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Descriptive Linguistics and Ethnolinguistics.

Descriptive Linguistics and Ethnolinguistics.

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Linguistics Presentation Transcript

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