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Linguistics Science

Linguistic Theorizing – Approaches

Linguistic theory is the theoretical framework used in the study and understanding of language. There are three (Externalists, Emergentists and Essentialists) main approaches to theorizing the science of linguistics. These three approaches differ in what they consider as subject matter, the approach adopted to studying it and the answer considered right to subject of discussion.

The Externalists

Externalists are of the belief that the goal of linguistic theory is development of the right models for speech, words, sentences, phrases and similar linguistic matter. This would also include written and spoken material which has been recorded and filed for the purpose of studying linguistic structures. The goal, according to the externalists is to describe how the models show individual characteristics which are predictable and projectable. Corpora plays the main role for the externalists in their study of linguistics. The externalists believe that clear discernment and understanding between the speaker and listener is important for linguistics to play a role. Read more…

Punctuation

The purpose of punctuation is to mark out strings of words into manageable groups and to show how these groups are related to each other. Correct punctuation clarifies both the meaning of the individual words and the construction of the sentences as a whole, so that even quite complex sentences can be understood at first reading, without stumbling or backtracking. To some extent, therefore, punctuation acts as a substitute for the devices we all use in speech, such as pausing and altering pitch; however, the differences between written and spoken language mean that the parallel should not be pushed too far.

Punctuation shouldn’t cause as much fear as it does. Only about a dozen marks need to be measured and the guidelines are fairly stable. The marks most commonly used to divide a piece of prose are the full stop, the semicolon, and the comma with the strength of the dividing or separating role diminishing the full stop to the comma. The full stop therefore marks the main division into sentences; the semicolon joins sentences (as in this sentence); and the comma, which is the most flexible in use and causes most problems, separates smaller elements with the least loss of continuity. Brackets and dashes also serve as separators – often more strikingly than commas (as in this sentence). Read more…

Composition Studies

What is Reading Comprehension?

Comprehension is the ‘capacity for understanding fully, the act or action of grasping with the intellect’. A comprehension passage is, therefore, text set for testing the reader’s ability to receive or take in the sense of a text by scanning; understanding the meaning of written or printed matter; learning from what one has seen or found in writing or printing. Merely identifying words on a page does not make someone a successful reader. Reading comprehension tests the reader’s ability to comprehend the content as well as organization, style and theme of the passage.

Questions on a passage generally appear in a chronological relationship to the passage. If they are questions to test local understanding based on facts available in the passage, then the first questions should be in the earlier paragraphs. If they are inferential, that is, where you have to make an assumption, then you might have to collate material from various paragraphs. This would require familiarity with the entire passage. Besides this, even questions where you may be asked for instance, to give a suitable title to the passage, would again need for you to know the entire passage well. Read more…