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Introduction to linguistics ppt Introduction to linguistics ppt Presentation Transcript

  • Introduction to Linguistics
    King Saud University
    Spring semester 2011
    Dr ZouhirGabsi
  • What is language?
  • Definition
    It is a Communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols.
  • More definitions
    Let’s have a look what the experts have to say..
    1. Sapir (1921) gave a more plausible definition about human language by stating that:
    Language is a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions, and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols.
  • 2. David Crystal (1989):
    The discussion may be summarized by referring to language as human vocal noise (or graphic representation of this noise in writing) used systematically and conventionally by a community for purposes of communication.
  • R.H Hobbins(1990):
    Language is a form of communication by means of a system of symbols principally transmitted by vocal sounds.
  • Human vs Animal language
    Infinite vs finite repertoire of communication
    (i.e unlimited for humans)
    * Human language has what we call grammar, it allows more creation of sentence patterns and
  • Characteristics of human language
    Charles F. Hockett(1958) enumerates a number of features which , he argues, constitute human language:
    Interchangeability: transmitting and receiving information
    Productivity: the ability to vary a message to reflect differences in circumstances concerned.
    Cultural transmission: the ability to learn from others.
  • Exercice
    Write what you consider to be a good definition of the term language. Justify the choice of the elements that you have incorporated in your definition.
    What do you consider to be the principal benefits of language to the human race?
    How well, in your opinion, does the word communication represent the function of human language?
  • What is linguistics?
    Linguistics is the scientific study of language.
    There are many branches in Linguistics, for example:
    Applied Linguistics
    Historical Linguistics
    Computational Linguistics
  • What do we study in linguistics?
    We will study the following areas in Linguistics:
    1.Phonetics is the study of sound production (physical production, that is how the sounds are produced in the mouth)
    2. Phonology: the study of sound patterns
    2. Morphology: the study of word structure
    3. Syntax: the study of sentence patterns.