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1. PROPERTIES OF LANGUAGE Language is dynamic: change is a matter of fact and not a symptom of decay
Unfolding of historical events
Movement of people
Changing world Language responds to our needs. More precisely, we as users of language, add and delete as we must in order to talk and write about the events, concepts, and things that come and go in our lives. Stalker, 1987
2. Properties of Language 2. Language is an arbitrary system, with its words and other structures having no necessary connection with objects
Dog? Chien? Hund?
bow-wow or tan-tan?
26 symbols or over 3,000 characters?
3. Properties of Language 3. Language varies from place to place and among social groups, but all varieties of language communicate.
How do you ask for a soft drink?
What do you call your Grandparents?
Issues of prestige and status
African American English (AAE)
Registers who is talking to whom about what?
4. Properties of Language 4. Language serves a multitude of functions (Halliday, 1975 and Tough, 1977)
Regulatory ? Reveal or assert needs and wants
Personal ? Connect with self and others
Representational ? Create, comprehend, expand knowledge
5. Properties of Language 5. Language is orderly or patterned:
Phonology a system of sounds (phonemes)
Brip - jike
Stribe - tbluck
nguma - Pazer
When are we going to eat mother? (inflection)
6. Properties of Language 5. Language is orderly or patterned:
Morphology building blocks of words
(morphemes: smallest units of meaning)
turn -ed -s -ing re-
turned turns turning return
7. Properties of Language 5. Language is orderly or patterned:
Syntax words and morphemes are combined to generate phrases and sentences
horse man carried the
8. Properties of Language 5. Language is orderly or patterned:
Semantics subtle shades of meaning that we bring to language
Denotations and connotations:
old, elderly, aging
Importance of context
9. Properties of Language 5. Language is orderly or patterned:
Pragmatics: language in use
The social conventions of language (e.g. turn-taking, physical space)
Social registers rules of using language in different social situations
Linguistic competence vs. communicative competence
10. Properties of Language 5. Language is orderly or patterned:
Discourses conventions for connected oral or written language that is larger than a sentence in length
Narrative language vs. expository language
Conversational vs. literary language
Political discourse, etc.