meaning.The Morphology -the structure of words, in particular their inflexion (e.g. start/started) The Syntax -the description of categories like noun and verb, and the system of rules governing the structures and phrases, clauses, and sentences in terms of order and constituency.The Semantics –the meaning of words and the relationship between word meanings, and the way such meanings are combined to give the meaning of sentences.
The Pragmatics –the influence of the situation on the interpretation of expressions. Stylistics –concerns thevariations involved in different situations and in different styles of speech. Sociolinguistics –concerns the interaction between the language and the society (e.g. the variation involved across classes and classes).Dialectology –concerns the variation in the same language in different regions. Psycholinguistics –concerns the behaviour of human beings in their production and of perception of language.
The Speech Chain
The speech communication process is a complex series of events which take place at different levels and stages. It is a chain between thespeaker’s brain and the listener’s brain. The whole process begins when a speaker has a message to transmit to a listener. This activity takes place at a psychological level, which allows him to arrange his thoughts into linguistic form. He does this in a linguistic stage. Thus the message is encoded. The next type of activity occurs at a physiological level, which implies the action of nerves and muscles.The motor nerves that link the speaker’s brain with his speech mechanism activate the corresponding muscles. The movements of the tongue, lips, vocal folds, etc. , constitute the articulatory stage of the chain (Articulatory Level). The movement of the articulators produces disturbances in the air pressure called sound waves, which are physical manifestations. This is the acoustic stage of thechain, during which the sound waves travel towards the listener’s ear (Acoustic Level). The first kind of activity on the listener’s part occurs at a physiological level. The sound waves activate the listener’s ear and his sensory nerves carry the message, in the form of nerve impulses, to the brain (Auditory Level). The last stage of the chain is again a linguistic one, during which the...