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All_Notes - Study of Language COMD 2050 Chapter 1: Origins...

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1 Study of Language COMD 2050 Chapter 1: Origins of Language Speculative theories regarding human language ± Divine source ± Natural-sound source ± Oral-gesture source Divine Source ± A divine source provides humans with language ± “Divine-source” experiments ± Problems: experiments do not hold. Children who are not exposed to language do not use language
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2 Natural-Sound Source ± Idea that primitive words were imitations of natural sounds (bird or animal sounds). ± Onomatopoeia: words whose pronunciations echo naturally occurring sounds (bang, buzz, hiss). ± Problems: onomatopoeic words are rare, can’t explain soundless, abstract concepts Natural-Sound Source ± Another version is the “yo-heave-ho” theory: first words were grunts and groans made during coordinated physical labor. Suggests that human language was developed in some kind of social context. ± Problem: apes and other primates have grunts and calls, but they have not developed speech – the need to coordinate work effort
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3 Oral-Gesture Source ± Humans first communicated using physical gestures – then developed into a set of oral gestures involving the mouth. Tongue movement would convey the same message as a hand gesture. ± First words were just the acoustic consequences of these oral gestures. However, we don’t talk with our mouths open. ± Problems: unable to explain how we developed words for abstract concepts, and hard to understand how messages involving abstract concepts could be communicated with pointing and then copied by gestures with your mouth and other articulators. Glossogenetics ± More modern approach – examines biological basis of the formation and development of language. ± Describes physical characteristics that make language and efficient form of communication for humans. How rather than why ± May have lead to the development of tool use, which may have stimulated language. Glossogenetics Some of the relevant features for speech production are: ± Upright teeth ± Muscular structure of lips ± Small mouth ± Tongue ± Larynx & Pharynx ± Lateralized brain
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4 Interactions and Transactions ± Two factors that probably drove the development of language are the transactional function and the interactional function. ± Transactional function- the communication of information and skills. ± Interactional function- the use of language for social and emotional interaction. Chapter 2: Development of Writing Humans must have wanted a more permanent record of what they were thinking and saying. Writing based on some type of alphabet only dates back about 3,000 years ago. Cave drawings were made at least 20,000 years ago. ± Pictograms ± Ideograms ± Logograms ± Rebus writing ± Syllabic writing ± Alphabetic writing ± Written English Pictograms ± Pictograms = Picture writing ± Pictures that represent certain images in a consistent way.
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All_Notes - Study of Language COMD 2050 Chapter 1: Origins...

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