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Unformatted text preview: Linguistics the study of human language Language a representational system used to express meaning/thought Some Characteristic Features of Language - arbitrary sound-meaning relationship - a creative/productive system - governed by systematic principles, rules and constraints - variable across speakers and subject to change over time Goal of Linguistics to describe and explain a speaker's knowledge of language Linguistic Grammar a formal statement of the systematic rules and constraints that
characterize a native speaker's knowledge of their language Components of a Linguistic Grammar rules/constraints governing pronunciation (phonetics/ phonology)
rules/constraints governing word formation (morphology)
rules/constraints governing sentence structure (syntax) rules/constraints governing the interpretation of words and sentences (semantics) Descriptive Grammars vs. Prescriptive Grammars
Descriptive Grammar characterized by rules that describe systematic properties of actual
usage rules represent knowledge that is acquired without overt instruction Examples of Descriptive Rules
a determiner precedes a noun in an English noun phrase the book but not *book the a subject precedes a verb phrase in an English sentence Frank read a book but not *read a book Frank Prescriptive Grammar attempts to prescribe how people should speak by limiting variation
and change rules reﬂect the personal preference and bias of the grammarian
rules represent knowledge that must be learned through overt
Examples ofPrescriptive Rules
° avoid multiple negatives
eg. I don 't have any money / I have no money vs. I don ’t have no money 0 do not end a sentence in a preposition
eg. from where do you come
vs. where do you come from Types of Linguistic Grammars
Reference Grammar describes the linguistic system of a particular language Universal Grammar describes properties of language that are universal or near-universal Goals of the Course - to introduce one to the nature and diversity of human
language systems 0 to acquaint one with the practical techniques of language
description and analysis Course Website m00dle.y0rku. ca Reminder: Tutorials do not start until next week ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2011 for the course LING 1000 taught by Professor Tom during the Fall '08 term at York University.
- Fall '08