LECTURE 1

LECTURE 1 - Lecture 1: Whats in a word? Defining and...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style Lecture 1: What’s in a word? Defining and recognizing words
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Perspectives on Wordhood We all have an intuitive notion of what a word is. But, if we take a more scientific approach, we discover the following properties: a) phonological (sound) b) morphological (structure) c) semantic (meaning) d) syntactic (distribution)
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First things first In order to study words, we need to know what we mean by a ‘word.’ According to your intuition, what is a word? In your notebook, write down a possible definition.
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What’s a word? Definition 1: Word: n . A word is a sequence of letters that we write consecutively, with no spaces. But, how about languages that are not written, or have not been written first?
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What’s a word? Definition 2: Word: n. A word is a sequence of sounds that we pronounce consecutively, with no spaces. Listen to the following clip of Yaqui (Uto-Aztecan) speech. Which subparts do you think are the words?
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What’s a word? Were you able to identify Yaqui words? Were there any pauses as indicators where one word ended and another one began? As you just heard, in normal speech pauses don’t occur after each word. So, it’s hard to identify each individual word. Now imagine babies. How do they figure it all out?
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What’s a word? Here’s a transcription of that Yaqui clip, broken up into words: Empo yi’ipeamta venasi maachi you one.who.dances resemble seem “It looks like you want to dance”.
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What’s a word? Definition 3: Word: n. A word is a sequence of sounds which can be pronounced on its own, with space on either side. Still no good, of course. A word is not just any sequence of sounds. According to that definition, spimble and intafulation and pag would be words, but they aren’t. So would Raise your arm and How are you?
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What’s a word? Obviously we’ll have to include something else. Let’s see what the OED says: Definition 4: word : A combination of vocal sounds, or one such sound, used in a language to express an idea (e.g. to denote a thing, attribute, or relation), and constituting an ultimate minimal element of speech having a meaning as such; a vocable .
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What’s a word? Including the bit about ‘minimal unit
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This note was uploaded on 07/16/2011 for the course COM 215 taught by Professor Miller during the Spring '10 term at Pima CC.

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LECTURE 1 - Lecture 1: Whats in a word? Defining and...

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