Lecture 7 Language

Lecture 7 Language - Lecture #7: Language 6/20/07 Language...

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Lecture #7: Language 6/20/07 Language • Basic facts about language • What do all languages share? • How does language develop? • What components of language might be innate? • Do other species have language? Basic Facts • Every human society has language. • Every normal human being has language. • Languages are creative – How many grammatical sentences under 20 words? • ~1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 What do all languages share? Syntax Morphology Phonology
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Phonology • Basic sounds • Languages choose different subsets • Categorically represented • No real boundaries between words • Problems with segmentation Segmentation • Rolling Stones: “Beast of Burden” – “My Pizza’s Burning” • Starship: “We Built This City” – “We Built This City on the Wrong Damn Road” • Beatles: “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” – “The girl with colitis goes by” • Ace of Base: “All That She Wants” – “All that she wants is another bagel” Morphology • Smallest meaningful unit • Single morpheme: dog, complain • Many morphemes: dogs, complained –dog + s – complain + ed • Average English speaker knows 60,000 morphemes Syntax • A combinatorial system leading to an infinity of complex and specific meanings.
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Syntax • Simple language: – Nouns: Sarah, Corey, Bill – Verbs: Thinks, Likes – Sentence: Noun + Verb + Noun • How many sentences? – 3 x 2 x 3 = 18 Recursion • More complicated language: – Nouns: Sarah, Corey, Bill – Verbs: Thinks, Likes – Sentence: Noun + Verb + Noun – Sentence: Noun + Verb + Sentence – Sentence: Noun – Verb – Sentence • How many sentences? – 3 x 2 x (3 x 2 x (3 x 2 x (3 x 2 x)))… = infinity! Recursion Mary hates peanut butter. Recursion My roommate heard a rumor that Mary hates peanut butter.
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Recursion It disturbed John when I told him my roommate heard a rumor that Mary hates peanut butter. Recursion I was amazed that it disturbed John when I told him my roommate heard a rumor that Mary hates peanut butter. Recursion Jane devoted way too much of lecture talking about how I was amazed that John was disturbed when I told him that my roommate heard a rumor that Mary hates peanut butter. Recursion
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2010 for the course S 110 taught by Professor Janeerickson during the Summer '07 term at Yale.

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Lecture 7 Language - Lecture #7: Language 6/20/07 Language...

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