INTRODUCTION Concepts 1) Speech has primacy Speech has primacy Humans have an innate ability to articulate speech sounds Writing is a learnt behaviour 2) The linguistic sign An idea and the ‘acoustic concept’ of that idea as a linguistic sign Signifier and signified 3) Arbitrariness No link between the signifier and the signified Relationship is arbitrary Example the signifier ‘pet’ means domestic animal in English the signifier ‘pet’ means fart in Catalan the combinations of letters used to represent those sounds differ across languages 4) Convention The link between the signifier and the signified is determined by convention It is a link that is agreed upon by members of a speech community 5) Creativity We have a finite number of words to use to describe the world around us combining existing words to create new ones: up + load = upload We change the function of existing words: text as a noun text as a verb Approaches to language 1) There is only one correct way to use language. Anything that veers away from the ‘correct’ and standard rules of that language is just wrong. 2) There are many ways to use language. Differences in language use reflect differences in speakers’ identities, as well as differences in the contexts and places where language is used. Prescriptivism vs descriptivism (Language use and structure) Prescriptivism A statement about the ‘correctness’ of language use Authoritarian: the ‘standard language’ is favoured over all others and should be imposed on the community Descriptivism Does not judge the inherent correctness of a language Looks for patterns of use Systematic in its investigation and description Descriptivism No correct version of English or other languages Describes languages and the varieties that occur within those languages Linguists are non-judgmental about language and its use Linguists still recognise the primacy of the ‘dominant culture’ when it comes to formal contexts They recognise that language usage changes and always has, and that there may be social and/or regional varieties “pure” form of any language does not exist no living language is fixed in space and time PHONETICS IPA symbolises the sounds of all languages inspired by foreign language teaching one to one correspondence between phonetic symbols and speech sounds phonetics vs phonology phonetics the study of the physical characteristics of speech in particular: production and perception phonology the study of sound patterns and systems in language: how sounds are represented in the mind
Field of phonetics Applications of phonetics Phonetics in numbers Articulatory Phonetics how sounds are produced acoustic phonetics physical properties of sounds auditory phonetics how sounds are perceived Forensic Phonetics the use of phonetics for legal purposes speech recognition the analysis and transcription of recorded speech by a computer system speech synthesis the production of human speech
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