Creeping Over the Pond (iluq) wrote in linguaphiles,
Creeping Over the Pond

Having trouble with linguistics

This is my final semester of school and I have been wanting to take a linguistics class for a long time, so I decided to take Intro to Linguistics this semester. It is completely different from what I expected. I had looked up the basics, morphology, phonology, semantics, etc. before the class so I thought I knew what to expect, but I obviously didn't. I am very into languages and literary analysis and linguistics is more similar to what I learned in physics than in any liberal arts classes I've taken. I have become bad at studying for tests because in my major we only write papers and never have midterms or final exams, and I am not "getting" it. At the introductory level it seems to be all memorization with no room for applying original analysis.

Does anyone have any tips on how to approach this? This course is carrying the most weight out of all my classes this semester, and I am considering going to grad school for philology, so I feel it would be helpful to actually have a good grip on the concepts. But I find that even though I understand all the principles, when it comes to doing problem sets I am clueless. I especially never have any idea how to approach complementary distribution, for some reason. I can never figure out the environments each allophone appears in. Is there any general approach that would be helpful for me to rectify these problems or do I just have to accept that my brain does not work this way? I'm kind of disappointed because so many people have told me that linguistics would be an ideal field of study for me, and now I find myself unable to engage with it.

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