Week#3 - Week # 3 It seems that the readings for this week...

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Week # 3 It seems that the readings for this week are much more difficult to present in a way that would be interesting to read. Sure, some may want to read about phonemes and morphemes, syntax and grammar. Most would probably fall asleep while reading through it. So how do I prove that I’ve done the readings, and have paid attention in class? Well, here is my best effort… Cultures thrive on their languages and customs to define who they are. Most people do not actively think about the language they are speaking. Of course, they think about the message they are trying to portray, well hopefully anyway. But people do not think of, for example, that they are putting the tip of their tongue to their upper palate when making a –t sound. Like people, language changes over time. It adapts and adjusts to the time period and the environment in which it is spoken in. This is said to have happened to the Proto-Indo-European language and is why many believe that reconstruction of this language is impossible. To understand how it is possible for language to evolve, one must first understand that which makes up language. This includes: phonemes/morphemes, syntax, and grammar. There is more structure to language than what emerges from these ideas, but the basics will get the point across. “Human language is defined by its rules. Rules govern sentence construction (syntax), and the relationship between the sounds of words (phonology and morphology) and their meaning” (Anthony, 24). However, “anyone with even the sketchiest notion of phonetics who considers the alphabet of the western languages cannot but be struck by its utter randomness (Mallory & Adams, 39). Are just the western languages like this? Or is this a common trait among all languages dating back to the Proto-Indo-European language? Mallory and Adams go 1  |  P a g e
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on to explain that the “haphazard arrangement is not characteristic of the Sanskrit alphabet” (39). An alphabet should make sense.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ANTH 350 taught by Professor Anthony during the Spring '08 term at Hartwick.

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Week#3 - Week # 3 It seems that the readings for this week...

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