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Unformatted text preview: Native American Languages Linguistic Significance and Typology circa 1400 c.e. • 300-600 languages in 62 language families spoken on the North American continent. What’s a Language Family? Language Family A language family is a group of languages related by descent from a common ancestor, called the protolanguage of that family. Language Family 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. Why Does It Matter? • Cultural Significance • Linguistic Significance What Do Linguists Do? Generative Linguistics Noam Chomsky Generative Linguistics • Universal grammar • Principles are true of all languages • Parameters are what make languages grammatically different Generative Linguistics • Universal Grammar (UG) • What did you eat beans with? • I ate beans with rice. • *What did you eat beans and? • I ate beans and rice. 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 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 What makes a Butterfly a Butterfly? What makes a Butterfly a Butterfly? 3 of the most spoken languages • Mandarin, Arabic, English Features of Language • Phonological • Morpho-syntactic 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? Features of Language • Phonological • Average number of consonants in a language: 22 Features of Language • Phonological Consonants of English, Arabic & Mandarin: 44 Bilabial Nasal Plosive Affricate LabioDental Dental Alveolar Retroflex PostAlveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal m p pʰ b n t tʰ tˤd dˤ ts tsʰ fv θ θˤ ð s sˤ z zˤ rɹ l ɥ ʈʂ ʈʂʰ ʂʐ tʃ dʒ ʃʒ j ŋ k kʰ ɡ q ħ xɣ (w) ʕ h ʔ Fricative Approximant Lateral w Features of Language • Phonological Consonants of English, Arabic & Mandarin: 44 Bilabial Nasal Plosive Affricate 24 Uvular Pharyngeal Gl...
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This note was uploaded on 09/27/2009 for the course LIM 200 taught by Professor Weisenberg during the Spring '09 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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