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Introduction to linguistic

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Introduction to linguistic

  1. 1. Linguistics: An Introduction Cao Ning School of English Language Longdong University
  2. 2. 1 About1 About LANGUAGELANGUAGE  The definition of LanguageThe definition of Language  Design Features of LanguageDesign Features of Language  Functions of LanguageFunctions of Language 2 About2 About LINGUISTICSLINGUISTICS  Main branches of linguisticsMain branches of linguistics  Important distinctions in linguisticsImportant distinctions in linguistics Key points in this unit Does the animal have language?
  3. 3. LinguisticsLinguistics  Linguistics, simply, is the study of language.Linguistics, simply, is the study of language. Then,Then,  What is languages ?  Is language human specific ?  Do animals have language?
  4. 4.  Language isLanguage is purely humanpurely human and non-instinctiveand non-instinctive method ofmethod of communicating ideas, emotions andcommunicating ideas, emotions and desiresdesires by means of voluntarily producedby means of voluntarily produced symbols (Sapir, 1921).symbols (Sapir, 1921).  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 (Finocchiaro, 1965). The definition of Language
  5. 5. Language is a system of communication by sound, operating through the organs of speech, among members of a given community, and using vocal symbols possessing arbitrary conventional meaning (Pei, 1966) The definition of Language
  6. 6. The generally accepted definition: Language is ais a systemsystem ofof arbitraryarbitrary vocal symbolsvocal symbols used forused for humanhuman communicationcommunication (Wardhaugh, 1972).(Wardhaugh, 1972). The definition of Language
  7. 7.  ExplanationsExplanations Firstly, language is a system, i.e., elements of language are combined according to rules. “iblk”, “Been he wounded has” are unacceptable. Secondly, language is arbitrary in the sense that there is no intrinsic connection between the word ‘pen’ and the thing we use to write with.
  8. 8.  ExplanationsExplanations The fact that different language have differentThe fact that different language have different words for the same object is a good illustration of thewords for the same object is a good illustration of the arbitrary nature of language.arbitrary nature of language. This also explain the symbolic nature of language:This also explain the symbolic nature of language: words are just symbols; they are associated withwords are just symbols; they are associated with objects, actions, ideas, etc, by convention. “A rose byobjects, actions, ideas, etc, by convention. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” .(Romeo andany other name would smell as sweet” .(Romeo and Juliet)Juliet)
  9. 9. Thirdly, language is vocal because the primary medium is sound for all languages, no matter how well developed their writing systems are. All evidence points to the fact that writing systems came into being much later than the spoken forms and that they are only attempts to capture sounds and meaning on paper. “children – spoken language – read and write” Explanations
  10. 10. Design Features of Language refer to the quintessential characteristics of human language, which can distinguish any human language system from any non-human language system. They cover: Arbitrariness, Duality, Creativity, Displacement, and Cultural transmission. DesignDesign Features of Languageof Language
  11. 11. Design Features of LanguageDesign Features of Language Arbitrariness  This feature was first proposed by Saussure. The forms of linguistic signs bear no natural (logical, intrinsic) relationship to their meaning.  “Different sounds are used to refer to the same object in different languages.” tree 树 Baum
  12. 12. ArbitrarinessArbitrariness  At lexical level:At lexical level:  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet (Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, 1594 )
  13. 13. ArbitrarinessArbitrariness  at the syntactic levelat the syntactic level  language is not arbitrary at the syntacticlanguage is not arbitrary at the syntactic level.level.  (a) He came in and sat down.  (b) He sat down and came in.  (c) He sat down after he came in..
  14. 14. How to understand ArbitrarinessArbitrariness and convention?
  15. 15. Duality Language possess the property of having two levels of structures: Sounds (lower or basic level) Meaning (higher level) Sounds are combined with one another to form meaningful units such as words. The secondary units sounds are meaningless and the primary units have distinct and identifiable meaning. Design Features of LanguageDesign Features of Language
  16. 16. Design Features of LanguageDesign Features of Language  Language can be used to send messages we have never said or heard before.  Creativity is unique to human language.  Language is creative in that it makes possible the construction and interpretation of new signals by its users. Creativity
  17. 17. CreativityCreativity  Words can be used in newWords can be used in new ways to mean new things, andways to mean new things, and can be instantly understood bycan be instantly understood by people who have never comepeople who have never come across that usage before.across that usage before. cool
  18. 18. Creativity  Language is resourceful because of its duality and its recursiveness.  The recursive nature of language provides a potential to create an infinite number of /endless sentences.  “Limited rules can produce unlimited sentences.” (Chomsky,1958).
  19. 19.  For instance:  This is the cat that killed the rat that ate the maltThis is the cat that killed the rat that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.that lay in the house that Jack built.  He bought a bookHe bought a book whichwhich was written by a teacherwas written by a teacher whowho taught in a schooltaught in a school whichwhich was known for itswas known for its graduatesgraduates whowho ......  从前有座山………从前有座山……… Creativity
  20. 20. Creativity  Users can understand and produce words or sentences they have never heard before. Every day we sent messages that have never been sent before and understand novel messages.  Much of what we say and hear for the first time; yet there seems no problem of understanding. Design Features ofDesign Features of LanguageLanguage
  21. 21. DisplacementDisplacement  Human languages enable their usersHuman languages enable their users to symbolize objects, events andto symbolize objects, events and concepts which are not present (inconcepts which are not present (in time and space) at the moment oftime and space) at the moment of communication.communication. Thus, we can refer to Confucius, or the North Pole, even though the first has been dead for over 2550 years and the second is situated far away from us. Design Features ofDesign Features of LanguageLanguage
  22. 22. DisplacementDisplacement  Animal communication isAnimal communication is normally under “immediatenormally under “immediate stimulus control”.stimulus control”.  For instance, a warning cry of aFor instance, a warning cry of a bird instantly announces danger.bird instantly announces danger. My masterMy master will be homewill be home in a few days.in a few days. The honeybee's danceThe honeybee's dance exhibits displacementexhibits displacement a little bit: he cana little bit: he can refer to a source ofrefer to a source of food, which is remotefood, which is remote in time and spacein time and space when he reports on it.when he reports on it.×
  23. 23. DisplacementDisplacement  Human language is stimulus-free. What weHuman language is stimulus-free. What we are talking about need not be triggered byare talking about need not be triggered by any external stimulus in the world or anyany external stimulus in the world or any internal state.internal state.  Our language enables us to communicateOur language enables us to communicate about things that do not exist or do not yetabout things that do not exist or do not yet exist.exist.
  24. 24. DisplacementDisplacement Displacement benefitsDisplacement benefits human beings by giving ushuman beings by giving us the power to handlethe power to handle generalizationsgeneralizations andand abstractionsabstractions..
  25. 25. Cultural transmission  Animal call systems are genetically transmitted.  Language is culturally transmitted. It is passed on from one generation to the next by teaching and learning, rather than by instinct. Design Features of LanguageDesign Features of Language
  26. 26. Topics for discussionTopics for discussion  No matter how eloquently a dog may bark, he cannot tell you that his parents were poor but honest. - Bertrand Russell  A rose by other name would smell as sweet. – Shakespeare  He bought a book which was written by a teacher who taught in a school which was known for its graduates who …  /tr/, /a/, /n/, /s/, /l/, /ei/, /t/- translate – translate a novel- translate a novel by Lu Xun
  27. 27. Do we have language ?
  28. 28. QuestionsQuestions  What if there were no language?What if there were no language?  What function does language play in dailyWhat function does language play in daily life?life?
  29. 29. languagelanguage functionsfunctions  IdeationalIdeational function ( a model of experience asfunction ( a model of experience as well as logical relations)well as logical relations) ;;  InterpersonalInterpersonal function (to establish andfunction (to establish and maintain social relationships )maintain social relationships ) ;;  TextualTextual function (to creates relevance tofunction (to creates relevance to context).context). Metafunctions of Language proposed by Halliday
  30. 30. language functionslanguage functions  InformativeInformative  InterpersonalInterpersonal  PerformativePerformative  EmotiveEmotive  Phatic communionPhatic communion  RecreationalRecreational  MetalingualMetalingual
  31. 31. Functions of LanguageFunctions of Language  Informative  Language is used to convey messages, that is to inform somebody of some information.  Declarative sentences are employed to realize the function.  One of the features of this function is the proposition has the true or false value,  e.g. Water boils at 90ºC. Water boils at 100ºC.
  32. 32.  Interpersonal  By far the most important sociological use ofBy far the most important sociological use of language, and by which people establish andlanguage, and by which people establish and maintain their status in a societymaintain their status in a society, “polite expressions, humble words”, expression of identity.  For example, the ways in which people addressFor example, the ways in which people address others (others (Dear Sir, Dear Professor, Johnny), and refer), and refer to themselves (to themselves (yours, your obedient servantyours, your obedient servant ) indicate) indicate the various grades of interpersonal relations.the various grades of interpersonal relations. Functions of LanguageFunctions of Language
  33. 33. Interpersonal  In the framework ofIn the framework of functional grammarfunctional grammar,, it is concerned with interaction betweenit is concerned with interaction between the addresser and addressee in thethe addresser and addressee in the discourse situation and the addresser'sdiscourse situation and the addresser's attitude toward what he speaks or writesattitude toward what he speaks or writes about.about. Functions ofFunctions of Language
  34. 34. Performative function  This concept originates from the philosophicalThis concept originates from the philosophical study of language represented by Austin andstudy of language represented by Austin and Searle, whose theory now forms the back-boneSearle, whose theory now forms the back-bone of pragmatics. For example,of pragmatics. For example, – I now declare the meeting open.I now declare the meeting open. – I bet you two pounds it will rain tomorrow.I bet you two pounds it will rain tomorrow. Functions ofFunctions of Language
  35. 35.  Performative function It is to change the social status of persons, as in marriage ceremonies, the sentencing of criminals, the blessing of children, the naming of a ship at a launching ceremony, and the cursing of enemies. (formal and ritualized) Functions of LanguageFunctions of Language
  36. 36. – For example, in ChineseFor example, in Chinese when someone breaks a bowlwhen someone breaks a bowl or a plate the host or theor a plate the host or the people present are likely topeople present are likely to saysay 岁岁平安岁岁平安 as a means ofas a means of controlling the invisiblecontrolling the invisible forces which the believers feelforces which the believers feel might affect their livesmight affect their lives adversely.adversely.  The performative function can extend toThe performative function can extend to the control of reality as on some magical orthe control of reality as on some magical or religious occasions.religious occasions.
  37. 37.  Emotive function to change the emotional status of an audience for or against someone or something: swear words, obscenities, involuntary verbal reactions to beautiful art or scenery; conventional words/phrases, ( e.g., My God, Damn it, What a sight, Wow, Ugh, Ow… ) Functions of LanguageFunctions of Language
  38. 38.  Phatic communion It refers to the social interaction of language. Small, seemingly meaningless topic to maintain a comfortable relationship between people without involving any factual content, “health, weather” Expressions that help define and maintain interpersonal relations, such as slangs, jokes, jargons, ritualistic exchanges, switches to social and regional dialects. Functions of LanguageFunctions of Language
  39. 39. Phatic communion  We all use such small, seemingly meaninglessWe all use such small, seemingly meaningless expressions to maintain a comfortableexpressions to maintain a comfortable relationship between people without involvingrelationship between people without involving any factual content.any factual content.  Good morning, God bless you, Nice day,Good morning, God bless you, Nice day, hellohello  吃饭了吗?到哪里去?吃饭了吗?到哪里去?  Greetings, farewells, and comments on theGreetings, farewells, and comments on the weather in English and on clothing in Chineseweather in English and on clothing in Chinese
  40. 40. Recreational function  To use language for the sheer joy of using it, such as a baby’s babbling, a chanter’s chanting, verbal dueling, poetry writing.  To take one example, the well-known movie 《刘三姐》 features a scene of “ 对歌” (song dueling) mostly for the sheer joy of playing on language. Functions of LanguageFunctions of Language
  41. 41. Metalingual function  Language can be used to talk about itself.  metalanguage ( 元语言;纯理语言 ) : certain kinds of linguistic signs or terms for the analysis and description of particular studies, e.g. approving, formal, non technical, old-fashioned; [u] , [c], etc. Functions of LanguageFunctions of Language
  42. 42.  Functions of Language InformativeInformative Hello, do you know …?Hello, do you know …? I heard that …I heard that … With language people can expressWith language people can express themselves and communicate with others.themselves and communicate with others. Inter-personalInter-personal Dear sir, Dear professor, John, yours,Dear sir, Dear professor, John, yours, your obedient servantyour obedient servant By language people establish and maintainBy language people establish and maintain their social status in a society.their social status in a society. PerformativePerformative Marriage ceremonies, the sentence of aMarriage ceremonies, the sentence of a criminal, sui sui ping an (to break acriminal, sui sui ping an (to break a bowl on Spring Festival)bowl on Spring Festival) People use language to change social statusPeople use language to change social status or control the reality on some specialor control the reality on some special occasionsoccasions EmotiveEmotive Oh, my God! What a sight.Oh, my God! What a sight. And hurrah!And hurrah! Language can be used to get rid of theLanguage can be used to get rid of the nervous energy when we are under stressnervous energy when we are under stress PhaticPhatic Good morning! Thank you.Good morning! Thank you. God bless you.God bless you. language is used to maintain a comfortablelanguage is used to maintain a comfortable relationship between people withoutrelationship between people without involving any factual contentinvolving any factual content RecreationalRecreational Tip tongue, poetry writing gives peopleTip tongue, poetry writing gives people the pleasure of using language.the pleasure of using language. People use language for the sheer of joy.People use language for the sheer of joy. Meta-lingualMeta-lingual book---- number of printed or writtenbook---- number of printed or written sheets of paper bound together in asheets of paper bound together in a cover.cover. People use language to talk about languagePeople use language to talk about language itself.itself.
  43. 43. LinguisticsLinguistics  Linguistics can be defined asLinguistics can be defined as the scientificthe scientific oror systematic study of languagestudy of language. It is a. It is a science in the sense that it scientificallyscience in the sense that it scientifically studies the rules, systems and principles ofstudies the rules, systems and principles of human languages.human languages.
  44. 44. Linguistics has two main purposes  One is that it studies the nature of languageOne is that it studies the nature of language and tries to establish a theory of languageand tries to establish a theory of language and describes languages in the light of theand describes languages in the light of the theory established.theory established.  The other is that it examines all the forms ofThe other is that it examines all the forms of language in general and seeks a scientificlanguage in general and seeks a scientific understanding of the ways in which it isunderstanding of the ways in which it is organized to fulfill the needs it serves and theorganized to fulfill the needs it serves and the functions it performs in human life.functions it performs in human life.
  45. 45. AboutAbout LINGUISTICSLINGUISTICS  MainMain branchesbranches of linguisticsof linguistics PhoneticsPhonetics PhonologyPhonology MorphologyMorphology SyntaxSyntax SemanticsSemantics PragmaticsPragmatics MacrolinguisticsMacrolinguistics PsycholinguisticsPsycholinguistics
  46. 46. Scope of linguistics  Microlinguistics includes phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics.  Macrolinguistics includes sociolinguistics, Psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, stylistics, discourse analysis, computational linguistics, cognitive linguistics, applied linguistics,etc.
  47. 47. CoreCore branches of Linguisticsof Linguistics  LinguisticsLinguistics  LanguageLanguage  Sounds words sentences meaningSounds words sentences meaning Phonetics/phonology morphology syntaxPhonetics/phonology morphology syntax semantics/pragmaticssemantics/pragmatics
  48. 48. Macrolinguistics ( Peripheral branches )  Psycholinguistics: Language + psychology  Sociolinguistics: Language + society  Anthropological linguistics: Language + anthropology  Computational linguistics: Language + computer
  49. 49. MicrolinguisticsMicrolinguistics  Phonetics is the scientific study of speech sounds. It studies how speech sounds are articulated, transmitted, and received.  Phonology is the study of how speech sounds function in a language, it studies the ways speech sounds are organized. It can be seen as the functional phonetics of a particular language.  Morphology is the study of the formation of words. It is a branch of linguistics which breaks words into morphemes. It can be considered as the grammar of words as syntax is the grammar of sentences.
  50. 50. Microlinguistics  Syntax deals with the combination of words into phrases, clauses and sentences. It is the grammar of sentence construction.  Semantics is a branch of linguistics which is concerned with the study of meaning in all its formal aspects. Words have several types of meaning.  Pragmatics can be defined as the study of language in use. It deals with how speakers use language in ways which cannot be predicted from linguistic knowledge alone, and how hearers arrive at the intended meaning of speakers. PRAGMATICS =MEANING- SEMANTICS.
  51. 51. Macrolinguistics  Socilinguistics studies the relations between language and society: how social factors influence the structure and use of language.  Psycholinguistics is the study of language and mind: the mental structures and processes which are involved in the acquisition, comprehension and production of language.  Neurolingistics is the study of language processing and language representation in the brain. It typically studies the disturbances of language comprehension and production caused by the damage of certain areas of the brain.
  52. 52. MacrolinguisticsMacrolinguistics  Stylistics is the study of how literary effects can be related to linguistic features. It usually refers to the study of written language, including literary text, but it also investigates spoken language sometimes.  Discourse analysis, or text linguistics, is the study of the relationship between language and the contexts in which language is used. It deals with how sentences in spoken and written language form larger meaningful units.  Computational linguistics is an approach to linguistics which employs mathematical techniques, often with the help of a computer.
  53. 53.  Cognitive linguistics is an approach to the analysis of natural language that focuses on language as an instrument for organizing, processing, and conveying information.  Applied linguistics is primarily concerned with the application of linguistic theories, methods and findings to the elucidation of language problems which have arisen in other areas of experience. MacrolinguisticsMacrolinguistics
  54. 54.  Descriptive vs. prescriptive (描述和规定) If a linguistic study describes and analyzes the language people actually use, it is said to be descriptive; if it aims to lay down rules for “correct” behavior, i. e., to tell people what they should say and what they should not say, it is said to be prescriptive. Important distinctions in linguisticsImportant distinctions in linguistics
  55. 55. Descriptive vs. prescriptiveDescriptive vs. prescriptive  Don't say X. People don't say X.  The first is a prescriptive command, while the second is a descriptive statement.  The distinction lies in prescribing how things ought to be and describing how things are.
  56. 56.  Most modern linguistics is descriptive. It attempts to describe what people actually say. Traditional grammars told people how to use a language.  As traditional grammars tried to lay down rules, they are often called prescriptive.  Descriptive grammars attempt to tell what is in the language, while prescriptive grammars tell people what should be in the language.  Language changes and develops. The changes should be observed and described. This does not deny that languages have rules. Descriptive vs. prescriptiveDescriptive vs. prescriptive
  57. 57. Synchronic vs. Diachronic  Language can be studied at a given point in time or over time.  When we study language at one particular time /at some point of time in history, it is called synchronic linguistics.  When we study language developments through time, it is called diachronic or historical linguistics.  Synchronic linguistics focuses on the state of language at any point in history while diachronic linguistics focuses on the differences in two or more than two states of Important distinctions in linguisticsImportant distinctions in linguistics
  58. 58. Synchronic Linguistics Diachronic/ Historical Linguistics
  59. 59.  Langue vs. Parole The distinction made by Swiss linguist F. de Saussure in the early 20th century. Langue and parole are French words. Langue refers to the abstract linguistic system shared by all the members of a speech community, and parole refers to the realization of langue in actual use. Langue is the set of conventions and rules which language users all have to abide by, and parole is the concrete use of the conventions and the application of the rules. Langue is abstract; it is not the language people actually use. Parole is concrete; it refers to the naturally occurring language events. Important distinctions in linguisticsImportant distinctions in linguistics
  60. 60. Competence vs. Performance  Proposed by American linguist N. Chomsky in the late 1950’s.  Competence: the ideal user’s knowledge of the rules of his language.  Performance: the actual realization of this knowledge in linguistic communication.  According to Chomsky, a speaker has internalized a set of rules about his language, this enables him to produce and understand an infinitely large number of sentences and recognize sentences that are ungrammatical and ambiguous. Important distinctions in linguisticsImportant distinctions in linguistics
  61. 61. Then, what’s the distinction between Chomsky’s and Saussure’s
  62. 62.  Langue is a social product, and a set of conventions for a community, while competence is deemed as a property of the mind of each individual.  Sussure looks at language more from a sociological or sociolinguistic point of view than Chomsky since the latter deals with his issues psychologically or psycholinguistically. Important distinctions in linguisticsImportant distinctions in linguistics
  63. 63. Etic vs. Emic  The two terms originate from the American linguist Pike’s (派克) distinction of phonetics and phonemics.  Etic is related to an approach to the study of a particular language or culture that is general, non-structural and objective in its perspective.  Being etic means making far too many, as well as behaviorally inconsequential, differentiations, just as was often the case with phonetic vs. phonemic analysis in linguistics proper. Important distinctions in linguisticsImportant distinctions in linguistics
  64. 64.  Emic is related to an approach to the study of a particular language or culture in terms of its internal elements and their functioning rather than in terms of any existing external scheme.  That is to say, an emic set of speech acts and events must be one that is validated as meaningful via final resource to the native members of a speech community rather than via appeal to the investigator’s ingenuity or intuition alone. Important distinctions in linguisticsImportant distinctions in linguistics

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