The Tools Of Language English Language
Language is a tool that people seldom regard as crucial to the development of man and to the development of society as a whole. Language can be seen as a means by which humans exchange information and communicate with each other, hence differentiating themselves from animals. Languages stem from different regions of the world and represent different individuals; although simultaneously connects people in a unique, distinctive manner. Differences between any two languages can be attributed to the distinctions between word formation, sound systems and sentence structure, among others such as writing systems. Consequently, belonging to two well known, completely distinct familial languages, Arabic (from the Semitic languages family) and English (an Indo-European language) perfectly represent the way languages may differ in many regards.Starting off with word formation, diverse methods can be used to form new words whether following the basic rules of language in Arabic or English.
In the English language, adding prefixes or suffixes, compounding, blending, clipping, conversion and others are used to form novel words; with affixation being the most common. Models and patters are used in the Arabic language to create new words. Linking consonants and vowels for forming a triconsonantal root is the basis of word formation. The root can then be used as the base to which different affixes are attached, thus forming the derived word.
Vowels are added to the consonants alongside additional prefixes and suffixes to change the root form of the word. An example of this can be seen with the triconsonantal root S-H-F, to which inflections result in "sahafeh" (writer), "saheefeh"(newpaper), "sohof"(newspapers), "safha"(page), and "sahafiyoon" (writers). The basic meaning of the verb can be changed by modifying what is attached to the root of the word.
For example, the root R-K-D "rakada" (meaning "he ran") can be changed by altering what is attached to it while keeping the same root word; "rakadna" (meaning "we ran"). For nouns, it can be seen that the patterns for making plural words change the singular noun within the word for a plural one, rather than adding a letter as in the English language. However, such a regular pattern is not consistent from word to word. This internal inflectional change (rather than the final inflections characteristic of the English language) changes the sequence of the vowels to form a new word. For example, in English, the singular form for house is without an "s" and the plural form takes an "s" (houses).
However in Arabic, "a house" is "bayt" and "houses" is "buyut". An Arabic word that can be seen to follow a different pattern is the word "oven" which is "furn" while "ovens" is "afran"; hence the irregularity in forming plural nouns in Arabic.Gender differences also apply to the formation of words in Arabic, identifying an object by adding particular letters to it if it is a female or male. For example, all plural objects are described by the feminine singular.
Such gender differences do not apply in the English language.Another difference can be attributed to the fact that articles do not exist as separate words in Arabic, and need to be attached to the subject of the sentence. For example, in English (whereby the article precedes a noun that it identifies) the phrase "man's car" does not stand alone but is rather preceded by "the" making it "the man's car". In Arabic, this phrase would be expressed as "car man", having no separate article preceding the noun but rather attached to "man" (siyarat alrajol, where "al" implies "the" and "rajol" implies "man").Lastly, Arabic words include small-fonted letters (vowels) that are set above or below consonants in order to provide meaning to the words.
As such, these little marks may completely change the meaning of a word or may modify the gender of the word.With an understanding of how words are formed, the basis for forming sentences is then established. As is known to all Arabic speakers, sentence structure in Arabic consists of a word order by which a verb is followed by a subject which is then followed by an object, while most English sentences follow a subject-verb-object word order. Moreover, nouns always precede adjectives in Arabic sentences, unlike in English whereby adjectives come before the nouns in sentences.Phonologically speaking, a wide variety of sounds can be found in Arabic but not in English and vice versa.
In one respect, Arabic has throaty, deep sounds and consonants that are stressed on which are absent in English. Moreover, there are more vowel sounds present in the English language as compared to Arabic, such as "feet" or "sleep" that have no equivalents in the Arabic language. Consonants in the English language such as [p], [v], [g], [ng], and [Î¸] have no sounds in Arabic; mistakes in speech are seen among Arabic speakers that do not know any English where the "th" ([Î¸]) in "birthday" is pronounced [z] (birzday), or the [p] in people is pronounced [b] (beoble). On the other hand, many sounds in Arabic such as the "ayn" sound or the "G" or "q" sounds, or other letters that come in hard and soft types are absent in English. As such, "Iraq" (with a "q" further back in the throat) is pronounced "Irak" in English.
K-like, d-like, h-like, s-like, t-like, and th-like sounds in Arabic come in two versions, soft and hard, however no such distinction is present in English. The "harder" version of these sounds is deep and strong, coming from the back of the mouth, nearer the throat. In addition, as previously mentioned, the Arabic language involves the placement of symbols or letters above and below individual words.Furthermore, the presence of groups of consonant letters (without any vowels in between) put together in English, as in "strengths" imparts difficulty to Arabic speakers.
This is due to the fact that no more than two successive consonants can be found together in the Arabic language as compared to the English language.The addition of the particular stress-symbol (the shadda symbol) above a word is used to denote a sign of emphasis in speech, which thus changes the whole meaning of the word. Hence, this alternating, fluctuating sound system in Arabic greatly contrasts that of the easy going, monotonous sound system of the English language.Every familial language can be broken down into a distinct set of rules that are vital to the effectiveness of proper speech and communication. Without defined rules, the ability to engage in dialogue and properly communicate ideas would not be possible.
To native speakers, the set of rules that make up a language are innate and develop with the individual. To those trying to learn a new language, an understanding of proper sound systems, different word formation processes, and correct sentence structures, are all a must to gain proficiency in speech.Internal GrammarAccording to Winifred Bauer, a grammar book of a language "contains rules which mirror the rules speakers use when they speak that language." So the correct usage of language in communicating properly and effectively lies in understanding the grammar book of a language. What about a native's knowledge of words that can and cannot be said? In Some Languages Have No Grammar, Bauer states "Your own internal grammar tells you." Internal grammar can be defined as a system whereby the bylaws of a language are stocked in the brain of an individual that is a native speaker of the language.
This internal grammar is the innate, congenital, and natural knowledge of the speaker regarding grammatical "correctness". It is the intuitive knowledge of judging whether or not something can or cannot be said. Native speakers have a natural way of saying sentences and expressing their thoughts with ease, following the guidelines of speaking properly yet at the same time do not realize that all this is being done.
It is this untaught, instinctive aspect of internal grammar that differentiates natives from non-natives.
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