Review of the course
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Review of the course. Preparation for final. What is language?. Communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols. Linguistic Knowledge vs. Linguistic Performance (competence). There’s a distinction between

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Review of the course

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Review of the course

Preparation for final

What is language?

  • Communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols.

Linguistic Knowledge vs. Linguistic Performance (competence)

  • There’s a distinction between

    • What you know about “correct” and “incorrect” language

    • Your ability to always produce “correct” sentences.

Animal Languages(?)

A linguistic analysis

Design features of language

  • Design feature 1:

    Semanticity: In human language the elements of the message have specific and fixed relation to real-world situations.

    A message must be understood in the same way by different receivers.

Design features of language

  • Design feature 2:

    Displacement/freedom from stimulus: In human language it is possible to talk about events remote in time and place.

  • Design feature 3:

    Productivity: In human language, new messages can be produced from the elements of familiar messages; there is no fixed set of possible messages

Design features of language

  • Design feature 4:

    Dual articulation/duality of patterning: In human language, sounds can go together to make up words, words can go together to make up sentences. (In sign language, there is something similar.)

  • Design feature 5:

    Discreteness: Human language uses a small set of discrete contrastive elements.

Language and the brain

Insights from Neurolinguistics

Anatomy of the brain

  • What is a hemisphere, and what is modularity/localization?

  • Who are Paul Broca and Carl Wernicke, and what did they find out?

  • What is Aphasia?

  • What is the relationship between brain development and language development?

  • Who is Noam Chomsky, and what is his theory?

  • What is the critical age hypothesis?

  • Who is Genie and what does her case prove?

What is Aphasia?

  • Neurological term for disorders that follow brain lesions caused by, for example, strokes.

    • Only on left side

  • Broca’s Aphasia

    • labored speech, word-finding pauses, disturbed word order, difficulties with function word ‘to’, ‘if’

  • Wernicke’s Aphasia

    • fluently with good intonation & pronunciation but lexical errors: “Jargon aphasia”


The study of the structure of words

What are the building blocks in the formation of complex words?

  • Morphemes

    • The most elemental unit of a word

  • Morphology

    • Study of the internal structure; rules of word formation

Prefixes & Suffixes

  • Prefixes are added to the beginning

  • Suffixes are added to the end

  • One morphemeact

  • Two morphemesact + ive

  • Three morphemesact + ive+ate

  • Four morphemesde + act+ ive+ate

  • More than four:


Root morphemes vs. Affix morphemes

  • What’s a root morpheme?

Note: -roots tend to be free and


-affixes tend to be bound and



  • Identify the roots in the following words.

  • kingdom_________________________

  • interplanetary_________________________

  • dimensional_________________________

  • margins_________________________

Overview of all discussed distinctions





-bound roots


lexical (root)


-eight suffixes





ex: -ness


For each of the following bound morphemes, determine whether it is derivational or inflectional and give two words in which it appears:


-able: derivational bound morpheme

eat-able; cod(e)-able

  • –ish

  • _____________

  • __________________________

  • –en

  • _____________

  • __________________________

  • ab–

  • _____________

  • __________________________

  • –ed

Word creation in English (Neologism)

  • Affixing

    • Adding affixes

    • Reducing Affixes (Backformation)

    • A new word created by removing an affix from an already existing word, as vacuum clean from vacuum cleaner,

  • Functional shift

  • Coined words

  • Acronyms

  • Borrowing

  • Blending


An overview











The friendly person

asked a question

Diagramming a Sentence











The friendly person

asked a question

Linear vs. Hierarchical structure

  • Meaning

  • (1)A big sale of stereos(2) a sale of big stereos

    Big stereo saleBig stereo sale


The meaning of language

Lexical Relationships (cohesive links)

  • Synonyms

  • Antonyms

  • Homonyms (homophones)

  • Hyponymy

    • scarlet, vermilion, carmine, and crimson are all hyponyms of red (their hypernym), which is, in turn, a hyponym of color.


  • Give two semantic properties for each of the following words. Use correct notation. (10)

  • a) prostitute______________________________________

  • b) sailor______________________________________

  • c) mountain______________________________________

connotation and denotation

  • Denotation and ConnotationDenotation refers to the literal meaning of a word, the "dictionary definition."¨ For example, if you look up the word snake in a dictionary, you will discover that one of its denotative meanings is "any of numerous scaly, legless, sometimes venomous reptiles¡Khaving a long, tapering, cylindrical body and found in most tropical and temperate regions."

  • Connotation, on the other hand, refers to the associations that are connected to a certain word or the emotional suggestions related to that word. The connotative meanings of a word exist together with the denotative meanings. The connotations for the word snake could include evil or danger.

Phonetics: The Sounds of Language

Consonants and their phonetic description

  • How are phonemes produced?

  • Consonants are produced by obstructing the flow of air as it passes from the lungs through the vocal tract.

  • When we describe a consonant, one of the features we use is its place of articulation.

  • The other feature is the manner of articulation.

Place of articulation of English Consonants

Manner of Articulation

  • Voiced and voiceless sounds

    • When the vocal cords are apart when speaking, air flows freely through the glottis. Sounds produced in this way are voiceless.

    • If the vocal cords are together, the airstream forces its way through and causes them to vibrate

  • Try it out: put your hand to

    your throat and produce a [z]

    sound as in “buzz”. Now do the

    same with [s] as in “bus”.

Affricates,Liquids, and Glides

  • Affricates are produced by a stop which is followed immediately by gradual release of air. Stop + fricative = affricate

    • There are only two: [tʃ] and [dʒ]

  • Liquids

    • During the production of the sounds [l] and [r], there is no real obstruction of the airflow that causes friction. Hence, these sounds are not stops, fricatives or affricates. They are called liquids

  • Glides

    • Are not causing significant obstruction and are always followed by vowels.

    • [j] and [w]


  • Vowel Qualities

  • The placement of the body of the tongue:

    • Vertical: high – mid – low

    • Horizontal: front – central – back

  • The shape of the lips:

    • Rounded – Unrounded

  • The degree of the vocal tract contraction:

    • Tense – Lax


Write the phonetic symbol for the final sound







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