Lecture 2 Prescription vs Description

Lecture 2 Prescription vs Description - syllabus What is...

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syllabus
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What is Language? Language is the ‘institution whereby humans communicate and interact with each other by means of habitually used, arbitrary symbols’. (R. A. Hall 1964)
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What is a language? • An element of culture/society • A cognitive product • A communication tool • A system of signs
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Language as an element of culture • The knowledge of a language is not just the knowledge of grammar and words • Language is constantly used as a placeholder for a person’s character, for an ethnic group, or for a social group
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Language as a cognitive system • Knowledge of language: - Language ability as a property of the human mind: what makes speakers of a given language decide that some words or sentences are acceptable and some are not? - Grammatical competence • Language acquisition: are humans ‘prewired’ to speak language or is language learned early in life?
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Our common experience in how our language is used (usually but not always) helps us interpret what people are saying on a deeper level – and we have a keen knowledge about how language is used in our society. (Think about politeness, how you linguistically navigate social relationships; how you are able to retrieve speakers’ intended meanings and interpret them correctly) Language in context
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Saturday, July 1, 2006 (accessed on sfgate.com) -Baby seriously injured after high speed chase -Bay City News (07-01) 04:00 PDT Hayward – A 9 month-old girl is in critical condition this morning after a man allegedly running from Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies slammed into her mother’s car Friday night.
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Language, like any other type of social interaction, is subject to conventions of the culture/society of which it is a part. Why do different people in different parts of the world (learn to) speak different languages? Because the society of each part of the world has a different language convention, dictating the language (s) spoken. Children learn the language(s) that the people around
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This note was uploaded on 09/24/2011 for the course LIGN 8 taught by Professor Bakovic,e during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.

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Lecture 2 Prescription vs Description - syllabus What is...

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