1.2 first part up to 1.2.3 - 1.2 Language Basics In this lesson we illustrate the complex nature of language systems We explain how the English language

1.2 first part up to 1.2.3 - 1.2 Language Basics In this...

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1.2 Language Basics In this lesson we illustrate the complex nature of language systems. We explain how the English language has evolved over time and the role various languages, cultures, and events have played in its development. We explain how the English language communicates power and authority in both its oral and written forms. We'll explain language systems and how written language relates to its oral form. We'll distinguish the key role word order plays in English grammar. In addition we'll show how language communicates values and attitudes about social status, gender, and culture. Finally, we'll identify trends in written English and compare selected pieces written in different historical periods. Objectives By the end of this lesson, you should be able to: Recognize and describe ways in which language acts as a system. List at least three historical factors in the English language. Recognize stylistic differences in written English from different historical times. Recognize the stylistic characteristics of a piece of writing and use them to create your own piece of writing. Related Resources Fromkin, Victoria and Robert Rodman. An Introduction to Language . 6th ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1998. A helpful introduction to the question, What is language? Covers all the central fields of language study, written in easy-to-understand terms. Includes chapters on the history and evolution of English, as well. McCrum, Robert, William Cran, and Robert MacNeil. The Story of English . London: Faber and Faber. 1992. A popular and informative presentation of the history of the English language. This is the book version of the BBC Television series of the same name, available through PMI/Films Inc., 1986. 1.2.1 What Is Language? Discussion Topic Think of the different ways language is used during your day — at home, at school, in the newspaper, on the Internet, on TV, at the mall. Post a paragraph or two on one of the following questions: Does language ever change, and if it does, who or what makes it evolve? Can you think of any words or phrases that are in the process of changing their meaning? What are some completely new words that have evolved in your lifetime? Have any words you or your friends use developed new connotations in the last several years?
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1.2.2 Language In this study we'll take a quick look at languages in general and the English language in particular.
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