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Let’s Talk…Linguistics!

Have you ever wondered why some people say “y’all” instead of “you guys?” Or “pop” instead of “soda.?”

Well Linguistics 200 at MC explains that and much more!

Linguistics is the scientific study of language including phonetics (inventory of sounds in a language), syntax (rules of sentence formation in language) and so much more!

I have to admit I was so nervous when I first entered this class and had no idea what to expect, but we are halfway through the semester and I am loving it. I’ve never given much thought to the way we speak , but what I’m learning is that the human brain is quite an amazing things.

In this class, you learn how children acquire language, how bilingualism works in one’s brain, and most importantly how language is innate. You’ll learn the International Phonetic Alphabet and be able to transcribe and translate words!

The one struggle I’m having with linguistics is you have to forget everything you think about language. Linguists don’t care about “proper” grammar (or prescriptive grammar), they care about our descriptive grammar (the way we actually DO talk, not the way we think we should).

So all those times you’d ask to use the restroom at school and your teacher would say “I don’t know can you?” Doesn’t matter in linguistics. You also have to retrain your brain to not “see” letters but to hear the sounds they make.

Now you may be asking, “why does linguistics matter?” Well for one, those little things we all use called Siri and Alexa wouldn’t be here without Linguists. There are also many branches of linguistics—like neurolinguistics—that help us to understand brain function and the way trauma impacts the brain.

I was dreading taking this class, but I am so glad I did. If you are interested in language, how the human brain works or just interested in cool classes, take Linguistics 200!

Cassidy Colbert

I am a 19-year-old lifelong resident of Damascus, Maryland. I am in my 3rd semester as a part-time student at MC. I plan on getting my Associates Degree in the next couple of years and then transferring to the University of Maryland at the Universities at Shady Grove (health permitting).

MC has been my academic home for the past year and I could not be happier. I started off my collegiate experience at Salisbury University in the fall of 2015, but due to my Chronic Lyme Disease, I was forced to drop out. I thought my academic life was over, as I was too ill to handle a full course-load, but that is when I discovered the part-time option at MC. MC gave the choice to take as many, or as few classes as I wanted, and because of this, I am now back on track to getting my degree. MC also offered me disability support services to further assist me in accomplishing my dreams.

I hope that this blog can help other students like me to see that even though they may not be taking the “traditional” route towards higher education, MC offers load of opportunities that will get us where we want to go. Whether you aren’t sure where you want to end up in life, or have another obstacle, like a chronic illness or disability, you can still reach for the stars and accomplish anything they want to here at MC. 

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