Linguistics for beginners

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Linguistics for beginners

  1. 1. Guido Ipsen
  2. 2. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 2 Universität Gesamthochschule Kassel Fachbereich 08 Anglistik/Romanistik Linguistics for Beginners A Guide and Textbook for the Orientierungskurs Linguistik by Guido Ipsen For the classes OK Linguistik Guido Ipsen: Tuesday, 4.00 p.m. Josef Wallmannsberger: Thursday 8.00 a.m. WS 98/99Overall aim:To investigate the basic principles of language and to familiarize you with linguistic theorywith emphasis on the English language. You will learn about the origins as well as the historyof the language and how we acquire and use it. Taking a look on the history of English, youwill gain insight into the principles of language change. You will be introduced to communi-cation models, theories of the linguistic sign and to examples of how the linguistic sign is ap-plied; phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semiotics, and semantics are further sta-tions on our linguistic journey. We will start at the beginnings, pass contemporary linguistictheory, and finish with the latest developments, namely computer linguistics.Objective:At the end of this course, you should have a working knowledge of the history and structureof the English language. You should be aware of the basic principles concerning the structureand use of languages in general and the linguistic sign in particular. You should then be ableto apply this knowledge to the analysis and interpretation of language. Although you will notbe able to give detailed answers to all questions concerning linguistics, you should have ac-quired sufficient understanding to be able to recognize topics in courses leading further.Assessment:There will be no test at the end of the semester. In order to obtain a Schein, you will have toattend classes regularly. There will be a textbook in which you will find work sheets. Theseare to be handed in on a weekly basis. The questions on the work sheets correspond to thetopics discussed in class. Assessment criteria are regular delivery of work sheets and correct-ness of answers.
  3. 3. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 3Weekly programDate Date Topic Reading Further ReadingClass 1 Class 2(Tuesday) (Thursday)27-10 29-10 Varia Trask 1–23, Finegan—Besnier 1–9 Introduction to language and linguistics3-11 5-11 Language universals Finegan—Besnier 245–248 Finegan—Besnier 248– 27110-11 12-11 History of English I: Old English Trask 93–98; 110–117 Baugh—Cable 41–50 Finegan—Besnier 462–47117-11 19-11 History of English II: Middle English Trask 98–99 Baugh—Cable 154–165; Finegan—Besnier 474–478 232–23424-11 26-11 Language acquisition and disorders Trask 119–156 Fromkin—Rodman 326– Finegan-Besnier 14-20 335; 362–3771-12 3-12 Communication Finegan—Besnier 23–27 Pelz 27–33; 50–56 Nöth 174–180; 185–187 Barker 1–1058-12 10-12 Phonetics Trask 3-5; Pelz 69-75; Fromkin-Rodman 35-69; Finegan-Besnier 37-54 MacKay 198715-12 17-12 Phonology Pelz 75-79; Fromkin-Rodman 70-109 Finegan-Besnier 59-79 Halle-Clements 19835-1-99 7-1-97 Morphology Pelz 105-128 Lyons 180-206; Fromkin- Finegan-Besnier 85-118 Rodman 110-140; Bauer 198312-1 14-1 Syntax Pelz 138-159; Lyons 209-269 Finegan-Besnier 125-15019-1 21-1 Semiotics Locke 1986; Nöth 39-47, Eco 1976; Deely 1990, 65-73; Trabant 11-12, 34-57 Nöth 1975, Deely et al. 198626-1 28-1 Semantics Finegan-Besnier 171-212; Leech 1974; Lyons 1977, Pelz 171-219 vols. 1 & 22-2 4-2 Pragmatics Finegan-Besnier 213-244; Leech 1983; Chafe 1976 Pelz 221-2539-2 11-2 Text linguistics deBeaugrande-Dressler 1-11 deBeaugrande-Dressler 48-20816-2 19-2 Sociolinguistics Finegan-Besnier 382-454 Hudson 1980
  4. 4. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 4ContentsWEEKLY PROGRAM .................................................................................................3 6.1 Saussures model of the speech circuit................................................ 6.2 Shannons and Moles communicationCONTENTS.................................................................................................................4 models................................................................................................READING LIST ...........................................................................................................6 6.2.1 Elements of the communication process................................THE INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC 6.3 Bühlers organon model................................................................ALPHABET .................................................................................................................8 6.4 Jakobsons model of communicativeWELCOME!.................................................................................................................9 functions................................................................................................ 7. PHONETICS................................................................1. LANGUAGE AND LINGUISTICS..........................................................................10 7.1 Articulatory phonetics - consonants ................................................... 1.1 What is human language? ........................................................................................................................10 7.1.1 Voicing ........................................................................................... 1.1.1 Design features of language ................................................................................................................10 7.1.2 Manner of articulation ................................................................ 1.2 What is linguistics?....................................................................................................................................11 7.1.2.1 Plosives and continuants......................................................... 1.2.1 Diachronic versus synchronic view .....................................................................................................12 7.1.2.2. Aspiration .............................................................................. 1.2.2 The two axes of the synchronic view ..................................................................................................12 7.1.3 Place of articulation................................................................ 1.2.3 The various linguistic disciplines: 7.2 Articulatory phonetics — vowels ........................................................ Survey...........................................................................................................................................................13 7.3 English sounds — an overview............................................................2. LANGUAGE UNIVERSALS ..................................................................................15 8. PHONOLOGY ................................................................ 2.1 Semantic universals...................................................................................................................................15 8.1 Phonemes and allophones................................................................ 2.2 Phonological universals.............................................................................................................................15 8.2 Distinctive features............................................................................... 2.3 Syntactic universals...................................................................................................................................16 2.4 Absolute universals – universal 8.3 Redundant features .............................................................................. tendencies; implicational – nonimplicational 8.4 Rules of phonology ............................................................................... 8.4.1 Assimilation rules................................................................ universals .........................................................................................................................................................163. THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH I: 8.4.2 Feature addition rules ................................................................ 8.4.3 Segment-deletion and addition rules ..............................................OLD ENGLISH ..........................................................................................................17 8.4.4 Movement (metathesis) rules ......................................................... 3.1 Languages in Britain before English .......................................................................................................18 9. MORPHOLOGY ............................................................. 3.1.1 Celtic languages...................................................................................................................................18 3.1.2 Latin.....................................................................................................................................................18 9.1 Types of morphemes ............................................................................ 9.1.1 Grammatical classification ............................................................. 3.2 Old English.................................................................................................................................................19 9.1.2 Morphological classification .......................................................... 3.2.1 Features of Old English .......................................................................................................................19 9.1.3 Morph, morpheme, and allomorph ................................................. 3.2.2 Scandinavian influence on Old English...............................................................................................20 9.2 Morphology and word-formation .......................................................4. THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH 2: 9.2.1 Inflection ........................................................................................MIDDLE ENGLISH....................................................................................................21 9.2.2 Word formation .............................................................................. 4.1 The change from Old English to Middle 9.2.2.1 Derivation. .............................................................................. 9.2.2.2 Compounding ................................................................ English..............................................................................................................................................................21 4.2 Modern English .........................................................................................................................................22................................ 9.2.2.3 Other processes of word-formation 9.3 Word classes and sentence functions ..................................................5. LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND 10. SYNTAX ................................................................DISORDERS .............................................................................................................24 10.1 What is a sentence? ............................................................................ 5.1 Child language acquisition........................................................................................................................24 10.1.1 Aristotelian definition................................................................ 5.1.1 Milestones ...........................................................................................................................................24 10.1.2 Logical definition ................................................................ 5.1.2 Stages...................................................................................................................................................24 10.1.3 Structuralist definition (Bloomfield) ............................................ 5.2 Language development and maturation..................................................................................................25 10.2 Grammaticality and acceptability.................................................... 5.3 Second language acquisition.....................................................................................................................26 10.3 Sentence types..................................................................................... 5.4 Language disorders ...................................................................................................................................27 10.4 Sentence structure .............................................................................. 5.4.1 Aphasia................................................................................................................................................27 10.4.1 Segmentation ................................................................................ 5.4.2 Anomia ................................................................................................................................................27 10.4.1.1 Reduction by omission ......................................................... 5.4.3 Dyslexia...............................................................................................................................................28 10.4.1.2 Reduction by substitution ..................................................... 5.4.4 Dysgraphia...........................................................................................................................................28 10.4.2 Expansion and reduction .............................................................. 5.5 Errors .........................................................................................................................................................28 10.5 Immediate constituents ................................................................6. COMMUNICATION ...............................................................................................29 10.5.1 Noun phrase and verb phrase .......................................................
  5. 5. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 5 10.5.2 Modes of representation ....................................................................................................................50 12.5 Metaphor............................................................................................. 10.5.2.1 Labeled bracketing.....................................................................................................................50 12.6 Deixis ................................................................................................ 10.5.2.2 Block diagram............................................................................................................................50 13. PRAGMATICS.............................................................. 10.5.2.3 Tree diagrams ............................................................................................................................50 10.5.3 Phrase structure grammar ..................................................................................................................51 13.1 Information structure ................................................................ 13.1.1 Categories of information structure .............................................. 10.5.4 Recursivity rules................................................................................................................................51 13.1.2 Pragmatic categories and syntax................................................... 10.5.5 Problems with IC-Analysis................................................................................................................52 10.6 Transformational generative grammar 13.2 Speech acts .......................................................................................... 13.2.1 Types of speech acts................................................................ (TGG) ...............................................................................................................................................................52 13.2.2 Locution, illocution, perlocution .................................................. 10.6.1 The components of TGG ...................................................................................................................52 13.2.3 The cooperative principle ............................................................. 10.6.2 Summary of TGG ..............................................................................................................................53 13.2.4 Indirect speech acts................................................................ 10.6.3 Transformational rules.......................................................................................................................53 14. TEXT LINGUISTICS .....................................................11. SEMIOTICS.........................................................................................................55 14.1 What is text linguistics? ................................................................ 11.1 Saussure....................................................................................................................................................55 11.1.1 The two-sided sign ............................................................................................................................55 14.2 The principles of textuality................................................................ 11.1. 2 Concept and sound image.................................................................................................................56 14.2.1 Cohesion....................................................................................... 11.1.3 Meaning as opposition.......................................................................................................................56 14.2.1.1 Recurrence ............................................................................ 14.2.1.2 Junction................................................................................. 11.2 Peirce ........................................................................................................................................................57 14.2.2 Coherence..................................................................................... 11.2.1 The triadic sign ..................................................................................................................................57 14.2.3 Intentionality and acceptability .................................................... 11.2.1.1 The representamen .....................................................................................................................58 14.2.4 Informativity................................................................................. 11.2.1.2 The object ..................................................................................................................................58 14.2.5 Situationality ................................................................................ 11.2.1.3 The interpretant..........................................................................................................................58 14.2.6 Intertextuality ............................................................................... 11.2.1.4 Unlimited semiosis ....................................................................................................................58 11.2.2 Firstness, secondness, thirdness.........................................................................................................59 15. SOCIOLINGUISTICS ...................................................12. SEMANTICS .......................................................................................................60 15.1 Variation in language................................................................ 15.1.1 Regional variation in language ..................................................... 12.1 The meaning of "meaning" ....................................................................................................................60 15.1.1.1 Dialect vs. Accent ................................................................ 12.2 Word meaning and sentence meaning ...................................................................................................60 15.1.1.2 Varieties of English .............................................................. 12.3 Lexical semantics.....................................................................................................................................61 15.1.2 Social variation in language ......................................................... 12.3.1 Semantic features...............................................................................................................................61 15.1.2.1 Elaborated vs. restricted code ............................................... 12.3.2 Denotation versus connotation ..........................................................................................................61 15.1.2.2 Objections ............................................................................. 12.3.3 Lexical fields .....................................................................................................................................61 15.1.2.3 Code switching ................................................................ 12.3.3.1 Markedness ................................................................................................................................62 15.1.3 Ethnic variation in language ......................................................... 12.4 The most relevant semantic relations 15.1.4 Lingua franca, pidgins and Creoles .............................................. between lexemes...........................................................................................................................................62 15.1.5 Variation in language and sex ...................................................... 12.4.1 Hyponymy .........................................................................................................................................62 15.2 Register and Style............................................................................... 12.4.2 Synonymy..........................................................................................................................................62 15.2.1 Style.............................................................................................. 12.4.3 Antonymy..........................................................................................................................................62 15.2.2 Register......................................................................................... 12.4.4 Asymmetry of the lexeme..................................................................................................................63 12.4.4.1 Homonymy. ...............................................................................................................................63 12.4.4.2 Polysemy....................................................................................................................................63
  6. 6. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 6Reading listThe reading on this list comprises a sufficient stock of introductory literature. Key literature isavailable on a reserved book shelf in the library. Books with this sign are valuable for further studies beyond the scope of this class. Aitchinson, Jean 1976 The articulate mammal. London: Hutchinson.Barker, Larry L. 1990 Communication. Bauer, Laurie 1983 English word formation. Cambridge: University press. Baugh, Albert C. & Thomas Cable 1993 A history of the English language. London: Routledge.Chafe, Wallace 1976 Bedeutung und Sprachstruktur (= Linguistische Reihe 20). München: Hüber. Crystal, David 1976 Child learning, language, and linguistics. 1978 Linguistics. Harmondsworth: Penguin. deBeaugrande, Robert Alain -- Wolfgang Ulrich Dressler 1981 Introduction to Text Linguistics. London: Longman.Deely, John -- Brooke Williams -- Felicia E. Kruse 1986 Frontiers in semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1990 Basics of semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Dijk, Teun A. van 1980 Textwissenschaft: Eine interdisziplinäre Einführung. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag Eco, Umberto 1976 A theory of semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Finegan, Edward & Niko Besnier 1989 Language: Its structure and use. San Diego et al.: Harcourt BraceFromkin, Victoria & Robert Rodman 1983 An introduction to language. New York: Holt.Halle, Morris & G.N. Clements 1983 Problem book in phonology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT press. Hogg, Richard M. 1992 The Cambridge history of the English language. 2 vols. Cambridge: University Press. Hudson, Richard A. 1980 Sociolinguistics. Cambridge: University Press.Leech, Geoffrey 1974 Semantics. Harmondsworth: Penguin. 1983 Principles of pragmatics. New York: Longman.Locke, John 1690 An essay concerning human understanding. London: Elisabeth Holt, in: Deely et al., 3-4.Lyons, John 1975 Introduction to theoretical linguistics. Cambridge: University Press. 1977 Semantics. Vols. 1 & 2. Cambridge: University Press.
  7. 7. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 7 1981 Language and linguistics. Cambridge: University Press.MacKay, Ian R.A. 1987 Phonetics: The science of speech production. Boston: Little Brown.Nöth, Winfried 1975 Semiotik. Tübingen: Niemeyer. 1990 Handbook of semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Pelz, Heidrun 1975 Linguistik für Anfänger. Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe. Selinker, Larry 1992 Rediscovering interlanguage. London: Longman. Slobin, D. 1971 Psycholinguistics. Glenview, Ill.: Scott.Trabant, Jürgen 1989 Zeichen des Menschen. Frankfurt/Main: Fischer.Trask, R.L. 1995 Language: The basics. London: Routledge.
  8. 8. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 8The international phonetic alphabetFor the purpose of giving an adequate transcription of the words of any language, the interna-tional phonetic alphabet has been devised by the International Phonetic Association (IPA).We will use the symbols of this linguistic alphabet throughout the course. Note that in sometexts you will encounter different transcriptions. Stick to the following list, anyway. It is arecognized standard. Phonetic spelling of words or sounds is commonly set between slashes:/ig»zAmpl/Consonant letters that have their usual English sound valuesp, b, t, d, k, m, n, l, r, f, v, s, z, h, wVowels and diphtongs i˘ bean I pit eI bay A˘ barn e pet aI buy ç˘ born Q pat çI boy u˘ boon √ putt ´U no Œ˘ burn Å pot aU now U put I´ peer ´ another e´ pair U´ poorNote: ç´ also occurs as a variant of ç˘ (as in "four") or of U´ (as in "poor")Consonants g game N long S ship tS chain T thin Z measure dZ Jane D then j yesNote: x (German "ach") occurs as a variant for k as in Scottish "loch"Stress accent» = the following syllable carries primary (tonic) stress« = the following syllable carries secondary stress
  9. 9. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 9Welcome!T his is your textbook for the Orientierungskurs Linguistik. It will accompany you throughout the course. It should help you in learning and understanding the topics we will deal with. However, it cannot convert you into a full–sized linguist. The study of linguistics is a vast field. Do not expect to learn everything in one semester. And donot feel linguistically dwarfish if you find that there are many questions that will remain un-answered at the end of the term. This is an introductory course!From the previous pages you have already learned that you will find highly concentrated in-formation in this textbook. It is not necessary for you to read the material before classes.. I donot take for granted any knowledge of linguistics on your side. However, the information pro-vided in this textbook does not cover all and everything you need to know to specialize in thevarious fields of linguistics. Rather, it is a starting point from which you may proceed. Sug-gestions for further reading will always be listed in the weekly program. The reading of thesetexts (together with some ingenuity on your part) should suffice for you to be able to givedetailed answers to the questions on the weekly work sheets you are given in class or find onthe homepage.. In addition, you can have a look at the reserved book shelf in the library.There you will also find suggestions for further reading that may help you in the future, whenyou need more detailed information. Thus, the textbook should still be of use for your studiesafter this Orientierungskurs.Those of you who prefer to visit the web site, please look up this address:http://www.uni-kassel.de/fb8/lfb/lfb.html
  10. 10. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 101. Language and LinguisticsT alking, shouting, whispering, lying, swearing, telling jokes or tales, in short: communi- cation of all sorts by means of articulate sound is something we are so familiar with that we hardly ever come to think about it as something unique. However, no other creature on this planet shows the ability to communicate verbally in the way we do.Take a minute to think about the immense impact spoken and written language has on youreveryday life! You could not possibly do without it in situations where you meet other people,like in school, university, or at the breakfast table. The examples are innumerous. In thiscourse, we will take a look at the unique features of human language. As you will see whenwe proceed, the human curiosity concerning language is no modern phenomenon. Languagehas been examined by linguists and philosophers for several millennia. Therefore, we canlook back on a respectable stock of literature on the topic originating from the times of An-cient Greece until the present day. The result is a compendium of linguistic disciplines thatare interwoven with the domains of, among others, philosophy, psychology, neurology, andeven computer science: a vast and fascinating network of knowledge. To keep you fascinated(which I hope you are) and to keep you from becoming intimidated (which I hope you arenot), we will start right away with the very principles that make human language so special.1.1 What is human language?Language is a highly elaborated signaling system. We call the aspects that are peculiar to itthe design features of language. Some of these we find only with the language of human be-ings, others we have in common with animals. Another aspect of human language is that weexpress thoughts with words.1.1.1 DESIGN FEATURES OF LANGUAGE• A principle feature of human language is the duality of patterning. It enables us to use our language in a very economic way for a virtually infinite production of linguistic units. How does this principle work? All human languages have a small, limited set of speech sounds. The limitation derives from the restricted capacity of our vocal apparatus. The speech sounds are referred to as consonants and vowels. Linguistically speaking, the distinctive speech sounds are called phonemes, which are ex- plained in more detail in the chapter on phonology. You cannot use isolated phonemes for communication, because phonemes are by themselves meaningless. But we can assemble and reassemble phonemes into larger linguistic units. These are commonly called "words". Although our capacity to produce new phonemes is limited, we frequently coin new words. Hence, our capacity to produce vocabulary is unlimited.• Displacement In contrast to other animals, humans have a sense of the past and the future. A gorilla, for example, cannot tell his fellows about his parents, his adventures in the jungle, or his ex- perience of the past. The use of language to talk about things other than "the here and now", is a characteristic of humans. Displacement is thus our ability to convey a meaning that transcends the immediately perceptible sphere of space and time. Although some animals seem to possess abilities appropriating those of displacement, they lack the freedom to apply this to new contexts. The dance of the honey-bee, for instance, indicates the locations of rich deposits of food to other bees. This ability of the bee corre- sponds to displacement in human language, except for a lack of variation. The bee fre-
  11. 11. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 11 quently repeats the same patterns in its dance, whereas humans are able to invent ever new contexts.• Open-endedness The ability to say things that have never been said before, including the possibility to ex- press invented things or lies, is also a peculiar feature of human language.• Stimulus-freedom is another aspect that distinguishes human language from animal com- munication. The honey-bee must perform its dance, the woodchuck must cry out in order to warn his fellows when it beholds an eagle. Humans have the ability to say anything they like in any context. This ability is only re- stricted in certain ceremonial contexts such as church services, etc., where a fixed form is expected to be followed. The possibility to violate this fixed linguistic behavior is then the source of jokes, such as a brides "no".• Arbitrariness Why is a table called "table"? Obviously, the thing never told us its name. And tables do not make a noise similar to the word. The same applies to most of the words of our lan- guage. Hence, words and their meaning have no a priori connection. We cannot tell from the sound structure which meaning is behind it. Language is not motivated, as we can also put it. There are, however, exceptions to this rule: language can be iconic, which means that there is a direct correlation between form and meaning. The length of a phrase, for example, could represent a length of time the phrase refers to, like in "a long, long time ago". Here, the extension serves to visually represent the semantic emphasis. Iconicity in language can be found frequently. We will see this in more detail in the chapter on semiotics. Another example for nonarbitrariness are onomatopoeia. These are words that seem to resemble sounds. There are many examples for onomatopoetic words, like splash or bang. Some names for animals are also onomatopoetic, for example, "cuckoo". Still, since animals such as the bird are named differently in different languages, there can be no ultimate motiva- tion for the name.• The human vocal tract An elaborated language requires a highly sophisticated speech organ that will enable the speaker to produce the many differentiated sounds. Only humans are endowed with a speech organ of this complexity.1.2 What is linguistics?Linguistics is the scientific inquiry into the human language with all its aspects. All its as-pects: these are many. There is a specialized branch for each approach to the examination oflanguage.Until the beginning of the 20th century, scholars were occupied with research on the historyof languages and the roots of words in ancient tongues. The famous linguist Ferdinand deSaussure coined this approach the diachronic analysis and moved to the analysis of the sys-tem of language, which he assumed to be of greater importance. Saussure stated this in thefirst decades of this century and thus formed the fundament of modern linguistics.
  12. 12. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 121.2.1 DIACHRONIC VERSUS SYNCHRONIC VIEWtoday synchronic axis15001066 diachronic axis449• Diachrony Diachronic linguistics views the historical development of a language. Thus, on the dia- chronic axis we can go back and forth in time, watching the language with all its features change.• Synchrony Synchronic linguistics views a particular state of a language at some given point in time. This could mean Modern English of the present day, or the systematic analysis of the sys- tem of Shakespeares English. However, no comparisons are made to other states of lan- guage or other times. Modern linguistics, following Ferdinand de Saussure, is primarily interested in the syn- chronic point of view. Saussure postulated the priority of synchrony: no knowledge of the historical development of a language is necessary to examine its present system. He arrived at this radical viewpoint due to his conviction that linguistic research must concentrate on the structure of language. Later, the whole paradigm was hence called structuralism.1.2.2 THE TWO AXES OF THE SYNCHRONIC VIEWWhen we look at the structure of language, we find sentences and words. This is, however, avery rough view. A grammar of a language must be more precise.• One axis of the synchronic view is syntagmatic analysis. Here we examine the relation- ships of all elements of a sentence to one another. We ask ourselves exactly what element appears where and under which condition in a sentence. For example, where do nouns ap- pear? Where are auxiliary verbs applied? All word classes show certain syntagmatic rela- tionships. They can be defined by distribution analysis, a method that classifies elements according to their appearance within the logical order of a sentence. Lets have a look at an example: A + ______ + crosses + the + street Obviously, a noun must appear in the blank space, for example: a woman crosses the street.• Of course, nouns and verbs are not all the same. They do not fit into contexts freely. Hence we apply paradigmatic analysis. In our example, the idea of a sandwich crossing the street is impossible. As you can see, the elements of language obviously evince paradigmatic relationships. Elements can be substituted by others of the same paradigmatic class, such as street, lane, road, etc. Articles can also be exchanged. Words that belong to the same paradigmatic class thus belong to the same grammatical class. They also belong to the same lexical field. The following diagram shows the two axes of synchronic analysis:
  13. 13. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 13 a woman crosses the street the lady a lane female road *sandwich1.2.3 THE VARIOUS LINGUISTIC DISCIPLINES: SURVEYIn the following, the branches of linguistics we will deal with in this course are listed. This isonly a very rough summary. You will get more detailed information when you turn to the re-spective chapters.• Historical linguistics This discipline is occupied with the examination of the historical development of lan- guages. But apart from this diachronic analysis, it also deals with the synchronic analysis of certain states of language. In this course, we will have a look at the development of the English language.• Language acquisition and communication How do we learn our language? How do the processes of language comprehension and production work? This discipline gives answers to these questions. Also, it takes a look at the role of memory in language and how it is used once we are able to talk. Strictly speak- ing, it is a branch of psycholinguistics, a discipline that emerged from the interdisciplinary collaboration of linguistics and psychology in the 1950s. Research in language acquisition has meanwhile become a strong domain of its own.• Phonetics The subjects of phonetics are the articulation, transport, and receival of speech sounds. Thus, there are three corresponding branches of phonetics: articulatory, acoustic, and audi- tory phonetics. In contrast to phonology, phonetics deals with the physical aspect of speech sounds. In order to give a correct transcription of speech sounds, there are several special alphabets. The one most commonly used is the IPA which you will find in this textbook.• Phonology Phonology is the study of the distinctive sounds of a language, the so-called phonemes. Phonology examines the functions of sounds within a language.• Morphology Morphemes are the smallest meaningful elements of a language. Morphology is the study of these meaning units. Not all words or even all syllables are necessarily meaning units. Morphology employs discovery procedures to find out what words or syllables are mor- phemes.• Syntax Syntax is the study of sentence structure; it is a part of grammar in the broad sense. There are several ways of defining and examining sentences. We will have a look at various grammars.• Semiotics Semiotics is the study of signs in communication processes in general. It concerns itself with the analysis of both linguistic and non-linguistic signs as communicative devices and with their systems. We will take a brief look at the theory of signs, with emphasis on the linguistic sign.• Semantics Linguistic semantics examines the meaning of linguistic signs and strings of signs.
  14. 14. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 14• Pragmatics Pragmatics is the study of the use of signs and the relationship between signs and their us- ers.• Text linguistics The traditional linguistic disciplines regard the text as a peripheral phenomenon, whereas Text linguistics regard the text as a sign of its own. There are various text types and mechanisms that constitute textuality. These lie beyond the borders of the separate sen- tences.• Sociolinguistics This is the study of the interaction of language and social organization. There are several models that determine the variation of language in social contexts both on an individual as well as on a social-group scale. Sociolinguistics is also concerned with national language policies.• Computer linguistics (also: computational linguistics) This domain is an interdisciplinary area of research between linguistics and information science. There are two main branches. First, computer linguists simulate grammars by implementing language structures into computer programs. In this context, the term computer metaphor became famous. It refers to the notion that the human brain can be simulated by a computer. Second, computer linguists use the computer as a tool for the analysis of language. For in- stance, large corpuses of text are processed with the aid of especially designed software.
  15. 15. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 152. Language universalsN early five thousand languages are spoken in the world today. They seem to be quite different, but still, many of them show similar principles, such as word order. For example, in languages such as English, French, and Italian, the words of the clause take the order of first the subject, then the verb, and then the direct object.There even exist basic patterns or principles that are shared by all languages. These patternsare called universals.When the same principles are shared by several languages, we speak of language types. Thereare several examples for universals.2.1 Semantic universalsThere are semantic categories that are shared by all cultures and referred to by all languages -these are called semantic universals. There are many examples of semantic universals. Letsdiscuss two of them:• One semantic universal regards our notion of color. There exist eleven basic color terms: black, white, red, green, blue, yellow, brown, purple, pink, orange, and gray. The pattern that all languages universally abide by, is that they do not entertain a notion of a color term outside of that range. This means, any imaginable color is conceived of as a mixture, shade, or subcategory of one of these eleven basic color terms. As a result, one way of classifying languages is by color terms. The eleven color terms are not in usage equally among the languages on Earth. Not all languages have all basic color terms. Some have two, some three, and some four. Others have five, six, or seven, and some have eight to eleven. Those with two color terms always have black and white, those with three black, white, and red, and those with more have additional basic color terms according to the or- der in the list given above. This is a universal pattern. The languages which have the same basic color terms in common belong to the same language type. Hence, we find seven classes of languages according to this scheme.• Another semantic universal is the case of pronouns. Think of what it is you do when you talk to someone about yourself. There is always the "I", representing you as the speaker, and the "you", meaning the addressee. You could not possibly do without that, and neither could a speaker of any other language on earth. Again, we find a universal pattern here. Whenever you do not talk about yourself as a person, but as a member of a group, you use the plural "we". English is restricted to these two classes of pronouns: singular and plural, each in the first, second, and third person. All languages that evince this structure are grouped into one language type. There are other languages that make use of even more pronouns. In some languages, it is possible to address two people with a pronoun, that spe- cifically indicates, not just their being plural, but also their being two people; this is then the dual pronoun.• Other examples are languages that have pronouns to refer to the speaker and the addressee together, called inclusive pronouns. Exclusive pronouns refer to the speaker together with people other than the addressee. However, these are not among the European languages.2.2 Phonological universalsDifferent languages may have very different sets of vowels. If you are familiar with a fewforeign languages, you may find it difficult to believe there are universal rules governing thedistribution of vowels, but they do exist. Remember our example of basic color terms: A simi-lar pattern could be drawn on the basis of the vowel system. Languages with few vowels al-
  16. 16. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 16ways have the same set of vowel types. And if a language has more vowels, it is always thesame type of vowel that is added to the set. These vowels may not always sound exactly thesame, but they are always created at the same location in our vocal apparatus.2.3 Syntactic universalsRemember the word order of English I mentioned above. Hmhm, you say: that cannot be auniversal rule, since you know other sentences from English and possibly from other lan-guages which do not follow this order. You are right, but the order subject, verb, object(SVO) may be defined as the basic order of English sentences. In other languages there aredifferent "basic" orders, such as Japanese (SOV) or Tongan (VSO), a Polynesian language.After an extensive study, one can define two different sets of basic orders that languages fol-low: First SVO, VSO, SOV and second VOS, OVS, OSV. What is the difference? In the firstset the subject precedes the object, in the second set it follows the object. Since the first set isthe one which applies to the basic structures of far more languages than the second one does,the universal rule is that there is an overwhelming tendency for the subject of a sentence toprecede the direct object among the languages of the world.2.4 Absolute universals – universal tendencies; implicational – nonimplicational universalsOf course, not all universals can be found in all languages. With so many tongues spoken, itwould be hard not to find any exceptions. Most languages have not even been the subject ofextensive research as of yet. However, some rules appear without exception in the languageswhich have been studied so far. We call these absolute universals. If there are minor excep-tions to the rule, we speak of universal tendencies or relative universals. In saying this, wetake for granted that exceptions may be found in future surveys among languages which haveremained unexplored up to the present day.Sometimes a universal holds only if a particular condition of the language structure is ful-filled. These universals are called implicational. Universals which can be stated without acondition are called nonimplicational. In other words, whenever a rule "If ... then ..." is valid,the universal appears in the structure of the respective language.There are thus four types of universals: implicational absolute universals, implicational rela-tive universals, nonimplicational absolute universals, and nonimplicational relative universals.The final determination of which type a universal belongs to is dependent on intensive fieldresearch.
  17. 17. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 173. The history of English I: Old EnglishL ooking at a living language, one of the most interesting aspects is language change. All languages, except for the extinct ones, change permanently. Usually we do not notice the change that takes place during our own time because it happens quite slowly. But if we take a look back over a considerable span of time, language changebecomes more obvious. Of course there were no textbooks in the beginnings of language, butfortunately linguists have developed certain methods to trace back words even beyond earliestrecords. Thus we have knowledge not only of the last 1500 years of English. We can evenmake an assumption about the very roots of the language.English is an Indo-European language. Indo-European was discovered to be the parent lan-guage of most European, Anterior-Asian, and Indian languages. As a rule, according to proto-typical features of some of these languages, two main branches are defined in the Indo-European language tree, namely an eastern branch and a western branch. However, scholarshave disputes about where the divisions within the Indo-European language family are to beplaced. For example, in examining languages other than the prototypical, it has been foundthat not all languages can be classified into one of the two main branches, the eastern andwestern branches, of language families.How do we recover features of languages which are so old that no speakers live to tell usabout them? Historical linguistics deduces that an abundant occurrence of features in a daugh-ter language, the presence of which cannot be explained by language universals or by the as-sumption of them having been borrowed, or adopted, from another tongue, is likely to havebeen inherited from the parent language. Thus, by inferencing from widespread phenomenaon a mother tongue from which these phenomena came, linguists trace back languages. InIndo-European languages, for example, obvious correlations can be found. The Latin andSanskrit words for "hundred", namely L. "centum" and S. "satem", can be traced back to acommon root. Since these two languages were considered to be the most prominent examplesfor the respective branches, the whole branches were named after them. Also, former scholarsbelieved that they should make judgements about the various languages. Sanskrit, Latin, andGreek were commonly believed to be of a higher quality than the modern languages. Oftenscholars argued that these languages were more "pure" and praised their "perfection" and"clarity". Today we consider such notions to be outdated. There is no room in linguistics forthe approval or disapproval of a language. If we look for the origin of a word, we call this thewords etymology (etymon = Greek for "root").Within the Indo-European family tree and among the centum languages, we find languagefamilies like the Germanic, Celtic, or Latin families. Some authors refer to the early Germaniclanguage as "Proto-Germanic". The Germanic language family is again split up in the West-,East-, and North-Germanic groups.While the Scandinavian tongues derived from the North-Germanic language group, Anglo-Frisian and Modern German came from the West-Germanic group.In the case of English, interaction with other languages was very important during its history,as we will see. Hence, many influences from foreign sources can be found in Modern English,while the family tree does not suggest these interchanges to have occurred.
  18. 18. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 18 Indo-European centum satem Germanic Celtic ... Balto-Slavic Indo-Iranian West East North Anglo-Frisian German English Frisian3.1 Languages in Britain before English3.1.1 CELTIC LANGUAGESThe first culture in England of which we have definite knowledge is the Celtic culture andlanguage. It is assumed that the coming of the Celts to England coincided with the introduc-tion of bronze on the island. There were—and still are—Celtic tongues spoken on the Britishisles.• Celtic Languages in Britain are Welsh, Cornish, Scots Gaelic, Manx, and Irish Gaelic. The main groups of Welsh, Scots and Irish Gaelic still exist, as does Manx, and are even pro- moted in order to preserve the language community. Cornish, however, became extinct 200 years ago when the last recorded speaker died. Due to the above mentioned promotion, the rest of the Celtic languages have a better chance of surviving. Other Celtic tongues are also still spoken in Brittany (France) and, also on the verge of becoming extinct, are sponsored as well. LANGUAGE AREA STATUS Welsh (Cymric) Wales still spoken Cornish Cornwall extinct Scots Gaelic Scotland still spoken Manx Isle of Man still spoken Irish Gaelic Ireland still spoken3.1.2 LATINAnother language in England was Latin. It was spoken extensively for a period of about fourcenturies before the coming of English. In 55 BC, Julius Caesar decided to invade Britain.Because of the unexpectedly powerful resistance of the Celts, however, a final conquest couldnot be accomplished until about 100 years later. Almost all of what is now England was thensubjected to Roman rule. Naturally, the military conquest of Britain was followed by the ro-manization of the province, as was the case in other countries and provinces conquered by theRomans, such as Gaul of present day France. The Roman culture and the Latin language wereintroduced. Note, however, that the Celts, who then inhabited the whole of the British isles,
  19. 19. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 19withstood the Romans in the other parts of the country. Hence, Latin did not spread furthernorth or west of what are roughly the present day English borders. Latin did not replace the Celtic language in Britain. Its use was confined to members of theupper classes such as landowners and the bureaucracy. Nevertheless, vocabulary for items notknown to the Celts prior to romanization infiltrated the language of the, mainly lower class,Celts, to some extent.3.2 Old EnglishAbout the year of 449 an event occurred that profoundly affected the course of history in Brit-ain: the invasion of Britain by certain Germanic tribes. These were the Angles, Saxons, andJutes who came from regions of Northern Europe where natural disasters and famine, due tooverpopulation, had forced them to leave. Since the Roman Empire was under heavy attack atmany of its borders at that time, no legions could be spared to defend the British province.The emperor in Rome, therefore, left the British population on their own devices. The Britishinhabitants, bereft of a military force, subsequently failed to defend themselves and what wasonce Roman Britain became inhabited by the newcomers. The Celtic population was forced toleave and take refuge in other areas of Britain. The struggle of the Celts against the Anglo-Saxons has been preserved in the myth of the legendary King Arthur who led his people intheir resistance. The names "English" and "England" were then drawn from the name of thepredominant tribe of the Angles, who had established their most powerful kingdom in theformer Roman province.3.2.1 FEATURES OF OLD ENGLISHOld English (OE) was spoken from 449 to 1100 AD. Characteristic features of Old Englishare that the vocabulary is almost purely Germanic. OE is a period of full inflections: in formof endings to the noun and pronoun, the adjective and the verb. Since the grammar of suchlanguages depends on the synthesis of words and endings, we call them "synthetic languages".• Nouns. It is impossible here to present the inflections of the Old English noun in detail. Their nature may be gathered from the examples of: sta#n (stone), giefu (gift), and hunta (hunter), a masculine consonant-stem. Sing. N. sta#n gief-u hunt-a G. sta#n-es gief-e hunt-an D. sta#n-e gief-e hunt-an A. sta#n gief-e hunt-an Plur. N. sta#n-as gief-a hunt-an G. sta#n-a gief-a hunt-ena D. sta#n-um gief-um hunt-um A. sta#n-as gief-a hunt-an• Verbs. There are certain differences between OE verbs and Modern English (ModE) verbs. Verbs are divided into two classes: regular and irregular verbs. Regular verbs all follow the same inflection pattern, while there are irregularities among the second group. The latter consists of strong, weak, and anomalous verbs. Strong verbs are called so because a change
  20. 20. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 20 of tense is there indicated within the word itself, by a modification of the verb’s root vowel, such as in sing, sang, sung. In weak verbs, like walk, walked, walked, this change is dependent on being indicated by an additional syllable. OE strong verbs can still be strong verbs in ModE:OE b"#tan ba#t biton biten ModE bite bit bitten OE strong verbs may be regularized in ModE:OE helpan healp hulpon holpen ModE help helped helped OE weak verbs may be regularized in ModE:OE lufian lufode lufodon lufod ModE love loved loved3.2.2 SCANDINAVIAN INFLUENCE ON OLD ENGLISHInvasions and conquests were quite common during the first millennium AD in Britain. From787 on, the Danes raided the English coasts and the hinterland quite frequently. In 850, theystarted large-scale invasions. In this period, Ælfred the Great, king of Wessex, gained recogni-tion due to his long but successful struggle against the Danes. In 878 he defeated them andsaved his kingdom, although the invaders still remained in the eastern territories. The Danishrule in these countries was also called Danelaw. To cut a long story short - after a lot of bat-tles, defeats and victories, the Danish king Svein became king of England in 1014. The Dan-ish rule lasted until 1042. Their language naturally had some influence on the English tongue.This influence can be seen mainly with the English vocabulary, for example word-borrowings. In Old English, the sound sk, which it had inherited from its Germanic ancestors,had soon been changed to sh. The under the Danish rule introduced Scandinavian words,however, retained their sk sound until today, helping us to identify the Scandinavian word-borrowings in English. This development also produced a range of word pairs - newly intro-duced Scandinavian words then stood side by side with the already existing altered sh-version, such as skiff—ship; skirt—shirt. The words of these word pairs are thus closely re-lated on a semantic level, but serve to designate different aspects or understanding of theitems.Word replacements also occurred. Several of the new foreign words replaced OE ones, aswith take—niman; cast—weorpan; cut—ceorfan.In 1066, the Normans invaded England. Through the influence of Norman French, the OEperiod gradually ended.
  21. 21. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 214. The history of English 2: Middle English4.1 The change from Old English to Middle EnglishT he Middle English (ME) period lasted from about 1100–1500. Major historical events influenced the language change. In 1066, the Duke of Normandy, the famous William, henceforth called "the Conqueror", sailed across the British Channel. He challenged King Harold of England in the struggle for the English throne. After winning the battleof Hastings where he defeated Harold, William was crowned King of England. A NormanKingdom was now established. The Anglo-Saxon period was over. The Norman invasionnaturally had a profound effect on Englands institutions and its language. The NormanFrench spoken by the invaders became the language of Englands ruling class. The lowerclasses, while remaining English-speaking, were influenced nevertheless by the new vocabu-lary. French became the language of the affairs of government, court, the church, the army,and education where the newly adopted French words often substituted their former Englishcounterparts. The linguistic influence of Norman French continued for as long as the Kingsruled both Normandy and England. When King John lost Normandy in the years following1200, the links to the French-speaking community subsided. English then slowly started togain more weight as a common tongue within England again. A hundred years later, Englishwas again spoken by representatives of all social classes, this new version of the English lan-guage being strikingly different, of course, from the Old English used prior to the Normaninvasion. The English spoken at this turn of events is called Middle English. About ten thou-sand French words had been taken over by English during the Middle English period, andmost of them have remained in the language until the present day. Aside from the alreadymentioned new vocabulary pertaining to the affairs of government, court, the church, thearmy, and education, many words relating to food and fashion were introduced as well. Insome fields an original English terminology did not exist. Therefore, many French terms wereborrowed. One example is the names of animals and their meat. Whereas the names of theanimals remained the same, their meat was renamed according to the Norman custom. Thiscorrelated to the sociological structures: the farmers that raised the animals were predomi-nantly English natives and could afford to keep using their own vocabulary while farming -those serving the meat at the dining room table to the mainly French upper classes had to con-form to the French language. animal meat sheep mutton cow beef swine porkThe English language also has doublets—these are pairs of words that have the same etymol-ogy, i.e. the same source, but that differ in meaning because they had been introduced into theEnglish language by two separate languages. The Latin and French influence, for instance,made for many of such word pairs. Latin vocabulary adopted by the Celts directly became apart of English. The same vocabulary was sometimes adopted by the Gauls and introduced toEnglish via Norman French .
  22. 22. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 22 doublets meaning adj. urban (area) having qualities of large settlement urbaine (person) having a certain sense for culture noun curtsy female gesture of respect (bending the knees) courtesy politenessAs far as grammar is concerned, a reduction of inflections began. The grammatical genderdisappeared and inflections merged. As the inflections of the Old English disappeared, theword order of middle English became increasingly fixed. This change made for a great loss ofstrong verbs. At a time when English was the language mainly of the lower classes andlargely removed from educational or literary domains and influence, it was natural that manyspeakers applied the pattern of inflecting weak verbs to verbs which were historically strong.This linguistic principle of adopting the pattern of a less common form to a more familiar oneis called analogy.The exclusive use of the pattern SVO (subject - verb - object; see the chapter on universals)emerged in the twelfth century and has remained part of English ever since.4.2 Modern EnglishThe Modern English (ModE) period began in 1500 and lasts until the present day. The com-plex inflectional system of Old English had been simplified during the ME period. ModernEnglish is therefore called the period of lost inflections.An important phonological change of English vowels took place between 1450 and 1650,when all long vowels changed their quality to a great extent. This development is called theGreat English Vowel Shift. For information on phonology, see chapter 8.Each long vowel came to be pronounced with a greater elevation of the tongue and closing ofthe mouth. Those vowels that could be raised were raised and those that could not be raisedbecame diphtongs. Diphtongs are sounds where two vowels are pronounced after another soclosely that they become one acoustic phenomenon, like in German "Eule" or "Auto". "Rais-ing" here refers to the position of the tongue in the mouth. This movement is commonly illus-trated with the help of the following graphic, which shows where the vowels are produced inthe mouth. The top left corner, for example, corresponds to the upper front space in themouth, where the tongue moves when you pronounce the /I˘/. i˘ aI au u˘ e˘ o˘ E˘ ç˘ A˘Some examples can be drawn from the pronunciation of words at the time of Geoffrey Chau-cer, one of the most famous authors of ME, and William Shakespeare, whose use of Englishwas already modern.
  23. 23. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 23 Chaucer Shakespeare I˘ [fI˘f] five [fAIv] e˘ [me˘d´] meed [mi˘d] E˘ [klE˘n´] clean [kle˘n] (now [kli˘n]) a˘ [na˘m´] name [ne˘m] ç˘ [gç˘t´] goat [go˘t] o˘ [ro˘t´] root [ru˘t] u˘ [du˘n] down [dAun] Short vowels were not affected by the Great English Vowel Shift. Thus, ME sak [sQk]remained ModE sack [sQk], ME fish remained ModE fish [fIS]This phonological change did not, however, express itself in any alterations of writing con-ventions. This fact is confusing for many learners of English. The spelling conventions ofEnglish vowels had essentially been established by the time of William Caxton, who foundedhis printing press in 1476. This was some time before the phonological change had progressedvery far. Caxtons spelling reflects the pronunciation of the Middle English period and thusdoes not do justice to Modern English pronunciation.
  24. 24. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 245. Language acquisition and disordersA part from the general historical development of languages, there is another, rather personal development in each of us when we acquire a language. We undergo child language acquisition, development, and maturation. We acquire second, third, fourthor even more languages in school or when we travel abroad. Another feature of personal lin-guistic developments are language disorders due to malfunctions of certain areas of the brain.In this chapter, we will examine some of the findings of Neurolinguistics. This branch of lin-guistics investigates the relationship between the brain and language.5.1 Child language acquisitionChildren have to learn language from scratch, although the capability to speak is inherent ineveryone. There are certain milestones and stages of language acquisition during the childsfirst months and years.5.1.1 MILESTONES• I: 0–8 weeks. Children of this age are only capable of reflexive crying. We also call this the production of vegetative sounds.• II: 8–20 weeks. Cooing and laughter appears in the childs vocal expression.• III: 20–30 weeks. The child begins with vocal play. This includes playing with vowels (V) and consonants (C), for example: "AAAOOOOOUUUUIIII".• IV: 25–50 weeks. The child begins to babble. There are two kinds of babbling, a) redupli- cative babbling CVCV, e.g., "baba", and b) variegated babbling, e.g., VCV "adu".• V:9–18 months. The child starts to produce melodic utterances. This means that stress and intonation are added to the sound chains uttered.After having passed these milestones, children are, in essence, capable of pronouncing wordsof the natural language.5.1.2 STAGESFrom this time on, children start to produce entire words. There are three stages, each desig-nating an increasing capability to use words for communicative purposes:I: Single words and holophrases. Children may use a word to indicate things or persons, e.g.,"boo" (=book), or "mama". Also, a single word is employed to refer to entire contexts. At thisstage, "shoe" could mean "Mama has a nice shoe", "Give me my shoe" or even "I want towear my new red shoes when we go for a walk"!II: The next stage is the usage of two word phrases. This stage is also called telegraphicspeech. It begins around the second birthday, maybe sooner or later, depending on the child.Examples are "Dada gone", "cut it", "in car", "here pear". At this stage, children design so-called pivot grammars. This means that the child has a preference for certain words as thepivotal (axis) words, implementing a variety of other words at different points in time to cre-ate phrases: gone cut up dada it give here put
  25. 25. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 25III: The child begins to form longer utterances. These lack grammatical correctness at firstand are perceived as, though meaningful, rather rough assemblies of utterances. Examples are"dirty hand wash it", "glasses on nose", "Daddy car coming", or even "car sleeping bed",which a boy uttered, meaning that the car was now parked in the garage.There are many phonological and grammatical features of speech development, all of whichcannot be listed here. A characteristic of childrens early language is the omission of conso-nants at the beginning, ending, or in consonant clusters in words. Examples: "boo" instead of"book", "at" instead of "cat", or "ticker" instead of "sticker". Children learn grammatical mor-phemes, commonly referred to as "endings", in a certain order. They often start with the pre-sent progressive "-ing", as in "Mama talking". More complex forms, such as the contractibleauxiliary be (as in "Pats going") are learned at a later point in time.5.2 Language development and maturationParents from different cultures behave differently towards their children as far as linguisticeducation is concerned. In some areas of the world, people think that baby talk, or Motheresehems linguistic development. There are also cultures where parents talk to their children asthey would to adults), or where they do not put so much thought into how to teach their chil-dren language at all. When taking a closer look, no particular advantages or disadvantages canbe found.Childrens language is creative, but rule-governed. These rules comprise the seven operatingprinciples of childrens language. These principles correspond to the essential communicativeneeds of a child. One main aspect in all principles is the predominant use of the active voice,the passive voice requiring a more complex understanding of concepts.• The instrumental principle serves to indicate the personal needs of the child. These are the "I want" phrases.• The regulatory principle helps to demand action of somebody else: "Do that."• "Hello" is the utterance - among others - which represents the interactional principle. It is very important for establishing contact.• The personal principle carries the expressive function. "Here I come" is a proper substitu- tion for many phrases.• The heuristic "Tell me why"-principle is very important because once the child is able to form questions, language helps in the general learning process.• The imaginative principle comes in when the child wants to impart his or her dreams or fantasies. It is also what applies when the child pretends.Information is also important for childrens communication. To tell others about the own ex-perience soon becomes important.Another major step in language development is taken when the child learns how to write.Again, there are several stages:• I: Preparatory. Age approx. 4–6 years. The child acquires the necessary motorical skills. Also, the principles of spelling are learned.• II: Consolidation. Age approx. 7 years When the child begins to write, its writing reflects its spoken language. This does not only refer to the transcription of phonetic characteristics, but also to word order and sentence structure.• III: Differentiation. Age approx. 9 years
  26. 26. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 26 Writing now begins to diverge from spoken language; it becomes experimental. This means that the writing of the child does not have to reflect speech. The child learns to use writing freely and sets out to experiment with it.• IV: Integration. Age approx. mid-teens Around this age, children/teens develop their own style. A personal voice appears in the written language and the ability to apply writing to various purposes is acquired.5.3 Second language acquisitionSome aspects of second language acquisition are similar to first language acquisition. Thelearner has already acquired learning techniques and can reflect on how to learn best. How-ever, learning languages depends on the personality, age, intelligence, and active learningstrategies of the learner.The learners of a second language (L2) start out with their own language, which we callsource language. They are on their way to learn a target language (TL). All that lies in-between we call interlanguage. All L2 speakers are on some stage of interlanguage. Begin-ners are closer to their source language (SL), experts of L2 are closer to the target language.And if we don’t continue with our studies, our interlanguage competence may even decrease.People who have lived in foreign countries for a long time are often so close to the target lan-guage that they hardly differ from native speakers. There are some features of interlanguagewhich are worthwhile to look at. They play an important role in the learning process. Every-body experiences their effects in language learning.• Fossilization. At a certain stage the learner ceases to learn new aspects of the TL. Although perhaps capable to express herself in a grammatically correct way, the learner here does not proceed to explore the great reservoir of language any further in order to express her- self in a more refined and sophisticated manner.• Regression. The learner fails to express herself in areas (phraseology, style or vocabulary) that he or she had mastered at an earlier point in time.• Overgeneralization. The learner searches for a logical grammar of the TL that would cover every aspect of the language, or seeks to find every aspect of existing grammars confirmed in the living language. In doing so, the learner draws on aspects of the target language al- ready earned and overuses them.• Overelaboration. The learner wants to apply complex theoretical structures to contexts that may call for simpler expression.• Interference from L1 (or L3), with phonological interference being the most common ex- ample. Syntactic interference and semantic interference are also possible, e.g., so-called false friends. These are words that exist in the source language as well as in the target lan- guage. However, their meaning or use might differ substantially, as in the German "Figur" vs. the French "figure" (="face"), or the English "eventually" vs. the German "eventuell" (="possibly").• Variable input. This refers to the quality of education in the TL, the variety and extent of exposure to the TL and the communicative value of it to the learner. This is why the design of learning material and contact with many TL native speakers plays a vital role in learning a new language.• Organic and/or cumulative growth. There can be unstructured, widely dispersed input which is not always predictable. This is structured by the learner in progressive building blocks.
  27. 27. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 275.4 Language disordersThe principle language disorders are aphasia, anomia, dyslexia, and dysgraphia. Usually,language disorders are caused by injuries or malfunctions of the brain. Neurologists were ableto locate those areas of the brain that play a central role in language production and compre-hension by examining patients whose brains had suffered damages in certain areas.5.4.1 APHASIAThis is a disorder in the ability to process or produce spoken language. Two scientists, Brocaand Wernicke, were able to locate two areas of the brain responsible for these activities.• Brocas area. In 1864 the French surgeon Broca was able to locate a small part of the brain, somewhat behind our left temple. This area is responsible for the organization of language production. If it is damaged, the patient usually knows what (s)he wants to say but cant organize the syntax. More nouns than verbs are used. There is hesitant speech and poor ar- ticulation. Comprehension and processing are usually not impaired.• Wernickes area. Carl Wernicke identified another type of aphasia in 1874. He located a part of the brain behind the left ear where he found comprehension of language to take place. Speech production and syntax are generally possible with Wernickes patients. How- ever, comprehension and, also to some extent, production is impaired, and patients show the tendency to retrieve only general nouns and nonsense words from their mental lexicon and to lose specific lexis, or vocabulary. They do not seem to be aware of their problem and thus do not react to treatment easily.Both Brocas and Wernickes areas are located in the left half of the brain. The executive cen-ters, however, are located in the right hemisphere. A separation of the two halves of the braineffects the capability of converting linguistic information into action, or vice versa. Apartfrom the types of aphasia identified by Broca and Wernicke, there are also other kinds ofaphasia.• Jargon. In "neologistic jargon aphasia", patients can only produce new approximations of content words (nouns), they will never hit the exact word. In general, messages are hard to understand and often completely incomprehensible or not decodable by listeners, although the speakers have good syntax.• Conduction. Patients understand what is being said to them, however, they are unable to repeat single words and make other errors when speaking. However, they are aware of their errors. In this kind of aphasia, it is neither Brocas nor Wernickes area that is dam- aged, but the connection between them.• In transcortical aphasia, there is a weakness in comprehension. The best preserved feature is the ability to repeat heard phrases. Therefore, the processing of language is impaired, but the patient is able to hear and pronounce the acoustic chain.• Global aphasia has the worst effects on the patient. All language abilities are seriously impaired in this case. Both Wernickes and Brocas areas are damaged.5.4.2 ANOMIAAnomia is the loss of access to certain parts of the lexis. Anomia patients are unable to re-member the names of things, people, or places. There is often a confusion between semanti-cally related words. Undoubtedly, you will have experienced this phenomenon yourself! Weare all prone to it at times. It usually increases with age, although pure anomia is a much moreacute state and is not related to aging.
  28. 28. LINGUISTICS FOR BEGINNERS 285.4.3 DYSLEXIAThis is a disorder of reading where the patient is not capable to recognize the correct wordorder. Patients also tend to misplace syllables. There is also an overgeneralization of the rela-tion between printed words and their sound value. For example, a patient may transport thepronunciation of "cave" = /keIv/ to "have" = */heIv/ instead of /hQv/.5.4.4 DYSGRAPHIADysgraphia is a disorder of writing, mainly spelling. Patients are not able to find the correctgraphemes when putting their speech into writing. Also, they are not able to select the correctorder of graphemes from a choice of possible representations.5.5 ErrorsErrors in linguistic production are not a malfunction caused by disease. They occur frequentlyand are part of the communication process. Here are examples of the usual types of errorsmade:• Anticipation. Sounds appear in words before their intended pronunciation: take my bike bake my bike. This error reveals that further utterances were already planned while speak- ing.• In preservation errors, the opposite is the case. Sounds are "kept in mind" and reappear in the wrong place: pulled a tantrum pulled a pantrum• Reversals (Spoonerisms) are errors where sounds are mixed up within words or phrases: harpsichord carpsihord• Blends occur when two words are combined and parts of both appear in the new, wrong word: grizzly + ghastly grastly• Word substitution gives us insight into the mental lexicon of the speaker. These words are usually linked semantically. Give me the orange. Give me the apple.• Errors on a higher level occur when the structural rules of language above the level of pronunciation influence production. In the below example, the past tense of "dated" is overused. The speaker "conjugates" the following noun according to the grammatical rules of "shrink-shrank-shrunk": Rosa always dated shrinks Rosa always dated shranks.• Phonological errors are the mixing up of voiced and unvoiced sounds: Terry and Julia Derry and Chulia• Force of habit accounts for the wrong application of an element that had been used before in similar contexts. For example, in a television broadcast by BBC, the reporter first spoke about studios at Oxford university. When he then changed the topic to a student who had disappeared from the same town he said: "The discovery of the missing Oxford studio" in- stead of "The discovery of a missing Oxford student."

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