1.21.What are synchronic and diachronic studies？
The description of a language at some point of time（as if it stopped developing）is a synchrony study synchrony. The description of a language as it changes through time is a diachronic study （diachronic）.An essay entitled“On the Use of THE”，for example，may be synchronic，if the author does not recall the past of THE，and it may also be diachronic if he claims to cover a large range or period of time wherein THE has undergone tremendous alteration（see Hu Zhuanglin et al.，pp25-27）。
1.22.What is speech and what is writing？
（1）No one needs the repetition of the general principle of linguistic analysis，namely，the primacy of speech over writing.Speech is primary，because it existed long long before writing systems came into being.Genetically children learn to speak before learning to write.Secondly，written forms just represent in this way or that the speech sounds: individual sounds，as in English and French as in Japanese.
（2）In contrast to speech,spoken form of language,writing as written codes,gives language new scope and use that speech does not have.Firstly,messages can be carried through space so that people can write to each other. Secondly, messages can be carried through time thereby，so that people of our time can be carried through time thereby，so that people of our time can read Beowulf，Samuel Johnson，and Edgar A.Poe.Thirdly，oral messages are readily subject to distortion，either intentional or unintentional （causing misunderstanding or malentendu），while written messages allow and encourage repeated unalterable reading.
（3）Most modern linguistic analysis is focused on speech，different from grammarians of the last century and theretofore.
1.23.What are the differences between the descriptive and the prescriptive approaches？
A linguistic study is“descriptive”if it only describes and analyses the facts of language，and“prescriptive”if it tries to lay down rules for“correct”language behavior.Linguistic studies before this century were largely prescriptive because many early grammars were largely prescriptive because many early grammars were based on“high”（literary or religious）written records.Modern linguistics is mostly descriptive，however.the latter believes that whatever occurs in natural speech（hesitation，incomplete utterance，misunderstanding，etc.）should be described in the analysis，and not be marked as incorrect，abnormal，corrupt，or lousy.These，with changes in vocabulary and structures，need to be explained also.
1.24.What is the difference between langue and parole？
F.de Saussure refers“langue”to the abstract linguistic system shared by all the members of a speech community and refers“parole”to the actual or actualized language，or the realization of langue.Langue is abstract，parole specific to the speaking situation；langue not actually spoken by an individual，parole always a naturally occurring event；langue relatively stable and systematic，parole is a mass of confused facts，thus not suitable for systematic investigation.What a linguist ought to do,according to Saussure,is to abstract langue from instances of parole，i.e.to discover the regularities governing all instances of parole and make than the subject of linguistics.The langue-parole distinction is of great importance，which casts great influence on later linguists.
1.25.What is the difference between competence and performance？
（1）According to N.Chomsky,“competence”is the ideal language user's knowledge of the rules of his language，and“performance”is the actual realization of this knowledge in utterances.The former enables a speaker to produce and understand an indefinite number of sentences and to recognize grammatical mistakes and ambiguities. A speaker's competence is stable while his performance is often influenced by psychological and social factors . So a speaker's performance does not always match or equal his supposed competence.
（2）Chomsky believes that linguists ought to study competence，rather than performance.In other words，they should discover what an ideal speaker knows of his native language.
（3）Chomsky's competence-performance distinction is not exactly the same as，though similar to,F.de Saussure's langue-parole distinction.Langue is a social product,and a set of conventions for a community,while competence is deemed as a property of the mind of each individual.Sussure looks at language more from a sociological or sociolinguistic point of view than N.Chomsky since the latter deals with his issues psychologically or psycholinguistically.
1.26.What is linguistic potential？What is actual linguistic behaviour？
These two terms,or the potential-behavior distinction，were made by M.A.K.Halliday in the 1960s，from a functional point of view.There is a wide range of things a speaker can do in his culture，and similarly there are many things he can say，for example，to many people，on many topics.What he actually says （i.e.his“actual linguistic behavior”）on a certain occasion to a certain person is what he has chosen from many possible injustice items，each of which he could have said （linguistic potential）。
1.27.In what way do language，competence and linguistic potential agree？In what way do they differ？And their counterparts？
Langue，competence and linguistic potential have some similar features,but they are innately different（see 1.25）Langue is a social product,and a set of speaking conventions;competence is a property or attribute of each ideal speaker's mind；linguistic potential is all the linguistic corpus or repertoire available from which the speaker chooses items for the actual utterance situation.In other words，langue is invisible but reliable abstract system.Competence means“knowing”, and linguistic potential a set of possibilities for“doing”or“performing actions”.They are similar in that they all refer to the constant underlying the utterances that constitute what Saussure，Chomsky and Halliday respectively called parole，performance and actual linguistic behavior.Paole，performance and actual linguistic behavior enjoy more similarities than differences.
1.28.What is phonetics？
“Phonetics”is the science which studies the characteristics of human sound-making，especially those sounds used in speech,and provides methods for their description，classification and transcription（see Hu Zhuanglin et al，pp39-40）, speech sounds may be studied in different ways，thus by three different branches of phonetics.（1）Articulatory phonetics；the branch of phonetics that examines the way in which a speech sound is produced to discover which vocal organs are involved and how they coordinate in the process.（2）Auditory phonetics，the branch of phonetic research from the hearer's point of view，looking into the impression which a speech sound makes on the hearer as mediated by the ear,the auditory nerve and the brain.（3）Acoustic phonetics：the study of the physical properties of speech sounds, as transmitted between mouth and ear.
Most phoneticians，however，are interested in articulatory phonetics.
1.29.How are the vocal organs formed？
The vocal organs （see Figure1，Hu Zhuanglin et al.，p41），or speech organs，are organs of the human body whose secondary use is in the production of speech sounds.The vocal organs can be considered as consisting of three parts；the initiator of the air-stream，the producer of voice and the resonating cavities.
1.30.What is place of articulation？
It refers to the place in the mouth where,for example,the obstruction occurs,resulting in the utterance of a consonant. Whatever sound is pronounced，at least some vocal organs will get involved，e.g.lips，hard palate etc.，so a consonant may be one of the following（1）bilabial：[p,b,m]（2）labiodental：[f,v]（3）dental：[,]（4）alveolar:[t,d,l,n.s,z]（5）retroflex（6）palato-alveolar：[,]（7）palatal：[j]（8）velar[k,g,]（9）uvular（10）glottal：[h].
Some sounds involve the simultaneous use of two places of articulation.For example，the English [w]has both an approximation of the two lips and that two lips and that of the tongue and the soft palate，and may be termed“labial-velar”。