I have just starting reading George Yule’s ‘The Study of Language.’ The last time I read it was over ten years ago when I was first applying for university and I had added it to my personal statement. How things have changed since then. However, I realised I still have my passion for academia and the field of linguistics. In addition to this reading through the chapters I could draw upon knowledge and experiences and question what the author had written as opposed to the somewhat naive stance I had as a seventeen year old.
The first chapter was about the origins of language and Yule looks at the theories associated with this. I could not help but relate to language and the physiological developments in the Quran and the Sunnah. He briefly discusses that historically it was suggested that language came from god and even pharaohs and kings of the past conducted their own experiments discover the language of the God. Obviously with scientific discoveries of the biological developments of the humans this was maybe placed aside. I believe they coincide. Allah states in Surah Rum that He has ‘created us in tribes and nations and given us languages so we may get to know one another.’ Later in Surah Rahman Allah states that he has ‘taught us Speech.’ These are a few of the ayahs (verses) that came to mind. There are many references on the Quran that I think illustrate the origins of language.
Moreover, when Muslims are taught to recite the Quran they are taught pronounce each letter with Tajweed. Here is another link I have made. I actually made this connection when I first began studying Tajweed in 2009. In Tajweed we are taught in detail the articulation of the Arabic alphabet and the physiological derivations. I think because I vaguely drew upon phonology I made the connection to the learning of the English Language. In phonetics you take the sounds of the alphabet and break them down to the individual morphemes. This assisted me greatly in Tajweed as I could look at the Arabic letters on their own.
I guess I think through reading and momentary reflection I was again taken back to Allah through links.