CMN 105 Lec - Language Myths-1

CMN 105 Lec - Language Myths-1 - Language Myths Book...

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Language Myths Book : Language Myths Introduction A group of linguistics scholars decided to write a “pop” book on language so that the common person (the layperson) can understand language better. Through a survey approach the editors identified common assumptions mainstream people have regarding language . o Professional linguists were then asked to respond. As most linguists disagreed with the “common wisdom” the beliefs were labeled myths. o Twenty-one myths were identified and discussed in the book. In this lecture, we’ll discuss only seven of them. Myth #1—___________________________________________________ o Most languages are the first language of some community. This language tends to serve the everyday, common functions of that community perfectly well. o Some languages, like Latin, are very restricted, and are used for very specific purposes. o Some languages have wider functions Used as official languages of states and nations for politics, education, and literature. Used in an international role. English is the language of international air traffic, business communication, scientific publication, and tourism. This difference in scope leads some people to believe that some languages which do not cover a wide range of functions are not good enough . Author’s response: Not good enough for what ? The original, indigenous language is the best at representing the culture. If it’s not broad enough, they can develop new words. All languages are capable of expanding their vocabulary to meet changes.
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Myth #2-- _____________________________________________________________ Author’s response : It is a universal characteristic of language to change over time. The only languages that will not change are those, like Latin , that are unspoken and serve very limited purposes. Language changes in three ways: 1) ______________________________ 2)_______________________________ 3)_______________________________ As experiences evolve and change, words will evolve and change. As there is nothing static in life, language is not static either. Myth #3— ______________________________________________________________ o We have morbid concerns for the health of English (parents, teachers, and the press have all been blamed). o Author’s response— There are two woven misunderstandings: 1) the belief that journalists are sloppy language users, and 2) that journalism is junk writing. The author argues that, in fact, journalism is a
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2010 for the course CMN cmn 105 taught by Professor hamilton during the Winter '10 term at UC Davis.

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CMN 105 Lec - Language Myths-1 - Language Myths Book...

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