Competence-linguistic knowledge of the ideal native
Performance-language in use
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
PHONOLOGY: The mental organization of physical
sounds and the patterns formed by the way sounds are
combined in a language, and the restrictions on
permissible sound combinations.
E.g.: slip vs *slib and *sbill
SYNTAX: The structure and
formation of sentences. One can
distinguish between grammatical
sentences and ungrammatical
E.g.: My hair needs washing is
acceptable but not *My hair
MORPHOLOGY: The identification, analysis and
description of units of meaning in a language. One
will know the inflectional and derivational
morphology present in the language, such as the
affixes of words.
E.g.: re-started can be derived but not *re-rich
SEMANTICS: Understanding the meaning of sentences.
This is also how a user of the language is able to
understand and interpret the non-literal meaning in a
given utterance. They are three distinctions drawn here:
(i) Meaningful and non-meaningful sentences E.g.: The
accident was seen by thousands is meaningful but not *The
accident was looked by thousands
(ii) Same structure but different meanings E.g.: The cow
was found by the stream but not *The cow was found by
(iii) Different structures and still be able to relate the
meanings E.g.: The police examined the bullet. The bullet
was examined by the police.
Linguistic theory is concerned primarily with an ideal
speaker-listener, in a completely homogeneous
speech-communication, who knows its (the speech
community's) language perfectly and is unaffected by
such grammatically irrelevant conditions as memory
limitations, distractions, shifts of attention and
interest, and errors (random or characteristic) in
applying his knowledge of this language in actual
performance. (Chomsky, 1965, p. 3)
argued that a speaker can be able to produce
grammatical sentences that are completely
also points out that Chomsky's notion of performance
seems confused between actual performance and
underlying rules of performance
Canale and Swain (1980)
1. grammatical competence-concerned with mastery
of the language code itself: knowledge of the lexical
items and rules of morphology, syntax, sentence
grammar semantics, and phonology
2. discourse competence-concerns mastery of how
to combine grammatical forms and meanings to
achieve a unified spoken or written text in different
genres- Intersentential meanings
3. sociolinguistic competence-addresses the extent to
which utterances are produced and understood
appropriately in different sociolinguistic contexts
depending on contextual factors
4. strategic competenceis composed of mastery of verbal
and non-verbal communication strategies that may be
called into action for two main reasons: (a) to
compensate for breakdowns in communication due to
limiting conditions in actual communication or to
insufficient competence in one or more of the other areas
of communicative competence; and (b) to enhance the
effectiveness of communication
how well a person speaks and is
understood in various social contexts.
This depends on factors such as status of
those speaking to each other, the purpose
of the interaction, and the expectations of
the interaction. The main question is:
how socially acceptable is the person’s use
of English in different settings?
The Three Most Common Patterns:
1. NOUN PHRASE is/looks (really) ADJECTIVE.
"Your new kitchen looks great!"
"That dress is beautiful I"
2. I (really) like/love NOUN PHRASE.
" I love your tie!"
" I really like that presentation you made during the meeting."
3. PRONOUN is (really) (a) ADJECTIVE NOUN PHRASE.
"Those are really nice shoes!"
"That was a good point you brought up in class."
• Isn't NOUN PHRASE ADJECTIVE!
e.g. "Isn't your ring beautiful!"
" Isn't your room nice!"
• You VERB (a) (really) ADJECTIVE NOUN PHRASE.
e.g. "You did a good job."
"You have beautiful hair."
• You VERB (NOUN PHRASE) (really) ADVERB.
e.g. "You really handled that situation well."
"You explain things so clearly."
• What (a) ADJECTIVE NOUN PHRASE!
e.g. "What a wonderful little girl you have!"
''What a terrific opportunity for you!"
• ADJECTIVE NOUN PHRASE!
e.g. "Nice game!"
Adjectives most often used:
Verbs most often used:
Some other possibilities:
wonderful, amazing, neat,
gorgeous, cute, cool~ (used informally)
1. Compliments are given most often to friends and co-workers, and less often to
strangers or people in your immediate family.
• Women receive far more compliments than men, especially compliments on
• Both men and women give women compliments. It is less common for a man
to give another man a compliment, especially on appearance.
• When men do receive compliments from someone, they are most often
complimented on their ability or accomplishments.
Compliments on ability Qr accomplishments are most often given by a superior
to a subordinate, such as a boss telling a worker "Good job!" or a teacher telling
a student "Nice paper!"
• A high status woman may receive compliments on her appearance, but a high
status man will very rarely receive such compliments.
1. Self-praise avoidance strategies
• This strategy involves downplaying some aspect of that which was
but without disagreeing with the person making the compliment.
• Often the newness or the cost of an object is downplayed.
e.g. A person tells you they like your hat, and you respond with "Really?, I've
had it forever!" or "Oh, I got it on sale, you wouldn't believe bow little it cost
• Americans value equality and use self-praise avoidance strategies as a way of
expressing that they are not better than the other person. This strategy is m:::st
often used with friends.
2. Returning compliment
3. Thank you
• Used when the compliment cannot be returned to the other person.
• Also often used to respond to a compliment from a superior.
the ability to fully analyze a languages meaning in its
Student 1: Got the time? Student 2:
Waiter: Another drink? Customer: No
Parent: Lunch time. Reply: Just 10
more minutes please.!
Teacher: Thinking caps on.
Ring....Child answers: Hello
Voice: Is your father home?
Child: Yes, just a minute.
Child: Dad, telephone!
Dad: I’m busy, take a message.
Child: My dad can’t come to the phone right now can I take a
Voice: Yes, please have him call Dr. Smith at his earliest
Child: Mom I need a new
mouse, my other one died.
Mother: I don’t want a mouse in the
Child: Mom...for the computer.
Teacher: Oh Vyta, would you like
to read the paragraph on the top of
ESL Student: I would rather not.
It is something like a chair that you put a child in and push
The car is unmoved. (The car is broken down)-Word
Electrical stairs (escalator)-Literal translation
What is this called? –Appeal for help
The car was damaged (The car broke down) –
He just completed his road…his way.-Self-correction
They are cleaning stuffs,…,things (detergent)-All purpose
Appeal for help
Asking for repetition
-Pardon, beg your pardon, what, can you say that again
Asking for clarification
Asking for confirmation
-You mean he did not understand it
Canale, M.; Swain, M. (1980). "Theoretical bases of
communicative approaches to second language
teaching and testing". Applied Linguistics 1 (1): 1–47.
Chomsky, Noam(1957). Syntactic Structures. The
Hague/Paris: Mouton. pp. 15.
Hymes, D., "The Ethnography of Speaking", pp. 13–53
in Gladwin, T. & Sturtevant, W.C. (eds), Anthropology
and Human Behavior, The Anthropology Society of
Washington, (Washington), 1962.
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