01_signs_and_sign_systems

01_signs_and_sign_systems - Linguistics 1 Basic concepts...

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1 Signs and sign systems Linguistics 1 2 Basic concepts • Sign • Communication • Language 3 Sign • Sign: an intersection of form and meaning s b Poison h b Victory S b Sagittarius B b ? 4 Communication Use of (the form of) signs to convey their meaning to others 5 Language In general : A system of signs Specifically : The customary system of signs that humans use in order to communicate with each other 6 Language versus speech • Speech is the ‘vocal medium’ typically employed to form the natural signs of human language • Language can be conveyed through other media as well: • Sign language • Written language
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2 7 2. Signs Sign: a pairing of form and meaning Three types of signs: • Icon • Index • Symbol 8 Icon • Icon: a sign whose form shares physical characteristics of its meaning 9 Index • Index: a sign whose form is naturally associated with its meaning (through a causal or functional relation) m ‘you have mail’ h ‘wait’ s ‘poison/danger’ 10 Symbol • Symbol: a sign whose form is arbitrarily associated with its meaning b 11 Linguistic signs • Words • Morphemes 12 Words • At first, words appear to be the basic signs of language: • Skull • Backbone • Toothless
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13 Morphemes • Some words can be divided into smaller meaningful units: – [skull] – [back] + [bone] – [tooth] + [-less] • These smallest meaningful units are called morphemes 14 Bound versus free morphemes • Free morphemes may be words on their own right – Skull – Back – Bone – Tooth 15 Bound versus free morphemes • Bound morphemes must combine with other morphemes to be part of a word: – *ly – friendly – *ness – friendliness – *un – unfriendly 16 Symbolic nature of morphemes • The basic signs of human language are symbols • Not icons • Not indices 17 Evidence for the symbolic nature of human language signs • Translation equivalents • Synonyms
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01_signs_and_sign_systems - Linguistics 1 Basic concepts...

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