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1.A. Linguistics: general background. Universal grammar. Language acquisition Linguistic knowledge (levels) 1.

Phonetics: the study of characteristics of speech sounds (physical units) 2. Phonology: the study of the function of the sounds (Parts of the grammar:) 3. Morphology: the study of words and word formation 4. Syntax: deals with the structure of phrases and sentences (have no defined units; deal with meaning:) 5. semantics 6. discourse 7. pragmatics Linguistic competence: what you know Linguistic performance: how you use your knowledge Grammar: prescriptive: how we should speak descriptive: how you actually speak

Language is an instinct: Language has universals and a specific place in the brain: every healthy child is able to acquire the language children reinvent language there are no primitive languages languages change through time relationship between sound and meaning is arbitrary grammar contains rules for the formation of words and sentences every language has sounds, words, sentences and semantic universals (male, female, animate, human) Chomskys answers to the question of language acquisition: a. Mental grammar: finite set of discrete sounds that form a finite set of words that make up an infinite set of sentences. b. Universal Grammar: childrens brain is wired for language children develop complex grammar quickly and without formal instruction

Only human species can speak language. Animals communicate but cant speak, cant make ABSTRACTIONS. A common language creates an information-sharing network in the community. Language appears everywhere in the world of humans. Language is a human instinct : language is not a cultural artefact but it is a distinct piece of the biological makeup of the brain. complex, specialised skill develops in the child spontaneously we are not aware of its underlying structure the same in every individual distinct from general abilities

The origin(s) of language: we simply dont know Theories: the divine source the natural sounds source the oral-gesture source

Physiological adaptation to language usage/speaking: upright teeth intricate muscles in the tongue small mouth that opens and closes rapidly longer larynx (due to upright posture) and pharynx above the vocal cords lateralised brain

Language acquisition: the gradual development of ability in a language by using it naturally in communicative situations Language learning: a conscious process of accumulating knowledge Language acquisition theories: learning to speak from models + caretakers speech (e.g. mother) miming models behaviourism: stimulus-response learning Chomskys mental grammar Cognitive accounts of language acquisition

Chomskys theories

1. every sentence is a brand new combination of words, therefore the brain must have a program that can build an infinite set of sentences out of a finite set of words. This program is the mental grammar. 2. children develop complex grammars quickly and without formal instruction. The childrens brains are wired for language. This wiring is the universal grammar. Language is an instinct. Language is innate. 1. The universality of complex language Proof: no such things as a primitive language no difference between the linguistic abilities of people from different classes, countries or dialects 2. Children reinvent language proof: creole languages errors during language acquisition poverty of input during language acquisition

3. Language has a specific place in the brain proof: damage to the brain (e.g. aphasia)

Linguistic knowledge 1. knowledge of the sound system knowing the inventory of sounds (phonetics) knowing the sound sequences (phonology)

2. knowledge of words knowing what sound sequences signify meaning (semantics) arbitrary relationship between sound and meaning knowing the rules of word formation (morphology)

3. knowledge of sentences understanding and producing sentences linguistic creativity distinguishing sentence from non-sentence

Competence and performance Linguistic competence: what you know

Linguistic performance: how you use your knowledge Language universals wherever human exist, language exists every (healthy) child is able to acquire the language it is exposed to there are no primitive languages languages change through time the relationship between sound and meaning is arbitrary languages use a finite set of discrete sounds that form a finite set of words that can make up an infinite set of sentences grammars contain rules for the formation of words and sentences every language: - has a class of vowels and a class of consonants - has similar grammatical categories (such as noun, verb, etc.) - can refer to the past, negate, form questions, etc. - has semantic universals, such as male, female, animate or human Until Noam Chomsky language acquisition was described as a Stimulus- Response process, but children produce words, sentences that theyve never heard before. H.L. is an opened system. Recursive contains an infinite numbers of sent. Add: and, who, Language faculty ability to learn languages - its imprinted in our mind before birth species specific Mental device located in the brain. Universal grammar: rules & notions of nouns and verbs in every language. It contains principles and parameters.- a baby can master any lang. Principles: are very general, 1.words in linear order, 2. different purpose: state, question, etc parameters: are variable word order: SVO or SOV the order of adj&noun can be diff. A+N, N+A Descriptive grammar: Find what is common in every language - common core of lang. Contains of 2 parts: 1. morphology D.g.- rules, and 2. Syntax Prescriptive gr.- use of grammar Language acquisition: children choose the right parameter parameter setting rule governed it has 3 stages: 1 st go = went correct form. 2 nd-past tense ed , goed. 3rd the irregular forms are selected and used correctly.


Transferred negation, mandative subjunctive, syndetic coordination

Transferred negation (14.23) Particularly common in informal style. It is the transfer of the negative from a subordinate clause (where semantically it belongs) to the matrix clause. e.g. I dont think its a good idea (= I think it isnt a good idea.) Matrix verbs allow transferred negation: - opinion: believe, expect, imagine, support, think I dont believe I have met you before. - perception: appear, seem, look as if, sound as if. It doesnt look as if its going to rain. Mandative/mandatory subjunctive (3.24) We distinguish 2 main uses of the present subjunctive: Mandative subjunctive Formulaic (optative) subjunctive (God save the Queen! May the force be with you.)

Mandative subjunctive used in a that-clause after an expression of such notions as demand, recommendation, proposal, intention (e.g.: We insist, prefer, request, it is necessary, desirable, imperative, etc.) e.g.: The Employees demanded that he resign. The president recommended that he take a day off. Present subjunctive is the base form of the verb. e.g.: I insist hat he reconsider his decisions. I insist that the councils decision be reconsidered. In BrE the alternatives are putative1 should and the indicative e.g.: The employee demanded that he resign (AmE) should resign (BrE Past subjunctive were subjunctive, it is hypothetical in meaning. It is used in conditional and concessive clauses and in subordinate clauses after whish and suppose. E.g. If she were leaving, you would have heard about it. If I were shouting, you would have heard about it

Syndetic2 coordination (13.1)

1 2

Putative = vlelmezett Syndetic = ktszval sszekttt

We distinguish coordination.

between syndetic (linked) coordination and

asyndetic (unlinked)

In syndetic coordination the more usual form, the elements are linked with coordinators: and, or, but E.g. Slowly and stealthily3, he crept towards the victim. Asyndetic (unlinked) coordination: coordinators are not present, but could be inserted. E.g. Slowly, stealthily, he crept towards the victim . When more than 2 units are linked by and or or, it is usual to insert the coordinator only once between the last 2 units: The wind roared, the lightning flashed, and the clouds raced across the sky. Polysyndetic: the coordinator is repeated between each pair of units. E.g. The wind roared, and the lightning flashed, and the clouds arced across the sky. Coordination and subordination Both coordination and subordination involve the linking of units, but in coordination the units are on the same syntactic level, both units could be independent, whereas in subordination one of the units is a constituent of a superordinate unit (One of them depends on the other (superordinate). They are my neighbours, but I dont know them well. They are my neighbours. I dont know them well. They are my neighbours whom I dont know well. (Relative, restrictive clause) I dont know where they are staying He tried hard, but he failed. (coordinate) Although he tried hard, he failed (subordinate) same semantics He tried hard, although he failed. Types of linkers: coordinators (central coordinators: and, but, or) subordinators conjuncts

Stealthily =lopva, titokban