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Knowledge of Language. Prof. Elhaloui. Bach. How would English speakers pronounce this word?. Question One.

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Knowledge of Language

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Knowledge of language

Knowledge of Language

Prof. Elhaloui


Knowledge of language

Bach

How would English speakers

pronounce this word?


Question one

Question One

Most English speakers would pronounce the German word ”Bach” with a final k. French people speaking English often pronounce words like”this” and ”that” as if they were spelled ”zis” and ”zas”. What does these facts reveal about linguistic kowledge?


Knowledge of language

One of the following answers is correct:

  • That it is not easy to learn a second language.

  • That people are in need of linguistics.

  • That the pronunciation of some people is bad and linguists should repair it.

  • That people have an unconscious knowledge of their languages’ sound systems.


Who is he

Nkrumah

Who is he?

Kwame Nkrumah (1909 -1972) is one of the most influential Pan-Africanists of the 20th century and was the leader of Ghana.


Question two

Question Two

Most Americans would mispronouce ”Nkrumah”, the name of a former president of Ghana.

Why?

  • Because they don’t know him.

  • Because Americans are ignorant people.

  • Because Americans have a tendency to err in pronouncing foreign words.

  • Because no word in English begins with ng.


Knowledge of language

  • When you know English, you know the sounds of English and the positions where they can occur.

  • In English, the sound ng can occur at the end of words (thing, sing) and at the middle of words (finger, linger), but it can NEVER occur at the beginning of a word:

  • The word Nkrumah (with a word-initial ng) is IMPOSSIBLE in English.

  • Try to find Moroccan Arabic words where you can

  • find the sound ﺀ

  • (like in ﺀahlan)

  • At the beginning of a word

  • At the middle of a word

  • At the end of a word


Summary

Summary

When you know the sound system of a language, you know: the sounds of this language and the ways in which these sounds are combined.

When you know a language, you know the sounds of this language and the ways in which these sounds are combined.


Knowledge of language

  • Another part of what we know when we know a languge is vocabulary.

  • If you know English, then you know the words of English:

  • their pronuncitation

  • their meanings

  • and the way they are formed.


Knowledge of language

  • Notice also that un- CANNOT be added to

  • categories

  • like nouns:

  • *unbook

  • *uncomputer

  • *undesck

  • *unman

In English you can form words by adding a

suffix to a stem. We can add the prefix un-

to some ajectives to get their opposites:

Notice that the resulting word in each case is ITSELF an adjective

  • un + happy ----- unhappy

  • un + fortunate ----- unfortunate

  • un + lucky ------ unlucky

  • un + married ------ married


Knowledge of language

The rule that English speakers seem to have in their minds is:

Un + adjective --------- adjective

  • This is just one of many rules that English

  • speakers know about how words are formed in English.

  • This rule tells you one of the ways in which

  • words are formed in English.


Knowledge of language

Summary

When you know a language you know the

words of that language (their pronunciation)

And their meanings and the ways we can form words in that language.

When you know a language you know the

words of that language (their pronunciation

and their meanings) and the ways we can form words in that language.


Knowledge of language

Languages differ with respect of how words are ordered.

1) Hasan økyz-yaldi

Hasan oxbought

2) The athlete brokethe record

3) Lladdodd yddraig y dyn

killed the dragon the man

3) Nahita ny mpianatrany vehivavy

saw the student the woman

SOV

SVO

VSO

VOS


Knowledge of language

Summary

When you know a language, you know how words are combined in this language.


Let us summarize what we have said about knowing a language

Let us summarize what we have said about knowing a language:

Knowing a language means:

  • You know the sounds of that language and the positions they can occur in

  • You know the words of that language and the ways you can form words in that language

  • You know how bring words together to make sentences.

Knowing a language means:

  • knowing the sounds of that language and the positions they may occur in

  • knowing the words of that language and the ways you can form words in that language

  • knowing how to bring words together to make sentences.


Knowledge of language

Competence and Performance

  • If you have this knowledge of a language, then you have a linguistic competence.

  • Competence is that underlying knowledge of language we have.

  • Our activation of this competence is called performance.

  • For different reasons we may fail to perform well even if our competence is perfect.

  • If you have this knowledge of a language, then you have a linguistic competence.

  • Competence is that underlying knowledge of language we have.

  • Our activation of this competence is called performance.

  • For different reasons we may fail to perform well even if our competence is perfect.


Knowledge of language

One’s performance depends on whether one is sober or not!

One’s performance depends on whether one is awake or not!

One’s linguistic performance may fail to function well for various reasons. Still the linguistic competence is perfect.

One’s performance depends on whether one is relaxed or not!


Sound meaning relationship

Sound-meaning relationship

Pomme

tffaHa

apfel

mela

manzana


The arbitrariness of the relationship between sound and meaning

The arbitrariness of the relationship between sound and meaning

There is no necessary relationship between things and the sounds we use to represent those things.


Sound meaning relationship1

Sound-meaning relationship

arbitrary

Pomme

tffaHa

apfel

mela

manzana


Knowledge of language

Ron?

Pterodactyl?


Question four

Question Four

What’s the ”morale” of the cartoon?

  • Humans are able to discover the names of things just by looking at those things.

  • Primitive man’ s language had less names.

  • Sound suggests meaning.

  • There is no ”best” way of saying something: the relationship between sound and meaning is arbitrary


Question five

Question Five

  • The concept of ”house”can be expressed by the following words: tigmmi, daar, maison, casa ... Link each word with the relevant language.

  • What’s the best way of saying ”house” among the ways mentioned above?

  • What does the existence of different words for the same concept tell you about the sound-meaning relationship?


Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia

  • «Onomatopoeia» came from from the Greek word meaning "name-making."

  • Onomatopoeic words are those words whose sounds suggest their meanings.


Knowledge of language

I could hear the washing machine whirring in the kitchen.

The bee buzzed from flower to flower.

Suddely, the cymbals crashed and the spotlights picked out a strangely dressed performer.

A squeaky floor

Cannons boom.

A hissing snake

What is “hush” and “mumble”?


The challenge

The Challenge

  • The existence of onomatopoeic words has been considered as a real challenge to the claim that the sound-meaning relationship is arbitrary.

  • This challange can be easily dispensed with if we consider the following two facts:

  • The number of onomatopoeic words is very limited in natural languages

  • Onomatopeia is basically about imitating extra-linguistic sounds. But natural languages imitate the extra-linguistic sounds through their own sound systems.

  • The existence of onomatopoeic words has been considered as a real challenge to the claim that the sound-meaning relationship is arbitrary.

  • This challenge can be easily dispensed with if we consider the following two facts:


Example

Example

  • Consider the following onomatopoeic words in MA:

  • Sərfəq, bərbəq, TərTəq, sərməq (3Tah sərmlləq!)

All of these verbs imply ”explosive sounds

resulting from a violent act”

So we can say these words are

onomatopeoic

All of these sounds contain the sounds r and q

which seem to imitate natural explosions


Knowledge of language

But

  • The number of words like Sərfəq, bərbəq, TərTəq, sərməq is so small in Moroccan Arabic.


Knowledge of language

Plus!

  • There are many words that have the same sort of connotations but which do not contain sounds like r and q: ttfərgə3, xbəT, gəddəm, ...

  • There are words which contain r and q without having anything to do with ”violent explosion” connotation: bərrəq, fərrəq, srəq

  • The sounds r and q are a part of the sound inventory of Moroccan Arabic.


Knowledge of language

So ...

Basically, the relationship between sound and meaning is arbitrary.


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