Most people are so familiar with language they don't even realize how it functions. Linguists are responsible for understanding how language works through study and research. Linguists study the reasons for why people use language. Linguistic study generates knowledge that helps society solve various problems.
People use language for more than communicating information. For example, people sometimes yell at other motorists when they have road rage, even if they have their windows rolled up and other motorists can't hear them. The yelling allows them to release tension. Language also helps people understand ideas, since they often use language to think about new concepts and brainstorm new ideas.
Linguistics can play an important role in the understanding of culture, since differences in language influence culture and culture influences the evolution of language. For example, the invention of Instant Messenger and text messaging has led to an increase in the use of abbreviations in speech. Linguistics can help the field of psychology by providing insight into how language influences cognitive processes, since people use language when thinking.
Linguistics plays a role in the development of software that uses human language, including speech recognition software, search engines, translators and grammar checkers. Language also plays a role in the development of artificial intelligence, since artificially intelligent programs will need to communicate with people.
Schools and Law
Since language and communication are integrally linked and since schools want their students to have language and verbal skills, test makers draw on linguistic knowledge to create effective tests that assess language skills. Law uses linguistics for cases that involve language concerns, such as voice recognition and the creation of legal texts.
People use linguistics to create dictionaries. Linguists study the evolution of language and use this knowledge to create more accurate dictionaries that reflect the current vocabulary of society. Linguists can develop new languages, such as the language Esperanto, which is a combination of many of the most common words used in the European languages. Linguistics also developed the American Sign Language.
Naming and Branding
Companies engage in research into the associations that people have with sounds and words when they name products and other things associated with their company. Linguistic knowledge allows them to create names that can convey a specific attitude or create an emotional effect.
Actors receive training from specialists trained in linguistics, so they can learn to pronounce words in a specific language or dialect accurately. In some instances, actors need training to make common mistakes made by non-native speakers.
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