COMD 2050 CHAPTER 2

COMD 2050 CHAPTER 2 - COMD 2050-1 8/24/11 Introduction Ch....

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COMD 2050-1 8/24/11 Introduction Ch. 1 The Origins of language Ch. 2 Animals and human language Yule, G. (2010). The Study of Language (4th ed.). New York:
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Is Language… verbal? shared? gestural? spoken? written? nonverbal? human? animal?
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Language is… Means of communication Composed of symbols Symbols are organized according to rules Shared among users (conventional, agreed-upon) UNIQUELY HUMAN! Not used by animals.
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Unlike animal communication, languages aren’t limited to situations of survival, mating, territory. Language isn’t restricted to the present – language has displacement . Bee dance refer to present location of nectar. Displacement also allows us to discuss things that don’t exist or that we’ve never seen before.
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Language is productive . -Infinite number of messages (meaning) from basic elements (sounds). -Embedded clauses -Animal communication has fixed reference Danger signals of vervet monkeys Language is used to think and talk about the language itself ( reflexivity ).
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Symbols are arbitrary – arbitrariness Some iconicity exists: onomatopoeia
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COMD 2050 CHAPTER 2 - COMD 2050-1 8/24/11 Introduction Ch....

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