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Language – Linguistic – Literature | Critical Thinking

What is the basic relation between linguistics and literature ?

Ans: Basic relation between linguistics, literature and language is complex. Language is the medium of communication; it is the system of human beings and their existence. Language is the medium of text. Literature is a textual form supposed to be more expressive and referential.

Language is the producer of texts, the language of our day communication completely different from literary language. Colloquial language is direct, precise, exact, one dimensional and denotative, and it has the same meaning for all the readers. But the language used to form a literary text is completely different and more unique. Language of literature is contextual, connotative, implied, ambiguous, and it always has the effects of time and space.

Linguistics is the science of language and its uses. Linguistics as branch of studies is used to have proper investigation of language. At the present time there is a hot debate between two groups of thinkers: linguistics and literature critics. Linguists opine that linguistics is essential for the proper understanding and interpretation of linguistic text. But the supporters of literary texts assume that literary text is all above the common use of language. They argue that literature is different than ordinary language of ordinary men; that’s why there is no place and space for linguistics in literary analysis.

It is true that literature itself is the product of common language that we appreciate in our day to day life. Literary text is made of and by language so that we can’t neglect, deny or avoid the application of linguistics and its tools in literary commentary and interpretation.

There is still a debate between hardliners of literary text and the supporters of linguistics. Literary text and their analysis cannot be justified and agreed on without the application of linguistics. We know that linguistics has its own method of observation, calculation and judgement of various text which cannot be easily applied in literary text even though we cannot put linguistics aside and far from literary text.

Discuss text, grammar and discourse.

Ans: A text is a stretch of language complete or partial, which comprises one or more units of meaning. A text can be jumble of unrelated sentences. It is just the collection of sentences which may or may not be coherent, sense making or related to each other. The definition of text is complex one. Sometimes a word or a single sentence is also considered as the text. Text does not care whether the sentences are related or not. To be a text, it is not necessary to produce any message, idea and sense. Text has no relation to grammar, size and length. Text is not defined by its size. Sometimes, grammatical criteria. Text is not defined by its size. Sometimes, single words like War, Peace or ‘No’ function as the text. Text is the guideline to discourse.

A text is transformed into discourse when it forms a coherent whole. All the text may not be discourse. To be discourse, a text is required to communicate and make sense. The text which is not coherent and fails to produce any sense out of it is just a use of language. In discourse a text is realized in a knowable context. A reader can feel and understand the text only when it is transformed into discourse. There are various types of discourses; normally we categorize discourse in the groups of informative, directive and expressive.

Grammar is the rule or constraint behind the use of language. Grammar has its relation to the structural aspects of the language. It is because of grammar language survives as the system. Grammar is established pattern and rules and regulation behind the use of language. In any language, grammar is necessary for its continuation. Because of grammar language learning and teaching are possible. A phoneme is speech sound. It is different from letter by the virtue of the sound. Phonology is the study of how speech sound contribute to meaning.

Morpheme is the minimum grammatical unit is defined by Bloomfield. Morpheme is the smallest unit of word that cannot be further split. All words are morphemes but all morphemes are not words. Morpheme is the smallest unit of word. A word can have one or more than one morpheme. A word is often defined as a lexical item. For traditional grammarians, a word is a minimum free form. The definition of word is really problematic. A word cannot have its own existence always. Group is defined as the phrase in traditional Grammar. There are four syntactic groups in English. These groups mean nominal group, verbal group, prepositional group, adverbial group. In a sentence these groups have their own place and roles. The clause is the syntactic unit above the group, and usually contains a subject and a predicator. Sometimes a clause will take a complement (C) and adjunct (A).

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How are language, literature and education related to each other?

Ans: We use language generally for the purpose of communication. Most of the time, we are unknown to the system of our language. Language is a system that we lean in the process of socialization along with our growth and development. Language is the medium of communication. It is language that exists as a system for human activities and the world. Language is creative; it is language that has its own system on the basis of its rules, regulation and grammar. Leaning and teaching language is possible because of its system and rules. Common day to day language is different that the literary language. Literary language is more expressive, more functional and more powerful in its expression. Language used in literature may not follow strict rules of language/ literature. Grammar is the rule and regulation behind any language. It is the obstacle or constraint for the creative and innovative use of language. Language always believes in freedom

The role of language study in literature is often problematic. Some people claim that knowing about language is not essential in case of literature. Literary language is often deviated one. Knowing grammar and limiting oneself in grammar and rules can stop the potential creative power of language. Every day we see some words being change. Literature tries its best to deviate common implication of linguistic items. In text, followers of literature demand liberty of language in literary text. Linguists all the time cannot guide literary text from the perspective of traditional grammars and its context. Language is always filled dynamic and ever-changing; we cannot limit words with certain fixed menu. Literature has become the subject of human study and one of the aspects of education as well. To get familiar with literature and its various forms, proper education is compulsory. Common language has strict system; we have traditional grammars and its rules. Our common language is based on the proper rule of linguistic structure, we learn language and practice it as the subject of study or education, and study of language is the part of education.

What is stylistics?

Ans: Stylistic is the application of linguistics in literary analysis, commentary and criticisms. It is true that language of literature is different than common use of language. All the time literature doesn’t feel the necessity of linguistics in its proper judgement, evaluation and criticism. Stylistics concerns with the use and effects of language and linguistic methods in literary text. Stylistics itself is not an autonomous science; it comes under existence only when it is mixed with literature. The students of literature don’t necessarily require having the proper knowledge of language and its different applications. Stylistics is the linking point of the language of linguistics and the analysis of literary text. Any text can have two different stylistics aspects:

  1. Linguistic stylistics
  2. Literary stylistics

Literary stylistics concerns with the formation of literary text but linguistics to the literary language. But the literary critic without any knowledge of language is a deaf. In literary discourse, stylistics is a bridge between language of linguistics and literary text. All the application of linguistics tools and items cannot have the effect on the literary criticism.

What is the problem with stylistics?

Ans: Stylistics is the branch of linguistic application. In simple words stylistic is the application of language in literature. Literary language is definitely different than common day to day language. Though literary text is deviated form of language, it poses certain affects of language and linguistic items. Followers of stylistics strongly argue that without proper observation and evaluation of linguistic items we cannot judge, appreciate and evaluate the literary text. The problem with stylistics is that it is not the separate discipline for literary analysis. Stylistics is just linking point between the literature and the language. The word “style” is confusing. Stylistics favors language and its application only in literature. It claims its position and rights in literature, if the text contains deviated language. Another problem with stylistic is that some people understand it as they synonymy of genre.

Legal documents, personal documents, letters, religious books have different styles, and even in the same genre we can employ innovative technique both in writing styles and subject matters. Actually there are no criteria, determinants, factors and elements that can ensure any text to be stylistics. What is stylistic today may not be stylistic tomorrow. When we become habituated and familiar with certain linguistic items and style we no more call it stylistics. That’s why the word style has no fixed meaning; it is often confusing and ambiguous. Stylistics has no proper ground. It has no criteria to judge the text; actually stylistics itself is confused about its role, status and expectation.

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