Relationship Between Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

Applied linguistics is concerned with the practical applications of knowledge, insights, models and theories derived from language sciences to solve linguistic problems in the real world. In contrast, linguistics is the scientific study of the structure and development of language. It deals with language forms and meaning and how it can be used in a given context to convey meaning. The relationship between linguistics and applied linguistics is profound, as applied linguistics has historically been an offshoot of linguistics. Applied linguistics uses the knowledge obtained from linguistics and other disciplines to solve language-related issues in our daily lives. Thus, it uses linguistic knowledge to determine the best teaching methodologies or language policies.

Many areas fall under applied linguistics research, such as multilingualism, discourse analysis, language pedagogy and acquisition, and language planning. Previously, applied linguistics was seen as a branch that uses linguistics insights in its operations. The relationship was seen as one of hierarchy. However, applied linguistics has undergone a paradigm shift over decades, and applied linguists now see it as an independent and autonomous discipline. It is no longer viewed as a subordinate discipline to linguistics but as a separate subject that relates to linguistics, psychology, sociology and other fields for solving language-related enormous problems in the physical world.

Paradigm Shift: From Linguistics To Applied Linguistics

Due to the paradigm shift, the scope of applied linguistics has expanded. It is now viewed by applied linguists such as McCarthy not just as using linguistics insights and knowledge to find a solution to real-world problems but as an autonomous and independent subject. It is no longer viewed as an offshoot of linguistics.It is said with the greatest authority that applied linguistics has become a subject in its own right which relates to linguistic like sociology and psychology in a collaborative manner and not in a dependent way. Applied linguistics is no longer linguistic applied. The latter view holds that language-related problems can be solved by the direct and unilateral application of linguistic theories. However, applied linguistics is a far more complex subject.

AL requires intervention as a matter of mediation; it has to relate and reconcile different representations of reality, including linguistics, without excluding others. However, there are wide-ranging disagreements about the exact nature of applied linguistics. For example, Corder (1973) thinks applied linguists are mere users of existing linguistic theories. On the other hand, Rampton (1997) views applied linguistics as a field of interdisciplinary synthesis. There also appears to be no agreement over whether applied linguistics is an independent academic discipline as viewed by Kaplan and or not as viewed by Stegu.Applied linguistics belongs to the old paradigm and is a dependent discipline signed theoretical linguistics, and its primary task is applying linguistic principles to solve language problems. It has limited scope and only works in the field of teaching foreign languages.It maintains a hierarchical relationship with linguistics and considers itself totally dependent on theoretical linguistics.

 Applied linguistics, on the other hand, belongs to the new paradigm.It is an autonomous, problem-oriented discipline that has a collaborative relationship with linguistics. It consults not just linguistics but also other disciplines while trying to solve language-related problems. This paradigm shift is a liberating move for applied linguistics as it has changed the relationship between linguistic and applied linguistics from affiliation to a partnership. It has also enhanced the scope of AL, from being a subject with limited coverage in foreign language teaching to an all-encompassing problem-driven discipline.

The Relationship Between The Linguistics And Applied Linguistics Is Close

Applied linguistics aims to find practical solutions to language-related problems by using knowledge derived from language sciences, including linguistics. Applied linguistics is a problem-driven discipline because it mainly concerns itself with practical problems emanating from language-related causes.Over the past two decades, the scope of applied linguistics has expanded so much that it now encompasses all kinds of real-world linguistic problems. This all-encompassing scope of applied linguistics has also created a problem for the discipline as it gives applied linguistics the ability to concern itself with every problem related to language. However, it is also often accused of “lack of focus”. Since it concerns itself with everything, it concerns itself with nothing.

 In linguistics, the influence exerted by a particular school of thought or theory is more significant than in applied linguistics because applied linguists associate themselves with no school of thought. Suppose the relationship between linguistics and applied linguistics has to be a healthy one and that of partnership. In that case, linguistics and applied linguistics have to be accountable and should be in regular dialogue regarding theory and practice. Otherwise, the relationship will become that of a hierarchal top-down imposition by theorists on practitioners. Therefore, it is necessary that applied linguistics not just check the applicability of linguistic knowledge and theories but also challenge them where it is flawed.Mutual accountability is essential to building a constructive partnership.

How To Form A Healthy Partnership Between Linguistics And Applied Linguistics

As mentioned earlier, to have a healthy partnership, linguists and applied linguists’ accountability to each other is necessary. They should also involve themselves in dialogue and constructively challenge themselves. They should not oppose each other for the sack of opposition. Linguists are required to make models and formulate theories that can be tested and are not refuted quickly once challenged. Similarly, applied linguists should also not incorrectly represent linguistic theories and models for purposes they have not been conceived. Both should be critical of works in the community and across the community.

Similarly, applied linguists should form a bridge and mediate between theoreticians and practitioners. They should involve themselves in healthy debates, criticism and review of works. Finally, linguists and applied linguists should engage as partners and on equal footing.