Ant_102_Lecture_06_2011 - What we have covered so far.....

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Unformatted text preview: What we have covered so far.. Lecture 1. Intentional vs. Non- intentional Lecture 2. Referential vs. Non- referential Lecture 3. Human vs. Non-human primates Lecture 4. The role of INFERENCE in communication Lecture 5. Properties of the linguistic code Today Lecture 6. Linguistic diversity - how different are the worlds languages? All human languages share a number of basic properties: 1. Semanticity 2. Arbitrariness 3. Productivity 4. Discreteness 5. Duality of patterning But how different are they? Position 1 - All languages are essentially alike According to Chomsky, a visiting Martian scientist would surely conclude that aside from their mutually unintelligible vocabularies, Earthlings speak a single language. Steven Pinker (1994, p. 232) The language instinct. Position 1I - Languages exhibit radical differences languages differ so fundamentally from one another at every level of description (sound, grammar, lexicon, meaning) that it is very hard to Fnd any single structural property they share. Nicholas Evans and Stephen C. Levinson, The myth of language universals: Language diversity and its importance for cognitive science, Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2009) 32, 429492 Polish Vietnamese Japanese Twi (Spoken in Ghana) Egyptian Arabic Ojibwe We will consider the range of variation within four categories 1. Sound systems 2. Word meanings 3. Morphology I & 2 4. Word order syntax Sound systems: Spoken languages (as opposed to signed ones) make morphemes/words out of sound units. The minimal unit that CAN make a meaningful differences is called a phoneme . It makes a meaningful difference but is not itself meaningful e.g. English p in, b in, p i n, p a n, pi n , pi t Sound systems: The number of phonemes varies from language to language. * Most languages have between 20 and 35 phonemes. * Rotokas (spoken in Papua New Guinea) has only 11. * !Kung (spoken in Namibia and Angola) has 141. Sound systems: Two sounds may be separate phonemes in one language but variants of the same phoneme in another (in which case they are called allophones of the same phoneme) Sound systems: We know two sounds are phonemes if they are found in minimal pairs . So allophones are NEVER found in minimal pairs. Rather they are in complementary distribution . Sound systems: What is complementary distribution ? Clark Kent and Superman are like allophones of the same phoneme - in complementary distribution. They can never be in the same place at the same time. Sound systems: What is complementary distribution ? Clark Kent occurs in the newspaper ofFce, where there is news to report. Superman occurs where people are in danger, ying through the sky etc.. Sound systems: In contrast Batman and Superman are like separate phonemes Superman and Batman can be in the same place at the same time (i.e. where people are in danger etc..) What is complementary distribution ?...
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course ANTHROPOLO 102 taught by Professor Dr.andreamuehelbach during the Fall '11 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.

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Ant_102_Lecture_06_2011 - What we have covered so far.....

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