Linguistics

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Descriptive Linguistics and Ethnolinguistics.

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Linguistics

  1. 1. Linguistics Descriptive Linguistics and Culture
  2. 2. Communication <ul><li>Most animals have some form of communication </li></ul><ul><li>Definition: Ability of one organism to trigger another </li></ul><ul><li>Counterexample: Bouncer tosses out unruly patron </li></ul><ul><li>Counterexample: Sun’s rays wakens sleeper </li></ul><ul><li>Entails stimulus and response </li></ul>
  3. 3. Overview of Linguistics <ul><li>Biological Roots of Language: Brain and Articulatory System </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive Linguistics: Phones and Phonemes </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive Linguistics: Morphology and Syntax </li></ul><ul><li>Language and Animal Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Language and Culture </li></ul>
  4. 4. The International Phonetic Alphabet <ul><li>How many vowels are there in English? </li></ul><ul><li>Our written language is not entirely phonetic </li></ul><ul><li>The letter a could be pronounced as [æ] in bat </li></ul><ul><li>Or how about [e] as in bated breath? </li></ul><ul><li>Or try [a] as in bah or “say ah” </li></ul><ul><li>We have 12 vowels </li></ul><ul><li>That means in linguistics we need 12 symbols to transcribe them </li></ul>
  5. 5. The IPA: How It Works <ul><li>First, there are phones , any speech sound </li></ul><ul><li>The IPA ideally assigns one symbol to a sound </li></ul><ul><li>So [a] is used for “ah,” [e] for “bated,” [æ] for “bat” </li></ul><ul><li>Square brackets are used to enclose phones </li></ul><ul><li>If the sounds carry a language, they are known as phonemes (more shortly) </li></ul><ul><li>These are enclosed in slashes (//), e.g. /a/ </li></ul>
  6. 6. A Sample Set of Phones and Phonemes <ul><li>We will use a sample of six consonants known as stops: </li></ul><ul><li>[p], [b], [t], [d], [k], and [g] </li></ul><ul><li>First, we have to look at some preliminaries: </li></ul><ul><li>The speech mechanism (brain, lungs, larynx, and oral cavity) </li></ul><ul><li>Then how speech is articulated </li></ul>
  7. 7. Biological Roots of Language: The Brain and Nervous System <ul><li>Broca’s Area </li></ul><ul><li>Wernicke’s Area </li></ul><ul><li>Arcuate Fasciculus </li></ul><ul><li>Angular Gyrus </li></ul><ul><li>Hypoglossal Nerve </li></ul>
  8. 8. Vocal Tract <ul><li>Lungs </li></ul><ul><li>Diaphragm </li></ul><ul><li>Larynx and Vocal Cords </li></ul><ul><li>Hyoid Bone </li></ul><ul><li>Oral Cavity </li></ul><ul><li>Nasal Cavity </li></ul>
  9. 9. Articulatory Phonetics <ul><li>When we utter any sound, we articulate </li></ul><ul><li>We position our tongue or other speech part in certain ways </li></ul><ul><li>When we speak, we use </li></ul><ul><li>Points of articulation : Speech parts in upper half of mouth </li></ul><ul><li>Articulators: Speech parts in lower half of mouth </li></ul>
  10. 10. Oral Cavity
  11. 11. Points of Articulation <ul><li>All are immovable except upper lip </li></ul><ul><li>Upper lip </li></ul><ul><li>Upper teeth </li></ul><ul><li>Alveolar ridge (gum ridge behind teeth) </li></ul><ul><li>Hard palate (roof of mouth) </li></ul><ul><li>Velum (soft palate) </li></ul><ul><li>Uvula (pendant lobe at border of velum) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Articulators <ul><li>All articulators are movable </li></ul><ul><li>They include: </li></ul><ul><li>Lower lip </li></ul><ul><li>Lower teeth </li></ul><ul><li>Tongue </li></ul><ul><li>Apex (tip) </li></ul><ul><li>Front </li></ul><ul><li>Center </li></ul><ul><li>Back (dorsum ) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Other Speech Parts <ul><li>Larynx , or voice box which contains </li></ul><ul><li>Two Vocal Cords (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>When vocal cords are drawn tight (lower right), they produce a voice </li></ul><ul><li>When relaxed (lower left), no voice is produced. </li></ul><ul><li>Other species and infant: larynx is high on throat </li></ul><ul><li>Nasal Cavity: Nasalized phones produced by lowering of velum </li></ul>
  14. 14. Position of Articulation <ul><li>For consonants , position of articulator relative to point of articulation </li></ul><ul><li>For vowels, resonant sounds created by </li></ul><ul><li>position of tongue (high, mid, or low) </li></ul><ul><li>lip shape (rounded or unrounded </li></ul><ul><li>Consonants include: </li></ul><ul><li>Stops (momentary stop of air stream) </li></ul><ul><li>Fricatives or Spirants (constricted passage of air) </li></ul><ul><li>Others, such as laterals, nasals, et al. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Positions of Articulation: Stops <ul><li>A stop is formed when </li></ul><ul><li>an articulator touches </li></ul><ul><li>a point of articulation </li></ul><ul><li>halting the air stream momentarily </li></ul><ul><li>A stop is named </li></ul><ul><li>By naming the articulator first </li></ul><ul><li>Then naming the point of articulation </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: labio-labial, apico-alveolar, and dorso-velar stops </li></ul>
  16. 16. Bilabial Stops <ul><li>Upper lip is pressed against lower lip </li></ul><ul><li>Labio- describes the lower lip (articulator) </li></ul><ul><li>Labial describes the upper lip (point of articulation_ </li></ul><ul><li>Called bilabial stop for short </li></ul><ul><li>Example: [p] as in [pın] or pin </li></ul>
  17. 17. Apico-Alveolar Stops <ul><li>Tip (apex) of tongue presses against gum ridge (alveolar ridge) behind upper teeth </li></ul><ul><li>Apico describes apex of tongue (articulator) </li></ul><ul><li>Alveolar describes alveolar ridge (point of articulation) </li></ul><ul><li>Example: [t] as in tın] or tin </li></ul>
  18. 18. Dorso-Velar Stops <ul><li>Back (dorsum) of tongue presses against soft palate (velum) </li></ul><ul><li>Dorso describes dorsal part of tongue (articulator) </li></ul><ul><li>Velar describes velum (point of articulation) </li></ul><ul><li>Example: [k] as in [kın] or kin </li></ul>
  19. 19. Contrasting Sounds <ul><li>Across the board, </li></ul><ul><li>[p] contrasts with [t] </li></ul><ul><li>[t] contrasts with [k] </li></ul><ul><li>[p] contrasts with [k] </li></ul><ul><li>But there are two </li></ul><ul><li>bilabial stops: [p] and [b] </li></ul><ul><li>apico-alveolar stops: [t] and [d] </li></ul><ul><li>dorso-velar stops [k] and [g] </li></ul><ul><li>Why? What’s going on? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Voiced and Voiceless Stops <ul><li>One set of stops is voiceless or unvoiced </li></ul><ul><li>Namely [p], [t], and [k] </li></ul><ul><li>The other set of stops is voiced </li></ul><ul><li>[b] the bilabial voiced stop </li></ul><ul><li>[d] the voiced apico-alveolar stop </li></ul><ul><li>[t] the voiced dorso-velar stop </li></ul><ul><li>A small experiment </li></ul>
  21. 21. How Vocal Cords Work <ul><li>When vocal cords are relaxed (upper diagram), they produce no voice </li></ul><ul><li>When drawn tight with a small aperture or hole (lower diagram), they produce a voice </li></ul><ul><li>That is what causes the throat to vibrate </li></ul>
  22. 22. Summing up <ul><li>Voicing involves tightening of vocal cords to produce a sound </li></ul><ul><li>When unvoiced phones are uttered, the vocal cords are relaxed </li></ul><ul><li>Voiced sounds contrast with unvoiced sounds </li></ul><ul><li>voiced [b] contrasts with unvoiced [p] </li></ul><ul><li>voiced [d] contrasts with unvoiced [t] </li></ul><ul><li>voiced [g] contrasts with unvoiced [k] </li></ul>
  23. 23. Structural Duality I: Phonemes <ul><li>The sounds we described are also phonemes </li></ul><ul><li>Definition: The smallest significant unit of speech </li></ul><ul><li>Significance: the speaker can hear the difference. </li></ul><ul><li>We can hear the difference between [bın] and [pın], [dın] and [tın], and [gın] and [kın] </li></ul>
  24. 24. Minimal Pairs <ul><li>[bın] and [pın]: what’s the difference? </li></ul><ul><li>[tın] and [dın]: same question </li></ul><ul><li>[gın] and [kın]: Again, what differs? </li></ul><ul><li>Short answer: the speech environment is identical </li></ul><ul><li>Only the stops differ </li></ul><ul><li>the [-ın] utterance is identical </li></ul>
  25. 25. Summary of Phonemic Stops in English <ul><li>Notice that: </li></ul><ul><li>English doesn’t have all possible stops: labiodental, interdental, or palatal </li></ul><ul><li>We do have labio-dental fricatives {f], [v] and interdental ones [ θ ] and [ð] </li></ul><ul><li>The Russians have a palatal shop [t j ]. </li></ul><ul><li>There are numerous others in the world’s languages </li></ul>
  26. 26. Allophones <ul><li>Another example: key and ski </li></ul><ul><li>Another experiment: what’s the difference? </li></ul><ul><li>The differences </li></ul><ul><li>[k’] in key [k’i] is aspirated </li></ul><ul><li>[ k ־ ] in ski [sk ־ i] is unaspirated </li></ul><ul><li>In English, [k’] and [k ־ ] never form minimal pairs </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, [k’] and [k ־ ] are allophones </li></ul>
  27. 27. Allophones of Phonemes <ul><li>Definition: Variations of the same phoneme </li></ul><ul><li>Our example: [k’] and [k ־ ] are allophones of the phoneme /k/ </li></ul><ul><li>Notation: </li></ul><ul><li>Slash marks (//) indicate phoneme </li></ul><ul><li>Square brackets ([]) indicates phone (and allophone) </li></ul>
  28. 28. Allophones in One Language: Phonemes in Another <ul><li>Old Sanskrit (from which Hindi and Urdu are derived): </li></ul><ul><li>[k’il] and [k ־ il] form minimal pairs </li></ul><ul><li>[k’il]: “parched grain” </li></ul><ul><li>[k ־ il]: “small nail”l </li></ul><ul><li>[-il] is identical as for speech environment </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, /k’/ and /k ־ / are phonemes in Old Sanskrit </li></ul><ul><li>Every language has its own phonemes </li></ul>
  29. 29. Phonemes as Structural Duality I <ul><li>Note diagram on board </li></ul><ul><li>[b] contrasts with [d] which contrasts with [g] </li></ul><ul><li>[p] contrasts with [t] which contrasts with [k] </li></ul><ul><li>All the voiced stops contrast with unvoiced ones: </li></ul><ul><li>[b] with [p], [d] with [t] and [g] with [k] </li></ul><ul><li>So we have a structure </li></ul>
  30. 30. Structural Duality II: Morphemes and Syntax <ul><li>Once the phonemes are identified: </li></ul><ul><li>They must be arranged for meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Morphemes and Syntax </li></ul><ul><li>Morphemes: The smallest meaningful unit of speech </li></ul><ul><li>Syntax: Rules and principles of phrase and sentence construction </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar: Entire formal structure of a language’s morphemes and syntax </li></ul>
  31. 31. Morphemes <ul><li>Morphology: Study of morphemes and their construction into words </li></ul><ul><li>Types of morphemes </li></ul><ul><li>Free morphemes: Morphemes that can stand unattached in a language: cat </li></ul><ul><li>Bound morphemes: Morphemes that cannot stand unattached in a language: cat s </li></ul><ul><li>Inflectional bound morphemes : those that change number or tense, but not meaning: e.g., cat, cat s </li></ul><ul><li>Derivational bound morphemes: those that change the meaning : e.g., part, part y </li></ul>
  32. 32. Allomorphs <ul><li>Allomorphs: Variants of a morpheme </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: plurals of dogs, cats, horses </li></ul><ul><li>Others: tooth/teeth; sheep/sheep </li></ul><ul><li>Morphophonemics : Study of allomorphs </li></ul>
  33. 33. Syntax: Parts of Speech <ul><li>Describes rules and principles of phrase and sentence construction. </li></ul><ul><li>Parts of speech are similar to those in high school grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Noun: Word referring to a person, place, or thing </li></ul><ul><li>Pronoun: Word that replaces a noun or other pronoun </li></ul><ul><li>Verb: Action word </li></ul>
  34. 34. Syntax: More Parts of Speech <ul><li>Adjective: Word that modifies nouns </li></ul><ul><li>Adverb: Word that modifies a verb, an adjective, and another adverbs </li></ul><ul><li>Preposition: Word that indicates a relation between an object in time, space, or logic to the rest of a sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Conjunction : Word connecting words or groups of words </li></ul><ul><li>Interjection: Word that expresses feelings, but usually not part of a sentence. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Syntax and Word Order <ul><li>Word order (sentence, verb, object) vary by language: </li></ul><ul><li>Subject (S): The thing or person of what a sentence is about </li></ul><ul><li>Predicate (V): Phrase that says something about the subject; always include the verb </li></ul><ul><li>Verb (O): Action word that forms the main part of the predicate </li></ul><ul><li>Object: The person or thing affected by the verb </li></ul><ul><li>In English, the word order is typically S-V-O </li></ul><ul><li>In Spanish, the word order is sometimes V-S-O </li></ul><ul><li>Other languages have other word orders </li></ul>
  36. 36. So Why Aren’t Morphemes and Syntax Separate Structures? <ul><li>An exercise: cats </li></ul><ul><li>Two cats (upper photo) </li></ul><ul><li>Cat’s meow (lower picture: spoken, how do you use the apostrophe?) </li></ul><ul><li>Rest of sentence defines morpheme </li></ul><ul><li>Another example </li></ul><ul><li>“ Cookie, lend me your combs” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Cookie combs his hair.” </li></ul>
  37. 37. Gesture Call Systems: Kinesics <ul><li>Kinesics: System of analyzing postures, facial expressions, “body language” </li></ul><ul><li>Gender differences </li></ul><ul><li>Smiles and frowns </li></ul><ul><li>See that thumbs up? </li></ul><ul><li>In other countries, it would mean—well, you know! </li></ul><ul><li>(Need a hint? Think middle finger) </li></ul>
  38. 38. Gesture Call Systems: Paralanguage <ul><li>Paralanguage: Extralinguistic noises accompanying language </li></ul><ul><li>Voice qualities: tone, slur (cartoon), other background noises </li></ul><ul><li>Vocalizations : Identifiable noises turned on and off at short intervals—”uh,” “um” </li></ul>
  39. 39. More Paralanguage <ul><li>Vocal characteristics: Sound production such as laughing </li></ul><ul><li>Vocal qualifiers: Tone or pitch-”Get Out!” </li></ul><ul><li>Segregates: “Shh!” “Oh oh,” “hmmm!” (cartoon) among others </li></ul>
  40. 40. Linguistic Change <ul><li>Language Family </li></ul><ul><li>Group of languages descended from a single ancestral language </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Indo-European is descended from Proto-Indo-European </li></ul><ul><li>Glottochronology </li></ul><ul><li>Technique of reconstructing past language </li></ul><ul><li>Core vocabulary: Comparing words common to all languages </li></ul>
  41. 41. Ethnolinguistics <ul><li>Definition: Study of relationship between language and culture </li></ul><ul><li>Named after Edward Sapir (top) and Benjamin Lee Whorf (bottom), the </li></ul><ul><li>Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis states that language, </li></ul><ul><li>By providing habitual “grooves” of expression </li></ul><ul><li>Predisposes people to see world in certain ways </li></ul><ul><li>Thus guiding thinking and behavior </li></ul>
  42. 42. Ethnolinguistics: What Comes First? Language or Culture? <ul><li>Example of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Hopi: Conception of time as processes, not discrete units </li></ul><ul><li>Nuer: 400 words for cattle </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Militaristic vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Chicken and Egg Question </li></ul><ul><li>Does language condition culture </li></ul><ul><li>Or does culture condition language? </li></ul>
  43. 43. Ethnolinguistics: Some Areas of Research <ul><li>Kinship terms: </li></ul><ul><li>Father or Mother may be extended to uncles and aunts. </li></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning of “I’m sorry” </li></ul><ul><li>Social dialects </li></ul><ul><li>Example: so-called Ebonics (Afro-American) </li></ul><ul><li>Regional differences: Beijing vs. Canton </li></ul>
  44. 44. Code Switching: Martin Luther King <ul><li>Definition: Switching style of speech according to occasion and audience </li></ul><ul><li>Formal discourse in formal settings (Washington Monument, 1963, I Have a Dream speech) </li></ul><ul><li>Informal discourse in others (Ebenezer Baptist Church, 1967, anti-Vietnam War speech) </li></ul>
  45. 45. Language Origins <ul><li>Comparison of communication attributes was first step </li></ul><ul><li>Chimpanzee communication: calls and gestures </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Reconstructed anatomy: hyoid bone </li></ul><ul><li>Endocasts indicating size of cerebrum </li></ul><ul><li>Control language among others </li></ul><ul><li>Size indirect indication </li></ul>
  46. 46. Features of Language Shared with Other Species <ul><li>Arbitrariness </li></ul><ul><li>Productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Interchangeability </li></ul><ul><li>Displacement </li></ul><ul><li>Specialization </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Transmission </li></ul>
  47. 47. Arbitrariness <ul><li>Definition: Absence of intrinsic relation between communication element (speech sound) and thing or event to which it refers (referent) </li></ul><ul><li>Iconic Relationship: Existence of such a relationship between element (e.g. gesture) and its referent </li></ul><ul><li>Importance: Utterance is not “married” to meaning, such as this gibbon’s warning call </li></ul>
  48. 48. Arbitrariness (Examples) <ul><li>Example [k], [æ], and [t] are not meaningful in and of themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning emerges when sounds are combined: </li></ul><ul><li>[kæt] “cat” has one meaning (feline, the one who caught a mouse) </li></ul><ul><li>[tæk] “tack” has another (small nail) </li></ul><ul><li>[ækt] “act” has a third (dog and pony show) </li></ul><ul><li>Even then, this string is language specific (English), not intrinsic </li></ul>
  49. 49. Arbitrariness (Across Languages) <ul><li>Evidence of Arbitrariness: Diverse Languages </li></ul><ul><li>Cat has different pronunciations in different languages </li></ul><ul><li>Similarities are the product of historical contact </li></ul>
  50. 50. Productivity (Definition) <ul><li>Definition: </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity for elements of communication system </li></ul><ul><li>To be combined to form new meanings </li></ul><ul><li>Which speaker and listener may never have learned before </li></ul><ul><li>Yet understands perfectly </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise: pronounce wug then two of them </li></ul>
  51. 51. Productivity (Examples) <ul><li>From Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll (see illustration} </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Twas brillig and the sllthy toves </li></ul><ul><li>Did gyre and gimble in the wabe </li></ul><ul><li>Identify: </li></ul><ul><li>The nouns </li></ul><ul><li>The verbs </li></ul><ul><li>The adjectives </li></ul>
  52. 52. Productivity (Conclusion) <ul><li>Language drills </li></ul><ul><li>English: I am, you are. . . </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish: Yo soy, tu eres. . . </li></ul><ul><li>Other species: Bee dance </li></ul><ul><li>Variations indicate location, direction, and amount of nectar source </li></ul><ul><li>Speed: proximity or distance of source </li></ul><ul><li>Angle of body: direction </li></ul><ul><li>Amount of pollen: amount at source </li></ul>
  53. 53. Interchangeability <ul><li>Definition: Use of same communication system to send and receive messages </li></ul><ul><li>Illustrative Counterexample: Three-spined stickleback fish courtship (see diagram) </li></ul><ul><li>Female elicits male response by presenting distended belly </li></ul><ul><li>Male performs zigzag dance around female </li></ul><ul><li>She follow him to nest </li></ul><ul><li>Male point to nest on arrival </li></ul><ul><li>Female enters nest, male rubs abdomen, </li></ul><ul><li>She discharges eggs, and male fertilizes them with sperm </li></ul>
  54. 54. Displacement (Definition) <ul><li>Ability to refer to things and events not present, nonvisible, intangible, or nonexistent </li></ul><ul><li>Not present: Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco </li></ul><ul><li>Not visible: Termites in sealed mound </li></ul><ul><li>Intangible: math equations, square roots </li></ul><ul><li>Nonexistent: dragons, unicorns </li></ul>
  55. 55. Displacement (Importance) <ul><li>Ability to represent unseen parts of world </li></ul><ul><li>Part of toolmaking ability : to conceive a design (above) </li></ul><ul><li>Bee Dance </li></ul><ul><li>Scouting bee gives information on non-present blossoms </li></ul><ul><li>Direction of dance rel. to sun: indicates direction of source </li></ul><ul><li>Length of tail waggle: distance of source </li></ul><ul><li>Other bees act on this information </li></ul>
  56. 56. Cultural Transmission <ul><li>Learning of an element of communication (speech sound, gestures) </li></ul><ul><li>Bees and stickleback acquire behavior genetically </li></ul><ul><li>Dogs learn by conditioning, do not pass learning on </li></ul><ul><li>Chimpanzees do learn by imitation and pass it on: e.g., termite fishing. </li></ul>
  57. 57. Specialization <ul><li>Definition: Ability to transmit message with minimal physical effort </li></ul><ul><li>Language is most specialized communication system </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of unspecialized communication </li></ul><ul><li>Chimpanzee displays </li></ul><ul><li>Bee dance </li></ul><ul><li>Stickleback courtship </li></ul>
  58. 58. Conclusion <ul><li>Language is basis of culture </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of linguistics is prerequisite </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive Linguistics </li></ul><ul><li>Language and Society </li></ul><ul><li>Culture can condition language </li></ul><ul><li>Chicken-egg question remains </li></ul><ul><li>One more technique: content analysis of language </li></ul>

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