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Unformatted text preview: 5/3/2010 1 Language structure and meaning Outline Levels of language Language Speech Language disorders Behaviorist view of language acquisition Example of learning in animals 2 What is Language? A set of symbols, and principles for combining these symbols, which allow for communication and comprehension 3 Levels of Language Phonology The sound system of a language (phonemes) Morphology & Semantics How a language expresses meaning (morphemes, words) Syntax The structure of a language. Rules for combining words Pragmatics How language is used 4 Levels of language: Phonology The study of the basic sounds of consonants and vowels Phoneme: The smallest unit of sound that can be altered to change the meaning of a word In English, the words gin, kin, pin, tin, win all have different meanings because the initial sound, or phoneme, is different 5 Languages differ in phonemes If your language does not have phonemes of another language, it is difficult for you to hear the differences and to pronounce them correctly aspirated t (top) vs. unaspirated t (stop) 6 5/3/2010 2 Example of a phonetic difference among languages The sounds R and L are phonemes in English. They dont have a meaning by themselves, but they change the meaning of a word red vs. led In several Asian languages, R and L do not change the meaning of a word 7 Another example of phonological differences among languages tone: high rising falling then rising falling Mandarin: English: mother linen, hemp horse scolding, to scold 8 Tone is an important determinant of meaning in Mandarin Chinese but not in English How sounds (phonemes) are combined into larger units with meaning Morphene: smallest meaningful...
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