Someone once said that "Applied linguistics is not 'linguistics applied', because it deals with more issues than purely linguistic ones." Briefly explain this statement with examples.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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It is true that calling this field of study "applied linguistics" is somewhat of a misnomer because the term "applied" suggests that a specific strategy has been placed upon one or many linguistic experiments. However, the true purpose of applied linguistics is to study language from an interdisciplinary perspective in order to serve every field of study that connected to language in any way. AL is like an umbrella that can serve a multitude of fields ranging from history to anthropology. Grammar, Spelling, Syntax, and Morphology are mere morsels of what A.L is really all about. 

Language, the human system of communication, is more than just sounds and symbols put together. Among the hundreds of things language touches upon, think about some of the most basic factors that affect language:

  • meaning in context
  • meaning in isolation
  • cultural meaning
  • sub-cultural usage
  • use for specific purposes
  • monitoring
  • non-verbal applications
  • prosody
  • intonation
  • cultural background
  • ethnic background
  • pathology
  • learning impairments

These factors are still minimal components of the immense field of study that the field of linguistics encompasses. For the study of cultural usage alone, AL would serve the field of anthropology, even archaeology,  social sciences, education, statistics, and history. 

Using a linguistic perspective to any study helps us to understand how humans bond, share, and communicate; moreover, it helps us predict any tendencies for understanding or misunderstanding both verbal and non-verbal cues. In all, applied linguistics is a very needed field of study to understand our human race from different angles of study. 

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