Some Tough Questions Associated with Linguistics

By Rose-Marie Dechaine, Strang Burton, Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson

Part of Linguistics For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The problems posed by linguistics can make you notice really cool things about language. You’ve probably asked yourself these questions without even realizing that they’re linguistic questions.

  • Why is learning a second language so difficult?

  • Why do French and English have so many words in common?

  • Why do dialects exist?

  • Why can’t all the sentences of a language be listed?

  • Why doesn’t everyone speak the same language?

  • Why is it possible to translate from one language to another?

  • Why do some conversations get off-track?

  • Why is it harder to understand someone when you talk on the phone?

  • Why isn’t sign language just a matter of making pictures with your hands?

  • Why are some speech sounds more difficult to produce and perceive than others?