Dilbilim 22-


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Dilbilim 22-

  1. 1. An Introduction to Linguistics Başkent University Faculty of Education Department of Foreign Language Teaching Dr. Nuray Alagözlü
  2. 2. The definition of Language • Language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols which permit all people in a given culture or other people who have learned the system of that culture, to communicate or to interact (Finocchioro,1964.8). • As system of communication by sound operating through the organs of speech and hearing among members of a given community, and using vocal symbols possessing arbiraryconventional meanings (Pei, 1966:141). • Sapir (1921:8) wrote: Language is purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions, desires, by means of voluntarily produced symbols. • Chomsky (1957:13) considers language to be a set (finite or infinite) of sentences , each finite in length and constructed out of a finite set of elements • Language is systematic and generative. (Brown, 1987:4-5)
  3. 3. The definition of Language • Language is a set of arbitrary symbols. • Those symbols are primarily vocal, but may also be visual. • The symbols have conventionalized meanings to which they refer. • Language is used for communication. • Language operates in a speech community or culture. • Language is essentially human, although possibly not limited to humans. • Language is acquired by all peoplein much the same way- language and language learning both have universal characteristics.
  4. 4. Properties of Language • 1-Arbitrariness-There is an arbitrary relationship between the form and the meaning of a word in spoken language. Neither the shape nor the physical attributes of the objects determine their pronunciation in any language. • However there is some sound symbolism in language, which may be called onomatopoeic which means that the sound of the words imitate the sounds of the nature. • For example “cockadoodledoo” represent the rooster’s crow. In Russian, they say “kukuriku” • Sometimes certain sounds seem to indicate a particular concept. E.g. In English gl relate to sight. Words like glitter, glaze, glimmer, glance, glimpse, glisten. Etc. However, there are words which have nothing to do with “sight” such as glory, glossy, globe etc. Language has conventional meanings, the reason of which cannot be explained
  5. 5. Duality • Each language is a stock of sound units or phonemes which are similar in number to the basic sounds possessed by animals, the average number is 30-40. each phoneme is meaningless in isolation ıt becomes meaningful only when it is combined with other phonemes. For example the sounds like f, g, d, o mean nothing separately. They normally take on meaning only when they are combined together in various ways, as in dog, fog, god. • This organization of language into two layers- a layer of sounds which combine into a second layer of larger units-is known as duality double articulation.
  6. 6. Use of sounds • When animals communicate they do it by a variety of ways . Bees are involved in a complicated series of dances and crabs communicate by waving their claws. Language is made up of sounds. Humans produce sounds by the help of their lungs, lips, tonguesand vocal cords. Of course , not all the sounds we produce are communicative. Communicative sounds should be distinguished from unintentional informative sounds. •
  7. 7. Displacement • Most animals can communicate about things in their immediate environment For example a bird utters its danger cry when there is something perilious around it. This is similar to a baby’s sounds of contentment, hunger, and pain. By contrast, human language can communicate about things which are absent as easly as the things which are present.
  8. 8. Patterning (knowledge of sentences and non-sentences) • Many animal communication systems consist of a simple list of elements. There is no internal organization within the system. Human language, on the other hand, is most definitely not haphazard heap of individual items. Humans do not juxtapose sounds and words in a random way. Instead, they ring the changes on a few well defined patterns.There are rules governing the organization of the sounds. For example, the order of the words “ burglar, loudly, sneezed, the” can only be organized as • “The burglar sneezed loudly” • “Loudly sneezed the burglar” • “The burglar loudly sneezed.” • As the rules (the structure ) of English language allows the production of such sentences.
  9. 9. Creativity(productivity) • In animal language, there is a limited number of messages they can send or receive, For example, dolphins in spite of their intelligence, and large number of clicks, whistles and squawks seem to be restricted to communicating about the same things again and again. Even the cleverest monkey who is claimed to make 36 different vocal sounds, is obliged to repeat these over and over. However, human language is not restricted to a certain set of sounds. With a limited number of sounds, infinite number of messages can be created. Humans can produce novel sentences-utterances whenever they want to. A person is not obliged to say the same thing every time. He might say “ coffee please” or l would like to have a cup of coffee” or Is there anything to drink like coffee? Every speaker of a language can create new sentences and can understand the sentences created.
  10. 10. Linguistic Knowledge (Competence) and Performance • Speakers linguistic knowledge permits them to form longer and longer sentences by joining sentences and phrases together or adding modifiers to a noun. Evidently there is a difference between having the knowledge necessary to produce sentences of a language and applying this knowledge. What you know about language is your linguistic knowledge How you use this knowledge in actual speech production and comprehension is your linguistic performance.
  11. 11. Competence • Competence -a person’s internalized grammar of a language . This means a person’s ability to create and understand sentences, including sentences they have never heard before. It also includes a person’s knowledge of what are and what are not sentences of a particular language.For example a speaker of English would recognize “I WANT TO GO HOME” as an English sentence but would not accept a sentence such as “I WANT GOING HOME * though all the words in it are English.Competence often refers to the ideal speaker and hearer, that is an idealized, but not a real person who would have a complete knowledge of the whole language.A distinction is made between competence and performance, which is the actual use of the language by individuals in speech and writing.
  12. 12. Performance • Performance is how a person uses this knowledge in producing and understanding sentences. The difference between competence and performance can be seen in the production of long and complex sentences. People may have the competence to produce an infinitely long sentence but when they actually attempt to use this knowledge (to “perform”) there are many reasons why they restrict the number of adjectives, adverbs , and clauses in any sentenceThey may run out of breath or the listener may get bored or forget what has been said if the sentence is too long.
  13. 13. Functions of language • Language has functions in different circumstances. When everyday talk is examined, we become aware that there are many functions we perform by language such as expressing fears or affection, swearing, greeting. • As an individual a major function of language is the expression of our personal identity- the signalling of who we are and where we belong. The use of language tell listeners-readers about our • Regional origin • Social background • Level of education • Age • Sex • Personality • As individuals we use language to express our opinions, ideas and feelings. Language has an emotive or expressive function. It is the instrument of thought and is used to speak thoughts aloud. •
  14. 14. Functions of language • As a member of society we use our language to maintain a comfortable relationship between people and to signal friendship. The use of such phrases such as “Good Morning” “pleased to meet you” and ritual exchanges about health and the weather do not communicate ideas in the usual sense , but it helps to form friendship (Phatic Communion by Malinowski, 1942).They are automatically produced and stereotyped in nature. E.g. In English – weather , in Turkish – health. Language is also the expression of social identity. Our language conveys information about who we are and where we belong to. Language also has a unitary function. It unites people. As in the following cases; The shooting of names and slogans at public meetings • The chanting of a crowd at a football match. • The stage managed audience reactions to TV game shows • The shouts of affirmation at some religiousmeetings. •
  15. 15. Functions of language • Language has a function of recording facts about the societies. • Hymes (1964) classifies functions as follows; • Function as Focus • Expressive: To send emotions, feelings etc. • Directive: To persuade, influence, command, the listener to bring about changes in his or her attitude or behaviour. • Contact: to have a physical channel between the speaker and the hearer. • Phatic: to preface (start) communication, some kind of psychological rapport must be created. • Aesthetic or Poetic: Any use of language where the form itself is intended to be of focal interest serves an aesthetic function • Meta-linguistic: Using language to talk about language
  16. 16. Functions of language • Function as goal: • Requests for goods, services, information. • Requests for social response • Offering information or instruction • Expressive monologues. The speaker reacts to an external stimulus and expresses joy, sorrow, and preoccupation. The speakerdoes not attend to the hearer’s comments which may be minimal or absent. • Routines. Greetings, thanks, apologies. • Performatives: speaking as doing-that is an utterance performs an act. E.g. “There is a vicious dog behind you” perform the act of warning (implied), while “I promise not to be late” performs a “promise” or “watch out” perform a warning.
  17. 17. The origin of language • How did the language originate? • All religions and mythologies contain stories of language origin. Though we have no direct knowledge of the origin and early development of language, we have some theories about it. • 1-The Divine source: Acc.to one view, God created Adam and Eve and “whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof” (Genesis, 2:19) Alternatively, following a hindu tradition , language came from the goddess Sarasvati, wife of Brahma, creator of the universe.In most religions there appears to be a divine source who provides humans with language. •
  18. 18. The origin of language • 2-The Natural sound source (the bow-wow theory)- Speech arose through people imitating the sounds of the environment, especially animal calls. Onomatopoeic words (yankıma sesler) • Buzz, splash, cuckoo, bang, boom, hiss in English • Şırıl şırıl, patlamak, cik cik in Turkish The theory has little support, though thera are a few example in languages.
  19. 19. The origin of language • 2- The oral gesture source • Speech arose through people making instinctive sounds, caused by pain, anger, or emotions. It is believed that there is a link between physical gesture and orally produced sounds. The evidence is the use of universal sounds as interjections. (like hmm, oh,gosh, wow, ugh,) but no language has any of them. • 3-Glossogenetics • A quite different level of speculation on the origins of human speech comes under this heading. This view basically focus on the biological basis of the formation and the development of human language. It is claimed that some physical aspects of humans were changed as a result of a process of evolution. For example, Neanderthal man was unable to produce speech. Undergoing a physiological adaptation, they became able to speak. Due to the forcing need to use language along with their physical tendency to speak, speech arose.
  20. 20. The origin of language • 4-The yo-heave-ho theory : Speech arose because , as people worked together, their physical efforts produced communal, rhythmical grunts (homurtu), which in due course developed into chants and thus language. The main evidence would be the universal use of prosodic features, especially of rhythm, (tone, intonation, stress) but the gap between this kind of expression and what we find in language as a whole is so immense that an explanation for the latter would still have to be found.
  21. 21. The origin of language • 5-The la-la Theory: Jesperson claims that human language is initiated from the romantic side of life- sounds associated with love , play, poetic feeling, perhaps even song.The clash between the emotional and the rational aspects of speech needs explanation.
  22. 22. Classification of Languages • Three different classification schemes have been devised. Geographically, Genetically, and typologically • Geographically • This type of classification is used when we do not know enough about the languages in question to categorize them acc. to their characteristics. In that case, the geographical divisions of that area are adopted as divisions.
  23. 23. Classification of Languages • Genetically, • Languages are classified genealogically according to their life history. The ancestors of the language are specified, including the source or mother language.Sisters and cousins which all sprang up at different points in time from the original source are noted in a family tree.The languages of the world belong to families.The languages of the world have similarities and differences among them that provide for the genetic relatedness (Historical connections between languages).