speechlectures1 - Speech Hearing Sciences Language Intro to...

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Speech & Hearing Sciences 2/12/09 7:08 PM Language – Intro to Biological Basis and Structure of Language The sarcastic mango floats weightlessly in the cheese. o First problems? Mangos can’t be sarcastic, they don’t have behavior attributes that we can assign them. o Floats weightlessly? Can’t float weightlessly in cheese. o These are all words we’re familiar with, but they’re put together in a way that they don’t make sense to us. Where does language come from? o Near the Black Sea How do we study the origins of language? o Proto-indo-European has two branches, the centum languages and the salem languages. (*) What does the evolution of language tell us about how we communicate? o Linguists study the origins and evolution of language by mapping similarities and differences in language structure. They look for patterns. Origins of Language In order to map languages, very specific rules must be followed in the mapping process. These are the same rules (mostly) that we use today to define language. Language definition : a type of communication that uses socially shared code systems for representing concepts (ideas and information) through arbitrary symbols which are rule governed. What rules govern language? The three major ingredients of language: form, meaning, use o Form: phonology, morphology, syntax (the perceivable aspects of language) o Meaning: Semantics o Use: Pragmatics
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o Grammar encompasses form and meaning, it’s rules that determine the structure of sentence in a spoken language. Just because grammar uses both form and meaning doesn’t mean that form and meaning are the same things in language. 2 types of grammar (therefore, two types of linguistics) o Descriptive grammar is an explicit description of a speaker’s linguistic knowledge. How well do they know the language they’re trying to speak? Also, what people do with language, how it works. (We come up with new words all the time) o Prescriptive grammar is a grammar that defines/asserts what a speaker’s grammar should be. (There are rules that have to be followed.) What people shouldn’t do with language…according to some “authority.” o Two main distinctions: how grammar DOES work, how grammar SHOULD work. o Don’t use double negation: “We don’t need no education.” Rules of Language Syntax o The way in which words are ordered or combined to form acceptable phrases and sentences. o The study of sentence structure o “The plants are green.” Vs. “Plants green are the.” o Examples of English structure: Subject – Verb – Object. o Syntax may be okay, but the sentence may not make sense. Ex: “The horse jumped over the fence. “The strength jumped over the fence.” It follows the rules of how to make a sentence, but in this context, it doesn’t make any sense.
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