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INTRODUCTION TO LINGUUISTICS. What is linguistics?. Some basic assumptions. There are more than 5,000 different languages in the world. Each normal human child will learn one (or more) of these languages by simply growing up in an environment where the language is spoken.

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Introduction to linguuistics

INTRODUCTION TO LINGUUISTICS

What is linguistics?


Some basic assumptions
Some basic assumptions

  • There are more than 5,000 different languages in the world.

  • Each normal human child will learn one (or more) of these languages by simply growing up in an environment where the language is spoken.

  • Most of these languages are spoken rather than written.

  • Even in highly literate cultures, most daily language behavior is spoken.

  • Spoken language is primary!


More basic assumptions
More basic assumptions

  • Language use is mostly unconscious.

  • Children do not learn spoken language through direct instruction and speakers know more about their language than they can consciously explain.

  • Speakers possess a mental dictionary called the LEXICON.

  • Speakers possess a mental system of “rules” for combining items from the LEXICON into meaningful mental sequences: words, phrases, clauses, sentences.

  • The actual language behavior system links internal systems of “thought,” ”emotion” and “social intent” with physical “production” and “reception” systems of speech and hearing, or gesture systems such as ASL.

  • Sounds and gestures are the objective physical signs of subjective meaning or intention.


How to do linguistics
How to do linguistics

  • Linguists examine and analyze language behavior, language structure, language use, language diversity and language change.

  • Linguists DESCRIBE what they observe and attempt to EXPLAIN their observations in linguistic, cognitive and social scientific terms.

  • Linguists DO NOT PRESCRIBE proper or improper uses of language.

  • Linguists follow a DESCRIPTIVE approach.

  • School grammar mostly follows a PRESCRIPTIVE approach


Non arbitrary iconic signs
Non-arbitrary (Iconic) signs

  • Signifier has a direct/causal relationship to signified. Examples:

    • Footprint = ‘a foot was here’

    • Smoke = ‘there’s a fire’

    • Fever = ‘your body has an infection’


Arbitrary signs
Arbitrary signs

  • Signifier has NO direct/causal relationship to signifier. Examples:

    [ dOg }]= ‘four-legged pet that barks’

    Bill hit Bob = ‘Bob is doer of action’

    RED/YELLOW/GREEN = ‘stop, slow, go’

    FLAG (object) = ??


Representational mixed signs
Representational (mixed) signs

  • Meow, bow-wow, cockle-doodle-do, buzz, slap,

  • Sounds of the World's Animals

  • That’s a tall drink of water!

  • That’s a taaaall drink of water!

  • There’s big and then there’s BIG


Mixed signs
Mixed Signs

  • Newar (Tibeto-Burman- Nepal)

    • khicaì ‘dog’

    • khicaìta ‘dogs’

    • khicaìkhaìcaì ‘bunch of dogs

    • macaì ‘child’

    • mastaì ‘children’

    • mastaìmistaì ‘bunch of children’


Representational mixed signs1
Representational (mixed) signs

  • Signifier has a part iconic/part arbitrary relationship to signifier.

  • I ate a Big Mac and I drank a milkshake.

  • I ate a Big Mac and I went home.

  • I ate a Big Mac and I got diarrhea.


Conceptual, Contextual, Interpersonal

(Semantics and Pragmatics)

Phonology/Phonetics

(System of sounds and pronunciation)

(Or Gesture system of ASL)


Conceptual, Contextual, Interpersonal

(Semantics and Pragmatics)

Lexicon (Mental Dictionary

Phonology/Phonetics

(System of sounds and pronunciation)

(Or Gesture system of ASL)


Conceptual, Contextual, Interpersonal

(Semantics and Pragmatics)

Syntax

(Grammar)

Morphology

(Word formation)

Lexicon (Mental Dictionary

Phonology/Phonetics

(System of sounds and pronunciation)

(Or Gesture system of ASL)


A simple model
A simple model

CONCEPTUAL (SEMANTIC)-EMOTIVE-INTERPERSONAL-CULTURAL

LEXICON

SYNTAX

MORPHOLOGY

PHONOLOGICAL SYSTEM

PHONETIC OR GESTURAL SYSTEMS


The mental black box
The mental “black box”

CONCEPT: (CHASE) TIGER, SELF

TIGER = DOER, PLURAL

SELF = VICTIM

TIME = PAST

‘TIGER’

[ [email protected] }]

‘CHASE’

[ tSes} ]

SPEAKER = SELF

[ mi ]

S = NP + VP

VP = V + NP

Noun + plural [-s]l

Verb + past [-ed]

[email protected] tSes-Ed mi

t§ai.grz tSest.mi


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