May_7_slides - Thursday, May 7 Today, were going to cover:...

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Thursday, May 7 Today, we’re going to cover: Some more diagramming. I really want to make sure everybody gets this stuff. 2.4 Problems in Reasoning 3.1 Language Functions 3.2 Emotive Language, Neutral Language and Disputes 3.3 Disputes and Ambiguity 3.4 Definitions and their Uses 3.5 The Structure of Definitions 3.6 Definition by Genus and Difference
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3.1 Language Functions Language is remarkable and versatile. Communication is a necessary component of any human interaction or shared endeavour. The text describes five basic functions (uses) of language, the first three of which are the most important: 1) Informative – Language used to describe states of affairs. All and only propositions are informative, although sentences with propositional content may do more than just inform. Ex. – “The cat is on the mat”; “The square root of -1 is an irrational number”; “I don’t know where your trowsers are”.
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Language Functions (con’t) 2) Expressive – Language we use to express our emotions or ourselves (we can express thoughts without being informative) ex. “I hate it when you do that”; “That’s the sweetest sound, this side of heaven”; “What a good doggy!”; “Truly wonderful!” (note that functions often mix – there’s no examples I’ve given that don’t also have some informative component, and perhaps some directive component, too) 3) Directive – Language used to guide or command others. Ex. “Let’s do problems 3 and 7 on page 39”; “Put your pants on!”; “Hurry up!” 4) Ceremonial – Things we say out of habit, as a kind of ritual, etc. “I hope you’re doing okay”; “How’s it going?” are good examples.
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Language Functions (con’t) 5) Performative – Language where the language use is an action described by the words. Examples include “I apologize for my actions”; “I forgive you” – In both cases, what you do is what you’re saying, and you do it by saying it. It should be pretty evident that language can serve multiple functions, all at the same time. “I hate it when you do that” is expressive, but it is also somewhat directive and informative. Notice that function is not the same as form – language
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This note was uploaded on 01/08/2010 for the course ME 310 taught by Professor Lwonard during the Spring '09 term at University College Cayman Islands.

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May_7_slides - Thursday, May 7 Today, were going to cover:...

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