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nativeamericanlgs - Native American Languages Linguistic...

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Native American Languages Linguistic Significance and Typology
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circa 1400 c.e. 300-600 languages in 62 language families spoken on the North American continent.
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What’s a Language Family?
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Language Family A language family is a group of languages related by descent from a common ancestor, called the proto- language of that family.
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Language Family
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1997 C.E. 175 Native American Languages in the USA 20 were being learned by children; 55 were only spoken by very oldest people, usually 10 or less.
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Why Does It Matter? Cultural Significance Linguistic Significance
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What Do Linguists Do?
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Generative Linguistics Noam Chomsky
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Generative Linguistics Universal grammar Principles are true of all languages Parameters are what make languages grammatically different
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Generative Linguistics What did you eat beans with? I ate beans with rice. *What did you eat beans and? I ate beans and rice. • Universal Grammar (UG)
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Generative Linguistics • Universal Grammar (UG) Adjective Ordering We live in a big, red, wooden house. ?? red, big, wooden house. ?? wooden, red, big house. Universal: size > color > material
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What DO (generative) linguists DO? Attempt to identify linguistic universals and the parameters by which they vary, in order to understand the nature of the human language system
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What makes a Butterfly a Butterfly?
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What makes a Butterfly a Butterfly?
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3 of the most spoken languages • Mandarin, Arabic, English
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Features of Language • Phonological • Morpho-syntactic
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Features of Language • Phonological Try to describe 3 sounds you’ve heard in languages other than English which English lacks. How many sounds should a language have? Does the number of sounds vary much from language to language?
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Features of Language • Phonological Average number of consonants in a language: 22
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Features of Language • Phonological Consonants of English, Arabic & Mandarin: 44 Bilabial Labio- Dental Dental Alveolar Retro- flex Post- Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Phary- ngeal Glottal Nasal Plosive Affricate Fricative Approxi- mant Lateral m n ŋ p p ʰ b t t ʰ t ˤ d d ˤ k k ʰ ɡ q ʔ ts ts ʰ ʈʂ ʈʂʰ t ʃ d ʒ ħ f v θ θˤ ð s s ˤ z z ˤ ʂ ʐ ʃ ʒ x ɣ ʕ h w r ɹ j (w) l ɥ
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