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Hockett’s Features
of Human Language
Batangas State University – Main Campus I
College of Teacher Education
Eng 203 – Intr...
• It is any code that involves signs, symbols, and
gestures used in communication.
• It is a social tool used to communica...
Use of sound signals
• Some animals use a variety of means to
communicate with others, e.g. Crabs
communicate by waving th...
Use of sound signals
• Humans may have acquired sound signaling at
the latter part of evolution.
• This might be true sinc...
Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
Arbitrariness
• In animal communication, there is often a
strong recognizable link between the actual
signal and the messa...
Arbitrariness (Across Languages)
• Evidence of Arbitrariness: Diverse Languages
• “Cat” has different pronunciations in di...
The need for learning
• Many animals automatically know how to
communicate without learning. Their systems of
communicatio...
Duality
• • Animals who use vocal signals have a stock of
basic sounds which vary according to species.
• Human language w...
Duality
• Double articulation is this organization of
language into two layers– a layer of sounds
which combine into a sec...
Displacement
• Most animals can communicate about things in
the immediate environment only. A bird, for
example, utters it...
Creativity (Productivity)
• Most animals have a very limited number of messages
they can send or receive.
• These followin...
Patterning
• Many animal communication systems consist of
a simple list of elements. There is no internal
organization wit...
Patterning
• The – burglar – sneezed – loudly
• A – robber – coughed – softly
• That – cat – hissed –noisily
• Language ca...
Structure Dependence
• Look at the sentences: The penguin squawked.
It squawked. The penguin which slipped on the
ice squa...
Human Language VS Animal
Communication
• Human language is a signaling system which
uses sounds, a characteristic shared b...
Human Language VS Animal
Communication
• In human language, the symbols are mostly
arbitrary and the system has to be
pain...
Hockett’s language features
Hockett’s language features
Hockett’s language features
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Hockett’s language features

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Hockett’s language features
Characteristics of Language

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Hockett’s language features

  1. 1. Hockett’s Features of Human Language Batangas State University – Main Campus I College of Teacher Education Eng 203 – Introduction to Linguistics Prepared by: Ms Rej
  2. 2. • It is any code that involves signs, symbols, and gestures used in communication. • It is a social tool used to communicate, express emotions, feelings, and ideas. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  3. 3. Use of sound signals • Some animals use a variety of means to communicate with others, e.g. Crabs communicate by waving their claws. • The use of sounds is also used to communicate by humans and some animals, like birds, dolphins, cows, monkeys. • • Sound signals have several advantages. They can be used in the dark, and at some distance, they allow a wide variety of messages to be sent and they leave the body free for other activities. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  4. 4. Use of sound signals • Humans may have acquired sound signaling at the latter part of evolution. • This might be true since the body parts used in speech have more than their basic functions. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  5. 5. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  6. 6. Arbitrariness • In animal communication, there is often a strong recognizable link between the actual signal and the message an animal wishes to convey. • In human language, there is no link whatsoever between the signal and the message. • There is no intrinsic connection between, for example, the word Elephant and the animal it symbolizes. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  7. 7. Arbitrariness (Across Languages) • Evidence of Arbitrariness: Diverse Languages • “Cat” has different pronunciations in different languages • Similarities are the product of common roots and/or diffusion from one language to another
  8. 8. The need for learning • Many animals automatically know how to communicate without learning. Their systems of communication are genetically inbuilt. • This is quite different from the long learning process needed to acquire human language, which is culturally transmitted. • A human being brought up in isolation simply does not acquire language. And there is almost certainly some type of innate predisposition towards language in a new-born child. This latent potentiality can be activated only by long exposure to language, which requires careful learning. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  9. 9. Duality • • Animals who use vocal signals have a stock of basic sounds which vary according to species. • Human language works rather differently. Each language has a stock of sound units or phonemes. Each phoneme is normally meaningless in isolation. • It becomes meaningful only when it is combined with other phonemes. F, g, d, o, means nothing separately. They normally take on meaning only when they are combined together in various ways, as in fog, dog, god. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  10. 10. Duality • Double articulation is this organization of language into two layers– a layer of sounds which combine into a second layer of larger units. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  11. 11. Displacement • Most animals can communicate about things in the immediate environment only. A bird, for example, utters its danger cry only when danger is present. • Human language, by contrast, can communicate about things that are absent as easily as about things that are present. This is called “displacement”. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  12. 12. Creativity (Productivity) • Most animals have a very limited number of messages they can send or receive. • These followings are the translation of male of certain species of grasshopper: 1. I am happy, life is good. 2. I would like to make love. 3. You are trespassing on my territory. 4. She’s mine. 5. Let’s make love. 6. Oh how nice to have made love. • The limitation or restriction of messages is not found in human language, which is essentially creative (or productive). Humans can produce novel utterances whenever they want to. A person can utter a sentence which has never been said before. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  13. 13. Patterning • Many animal communication systems consist of a simple list of elements. There is no internal organization within the system. • Human language, on the other hand, is most definitely not a haphazard heap. Humans do not juxtapose sounds and words in a random way. • Every item in language has its own characteristics place in the total pattern. It can combine with certain specified items and be replaced by others. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  14. 14. Patterning • The – burglar – sneezed – loudly • A – robber – coughed – softly • That – cat – hissed –noisily • Language can therefore be regarded as an intricate network of interlinked elements in which every item is held in its place and given its identity by all the other items. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  15. 15. Structure Dependence • Look at the sentences: The penguin squawked. It squawked. The penguin which slipped on the ice squawked. • Each of these sentences has a similar basic structure. The penguin It The penguin which slipped on the ice squawked • Language operations are structure dependent—they depend on an understanding of the internal structure of a sentence. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  16. 16. Human Language VS Animal Communication • Human language is a signaling system which uses sounds, a characteristic shared by a large number of animal systems. • In animal communication, there is frequently a connection between the signal and the message sent and the system is mainly genetically inbuilt. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)
  17. 17. Human Language VS Animal Communication • In human language, the symbols are mostly arbitrary and the system has to be painstakingly. • Duality and displacement are rare in the animal world. Creativity seems not to be present in any natural communication system possessed by animals. • Language is a patterned system of arbitrary sound signals, characterized by structure dependence, creativity, displacement, duality and cultural transmission. Linguistics Made Easy by Jean Aitchison (2012)

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