s-17 - Genetically constructed human language processor No...

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What Caused Universals Descendents from one (Mother) language Human intellect forces languages to conform to the same patterns The human language processor creates all languages, thus all conform to the requirements imposed by it. “Mother Language” would exert too little influence to preserve universals Radical breaks have occurred: Creoles Implications cannot be transmitted, only comparative linguists know they exist Correlations break down with time, and are eventually (completely?) erased Languages change within themselves: English went from inflected, (basic) SOV order, topic prominent to what it is today. Memory and thought could not impose universals Disassociation of language (English) and thought (mentalese) Arbitrary language rules defy logic: inversion always structure dependent
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Unformatted text preview: Genetically constructed human language processor No need to study details, the general design features of language are enough A Martian would see both body architecture (within a phylum) and languages as being highly similar Common body architecture: backbone, four articulated limbs, head, skull, tail are universal in that animal bodies vary within limit Language Change Variation Word change New words coined for new objects Words borrowed from other languages Changes in word meaning Morphological change I rregular plurals fot ~ foti > fot ~ fiti (feeti) by umlaut rule Later, plural suffix drops to leave foot and feet Tense from auxiliary He hammer did > He hammered Syntax change English: word order, inflection, case...
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2011 for the course CJUS 310 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at Indiana.

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s-17 - Genetically constructed human language processor No...

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