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Linguistics (Test #1)
Linguistics Intro. Syntax & Morphology & Morphemes Phonetics
Terms in this set (138)
The systematic, scientific study of the phenomenon of human language.
TRUE or FALSE: Linguistics is learning a language to communicate it?
FALSE! - This is not a goal that linguists have
A vehicle of thought, a system of expression tat mediates the transfer of thought
6 Steps that language is transferred from one human to another...
1. THINK what you want to say
2. PICK WORDS you want to use to express this (semantics)
3. Put words TOGETHER in a certain order (syntax) using correct form (morphology)
4. Figure out how to PRONOUNCE these words, then make them sounds (phonology)
5. SEND pronunciations to vocal anatomy (articulatory phonetics)
6. SPEAK: send sounds through the air! Perceive: listener hears sounds Decode: listener interprets sounds as language Connect: listener receives communicated idea
TRUE or FALSE: All languages are created equal?
Phonetically & Phonologically
What sounds and sound sequences can I pronounce?
How do I make a plural? A past tense verb?
What is the correct word order?
Prescriptive Grammar (Prescribed)
People come up with "rules" all speakers are "supposed" to follow, and people make you feel like you are saying things "wrong". (I ain't gonna do nothing = wrong)
Descriptive Grammar (Described)
Observing language, NOT passing judgement. Native speakers set the standard for what is "good grammar". "Bad grammar" would be something native speakers don't normally do. If it's "normal" to natives it's OK! (With whom shall I speak? = wrong)
Language is an "arbitrary" system used by human beings to communicate with one another - Finegan (grammar is a lot like fashion, reapropriate things)
TRUE or FALSE: Every language is equally systematic, complex, and meets communicative needs of its speakers?
TRUE or FALSE: We should judge others for the way they speak because it tells a lot about that person?
FALSE! - We are NOT here to judge
The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
"The language you have affects how you think."
6 Problems With The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
1. Inability to express certain thoughts through language
2. Accounting for differences in variations of sentences
3. The ability to utter "nonsensical" sentences
4. Humans that don't have language can still THINK
5. Circular reasoning, language affects thought or vice versa?
Conceptualize space in relation to the human body itself. (Our directions will change depending on which way we are facing)
TRUE or FALSE: Many languages are egocentric rather than geographic?
FALSE - Many languages are geographic
TRUE or FALSE: Language determines how you see the world?
FALSE! - It affects it, but to what extent.. we don't know
The way in which words are put together to form phrases and sentences. It's all about structure and rules.
Parts of Speech
Categories of words based on similar meanings, forms, and functions. "We use a code to translate between orders of words and combinations of thoughts" - Pinker
TRUE or FALSE: Parts of Speech can also be called, lexical categories, word classes, and syntactic categories?
Sometimes this can be a little fuzzy because you can use the same form of a word in multiple sentences and it may seem to have a different meaning
The MAJOR Classes
NOUNS, VERBS, ADJECTIVES, ADVERBS = These are OPEN classes
The MINOR Classes
PRONOUNS, DETERMINERS, PREPOSITIONS, AUXILIARIES, CONJUNCTIONS = These are CLOSED classes, and consist of FUNCTION words
Person, place, thing or idea. Can be modified to provide additional grammatical info, like tense, mood, number, gender, and you can only add [s] to them!
Doing/action words. They are found in phrases at the beginning of a predicate. (-ate, -ify, -ise/-ize, re-, un-, -ed)
The part of a clause that expresses WHAT the speaker wants to say about the subject. WHAT you want to say about the subject. "The pathetic team lost another game." = Lost
Words to describe a person, place, thing, or idea. (-able/-ible, -less, -ous)
Help give you more information about the VERB. They most often end in -ly
They take place of a NOUN PHRASE. (I, We, You, He, She, It, Me, Us, You, Him, Her, Them)
Provide additional information about the NOUN that they are attached to. Usually is the word "the". (can also be called articles, demonstratives, possessives)
Indicate direction or location of a NOUN PHRASE. (about, above, at, by, between, during, except, inside, of, off, on, onto, over, since, to, toward, under)
A finite set of elements and rules in a language system, speakers can create/understand an infinite number of novel utterances that others can understand
TRUE or FALSE: Syntax is a list of possible sentences, word salad, or a word-chain device?
FALSE! - It is NONE of those things
4 Main Concepts A Model of Syntax Must Have
1. Words belong to lexical categories (parts of speech)
2. Word order is IMPORTANT
3. Words form constituents, that is, groups of words that "go together" to function as a unit
4. Constituents nest inside one another at different levels to form a HIERARCHIAL STRUCTURE
TRUE or FALSE: All words belong to lexical categories?
TRUE or FALSE: Word order is very important?
TRUE! If affects grammatically and meaning, languages differ in word order. We are an SVO language (subject>ver>object)
A syntactic unit that functions as a part of a larger unit within a sentence
Ambiguity In Sentences
Sentences can have more than one meaning even though it's the same sentence
Phrase Structure Rules: NOUN PHRASES
These rules govern how constituents can and cannot be structured (what can go together with what, and in what order) in order to form grammatical sentences. They are inferred from observation of the data. Linguists analyze grammatical sentences in order to find which combinations and word orders are permissible and which are not.
Phrase Structure Rules: PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES
Prepositions occur with a following NP. (The NP node inside a PP can contain whatever a regular NP node can contain)
Phrase Structure Rules: VERB PHRASES
Verbs appear at the beginning of a predicate, and can stand alone in the verb phrase. VP's can often be replaced by "do/did"
WHAT you want to talk about
Why is syntax complex?
Because THOUGHT is complex!
TRUE or FALSE: Universal Grammar precisely accounts for the infinite possible sentences?
The study of WORD FORMATION! Putting morphemes together to form words
The smallest unit of language that can occur by itself. The "parts" inside each individual word. The lowest level a word may be broken down into and still have meaning.
TRUE or FALSE: Morphological rules can create new words?
TRUE or FALSE: Languages differ on lengths of words, and amount of morphemes in each word?
"Knowing" A Word
1. Syntactic info.
2. Morphological info.
3. Phonetic & Phonological info.
4. Semantic info.
Is kind of like a dictionary, that contains info. about pronunciation, meaning, related words, sentence use. Also forms links to other related words, which is why we get "tongue twisted"
TRUE or FALSE: The meaning of a word is 100% arbitrary?
TRUE! - There is NO relation between the word itself and the concept it represents
Non - Arbitrary Examples
Weather symbol, handicapped sign (because we mentally process these meanings)
Yin & Yang, Good & Bad, Man & Woman (they are open for lots of interpretation, not clear)
Buzz, meow, tinkle, splash, pop (they represent directly what they mean) But there are still variations between these words (bark = woof, arf, bow wow)
TRUE or FALSE: We have a bias for middle-level objects, because there are more detailed levels above and below that we don't automatically jump to?
TRUE! - Our brains don't work that quickly when it comes to language/words
How Many Words Do We Know?
Pinker - It's more interesting to ask how many "listemes" we know... which is an element of language that must me memorized because its sound/meaning doesn't conform to a general rule.
Man, woman, child, cat, dog, etc.
Be > am, is, was, were
Woman > women
Box > box score, box car, box office, box turtle
Break, A, Leg > Break a leg!
He, Kicked, The, Bucket > He kicked the bucket?!
How Many Words Do "Well-Read" Adults Know?
Many are words UNTO themselves (red, class, work). But they can consist of multiple words (kick the bucket, box turtle). Many words consist of multiple listemes (redness, classy, workaholic)
TRUE or FALSE: ALL morphemes are listemes?
TRUE - But you cannot predict listemes, they aren't predictable, you just have to memorize them
Adding an additional morpheme that conveys grammatical information
TRUE or FALSE: Morphemes are all about meaning?
TRUE! - Morphemes don't necessarily maintain a consistent spelling, and they don't always have consistent pronunciation either... but they DO have a consistent MEANING!
Morphemes that can stand alone as words by themselves
Morphemes that must be attached to some other morpheme
The CORE MORPHEME of a word which carries the major component of its meaning and around which a complex word can be built. (morphologically simple, not further analyzable into meaningful elements) (usually BELONGS to a lexical category) (is usually FREE but can be bound)
The things that are added onto roots. It's any BOUND morpheme added to a root in order to create a complex word. It can be a prefix, suffix, infix, or interweaving. (they DO NOT belong to any lexical category!)
A replacemtn of vowels with other vowels to then create different words (sing, sang, sung) (drink, drank, drunk)
Changes the FORM of a word SLIGHTLY to indicate some grammatical meaning, but does NOT change its part of speech or core meaning.
Can make a new word by changing the meaning and/or the part of speech (lexical category) of its base
The 8 Inflectional Affixes
They are ALL suffixes: -s, -'s/s', s, -ed, ed/-en, -ing, -er, -est
Inflectional Affixes Can Encode:
Number - how many of a noun?
Tense - when did the verb occur?
Gender - what is a noun's class?
Case - what's the grammatical function of the noun?
Derivational Affixes ctd.
Make new words by changing one or two features of its base: it's meaning and/or it's part of speech (lexical category)
Morphemes have a LINEAR order. Root goes first, then add the next thing that makes the root a real word, then add random prefixes/suffixes to entire thing. Just like syntax, there's also hierarchy!
The study of sounds of human language
Focuses on the human vocal apparatus and describes sounds in terms of their articulation in the vocal tract
Uses the tools oh physics to study the nature of sound waves produced in human language
TRUE or FALSE: Sounds are NOT the same things as spelling?
TRUE! TRUE! TRUE - Sentences can sound exactly the same even though they're spelled differently, and you can have the same spelling but a completely different sound of the word
George Bernard Shaw
Says that English lacks any real sound-letter correspondence (the way letters can be mixed up crazily would mean simple words could be spelled completely differently than they are)
Origins of Sound-Spelling Discrepancies
1. Written English has diverse origins, each with different spelling conventions
2. Pronunciation changes faster than spelling
3. English is spoken different everywhere (prescriptive rules are different)
4. Sounds change based on adjacent sounds (stress patterns)
5. Spoken forms vary across social situations (gonna vs going)
Why Should We Fix English?
Proponents say spelling reform would: make learning to read easier, save time/effort/money, keep English from being "corrupted", fix what has already been "corrupted". These attempts have NOT been successful!
TRUE or FALSE: Spelling reforms have been abundantly successful over the years?
FALSE! - people like dictionaries, and they never know what to do with vowels, so rules are hard to be written
1 Advantage to NOT having a one-to-one sound-spelling system?
Spelling independence HELPS communication when a language is pronounced differently around the world
"system o transcription" which represents each speech sound with a single symbol and each symbol with a single speech sound.
TRUE or FALSE: Is phonetic transcription a one-to-one correspondence between sounds and symbols?
TRUE! - What we say in English & the way we avtually write is a one-to-one correspondance
International Phonetic Alphabet
What is the most widely used phonetic alphabet?
Pulmonic Egressive Airstream Mechanism
A speech mechanism that forces air OUT
VOICE BOX in vocal tract
THROAT in vocal tract
MOUTH in vocal tract
Key part of the vocal tract
Airflow Passage (4 steps)
1. Air is forced from the lungs
2. Up through Trachea (windpipe)
3. Between vocal folds
4. Into oral or nasal cavity
Velum = DOWN...
Nasal Cavity = OPEN!
Produced by obstructing or significantly restricting the air that flows from the lungs
Are produced by (at most) a SLIGHT narrowing in the vocal tract, allowing the air to flow freely through the oral (or nasal) cavity
Enable us to DISTINGUISH one phone from another
Distinctive Features: Consonants
- voicing (vibration)
- place of articulation
- manner of articulation
Distinctive Features: Vowels
- tongue height
- tongue frontness
- tenseness m,n,l,r,j,w,r (flap)
- lip roundness
Vibration of the vocal cords. Air being pushed through the vocal cords when they're being held together = voiced. If the vocal cords are held slightly apart, air can flow through the space without causing a vibration = voiceless.
P T K F S
D B G V Z + M N L R J W R (flap) and ALL ENGLISH VOWELS
Bump right behind front teeth
Consonants: PLACE of Articulation
Where the airstream is MOST OBSTRUCTED
- Bilabial: two lips p,b,m
- Labiodental: lips and teeth f, v
- Inderdental: in between teeth "th"
- Alveolar: tongue contacts alveolar ridge t, d, z, n, r, l
- Alveopalatal: tongue makes contact between alveolar ridge and the top of the palate "church" "judge"
- Palatal: tongue touches palate j
- Velar: back of tongue contacts velum k,g
- Glottal: sound made with glottis h
True or False: J is the only sound that is palatal?
TRUE! J = PALATAL!
Consonants: MANNER of articulation
The WAY the airstream is obstructed.
- Stops, fricatives, affricates = obstruents: consonants that construct (obstruct) the airflow through oral cavity
- Liquids, rhotics, glides = approximants: consonants in which two articulators come close to (approximate) each other, but not enough to create friction
- Others (flaps, trills, clicks)
How to tell if something is nasal?
Can you say it with your nose pinched? THEN IT'S NOT NASAL
q, r, l, j
- laterals: vocal tract obstructed for a stop but air escapes alone lowered sides of tongue l
- central: made by curling the tongue tip back or by bunching it upward in back of mouth
Describing Sounds: Vowels
- Are produced with little obstruction of air
- Are sonorous (acoustically powerful)
- Are the nucleus of the syllable (each vowel makes a new syllable)
- Are usually voiced
- Are produced through a combination of tongue position (height & frontness), muscle tension, lip rounding
- Are subject to considerable dialectal variation
High i, u Mid e, o Low a (beet, bit, bait, bet, bat feel tongue going down mouth?)
Front i, e Central a Back o
Amount of muscle tension in the vocal tract
- tense vowels i, e, o, u
- lax vowels all others
- many occur in tense/lax pairs
Produced by rounding lips
- rounded vowels o, u
- unrounded vowels all others
Simple vowels composed of a single configuration of the vocal tract
Two-part vowels consisting of a transition from one to the other one in the same syllable
IPA Read and Written
Read IPA: the messed up words translate to English words
Write IPA: make regular words into IPA characters
True or False: Grammar has rules.
TRUE! Grammar is built on rules
Descriptive Rules are the ones we actually follow/use
The conbined effects of pitch, length, and/or loudness, teh result of which is a perceived prominence over neighboring unstressed segments (same word, different stress = can change its part of speech)
ex. rEcord vs recOrd, presEnt vs prEsent
* Used to convey emotion or emphasis in a sentence!
Phonetics vs. Phonology
Phonetics: the study of the PHYSICAL aspects of speech, what you actually do with your vocal tract, mouth, voice
Phonology: the study of the way in which sounds are used systematically in different languages/contexts. PHONOLOGY is MENTAL
Phonology deals with:
1. which phonetic distinctions signal differences in meaning
2. how sounds are stored in the mind
3. how sounds are organized into words
4. how sounds change through phonological rules
- Stops become aspirated at the beginning of the word (pot vs. top)
- The stop /t/ becomes a flap in between two vowels (retire vs. writer)
- Retract your tongue to the velum when an /l/ is at the end of a word
- Vowels are nasalized before a nasal consonant (air in nasal cavity rather than mouth)
Abstract, distinctive, psychologically real units of linguistic sound, contract with other sounds
Sounds pronounced at the surface (spoken) structure, whereas phonemes always are at the deep (mental) structure, allophones are the various physical realizations of the sounds we think we are pronouncing (allophones are in brackets)
Separate Phonemes make...
Minimal Pairs CHANGE THE CONSONANT to make a different word
Where in the word each sound might appear
Allows humans to transmit information to others not within hearing distance, both spatially and temporally. A representation of the language with the use of visual signs. The goal of writing is to make our utterances visible.
- Iconic: signs in a writing system (hieroglyph, sort of looks like what it's supposed to be)
- Symbolic: a series of lines that have nothing to do with actual words
Every writing system must represent language.
Is the English alphabet iconic or symbolic?
SYMBOLIC - there's no way to "predict" what each letter means
Representing meaning. Contains signs that represent individual MORPHEMES that are contrastive in a language. There are NO purely logographic scripts
Representing sounds. Contains signs that represent individual SOUNDS that are contrastive in a language.
The study of linguistic meaning. Deals with the systematic ways in which languages structure meaning.
1. Linguistic meaning
2. Social meaning
3. Affective meaning
1. Linguistic Meaning
(referential meaning) specific meaning. When you say something means something (that's Bill's house) Sense = general meaning "no referent"
2. Social Meaning
How we identify certain social characteristics of speakers and situations. Social status, ethnicity, education level, region, informal/formal situation?
3. Affective Meaning
Emotional connotation attached to words and utterances. Feelings, emotions, attitudes. Context = CRUCIAL!
The branch of semantics that deals with word meaning (examines the relationship among word meanings)
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