Word-08-2

Word-08-2 - In a Word Le cture2 Language and Scientific...

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In a Word Lecture 2 Language and Scientific Method August 28, 2008
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Questions about how language is represented in the brain Questions about how language is learned by children (first language acquisition) How language is learned by adults (second language acquisition) Our Research Agenda so far
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Some More Stuff We Know about Words: In each of these languages the sound that goes with this object is arbitrary. A note on notation: whenever we put something between two slashes, it means that we are referring specifically to the sound, to how it is pronounced and not, say, to the meaning and most certainly not to the spelling. The sound that goes with this particular object in English is the sound /bird/ . Native speakers of French also recognize this object, but in their language it goes with the sound /wazo/. In Hebrew, (which is my language) it goes with the sound /cipor/.
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Symbols vs. Icons Road signs are icons : they encode information in a way which relates (more or less) directly to the content of the information conveyed. They are not arbitrary. N. Korean road signs Words are symbols : the pairing of sound and meaning (or, in sign language, of gesture and meaning) is not related to the content of the information conveyed. It is arbitrary .
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Onomatopoeic Sounds sounds that (supposedly) imitate real sounds, and hence are not arbitrary. But actually, they are arbitrary because different languages use for different sounds. For example, animal sounds typically are onomatopoeic: cockadoodledoo (English roosters) kukuriku (Russian, Hebrew roosters) kookolilookoo (Ugandan roosters) But also : Roar, crack, clang, bang, splash, swish, whoosh, buzz, hiss, cheep, bleep, gurgle, plop
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This note was uploaded on 09/10/2009 for the course LING 110Lg taught by Professor Borer during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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Word-08-2 - In a Word Le cture2 Language and Scientific...

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