unit1 notes - Intro to the Study of Language and...

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Intro to the Study of Language and Linguistics Chapters 1, 6, 7, 4 Dr. Jose Chapter 1 Introduction What is Language? o A system of communication using sounds or gestures for word and sentences. (working definition) Language is a communication system, not all communication systems are languages. Arbitrariness meaning is associated to a word accidentally; unintentionally Iconicity intentional word to meaning association; onomatopoeia o Very little iconicity in language Sounds and Gestures – phonetics, phonology Meanings – Semantics, pragmatics // morphology, syntax// Words – morphology, lexicon Sentences – Syntax Language is uniquely human Language is infinite and unbound Humans contain a biological disposition for language o Universal grammar o Language faculty – ability to acquire language o Shaped by experience Signed language o Gestural Visual, but otherwise equivalent to verbal language What is Linguistics? o Scientific study of language. What is a Linguist? o Person who studies and practices Linguistics. Description (actual usage) vs. Prescription (social-stylistic)
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Focus: spoken language vs. written language o Spoken language is everywhere written language is not Grammatical Competence (what you know; mostly sub-consciously) Grammar – collective rules of a language and it’s lexicon o In minds of speaker o Described by linguist Competence: knowing the rules Performance o What you actually did on a given occasion o Window into competence o Is a very poor way of determining actual competence Chapter 6 Semantics Semantics o The study of meanings in language Lexical Semantics – meanings of individual words Compositional/Phrasal Semantics – meanings of phrases and sentences Lexical Semantics o Aspect of a word’s meaning Sense – mental representation of a word’s meaning Definition style Mental image Association with another thing Reference – the actual subject itself Unique item Can be unknown o Some dude at a party
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Straight forward, specific Problematic if abstract o Some things do not have a physical reference o Tooth fairy o The Great Pumpkin Usage – how a word is actually used in conversation Determined by observation and description The problem with dictionaries o If definition reflects usage, okay o Watch for cultural locational discrepancies o Organization of the Mental Lexicon Not alphabetically intricate web of associations Relationships between items Synonyms Antonyms o Complementary On/off o Gradable Big/little o Reverse Enlarge/reduce
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unit1 notes - Intro to the Study of Language and...

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