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4. Experiments

In grammar and semantics experimental studies usually take the form of controlled methods for eliciting judgments about sentences or the elements they contain. Informants can be asked to identify errors, to rate the acceptability of sentences, to make judgments of perception or comprehension, and carry out a variety of analytical procedures.

5. The comparative method. The reconstruction technique.

The historical comparative method of l-ge study emerged in the 1st quarter of the 19th century. It became possible in connection with the comparative observation of l-ges belonging to the Indo-European family and the discovery Sanskrit.

William Jones a prominent British scholar was the 1st to point out a scientific hypothesis that Sanscrit, Greek, Latin, Gothic and some other l-ges of India and Europe had sprung from the same source, which no longer existed. The relations among the l-ges of the Indo-European family were also studied scientificay by Franz Bopp, Kristian Rask, Jacob Grimm, A. Vostokov. They created the historical comparative method. Its rise marks the emergence of L-cs as a science.

In historica l-cs the comparative method is a way of systematically comparing a series of l-ges in order to prove a historical relationship btw them. Scholars begin by identifying a set of formal similiarities and differences btw the l-ges and try to work out (or reconstruct) an earlier stage of development from which all the forms could have derived.

Reconstruction is applied when no data are available at a – written records are lacking.

Evidence of common origin for groups of l-ges was readily available in Europe, in that French, Spanish, Italian and other Romance l-ges clearly descended from Latin.

By the beginning of the 19th century there was convincing evidence to support the hypothesis that there was once a l-ge from which many of the l-ges of Eurasia have derived (Proto-Indo-European).

The main metaphor that is used to explain the historical relationships is that of the l-ge family or family tree. Within the Indo-European, Proto-Indo-European is the parent l-ge, and Latin, greek, Sanskrit, are daughter l-ges.

The foundation of the historical comparative method are:

1) families of l-ges originate due to historical division of l-ges

2) lingual signs (signals) are arbitrary in the sense that there is no natural connection btw their form and the things or ideas they signify

3) the historical development of l-ge is continual, but uneven

6. Quantitative methods are represented by sets of complicated, formal usually mathematical formulae. They are applied in quantitative lin-cs which studies the multitude of quantitative properties which are essential for the description and understanding of the development and functioning of lin-c systems and their components (also called mathematical l-cs, speech statistics, statistical analyses, linguostatistics).

7. Computer Techniques

Since the 1980s the chief focus of computational lin-cs research has been in natural l-ge processing (NLP) dealing with the computational processing of translation – both its understanding and its generation in natural human l-ges.

NLP emerged out of machine translation in the 1950s was influenced by work on artificial intelligence. There was a focus on devising “intelligent programs” which aimed to simulate the way ppl can infer meaning from what has been said, or use their knowledge of the word to reach a conclusion. Other tasks of computational linguistics are: indexing and concordancing, speech recognition and synthesis, machine translation and l-ge learning.

8. Corpora - the method of Corpus analysis is the most modern method of obtaining ling-c data.

Corpus is a large collection of computer-readable writings. A corpus enables the linguists to make objective statements about frequency of usage, and provides accessible data for the use of different researches.

Corpus Lin-cs is a study of l-ge that includes all processes related to processing usage and analysis of written or spoken machine-readable corpora.

Benefits of the corpus method:

  • The material collected in large computerized corpora represents authentic rather than invented l-ge

  • Computers can process enormous amounts of data

  • The method of retrieving the data is objective rather that intuitive, which implies that studies can be replicated by other researches using the same or different corpora.

  • Specific corpora selected from particular types of texts allow for comparisons of the use and frequency of certain features in different text-types provided that the corpora are large enough.

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