Linguistics fact sheets

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Linguistics fact sheets

  1. 1. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)PART ONE: INTRODUCTION TO LINGUISTICSEvery human knows at least one language, spoken or signed. Linguistics is thescience of language, including the sounds, words, and grammar rules. Words inlanguages are finite, but sentences are not. It is this creative aspect of humanlanguage that sets it apart from animal languages, which are essentiallyresponses to stimuli.The rules of a language, also called grammar, are learned as one acquires alanguage. These rules include phonology, the sound system, morphology, thestructure of words, syntax, the combination of words into sentences,semantics, the ways in which sounds and meanings are related, and thelexicon, or mental dictionary of words. When you know a language, you knowwords in that language, i.e. sound units that are related to specific meanings.However, the sounds and meanings of words are arbitrary.Knowing a language encompasses this entire system, but this knowledge (calledcompetence) is different from behavior (called performance.) You may knowa language, but you may also choose to not speak it. Although you are notspeaking the language, you still have the knowledge of it. However, if you dontknow a language, you cannot speak it at all.There are two types of grammars: descriptive and prescriptive. Descriptivegrammars represent the unconscious knowledge of a language. Englishspeakers, for example, know that "me likes apples" is incorrect and "I likeapples" is correct, although the speaker may not be able to explain why.Descriptive grammars do not teach the rules of a language, but rather describerules that are already known. In contrast, prescriptive grammars dictate whata speakers grammar should be and they include teaching grammars, which arewritten to help teach a foreign language. There are about 5,000 languages in the world right now (give or take afew thousand), and linguists have discovered that these languages are morealike than different from each other. There are universal concepts and propertiesthat are shared by all languages, and these principles are contained in theUniversal Grammar, which forms the basis of all possible human languages. 1
  2. 2. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)PART TWO: MORPHOLOGY AND SYNTAXMorphemes are the minimal units of words that have a meaning and cannot besubdivided further. There are two main types: free and bound. Free morphemescan occur alone and bound morphemes must occur with another morpheme. Anexample of a free morpheme is "bad", and an example of a bound morpheme is"ly." It is bound because although it has meaning, it cannot stand alone. It mustbe attached to another morpheme to produce a word. Free morpheme: bad Bound morpheme: ly Word: badlyWhen we talk about words, there are two groups: lexical (or content) andfunction (or grammatical) words. Lexical words are called open class words andinclude nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. New words can regularly be addedto this group. Function words, or closed class words, are conjunctions,prepositions, articles and pronouns; and new words cannot be (or are veryrarely) added to this class.Affixes are often the bound morpheme. This group includes prefixes,suffixes, infixes, and circumfixes. Prefixes are added to the beginning ofanother morpheme, suffixes are added to the end, infixes are inserted into othermorphemes, and circumfixes are attached to another morpheme at thebeginning and end. Following are examples of each of these: Prefix: re- added to doproducesredo Suffix: -or added to edit produces editor Infix: -um- added to fikas (strong) produces fumikas (to be strong) in Bontoc Circumfix: ge- and -t to lieb (love) produces geliebt (loved) in GermanThere are two categories of affixes: derivational and inflectional. The maindifference between the two is that derivational affixes are added to morphemesto form new words that may or may not be the same part of speech andinflectional affixes are added to the end of an existing word for purelygrammatical reasons. In English there are only eight total inflectional affixes: 2
  3. 3. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.) -s 3rd person singular present she waits -ed past tense she waited -ing progressive shes eating -en past participle she has eaten -s plural three apples -s possessive Loris son -er comparative you are taller -est superlative you are the shortestThe other type of bound morphemes are called bound roots. These aremorphemes (and not affixes) that must be attached to another morpheme anddo not have a meaning of their own. Some examples are -ceive in perceive andmit in submit.English Morphemes A. Free 1. Open Class 2. Closed Class B. Bound 1. Affix a. Derivational b. Inflectional 2. Root 3.There are six ways to form new words. Compounds are a combination ofwords, acronyms are derived from the initials of words, back-formations arecreated from removing what is mistakenly considered to be an affix,abbreviations or clippings are shortening longer words, eponyms arecreated from proper nouns (names), and blending is combining parts of wordsinto one.Compound: doghouseAcronym: NBA (National Basketball Association) or scuba(self-contained underwater breathing apparatus)Back-formation: edit from editorAbbreviation: phone from telephoneEponym: sandwich from Earl of SandwichBlending: smog from smoke and fog 3
  4. 4. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Grammar is learned unconsciously at a young age. Ask any five year old, and hewill tell you that "I eat" and "you eat," but his "dog eats." But a humanssyntactical knowledge goes farther than what is grammatical and what is not. Italso accounts for ambiguity, in which a sentence could have two meanings, andenables us to determine grammatical relationships such as subject and directobject. Although we may not consciously be able to define the terms, weunconsciously know how to use them in sentences.Syntax, of course, depends on lexical categories (parts of speech.) You probablylearned that there are 8 main parts of speech in grammar school. Linguisticstakes a different approach to these categories and separates words intomorphological and syntactic groups. Linguistics analyzes words according to theiraffixes and the words that follow or precede them. Hopefully, the followingdefinitions of the parts of speech will make more sense and be of more use thanthe old definitions of grammar school books.Open Class Words _____ + plural endings Det. Adj. _____ (this is called a Noun Phrase)Nouns "dogs" "the big dog" _______ + tense endings Aux. ____ (this is called a Verb Phrase)Verbs "speaks" "have spoken" ______ + er / est Det. ____ NounAdjectives "small" "the smaller child" Adj. + ly ____ Adj. or Verb or Adv.Adverbs "quickly" "quickly ran" 4
  5. 5. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Closed Class Words a, an, the, this, that, these, _____________ Adj. NounDeterminers those, pronouns, quantities "this blue book"Auxiliary forms of be, have, may, NP __________________ VPVerbs can, shall "the girl is swimming" _____ NP (this is called a Prep. Phase)Prepositions at, in, on, under, over, of "in the room" N or V or Adj. ____________ N or VConjunctions and, but, or or Adj. "apples and oranges"Sub categorization defines the restrictions on which syntactic categories (partsof speech) can or cannot occur within a lexical item. These additionalspecifications of words are included in our mental lexicon. Verbs are the mostcommon categories that are subcategorized. Verbs can either be transitive orintransitive. Transitive verbs take a direct object, while intransitive verbstake an indirect object (usually they need a preposition before the noun).Transitive verb: to eat I ate an apple. (direct object)Intransitive: to sleep I was sleeping in the bed. (indirect object)Individual nouns can also be subcategorized. For example, the noun idea can befollowed by a Prepositional Phrase or that and a sentence. But the nouncompassion can only be followed by a Prepositional Phrase and not a sentence. (Ungrammatical sentences are marked with asterisks.)the idea of stricter laws his compassion for the animalsthe idea that stricter laws *his compassion that the animals are hurtare necessary 5
  6. 6. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Phrase structure rules describe how phrases are formed and in what order.These rules define the following:Noun Phrase (NP) (Det.) (Adj.) Noun (PP)Verb Phrase (VP) Verb (NP) (PP)Prepositional Phrase (PP) Prep. NPSentence (S) NP VPThe parentheses indicate the categories are optional. Verbs dont always have tobe followed by prepositional phrases and nouns dont always have to bepreceded by adjectives.Passive SentencesThe difference between the two sentences "Mary hired Bill" and "Bill was hiredby Mary" is that the first is active and the second is passive. In order to changean active sentence into a passive one, the object of the active must become thesubject of the passive. The verb in the passive sentence becomes a form of "be"plus the participle form of the main verb. And the subject of the active becomesthe object of the passive preceded by the word "by."Active PassiveMary hired Bill. Bill was hired by Mary.Subject + Verb + Object Object + "be" + Verb + by + Subject 6
  7. 7. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)PART THREE: PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGYThere are three types of the study of the sounds of language. AcousticPhonetics is the study of the physical properties of sounds. AuditoryPhonetics is the study of the way listeners perceive sounds. ArticulatoryPhonetics (the type this lesson is concerned with) is the study of how the vocaltracts produce the sounds.The orthography (spelling) of words in misleading, especially in English. Onesound can be represented by several different combinations of letters. Forexample, all of the following words contain the same vowel sound: he, believe,Lee, Caesar, key, amoeba, loudly, machine, people, and sea. The following poemillustrates this fact of English humorously (note the pronunciation of the boldwords):I take it you already know of tough and bough and cough and dough?Some may stumble, but not you, on hiccough, thorough, slough, andthrough?So now you are ready, perhaps, to learn of less familiar traps?Beware of heard, a dreadful word, that looks like beard, but sounds like bird.And dead, its said like bed, not bead; for goodness sake, dont call it deed!Watch out for meat and great and threat. (They rhyme with suite andstraight and debt.)A moth is not a moth in mother, nor both in bother, broth in brother.And here is not a match for there, nor dear and fear, for bear and pear.And then theres dose and rose and lose - just look them up - and goose andchooseAndcork and work and card and ward and font and front and word andswordAnd do and go, then thwart and cart, come, come! Ive hardly made a start.A dreadful language? Why man alive! Ive learned to talk it when I was five.And yet to write it, the more I tried, I hadnt learned it at fifty-five.- Author UnknownThe discrepancy between spelling and sounds led to the formation of theInternational Phonetics Alphabet (IPA.) The symbols used in this alphabetcan be used to represent all sounds of all human languages. The following is the 7
  8. 8. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)English Phonetic alphabet. You might want to memorize all of these symbols, asmost foreign language dictionaries use the IPA. Phonetic Alphabet for English Pronunciation p pill d dill h heal ʌ but b bill n neal l leaf aj light m mill s seal r reef ɔ j boy f feel z zeal j you ɪ bit v veal č chill w witch ɛ bet θ thigh ǰ Jill i beet ʊ foot ð thy ʍ which e bait ɔ awe š shill k kill u boot a bar ž azure g gill o boat ə sofa t till ŋ ring æ bat aw cowSome speakers of English pronounce the words which and witch differently, butif you pronounce both words identically, just use w for both words. And thesounds /ʌ / and /ə/ are pronounced the same, but the former is used in stressedsyllables, while the latter is used in unstressed syllables. This list does not evenbegin to include all of the phonetic symbols though. One other symbol is theglottal stop, ʔ which is somewhat rare in English. Some linguists in the UnitedStates traditionally use different symbols than the IPA symbols. These are listedbelow. U.S. IPA š ʃ ž ʒ č tʃ ǰ dʒ U ʊ 8
  9. 9. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)The production of any speech sound involves the movement of air. Air is pushedthrough the lungs, larynx (vocal folds) and vocal tract (the oral and nasalcavities.) Sounds produced by using air from the lungs are called pulmonicsounds. If the air is pushed out, it is called egressive. If the air is sucked in, it iscalled ingressive. Sounds produced by ingressive airstreams are ejectives,implosives, and clicks. These sounds are common among African and AmericanIndian languages. The majority of languages in the world use pulmonic egressiveairstream mechanisms, and I will present only these types of sounds in thislesson.ConsonantsConsonants are produced as air from the lungs is pushed through the glottis (theopening between the vocal cords) and out the mouth. They are classifiedaccording to voicing, aspiration, nasal/oral sounds, places of articulation andmanners of articulation. Voicing is whether the vocal folds vibrate or not. Thesound /s/ is called voiceless because there is no vibration, and the sound /z/ iscalled voiced because the vocal folds do vibrate (you can feel on your neck ifthere is vibration.) Only three sounds in English have aspiration, the sounds /b/,/p/ and /t/. An extra puff of air is pushed out when these sounds begin a wordor stressed syllable. Hold a piece of paper close to your mouth when saying thewords pin and spin. You should notice extra air when you say pin. Aspiration isindicated in writing with a superscript h, as in /pʰ /. Nasal sounds are producedwhen the velum (the soft palate located in the back of the roof of the mouth) islowered and air is passed through the nose and mouth. Oral sounds areproduced when the velum is raised and air passes only through the mouth.Places of ArticulationBilabial: lips togetherLabiodental: lower lip against front teethInterdental: tongue between teethAlveolar: tongue near alveolar ridge on roof of mouth (in between teeth and hard palate)Palatal: tongue on hard palateVelar: tongue near velumGlottal: space between vocal folds 9
  10. 10. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.) The following sound is not found in the English language, although it is common in languages such as French and Arabic: Uvular: raise back of tongue to uvula (the appendage hanging down from the velum) Manners of Articulation Stop: obstruct airstream completely Fricative: partial obstruction with friction Affricate: stop airstream, then release Liquids: partial obstruction, no friction Glides: little or no obstruction, must occur with a vowel You should practice saying the sounds of the English alphabet to see if you can identify the places of articulation in the mouth. The sounds are described by voicing, place and then manner of articulation, so the sound /j/ would be called a voiced palatal glide and the sound /s/ would be called a voiceless alveolar fricative. Interdent Alveola Bilabial Labiodental Palatal Velar Glottal al r p t kStop (oral) b d gNasal m n ŋ(stop) f θ s šFricative h v ð z ž čAffricate ǰ ʍ ʍGlide h w j wLiquid lr 10
  11. 11. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)For rows that have two consonants, the top consonant is voiceless and thebottom consonant is voiced. Nasal stops are all voiced, as are liquids. The sound/j/ is also voiced. If sounds are in two places on the chart, that means they canbe pronounced either way.VowelsVowels are produced by a continuous airstream and all are voiced. They areclassified according to height of the tongue, part of tongue involved, and positionof the lips. The tongue can be high, mid, or low; and the part of the tongue usedcan be front, central or back. Only four vowels are produced with rounded lipsand only four vowels are considered tense instead of lax. The sound /a/ wouldbe written as a low back lax unrounded vowel. Many languages also have vowelscalled diphthongs, a sequence of two sounds, vowel + glide. Examples in Englishinclude oy in boy and ow in cow. In addition, vowels can be nasalized when theyoccur before nasal consonants. A diacritic mark [~] is placed over the vowel toshow this. The vowel sounds in bee and bean are considered different becausethe sound in bean is nasalized. Part of Tongue Front Central Back i u High ɪ ʊTongue e ə oHeight Mid ɛ ʌ ɔ Low æ aThe bold vowels are tense, and the italic vowels are rounded. English alsoincludes the diphthongs: [aj] as in bite, [aw] as in cow, and [oj] as in boy.For the complete IPA chart with symbols for the sounds of every humanlanguage, please visit the International Phonetic Associations website. Andyoure looking for a way to type English IPA symbols online, please visitipa.typeit.org 11
  12. 12. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Major Classes of Sounds (Distinctive Features)All of the classes of sounds described above can be put into more general classesthat include the patterning of sounds in the worlds languages. Continuantsounds indicate a continuous airflow, while non-continuant sounds indicatetotal obstruction of the airstream. Obstruent sounds do not allow air to escapethrough the nose, while sonorant sounds have a relatively free airflow throughthe mouth or nose. The following table summarizes this information: Obstruent Sonorant Continuant fricatives liquids, glides, vowels oral stops, Non-Continuant nasal stops affricatesMajor Class Features [+ Lateral] [l][+ Consonantal] consonants [- Lateral] [r][- Consonantal] vowels [+ Delayed Release] affricates [č, ǰ ][+Sonorant] nasals, liquids, glides, [- Delayed Release] stops [p, b, t, d, k,vowels g, ʔ ][- Sonorant] stops, fricatives, affricates [+ Strident] “noisy” fricatives [f, v, s, z,(obstruents) š, ž][+ Approximant] glides [j, w] [- Strident] [?, ð, h][- Approximant] everything else Place FeaturesVoice Features [Labial] involves lips [f, v, p, b, w][+ Voice] voiced [Coronal] alveolar ridge to palate [θ, ð,[- Voice] voiceless s, z, t, d, š, ž, n, r, l][+ Spread Glottis] aspirated [pʰ , tʰ , [+ Anterior] interdentals and truekʰ ] alveolars[- Spread Glottis] unaspirated [- Anterior] retroflex and palatals [š, ž,[+ Constricted Glottis] ejectives, č, ǰ , j]implosives [Dorsal] from velum back [k, g, ŋ][- Constricted Glottis] everything else [Glottal] in larynx [h, ʔ ]Manner Features Vowels[+ Continuant] fricatives [f, v, s, z, š, ž, Height [± high] [± low]θ, ð] Backness [± back][- Continuant] stops [p, b, t, d, k, g, Lip Rounding [± round]ʔ ] Tenseness [± tense] 12
  13. 13. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)[+ Nasal] nasal consonants [m, n, ŋ][- Nasal] all oral consonantsWhereas phonetics is the study of sounds and is concerned with the production,audition and perception of speech sounds (called phones), phonology describesthe way sounds function within a given language and operates at the level ofsound systems and abstract sound units. Knowing the sounds of a language isonly a small part of phonology. This importance is shown by the fact that youcan change one word into another by simply changing one sound. Consider thedifferences between the words time and dime. The words are identical except forthe first sound. [t] and [d] can therefore distinguish words, and are calledcontrasting sounds. They are distinctive sounds in English, and all distinctivesounds are classified as phonemes.Minimal PairsMinimal pairs are words with different meanings that have the same soundsexcept for one. These contrasting sounds can either be consonants or vowels.The words pin and bin are minimal pairs because they are exactly the sameexcept for the first sound. The words read and rude are also exactly the sameexcept for the vowel sound. The examples from above, time and dime, are alsominimal pairs. In effect, words with one contrastive sound are minimal pairs.Another feature of minimal pairs is overlapping distribution. Sounds that occur inphonetic environments that are identical are said to be in overlappingdistribution. The sounds of [ɪ n] from pin and bin are in overlapping distributionbecause they occur in both words. The same is true for three and through. Thesounds of [θr] is in overlapping distribution because they occur in both words aswell.Free VariationSome words in English are pronounced differently by different speakers. This ismost noticeable among American English speakers and British English speakers,as well as dialectal differences. This is evidenced in the ways neither, forexample, can be pronounced. American English pronunciation is [niðər], whileBritish English pronunciation is [najðər].Phones and AllophonesPhonemes are not physical sounds. They are abstract mental representations ofthe phonological units of a language. Phones are considered to be any single 13
  14. 14. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)speech sound of which phonemes are made. Phonemes are a family of phonesregarded as a single sound and represented by the same symbol. The differentphones that are the realization of a phoneme are called allophones of thatphoneme. The use of allophones is not random, but rule-governed. No one istaught these rules as they are learned subconsciously when the native language ] areallophones of the phoneme /ɪ /.Complementary DistributionIf two sounds are allophones of the same phoneme, they are said to be incomplementary distribution. These sounds cannot occur in minimal pairs andthey cannot change the meaning of otherwise identical words. If you interchangethe sounds, you will only change the pronunciation of the words, not themeaning. Native speakers of the language regard the two allophones asvariations of the same sound. To hear this, start to say the word cool (your lipsshould be pursed in anticipation of /u/ sound), but then say kill instead (withyour lips still pursed.) Your pronunciation of kill should sound strange becausecool and kill are pronounced with different allophones of the phoneme /k/.Nasalized vowels are allophones of the ]. Yet in French, nasalized vowels are not allophonesof the same phonemes. They are separate phonemes. The words beau [bo] and ] are not in complementary distribution because they are minimal pairsand have contrasting sounds. Changing the sounds changes the meaning of thewords. This is just one example of differences between languages.Phonological Rules Assimilation: sounds become more like neighboring sounds, allowing for ease of articulation or pronunciation; such as vowels are nasalized before nasal consonants. Harmony: non-adjacent vowels become more similar by sharing a feature or set of features (common in Finnish) Gemination: sound becomes identical to an adjacent sound Regressive Assimilation: sound on left is the target, and sound on right is the trigger.Dissimilation: sounds become less like neighboring 14
  15. 15. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.) sounds; these rules are quite rare, but one example in English is [fɪ fθ] becoming [fɪ ft] (/f/ and /θ/ are both fricatives, but /t/ is a stop) Epenthesis: insertion of a sound, e.g. Latin "homre" became Spanish "hombre" Prothesis: insertion of vowel sound at beginning of word Anaptyxis: vowel sound with predictable quality is inserted word- internally Paragoge: insertion of vowel sound at end of word Excrescence: consonant sound inserted between other consonants (also called stop-intrusion) Deletion: deletion of a sound; e.g. French word-final consonants are deleted when the next word begins with a consonant (but are retained when the following word begins with a vowel) Aphaeresis: vowel sound deleted at beginning of word. Syncope: vowel sound is deleted word-internally. Apocope: vowel sound deleted at end of word. Metathesis: reordering of phonemes; in some dialects of English, the word asked is pronounced [æks]; childrens speech shows many cases of metathesis such as aminal for animal. Lenition: consonant changes to a weaker manner of articulation; voiced stopbecomes a fricative, fricative becomes a glide, etc. Palatalization: sound becomes palatal when adjacent to a front vowel Compensatory Lengthening: sound becomes long as a result of sound loss, e.g. Latin "octo" became Italian "otto"Assimilation in EnglishAn interesting observation of assimilation rules is evidenced in the formation ofplurals and the past tense in English. When pluralizing nouns, the last letter ispronounced as either [s], [z], or [əz]. When forming past tenses of verbs, the -ed ending is pronounced as either [t], [d], [əd]. 15
  16. 16. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)If you were to sort words into three columns, you would be able to tell whycertain words are followed by certain sounds: Plural nouns Hopefully, you can determine which consonants /s/ /z/ /əz/ produce which sounds. In the nouns, /s/ is added cats dads churches after voiceless consonants, and /z/ is added after voiced consonants. /əz/ is added after sibilants. For tips bibs kisses the verbs, /t/ is added after voiceless consonants, laughs dogs judges and /d/ is added after voiced consonants. /əd/ is Past Tense added after alveolar stops. The great thing about this is that no one ever taught you this in school. /t/ /d/ /əd/ But thanks to linguistics, you now know why there kissed loved patted are different sounds (because of assimilation rules,washed jogged waded the consonants become more like their neighboringcoughed teased seeded consonants.)Writing RulesA general phonological rule is A → B / D __ E (said: A becomes B when it occursbetween D and E) Other symbols in rule writing include: C = any obstruent, V =any vowel, Ø = nothing, # = word boundary, ( ) = optional, and { } = either/or.A deletion rule is A → Ø / E __ (A is deleted when it occurs after E) and aninsertion rule is Ø → A / E __ (A is inserted when it occurs after E).Alpha notation is used to collapse similar assimilation rules into one. C → [Αvoice] / __ [Α voice] (An obstruent becomes voiced when it occurs before avoiced obstruent AND an obstruent becomes voiceless when it occurs before avoiceless obstruent.) Similarly, it can be used for dissimilation rules too. C → [-Αvoice] / __ [Α voice] (An obstruent becomes voiced when it occurs before avoiceless obstruent AND an obstruent becomes voiceless when it occurs before avoiced obstruent.) Gemination rules are written as C1C2 → C2C2 (for example,pd→dd)Syllable Structure 16
  17. 17. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)There are three peaks to a syllable: nucleus (vowel), onset (consonant beforenucleus) and coda (consonant after nucleus.) The onset and coda are bothoptional, meaning that a syllable could contain a vowel and nothing else. Thenucleus is required in every syllable by definition. The order of the peaks isalways onset - nucleus - coda. All languages permit open syllables (Consonant +Vowel), but not all languages allow closed syllables (Consonant + Vowel +Consonant). Languages that only allow open syllables are called CV languages.In addition to not allowing codas, some CV languages also have constraints onthe number of consonants allowed in the onset.The sonority profile dictates that sonority must rise to the nucleus and fall to thecoda in every language. The sonority scale (from most to least sonorous) isvowels - glides - liquids - nasals - obstruents. Sonority must rise in the onset, butthe sounds cannot be adjacent to or share a place of articulation (except [s] inEnglish) nor can there be more than two consonants in the onset. This explainswhy English allows some consonant combinations, but not others. For example,price [prajs] is a well-formed syllable and word because the sonority rises in theonset (p, an obstruent, is less sonorous than r, a liquid); however, rpice [rpajs] isnot a syllable in English because the sonority does not rise in the onset.The Maximality Condition states that onsets are as large as possible up to thewell-formedness rules of a language. Onsets are always preferred over codaswhen syllabifying words. There are also constraints that state the maximumnumber of consonants between two vowels is four; onsets and codas have twoconsonants maximally; and onsets and codas can be bigger only at the edges ofwords.PART FOUR: SEMANTICS AND PRAGMATICSSemanticsLexical semantics is concerned with the meanings of words and the meaning ofrelationships among words, while phrasal semantics is concerned with themeaning of syntactic units larger than the word. Pragmatics is the study of howcontext affects meaning, such as how sentences are interpreted in certainsituations. 17
  18. 18. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Semantic properties are the components of meanings of words. For example, thesemantic property "human" can be found in many words such as parent, doctor,baby, professor, widow, and aunt. Other semantic properties include animateobjects, male, female, countable items and non-countable items.The –nymsHomonyms: different words that are pronounced the same, but may or may not be spelled the same (to, two, and too)Polysemous: word that has multiple meanings that are related conceptually or historically (bear can mean to tolerate or to carry or to support)Homograph: different words that are spelled identically and possibly pronounced the same; if they are pronounced the same, they are also homonyms (pen can mean writing utensil or cage)Heteronym: homographs that are pronounced differently (dove the bird and dove the past tense of dive)Synonym: words that mean the same but sound different (couch and sofa)Antonym: words that are opposite in meaning.Complementary pairs: alive and deadGradable pairs: big and small (no absolute scale)Hyponym: set of related words (red, white, yellow, blue are all hyponyms of "color")Metonym: word used in place of another to convey the same meaning (jock used for athlete, Washington used for American government, crown used for monarchy)Retronym: expressions that are no longer redundant (silent movie used to be redundant because a long time ago, all movies were silent, but this is no longer true or redundant)Thematic RolesThematic roles are the semantic relationships between the verbs and nounphrases of sentences. The following chart shows the thematic roles inrelationship to verbs of sentences: Thematic Description Example Role Agent the one who performs an action Maria ran 18
  19. 19. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.) the person or thing that undergoes an Theme Mary called John action Location the place where an action takes place It rains in Spain Put the cat on the Goal the place to which an action is directed porch the place from which an action He flew from Source originates Chicago to LA the means by which an action is He cuts his hair Instrument performed with scissors She heard Bob Experiencer one who perceives something play the piano The wind Causative a natural force that causes a change destroyed the house The tail of the cat Possessor one who has something got caught Recipient one who receives something I gave it to the girlSentential MeaningThe meaning of sentences is built from the meaning of noun phrases and verbs.Sentences contain truth conditions if the circumstances in the sentence are true.Paraphrases are two sentences with the same truth conditions, despite subtledifferences in structure and emphasis. The ball was kicked by the boy is aparaphrase of the sentence the boy kicked the ball, but they have the same truthconditions - that a boy kicked a ball. Sometimes the truth of one sentence entailsor implies the truth of another sentence. This is called entailment and theopposite of this is called contradiction, where one sentence implies the falsenessof another. He was assassinated entails that he is dead. He was assassinatedcontradicts with the statement he is alive.PragmaticsPragmatics is the interpretation of linguistic meaning in context. Linguisticcontext is discourse that precedes a sentence to be interpreted and situationalcontext is knowledge about the world. In the following sentences, the kids have 19
  20. 20. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)eaten already and surprisingly, they are hungry, the linguistic context helps tointerpret the second sentence depending on what the first sentence says.Maxims of ConversationGrices maxims for conversation are conventionsof speech such as the maxim ofquantity that states a speaker should be as informative as is required andneither more nor less. The maxim of relevance essentially states a speakershould stay on the topic, and the maxim of manner states the speaker shouldbe brief and orderly, and avoid ambiguity. The fourth maxim, the maxim ofquality, states that a speaker should not lie or make any unsupported claims.Performative SentencesIn these types of sentences, the speaker is the subject who, by uttering thesentence, is accomplishing some additional action, such as daring, resigning, ornominating. These sentences are all affirmative, declarative and in the presenttense. An informal test to see whether a sentence is performative or not is toinsert the words I hereby before the verb.I hereby challenge you to a match or Ihereby fine you $500 are both performative, but I hereby know that girl is not.Other performative verbs are bet, promise, pronounce, bequeath, swear, testify,and dismiss.PresuppositionsThese are implicit assumptions required to make a sentence meaningful.Sentences that contain presuppositions are not allowed in court becauseaccepting the validity of the statement mean accepting the presuppositions aswell. Have you stopped stealing cars?is not admissible in court because nomatter how the defendant answers, the presupposition that he steals carsalready will be acknowledged. Have you stopped smoking?Implies that yousmoke already.DeixisDeixis is reference to a person, object, or event which relies on the situationalcontext. First and second person pronouns such as my, mine, you, your, yours,we, ours and us are always deictic because their reference is entirely dependenton context. Demonstrative articles like this, that, these and those andexpressions of time and place are always deictic as well. In order to understandwhat specific times or places such expressions refer to, we also need to knowwhen or where the utterance was said. If someone says "Im over here!" you 20
  21. 21. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)would need to know who "I" referred to, as well as where "here" is. Deixis marksone of the boundaries of semantics and pragmatics.PART FIVE: NEUROLINGUISTICSThe human brain consists of 10 billion nerve cells (neurons) and billions of fibersthat connect them. These neurons or gray matter form the cortex, the surfaceof the brain, and the connecting fibers or white matter form the interior of thebrain. The brain is divided into two hemispheres, the left and right cerebralhemispheres. These hemispheres are connected by the corpus callosum. Ingeneral, the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the body andvice versa.The auditory cortex receives and interprets auditory stimuli, while the visualcortex receives and interprets visual stimuli. The angular gyrus converts theauditory stimuli to visual stimuli and vice versa. The motor cortex signals themuscles to move when we want to talk and is directed by Brocas area. Thenerve fiber connecting Wernickes and Brocas area is called the arcuatefasciculus.Lateralization refers to any cognitive functions that are localized to one side ofthe brain or the other. Language is said to be lateralized and processed in theleft hemisphere of the brain. Paul Broca first related language to the left side ofthe brain when he noted that damage to the front part of the left hemisphere(now called Brocas area) resulted in a loss of speech, while damage to theright side did not. He determined this through autopsies of patients who hadacquired language deficits following brain injuries. A language disorder thatfollows a brain lesion is called aphasia, and patients with damage to Brocasarea have slow and labored speech, loss of function words, and poor word order,yet good comprehension.Carl Wernicke also used studies of autopsies to describe another type of aphasiathat resulted from lesions in the back portion of the left hemisphere (now calledWernickes area.) Unlike Brocas patients, Wernickes spoke fluently and withgood pronunciation, but with many lexical errors and a difficulty incomprehension. Brocas and Wernickes area are the two main regions of thecortex of the brain related to language processing. 21
  22. 22. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Aphasics can suffer from anomia, jargon aphasia, and acquired dyslexia.Anomia is commonly referred to as "tip of the tongue" phenomenon and manyaphasics experience word finding difficulty on a regular basis. Jargon aphasiaresults in the substitution of one word or sound for another. Some aphasics maysubstitute similar words for each other, such as table for chair, or they maysubstitute completely unrelated words, such as chair for engine. Others maypronounce table as sable, substituting an s sound for a t sound. Aphasics whobecame dyslexic after brain damage are called acquired dyslexics. When readingaloud words printed on cards, the patients produced the following substitutions:Stimuli Response One Response Two Act Play Play South East West Medicine Heal PainThe substitution of phonologically similar words, such as pool and tool, alsoprovides evidence that a humans mental lexicon is organized by both phonologyand semantics.Brocas aphasics and some acquired dyslexics are unable to read function words,and when presented with them on the cards, the patients say no, as shown inthe following example:Stimuli One Response Stimuli Two Response Witch Witch Which no! Hour Time Our no! Wood Wood Would no!The patients errors suggest our mental dictionary is further organized into partsconsisting of major content words (first stimuli) and grammatical words (secondstimuli.)In addition, split-brain patients (those who have had their corpus callosumsevered) provide evidence for language lateralization. If an object is placed inthe left hand of split-brain patient whose vision is cut off, the person cannot 22
  23. 23. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)name the object, but will know how to use it. The information is sent to the rightside of the brain, but cannot be relayed to the left side for linguistic naming.However, if the object is placed in the persons right hand, the person canimmediately name it because the information is sent directly to the lefthemisphere.Dichotic listening is another experimental technique, using auditory signals.Subjects hear a different sound in each ear, such as boy in the left ear and girl inthe right ear or water rushing in the left ear and a horn honking in the right ear.When asked to state what they heard in each ear, subjects are more frequentlycorrect in reporting linguistic stimuli in the right ear (girl) and nonverbal stimuliin the left ear (water rushing.) This is because the left side of the brain isspecialized for language and a word heard in the right ear will transfer directly tothe left side of the body because of the contralateralization of the brain.Furthermore, the right side of the brain is specialized for nonverbal stimuli, suchas music and environmental sounds, and a noise heard in the left ear willtransfer directly to the right side of the brain.PART SIX: CHILD LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITIONLinguistic competence develops in stages, from babbling to one word to twoword, then telegraphic speech. Babbling is now considered the earliest form oflanguage acquisition because infants will produce sounds based on whatlanguage input they receive. One word sentences (holophrastic speech) aregenerally monosyllabic in consonant-vowel clusters. During two word stage,there are no syntactic or morphological markers, no inflections for plural or pasttense, and pronouns are rare, but the intonation contour extends over the wholeutterance. Telegraphic speech lacks function words and only carries the openclass content words, so that the sentences sound like a telegram.Three theoriesThe three theories of language acquisition: imitation, reinforcement andanalogy, do not explain very well how children acquire language. Imitation doesnot work because children produce sentences never heard before, such as "catstand up table." Even when they try to imitate adult speech, children cannotgenerate the same sentences because of their limited grammar. And children 23
  24. 24. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)who are unable to speak still learn and understand the language, so that whenthey overcome their speech impairment they immediately begin speaking thelanguage. Reinforcement also does not work because it actually seldomly occursand when it does, the reinforcement is correcting pronunciation or truthfulness,and not grammar. A sentence such as "apples are purple" would be correctedmore often because it is not true, as compared to a sentence such as "apples isred" regardless of the grammar. Analogy also cannot explain languageacquisition. Analogy involves the formation of sentences or phrases by usingother sentences as samples. If a child hears the sentence, "I painted a red barn,"he can say, by analogy, "I painted a blue barn." Yet if he hears the sentence, "Ipainted a barn red," he cannot say "I saw a barn red." The analogy did not workthis time, and this is not a sentence of English.AcquisitionsPhonology: A childs error in pronunciation is not random, but rule-governed.Typical phonological rules include: consonant cluster simplification (spoonbecomes poon), devoicing of final consonants (dog becomes dok), voicing ofinitial consonants (truck becomes druck), and consonant harmony (doggybecomes goggy, or big becomes gig.)Morphology: An overgeneralization of constructed rules is shown when childrentreat irregular verbs and nouns as regular. Instead of went as the past tense ofgo, children use goed because the regular verbs add an -ed ending to form thepast tense. Similarly, children use gooses as the plural of goose instead of geese,because regular nouns add an -s in the plural.The "Innateness Hypothesis" of child language acquisition, proposed byNoam Chomsky, states that the human species is prewired to acquire language,and that the kind of language is also determined. Many factors have led to thishypothesis such as the ease and rapidity of language acquisition despiteimpoverished input as well as the uniformity of languages. All children will learna language, and children will also learn more than one language if they areexposed to it. Children follow the same general stages when learning a language,although the linguistic input is widely varied.The poverty of the stimulus states that children seem to learn or know theaspects of grammar for which they receive no information. In addition, children 24
  25. 25. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)do not produce sentences that could not be sentences in some human language.The principles of Universal Grammar underlie the specific grammars of alllanguages and determine the class of languages that can be acquiredunconsciously without instruction. It is the genetically determined faculty of theleft hemisphere, and there is little doubt that the brain is specially equipped foracquisition of human language.The "Critical Age Hypothesis" suggests that there is a critical age forlanguage acquisition without the need for special teaching or learning. Duringthis critical period, language learning proceeds quickly and easily. After thisperiod, the acquisition of grammar is difficult, and for some people, never fullyachieved. Cases of children reared in social isolation have been used for testingthe critical age hypothesis. None of the children who had little human contactwere able to speak any language once reintroduced into society. Even thechildren who received linguistic input after being reintroduced to society wereunable to fully develop language skills. These cases of isolated children, and ofdeaf children, show that humans cannot fully acquire any language to which theyare exposed unless they are within the critical age. Beyond this age, humans areunable to acquire much of syntax and inflectional morphology.Second Language Acquisition Teaching MethodsGrammar-translation: The student memorizes words, inflected words, and syntactic rules and uses them to translate from native to target language and vice versa; most commonly used method in schools because it does not require teacher to be fluent; however, least effective method of teaching.Direct method: The native language is not used at all in the classroom, and the student must learn the new language without formal instruction; based on theories of first language acquisition.Audio-lingual: Heavy use of dialogs and audio, based on the assumption that language learning is acquired mainly through imitation, repetition, and reinforcement; influenced by psychology. 25
  26. 26. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Natural Approach: Emphasis on vocabulary and not grammar; focus on meaning, not form; use of authentic materials instead of textbookSilent Way: Teachers remain passive observers while students learn, which is a process of personal growth; no grammatical explanation or modeling by the teacher.Total Physical Response: Students play active role as listener and performer, must respond to imperative drills with physical action.Suggestopedia: Students always remain comfortable and relaxed and learn through memorization of meaningful texts, although the goal is understandingCommunity Language Learning: Materials are developed as course progresses and teacher understands what students need and want to learn; learning involves the whole person and language is seen as more than just communication.Community Language Teaching: Incorporates all components of language and helps students with various learning styles; use of communication-based activities with authentic materials, needs of learner are taken into consideration when planning topics and objectives.Four skill areasThe four skill areas of learning a foreign language need to be addressedconsistently and continually. Good lesson plans incorporate all four: Listening,Speaking, Reading (and Vocabulary), and Writing (and Grammar).Native speakers do not learn the skill areas separately, nor do they use themseparately, so they shouldn’t be taught separately. However, it is easy to fall intothe trap of teaching about the language, instead of actually teaching thelanguage. Most textbooks resort to teaching grammar and vocabulary lists andnothing more. 26
  27. 27. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)PART SEVEN: SOCIOLINGUISTICSA dialect is a variety of language that is systematically different from othervarieties of the same language. The dialects of a single language are mutuallyintelligible, but when the speakers can no longer understand each other, thedialects become languages. Geographical regions are also considered whendialects become languages. Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish are all consideredseparate languages because of regular differences in grammar and the countriesin which they are spoken, yet Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes can allunderstand one another. Hindi and Urdu are considered mutually intelligiblelanguages when spoken, yet the writing systems are different. On the otherhand, Mandarin and Cantonese are mutually unintelligible languages whenspoken, yet the writing systems are the same.A dialect is considered standard if it is used by the upper class, political leaders,in literature and is taught in schools as the correct form of the language. Overtprestige refers to this dominant dialect. A non-standard dialect is associated withcovert prestige and is an ethnic or regional dialect of a language. These non-standard dialects are just as linguistically sophisticated as the standard dialect,and judgments to the inferiority of them are based on social or racist judgments.African-American English contains many regular differences of the standarddialect. These differences are the same as the differences among many of theworlds dialects. Phonological differences include r and l deletion of words likepoor (pa) and all (awe.) Consonant cluster simplification also occurs (passedpronounced like pass), as well as a loss of interdental fricatives. Syntacticdifferences include the double negative and the loss of and habitual use of theverb "be." He late means he is late now, but he be late means he is always late.A lingua franca is a major language used in an area where speakers of morethan one language live that permits communication and commerce among them.English is called the lingua franca of the whole world, while French used to bethe lingua franca of diplomacy. 27
  28. 28. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)A pidgin is a rudimentary language of few lexical items and less complexgrammatical rules based on another language. No one learns a pidgin as a nativelanguage, but children do learn creoles as a first language. Creoles are definedas pidgins that are adopted by a community as its native tongue.Besides dialects, speakers may use different styles or registers (such ascontractions) depending on the context. Slang may also be used in speech, butis not often used in formal situations or writing. Jargon refers to the uniquevocabulary pertaining to a certain area, such as computers or medicine. Wordsor expressions referring to certain acts that are forbidden or frowned upon areconsidered taboo. These taboo words produce euphemisms, words or phrasesthat replace the expressions that are being avoided.The use of words may indicate a societys attitude toward sex, bodily functions orreligious beliefs, and they may also reflect racism or sexism in a society.Language itself is not racist or sexist, but the society may be. Such insultingwords may reinforce biased views, and changes in society may be reflected inthe changes in language. 28
  29. 29. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)PART EIGHT: HISTORICAL LINGUISTICSLanguages that evolve from a common source are genetically related. Theselanguages were once dialects of the same language. Earlier forms of Germaniclanguages, such as German, English, and Swedish were dialects of Proto-Germanic, while earlier forms of Romance languages, such as Spanish, French,and Italian were dialects of Latin. Furthermore, earlier forms of Proto-Germanicand Latin were once dialects of Indo-European.Linguistic changes like sound shift are found in the history of all languages, asevidenced by the regular sound correspondences that exist between differentstages of the same language, different dialects, and different languages. Words,morphemes, and phonemes may be altered, added or lost. The meaning ofwords may broaden, narrow or shift. New words may be introduced into alanguage by borrowing, or by coinage, blends and acronyms. The lexicon mayalso shrink as older words become obsolete.Change comes about as a result of the restructuring of grammar by childrenlearning the language. Grammars seem to become simple and regular, but thesesimplifications may be compensated for by more complexities. Sound changescan occur because of assimilation, a process of ease of articulation. Somegrammatical changes are analogic changes, generalizations that lead to moreregularity, such as sweeped instead of swept.The study of linguistic change is called historical and comparative linguistics.Linguists identify regular sound correspondences using the comparative methodamong the cognates (words that developed from the same ancestral language)of related languages. They can restructure an earlier protolanguage and thisallows linguists to determine the history of a language family.Old English, Middle English, Modern EnglishOld English 499-1066 CE BeowulfMiddle English 1066-1500 CE Canterbury Tales 29
  30. 30. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Modern English 1500-present ShakespearePhonological change: Between 1400 and 1600 CE, the Great Vowel Shift took place. The seven long vowels of Middle English underwent changes. The high vowels [i] and [u] became the diphthongs [aj] and [aw]. The long vowels increased tongue height and shifted upward, and [a] was fronted. Many of the spelling inconsistencies of English are because of the Great Vowel Shift. Our spelling system still reflects the way words were pronounced before the shift took place.Morphological change: Many Indo-European languages had extensive case endings that governed word order, but these are no longer found in Romance languages or English. Although pronouns still show a trace of the case system (he vs. him), English uses prepositions to show the case. Instead of the dative case (indirect objects), English usually the words to or for. Instead of the genitive case, English uses the word ofor s after a noun to show possession. Other cases include the nominative (subject pronouns), accusative (direct objects), and vocative.Syntactic change: Because of the lack of the case system, word order has become more rigid and strict in Modern English. Now it is strictly Subject - Verb - Object order.Orthographic change: Consonant clusters have become simplified, such as hlaf becoming loaf and hnecca becoming neck. However, some of these clusters are still written, but are no longer pronounced, such as gnaw, write, and dumb.Lexical change: Old English borrowed place names from Celtic, army, religious and educational words from Latin, and everyday words from Scandinavian. Angle and Saxon (German dialects) form the basis of Old English phonology, morphology, syntax and lexicon. 30
  31. 31. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)PART NINE: CLASSIFICATION OF LANGUAGESIndo-European family of languages Italic (Latin) o Romance  Catalan  French  Italian  Occitan (Provençal)  Portuguese  Rhaeto-Romansch  Romanian  Spanish Germanic o North Germanic  Danish  Faroese  Icelandic  Norwegian  Swedish o East Germanic  Gothic (extinct) o West Germanic  Afrikaans  Dutch  English  Flemish  Frisian  German  Yiddish Slavic o Western  Czech  Polish 31
  32. 32. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)  Slovak  Sorbian o Eastern  Belarusian  Russian  Ukrainian o Southern  Bulgarian  Croatian  Macedonian  Old Church Slavonic  Serbian  SloveneBaltic o Latvian o Lithuanian o Old Prussian (extinct)Celtic o Brythonic  Breton  Cornish (extinct)  Gaulish (extinct)  Welsh o Goidelic  Irish  Manx Gaelic (extinct)  Scots GaelicHellenic (Greek)AlbanianArmenianAnatolian (extinct)Tocharian (extinct)Indo-Iranian o Indo-Aryan (Indic)  Assamese  Bengali  Bihari  Gujarati 32
  33. 33. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)  Hindi-Urdu  Marathi  Punjabi  Romani  Sanskrit  Sindhi  Singhalese o Iranian  Avestan  Balochi  Farsi (Persian)  Kurdish  Pashtu (Afghan)  SogdianUralic (or Finno-Ugric) is the other major family of languages spoken on theEuropean continent. Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian are examples.Afro-Asiatic languages are spoken in Northern Africa and the Middle East. Theyinclude Berber, Egyptian, Omotic and Cushitic languages (Somali, Iraqw) as wellas the modern Semitic languages of Hebrew, Arabic and Amharic, in addition tolanguages spoken in biblical times, such as Aramaic, Akkadian, Babylonian,Canaanite, and Phoenician.The Altaic languages are classified as Japanese and Korean, though somelinguists separate these languages into their own groups.Sino-Tibetan languages include Mandarin, Hakka, Wu, Burmese, Tibetan, andall of the Chinese "dialects."Austro-tai languages include Indonesian, Javanese and Thai; while the Asiaticgroup includes Vietnamese.The Dravidian languages of Tamil and Telugu are spoken in southeastern Indiaand Sri Lanka.The Caucasian language family consists of 40 different languages, and isdivided into Cartvelian (south Caucasian), North-West Caucasian and North-East 33
  34. 34. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Caucasian language groups. Some languages are Georgian, Megrelian, Chechen,Ingush Avarian, Lezgian and Dargin. These languages are mostly spoken inGeorgia, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Jordan and parts of the Russian federation.The Niger-Congo family includes most of the African languages. About 1,500languages belong to this group, including the Bantu languages of Swahili,Tswana, Xhosa, Zulu, Kikuyu, and Shona. Other languages are Ewe, Mina,Yoruba, Igbo, Wolof, Kordofanian and Fulfulde.Other African language groups are Nilo-Saharan, which includes 200 languagesspoken in Central and Eastern Africa; and Khoisan, the click languages ofsouthern Africa. The Khoisan group only contains about 30 languages, most ofwhich are spoken in Namibia and Botswana.The Austronesian family also contains about 900 languages, spoken all overthe globe. Hawaiian, Maori, Tagalog, and Malay are all representatives of thislanguage family.Many languages are, or were, spoken in North and South America by the nativepeoples before the European conquests. Knowledge of these languages islimited, and because many of the languages are approaching extinction, linguistshave little hope of achieving a complete understanding of the Amerindianlanguage families. 34
  35. 35. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics I - Fall 1996Anthony Kroch614 Williams Hall898-3212kroch@change.ling.upenn.eduLinguistics 101 is an introduction to linguistics from the point of view of its logicaland mathematical foundations. Its goal is to teach the basic structural propertiesof natural language sentences in their syntactic, semantic and pragmatic aspects,as well as the elements of automata theory and logic needed to describe naturallanguage precisely. The course begins with a discussion of the philosophical andpsychological foundations of modern linguistics and moves from there to moretechnical matters.Linguistics 101 has no prerequisites and fulfills the formal reasoning requirementin SAS. It is also a basic part of the Linguistics major and of the interdisciplinaryCognitive Science minor. Related courses are Linguistics 150: Introduction toSyntax and Linguistics 105: Introduction to Cognitive Science.Fall 1996 Course SyllabusInstructor: Teaching Assistants:Anthony Kroch Alan Lee &Rashmi Prasad614 Williams Hall 429 Williams Hall898-3212 898-6050Email addresses:kroch@change.ling.upenn.edualeewk@babel.lingrjprasad@babel.lingTexts: 1. Steven Pinker. The Language Instinct. New York: William Morrow. 2. Course Bulkpack. 35
  36. 36. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)This course will introduce you to linguistics, one of the core disciplines of themodern science of mind, from a mathematical point of view. Linguistics is a newscience, less than a century old; but we have learned much in this brief period ofscientific study about the uniquely human capacity to code abstract thought incommunicable form. In the course of this semester, we will explore some of theresults obtained in the scientific investigation of language, especially what hasbeen discovered regarding the formal structure of our linguistic capacities andhow our biologically endowed language faculty allows us to represent meaningsas structured sequences of words. The course will show you that it is possible tostudy human language rigorously and scientifically and that such study leads to aconception of language quite different from our everyday common-sense notionsof the subject.Requirements for the course consist of a midterm and a final exam, as well as aseries of homework assignments, roughly one per week through the semester.The course is organized around an interesting recent book by Steven Pinkerentitled "The Language Instinct." This book is not a textbook but it covers in areadable way the basic aspects of the study of language. There will also bereadings to supplement the Pinker book, which are available in the coursebulkpack.Topic 1: Introduction. How can there be a scientific study of language? Howare language and thought related? What grammar is and how we learn it. Whatwe can learn about language from the study of people who lose it or are kept bycircumstances from acquiring language in the normal way.Reading: Steven Pinker. The Language Instinct. Chapters 1-3. Perlmutter. "The Language of the Deaf." Pullum. "The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax."Topic 2: Formal grammar - the mathematical structure of language.This section of the course introduces the idea that languages can be analyzedmathematically. We discuss the relationship between computer languages andnatural human languages and the notion of language complexity. We alsointroduce the concept of a phrase structure grammar, which underlies bothcomputer and natural languages and the notion of a machine that automaticallyrecognizes and parses sentences. 36
  37. 37. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Reading: Michael Sipser. Introduction to the Theory of Computation. Chapters 0-2.Topic 3: Syntax - the structure of sentences in natural language. Thissection will be a focus of the course. Here we will learn how sentences are builtup out of words and why speakers are able to construct sentences of any degreeof complexity with a fixed vocabulary. We will also learn why linguists say thatlanguage is a rule-governed system and what some of the linguistic rules arethat are used in the syntactic description of language. We will see how theserules determine both the structure of sentences and the conditions under whichstrings of words are interpretable as sentences of a language instead of beingmeaningless word salad.Reading: Pinker, chapter 4.Topic 4: Semantics. What is meaning? Lexical semantics.Truth conditionalsemantics.The distinction between sense and reference.Semanticcompositionality.The relationship between syntax and semantics.Reading: OGrady, Dobrovolsky and Aronoff. Contemporary Linguistics: an Introduction. Chapter 6. Chierchia and McConnell-Ginet. Meaning and Grammar: An Introduction to Semantics. chapters 1-2.Topic 5: Pragmatics. How do speakers take account of listeners knowledgeand beliefs in formulating utterances? What inferences beyond literal meaninglisteners draw from what is said to them. What acts can be performed merely byspeaking. How context determines reference. The communicative effects of usingparticular syntactic constructions.Reading: Finegan and Besnier. Language, Its Structure and Use. chaps. 7, 10.Topic 6: Language in real time. How do listeners understand what speakerssay? How do speakers convert thought into speech? How psycholinguists studywhat goes on inside our heads without looking inside them. 37
  38. 38. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Reading: Pinker, Chapters 7-8. Akmajian et al. Linguistics: an Introduction to Language and Communication. Chapter 10.Assignment 1: GrammaticalityThis assignment is due at the beginning of the Monday lecture class onSeptember 16. Be sure to write your TAs name and your recitation day on thetop of your assignment. All future assignments should also be handed in at thebeginning of the Monday lecture class in the week that they are due.Assignments will be returned in recitation sections, beginning on the Friday afterthey are handed in.1. Prescriptive & Descriptive GrammarIn order to answer this question, you will have to be familiar with some notationused in linguistics. An asterisk (*) is used to mark sentences which areungrammatical. Grammatical sentences are unmarked. Recall that"ungrammatical" is used in the descriptive sense of interest to linguists, not inthe prescriptive sense. Pinker, whose use of the term we will follow, defines"grammatical" as "well formed according to consistent rules in the dialect of [a]speaker..." (p. 31). The dialect we have in mind here is the spoken language ofthe general college-educated American population.(A) Look at the sentences in (1a) and (1b). Why is (1b) ungrammatical? a. Two paintings are on the wall.(1) b. *Two paintings is on the wall(B) Now consider the sentences in (2). Do the grammaticality judgmentsindicated correspond to your own? Assuming the correctness of thesejudgments, what rule or rules could a speaker use to generate the grammaticalsentences (2a) and (2c) but not generate the ungrammatical sentence in (2b).Keep in mind that your rule(s) should also be able to account for the sentencesin(1). How does your description of the sentences in (1) and (2) differ fromprescriptions that govern standard usage?(2) a. There are two paintings on the wall. b. *There is two paintings on the wall 38
  39. 39. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.) c. Theres two paintings on the wall.(C) The sentences in (3) show a similar pattern to the pattern seen in (1).However, the pattern in (4) is different from the one in (2). Write a descriptionof the rules needed to generate the grammatical sentences in (3) and (4). Yourrules should not generate the ungrammatical sentences.(3) a. A painting by Picasso and a painting by Klee are hanging on the wall. b. *A painting by Picasso and a painting by Klee is hanging on the wall(4) a. *There are a painting by Picasso and a painting by Klee hanging on the wall b. There is a painting by Picasso and a painting by Klee hanging on the wall. c. Theres a painting by Picasso and a painting by Klee hanging on the wall.2. Grammaticality Judgments(A) Decide whether the phrases in (1) - (15) are grammatical in your spokendialect. (If you are not a native speaker of English, consult a native speaker forjudgments). Mark ungrammatical sentences with an asterisk ( * ) and say brieflywhats wrong with them.(1) To the bank.(2) The rat the cat the dog bit chased ran.(3) The cat the dog bit ran.(4) Being so flat, the Dutch bicycle everywhere.(5) Who do you wonder whether they will come.(6) Ivan a tin of caviar ate quickly.(7) Its mayor praised her village.(8) If you go to school, theres an elephant on the corner.(9) Susan told John that washing herself in public is a bad idea.(10) The candy ate the boy.(11) Immediately he opened the door he saw the murderer standing there.(12) The police officer arrested Sam and I. 39
  40. 40. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)(13) Earlobe seven by hexed fruitless.(14) Go take dog for a walk!(15) Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.(B) Often it is possible to make sense of an ungrammatical sentence. Likewise agrammatical sentence can be incomprehensible. Mark the incomprehensible butgrammatical sentences in (A) with a number sign (#).3. American Sign LanguageRead the discussion of deaf sign language in Pinker and the Perlmutter article inthe bulk pack before answering this question.Sign language users all over the world have been struggling for years toeradicate the notion that because they do not use speech, their communicationssystems are not "real" languages. One characteristic of languages in general isthat there is an arbitrary relation between words and what they represent. Youcant hear the French word chien, for example, and know by its sound that itrefers to what the English word dog refers to. Critics of sign languages haveoften described them as "iconic," as a series of pictures and gestures for actingout the real world -- and thus dismissed them as nothing more than complexmime. Consider the issue of iconicity in American Sign Language (ASL) in light ofthe following evidence.(A) The signs for male and female:original:female: running thumb along jaw toward chin, mimicking bonnet stringsmale: grasping an invisible cap near the foreheadcurrent:female: thumb on chin, with a hand shape as if thumbing your nose at someonemale: thumb on forehead, same handshape.-- How have these signs changed over time? How does this development affectthe debate over whether signs are iconic or not?(B) First person pronouns:When hearing children are first learning to speak, they often display a charmingtendency to confuse the pronouns you and me. When asked, "Do you want 40
  41. 41. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)milk," they reply, "Yes, you want milk," believing that they are describingthemselves. In a curious parallel, deaf children who are learning to sign willdisplay, at the same age, the tendency to confuse the signs for you and me.The adult will point to the child and ask a question, and the child will point at theadult in reply, even though, once again, these children are describingthemselves.-- Why do you think children make these mistakes? Based on the assumptionthat ASL is a true language, would you expect hearing children (who are notexposed to ASL) to make the same mistake as deaf children when responding topointing? Why or why not?(C) Character placing:When telling a story, an ASL signer is likely to name the characters at thebeginning (or whenever they appear) and in doing so, to "place" them at somelocation in space (one to the left, and one to the right, for example). From thatpoint on, the signer will refer to those locations by pointing instead of repeatingthe names.-- Does these rules for pointing remind you of anything in spoken language?(D) Handshapes:While fingerspelling is not a grammatical part of ASL, many signs in ASL aresigned with the handshape of the first letter in the English word -- language issigned with the "l" shape, class with the "c" shape, and water with a "w". Thecolors blue, purple, green, orange and yellow are all signed with the samemotion, shaking the initial letter (b, p, g, o, or y) back and forth. Apple is an "a"shape rotated at cheek level. At the same time, onion is an "x" shape movedthe same way, so this pattern does not always not hold.-- How do these facts impact upon the iconicity debate?(E) Iconicity in spoken language:There are iconic elements in ordinary spoken English. Give some examples. Inwhat ways are similar to and/or different from iconic features of ASL? 41
  42. 42. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Assignment 2: Language, Grammar, and Thought1.Tongan SyntaxThe following (simplified) sentences are from Tongan, a Polynesian languagespoken on the island of Tonga in the Pacific. Each sentence is glossed (directlytranslated) and an English translation is also provided. The followingabbreviations are used: Pr=present tense, Pst =past tense, Nom=nominativecase, Acc=accusative case, 1ps=First person singular, 2ps=Second personsingular.Answer the following questions based on your observations of sentences (1)-(4):(a) what would you say is the main structural difference between Tongan andEnglish? (b) how is tense realized in Tongan? (c) are the nouns marked in anyparticular way?(1) oku ui ehe- tamasiae- tangata Pr call Nom child Acc man The child calls the man.(2) oku kai ehe- fefine ae- ufi Pr eat Nom- womanAcc- yam The woman eats the yam.(3) nae ako ehe- tamasi ae- lesoni Pst study Nom- child Acc- lesson The child studied the lesson.(4) nae haka ehe- fefine ae- ika Pst boil Nom- woman Acc- fish The woman boiled the fish.How are the following sentences structurally different from the ones above? Also,why is the 1ps pronoun in (5) different from the one in (8)? Similarly, why is the2ps in (6) different from the one in (7)?(5) nae ku ui ae- tangata Pst 1ps call Acc- man 42
  43. 43. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.) I called the man.(6) oku ke kai ae- laise Pr 2ps eat Acc- rice You eat rice.(7) oku manako koe ehe- tangata Pr like 2ps Nom- man The man likes you.(8) nae tokonia au ehe- kakai Pst help 1ps Nom- man People helped me.If you have adequately analyzed the above sentences, you should now be ableto do some simple translations from English into Tongan! Try translating thefollowing:The man scares the child. (scare = fakailifiai)The woman saw me. (see = vakai)You ate the fish.You like me.2. TheRelationship betweenLanguage andThought.It is by now a well known fact (and those of you who have tried to learn aforeign language will undoubtedly admit this) that certain things can beexpressed more conveniently in some languages than in others. While onelanguage may have a special word to refer exclusively to a particular object ornotion, in another language this object or notion can be described only by usinga whole phrase or sentence. For example, in Tuvaluan, a language spoken by thePolynesian inhabitants of a group of islands in the Central Pacific, there aredifferent words to refer to many different types of coconut, which need to bedescribed at great length in English. Here are a few examples:pii : drinking coconut, with little flesh and much water, at a stage when the water is maximally sweetmukomuko: young coconut with some flesh in it, before it has become too soliduto : coconut at the stage when its husk can be chewed on and its water is still sweetmotomoto : same as mukomuko, but with firmer flesh 43
  44. 44. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)niu : coconut ripe enough for its flesh to be grateduttanu : mature coconut whose sprout has already pierced through the husk and whose water has turned into an edible spongious solid kernelHow much can we conclude from examples like this one about the relationshipbetween the language that people speak and the way that they think? Doexamples like this one support the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?.3. Grammar of Non-Standard EnglishStudy the following three groups of sentences of Appalachian English. Thesentences of each group share a grammatical feature not found in StandardEnglish. Describe these features.(1) Boy, I started to runnin. A vein in his nose bursted and he went to hemorragin. She practically raised im til he got up to walkin. Just recently, I had an aunt to come from Texas. Usually, I hafta have somebody else to do it. (note: went and got is roughly the equivalent of Standard Englishs started)(2) Id go out and cut me a limb off a tree, get me a good straight one. We had us a cabin, built us a log cabin back over there. And then youd get you a bowl of ice water. He wanted some straw to build him a house out of. Im gonna write me a letter to the President.(3) I got some kin people lived up there. Hes the funny lookin character plays baseball. Cause there was this vampire that killed people come in the house. My grandmas got this thing tells me about when to plant.4. Two puzzles (a). Included in your bulkpack there is an excerpt from an interview with Miss Manners. What point relevant to a linguistics course does she make in her discussion of ettiquette books? (b). Right after the Miss Manners interview there is a page with aDominos Pizza advertisement. Why do you think this page was included in thecourse bulkpack? 44
  45. 45. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Assignment 3: Sentences as Structured Objects1.Expressivity of LanguageConsider the following sentences :a) I hate war.b) You know that I hate war.c) He says that you know that I hate war.Construct a sentence that includes sentence (c) and then construct anothersentence that includes your new sentence. Can you repeat the process again tocreate an even longer sentence? How long do you think you can go on? Why?2. Structural AmbiguityOur syntactic knowledge goes beyond our ability to decide which strings aregrammatical and which are not. It accounts for the structural ambiguity ofexpressions like synthetic buffalo hides. The ambiguity results from the fact thatsynthetic can modify buffalo hides or simply hides to result in two differentinterpretations. It is therefore due to the syntactic structure that the expressionhas two meanings and not due to any ambiguous words. Paraphrase each of thefollowing sentences in two different ways to show that you understand theambiguity involved : a) Smoking grass can be nauseating. b) Rob finally decided on the boat. c) Old men and women are hard to live with. d) That sheepdog is too hairy to eat. e) Terry loves his wife and so do I. f) They said she would go yesterday.Is the type of ambiguity in the above sentences different from the ambiguity inthe following sentences : g) I walked by the bank yesterday. h) Thomas Jefferson ate his cottage cheese with relish.3. Mathematical exercisesDo exercises 3, 4, and 8 on page 24 at the end of chapter 0 of Sipser. 45
  46. 46. (Source: An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, 6th Ed.)Assignment 4: Mathematical preliminariesA.Alphabets, Strings and LanguagesLet be the alphabet containing the symbols a and b. In other words: = {a, b}.A language L contains all strings over which either begin with a and end with b,or begin with b and end with a. State which of the following strings belong to L,and which do not: i) ab ii) baa iii) abba iv) baba v) bubba vi) bConcatenation is an operation on strings where one string is appended to theend of another string. For example, if we have two strings xy and yx, we can dothe operation xy o yx (where o is the symbol denoting concatenation) to yield anew string xyyx. Now, when we concatenate certain strings from the language L,we get a new string which still belongs to L. For example, the strings aab andabb are valid strings in L. The operation aab o abb gives us the new stringaababb which still belongs to L (since it starts with an a and ends with ab).However, the concatenation of two valid strings of L does not always yield a newstring which also belongs to L. Provide some counterexamples of when theconcatenation of two strings of L results in a new string which does NOT belongto L.B. Relations and FunctionsThe above diagram shows the maternal family tree of a certain family. F is theset containing all the members of this family. Let M be the set containing allmothers in F. Hence, M = {Eve, Jennifer, Mary, Kate}. Let the relation R = "isthe mother of". The statement mRf, where m is an element of set M and f is anelement of set F, simply says that m is the mother of f. We can show thisrelationship diagramatically:The above diagram shows a normal relation, where an element in the first groupcan map onto more than one element in the second group. 46

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