ch_3 - Study of Language Study of Language COMD 2050...

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Unformatted text preview: Study of Language Study of Language COMD 2050 Chapter 3: Properties of Chapter 3: Properties of Language Language is Intentional Communication Intentional Communication– conveys a message Unintentionally Informative Signals – not an intentional message Unique characteristics of human Unique characteristics of human language Core features of Language: Displacement Arbitrariness Productivity Cultural transmission Discreteness Duality Other characteristics not mentioned in chapter: Acquisition Rule­ governed Dialect Displacement Displacement Language can be used to talk about things that are not present in the immediate environment Animal communication is restricted to here and now Arbitrariness Arbitrariness No connection between a word and its meaning No natural or iconic relationship between a linguistic form and its meaning Exception – onomatopoeia Productivity Productivity Creation of novel utterances Understanding utterances that we have never heard Consequence: Potential number of utterances is infinite Animals have a limited number of signals that have a fixed reference Cultural Transmission Cultural Transmission Process whereby language is passed from one generation to the next We all have a genetic predisposition to acquire language, but the language we end up speaking depends on our environment. Animals do not have cultural transmission because their signals are instinctive rather than learned. Discreteness Discreteness Sounds used in a given language are meaningfully distinct /p/ versus /b/ Duality Duality Language is simultaneously organized at two levels: sound and meaning When the sounds of a language are combined in specific ways, they do have a meaning, and different combinations of sounds have different meanings. Economical Animals cannot manipulate and combine individual speech sounds to create words with different meanings Other properties of language Other properties of language Not unique to human communication Vocal­ auditory channel: language is typically produced with the speech organs and perceived with the ears Reciprocity: any speaker/ sender of a linguistic signal can be a listener/ receiver Specialization: linguistic signals don’t serve any purpose other than communication Other properties of language Other properties of language Not unique to human communication Non­directionality: linguistic signals can be picked up by anyone within hearing distance Rapid fade: linguistic signals are produced and disappear rapidly Other characteristics of Other characteristics of Language Acquisition: language is acquired rapidly and with ease by children Language is rule governed All languages have 4 main aspects: sound system, vocabulary, grammar system, meaning systems that correlate with the first 3 Everyone speaks a dialect ...
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