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English 306A; Harris Language & Meaning Humans’ accommodations for language Some characteristics of language Some aspects of meaning.

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Presentation on theme: "English 306A; Harris Language & Meaning Humans’ accommodations for language Some characteristics of language Some aspects of meaning."— Presentation transcript:

1 English 306A; Harris Language & Meaning Humans’ accommodations for language Some characteristics of language Some aspects of meaning

2 English 306A; Harris We’re mammals Distinctive traits include Lactation Mammalian “isolation cry” Neoteny Middle ear Larynx

3 English 306A; Harris We have special larynxes Functions Controls airflow Phonates

4 English 306A; Harris We have special larynxes Functions Controls airflow Phonates (Glottis)

5 English 306A; Harris Glottis Air flow Phonation

6 English 306A; Harris Glottis Air flow Phonation

7 English 306A; Harris Larynx, tongue, Heimlich Apes, australopithecus, babies Tongue rooted in mouth Larynx behind mouth Can breathe and swallow at the same time Adult homo erecti + Tongue rooted in throat Larynx in throat Cannot breathe and swallow at the same time

8 English 306A; Harris Lower tongue root + larynx = Consonants and vowels (big flappy lips help too) Syllables Patterns of rhythm and modulation

9 English 306A; Harris Lower tongue root + larynx = Speech

10 English 306A; Harris Oh, and one more thing

11 English 306A; Harris Oh, and one more thing A brain Motor cortex Language areas Auditory cortex

12 English 306A; Harris Language properties Mutability Parity Universality Tacitness Displacement Productivity (creativity)

13 English 306A; Harris Mutability Languages change.  cool  neat  groovy  far-out  radical  cool 

14 English 306A; Harris Parity All languages are equal.

15 English 306A; Harris Universality All grammars share some basic properties. Words Nouns Verbs Sentences Assertions Questions Semantic roles Agents Patients Locations

16 English 306A; Harris Tacitness A great deal of grammatical knowledge is tacit knowledge. [p] vs [p h ] vs [p ¬ ]

17 English 306A; Harris Displacement Messages can refer to things remote in time and space, or both, from the site of the communication.

18 English 306A; Harris Elements + combinatorics At every level Sounds combine into syllables and morphemes Morphemes combine into words Words combine into phrases and sentences Sentences combine into turns or paragraphs Turns combine into conversations Paragraphs combine into texts

19 English 306A; Harris Elements + combinatorics = Productivity (creativity) New vocables New words New sentences New meanings

20 English 306A; Harris Elements + combinatorics = Language

21 English 306A; Harris Everything has meaning. Everything is a sign.

22 English 306A; Harris Types of signs Indexical A mode defined by relationship of necessity (especially cause and effect). Prototypically, think fever. Iconic A mode defined by relationship of resemblance. Prototypically, think picture. Symbolic A mode defined by relationship of arbitrariness, convention, and learning. Prototypically, think word.

23 English 306A; Harris Dimensions of signs Indexicality A semiotic tendency defined by relationship of necessity (esp. cause and effect). Iconicity A semiotic tendency defined by relationship of resemblance. Symbolicity A semiotic tendency defined by relationship of arbitrariness, convention, and learning.

24 English 306A; Harris Index-to-icon-to-symbol migration theories Pooh-pooh, Yo-he-ho Index-to-icon-to-symbol Bow-wow Index-to-icon-to-symbol Bow-wow-pooh-pooh-yo-he-ho theories

25 English 306A; Harris Metaphor and metonymy Indirect representation Something (called the vehicle) carries the primary signification for something else (tenor) that ordinarily holds that signification. Metaphor is iconic The vehicle/tenor relationship is an asserted resemblance: the tenor is said to be like the vehicle in some way. Metonymy is indexical The vehicle/tenor relationship is (not exactly necessary but) drawn from the same habitat: the tenor is related to the vehicle in some way.

26 English 306A; Harris Metonymy, metaphor to go tysonto go ballistic REPRESENTATIVE COMPARATIVE

27 English 306A; Harris Metonymy— The principle of set membership One element of a set or a relationship (the vehicle) singled out to represent other element(s) (the tenor) Hollywood loves westerns. Toronto collapses! Calgary wins in OT! All hands on deck. Thirty head of cattle.

28 English 306A; Harris Metaphor— The principle of comparison One element (the vehicle) represents another element (the tenor), to which it is unrelated. My love is red, red rose. Homer is a pig. Toronto is toast. The table leg is broken. The orthopedic wing is closed. Fire kills thousands every year. (Personification)

29 English 306A; Harris

30 “Pussy”

31 English 306A; Harris “Pussy”

32 English 306A; Harris “Pussy”

33 English 306A; Harris “Pussy”

34 English 306A; Harris “Pussy” Metaphor Tenor = vagina Vehicle = cat Attributes Warm Furry

35 English 306A; Harris “Pussy!” Stage 1 Metonymy (synecdoche) Tenor = woman Vehicle = pussy-as-vagina The ultimate devaluing of a (category of a) person: to a small anatomical component. !

36 English 306A; Harris “Pussy!” Stage 2 Metaphor Tenor = the insult target Vehicle = woman (not vagina) Attributes Weak Soft Quitter Means ‘Opposite of a man’, but in a wholly evaluative way. =

37 English 306A; Harris “Pussy” Metaphor  Metonymy  Metaphor Indexicality, Iconicity a relatively mundane example of ordinary language not a fancy literary or rhetorical device these processes, and figuration generally, are pervasive

38 English 306A; Harris We now return you to regular programming F

39 English 306A; Harris Metonymy, metaphor to go tysonto go ballistic Association Similarity ComparisonRepresentation The picture is metaphoric; the expression isn’t

40 English 306A; Harris Conceptual metaphors TIME IS MONEY spend a day, invest three months, bank your overtime, cost me a weekend, … ARGUMENT IS WAR he attacked my point, I defended it well, she shot me down, I blew her out of the water, … ANGER IS HEAT you make my blood boil, I was steamed, he has a fiery temper, she's a hothead, …

41 English 306A; Harris TIME IS MONEY spend a day, invest three months, bank your overtime, cost me a weekend, … ARGUMENT IS WAR he attacked my point, I defended it well, she shot me down, I blew her out of the water, … ANGER IS HEAT you make my blood boil, I was steamed, he has a fiery temper, she's a hothead, … Conceptual metaphors

42 English 306A; Harris TIME IS MONEY spend a day, invest three months, bank your overtime, cost me a weekend, … ARGUMENT IS WAR he attacked my point, I defended it well, she shot me down, I blew her out of the water, … ANGER IS HEAT you make my blood boil, I was steamed, he has a fiery temper, she's a hothead, … Conceptual metaphors

43 English 306A; Harris TIME IS MONEY spend a day, invest three months, bank your overtime, cost me a weekend, … ARGUMENT IS WAR he attacked my point, I defended it well, she shot me down, I blew her out of the water, … ANGER IS HEAT you make my blood boil, I was steamed, he has a fiery temper, she's a hothead, … Conceptual metaphors

44 English 306A; Harris Conceptual Metonymy PRODUCER FOR PRODUCT I only read Dr. Seuss, she wore Calvin Klein last night, the Wolf Blass has too much tannin, … CONTAINER FOR CONTAINED that’s a tasty dish, the needle was the death of her, he drank the whole bottle, … PERSON FOR INSTRUMENT I’m parked out back, she’s the lead guitar, he’s the drill press, … PLACE FOR PEOPLE BC voted conservative, Alberta likes cowboy movies, Thunder Bay is surprisingly liberal, … PLACE FOR INSTITUTION Ottawa raised our taxes again, Queen’s Park changed the speed limits, …

45 English 306A; Harris Conceptual Metonymy PRODUCER FOR PRODUCT I only read Dr. Seuss, she wore Calvin Klein last night, the Wolf Blass has too much tannin, … CONTAINER FOR CONTAINED that’s a tasty dish, the needle was the death of her, he drank the whole bottle, … PERSON FOR INSTRUMENT I’m parked out back, she’s the lead guitar, he’s the drill press, … PLACE FOR PEOPLE BC voted conservative, Alberta likes cowboy movies, Thunder Bay is surprisingly liberal, … PLACE FOR INSTITUTION Ottawa raised our taxes again, Queen’s Park changed the speed limits, …

46 English 306A; Harris Conceptual Metonymy PRODUCER FOR PRODUCT I only read Dr. Seuss, she wore Calvin Klein last night, the Wolf Blass has too much tannin, … CONTAINER FOR CONTAINED that’s a tasty dish, the needle was the death of her, he drank the whole bottle, … PERSON FOR INSTRUMENT I’m parked out back, she’s the lead guitar, he’s the drill press, … PLACE FOR PEOPLE BC voted conservative, Alberta likes cowboy movies, Thunder Bay is surprisingly liberal, … PLACE FOR INSTITUTION Ottawa raised our taxes again, Queen’s Park changed the speed limits, …

47 English 306A; Harris Conceptual Metonymy PRODUCER FOR PRODUCT I only read Dr. Seuss, she wore Calvin Klein last night, the Wolf Blass has too much tannin, … CONTAINER FOR CONTAINED that’s a tasty dish, the needle was the death of her, he drank the whole bottle, … PERSON FOR INSTRUMENT I’m parked out back, she’s the lead guitar, he’s the drill press, … PLACE FOR PEOPLE BC voted conservative, Alberta likes cowboy movies, Thunder Bay is surprisingly liberal, … PLACE FOR INSTITUTION Ottawa raised our taxes again, Queen’s Park changed the speed limits, …

48 English 306A; Harris Conceptual Metonymy PRODUCER FOR PRODUCT I only read Dr. Seuss, she wore Calvin Klein last night, the Wolf Blass has too much tannin, … CONTAINER FOR CONTAINED that’s a tasty dish, the needle was the death of her, he drank the whole bottle, … PERSON FOR INSTRUMENT I’m parked out back, she’s the lead guitar, he’s the drill press, … PLACE FOR PEOPLE BC voted conservative, Alberta likes cowboy movies, Thunder Bay is surprisingly liberal, … PLACE FOR INSTITUTION Ottawa raised our taxes again, Queen’s Park changed the speed limits, …

49 English 306A; Harris Conceptual Metonymy PRODUCER FOR PRODUCT I only read Dr. Seuss, she wore Calvin Klein last night, the Wolf Blass has too much tannin, … CONTAINER FOR CONTAINED that’s a tasty dish, the needle was the death of her, he drank the whole bottle, … PERSON FOR INSTRUMENT I’m parked out back, she’s the lead guitar, he’s the drill press, … PLACE FOR PEOPLE BC voted conservative, Alberta likes cowboy movies, Thunder Bay is surprisingly liberal, … PLACE FOR INSTITUTION Ottawa raised our taxes again, Queen’s Park changed the speed limits, …

50 English 306A; Harris Indexicality is metonymic Defined by association (rather than similarity; often on necessity) There must be a certain physical, temporal, or metaphorical relation between referential objects for the words/expressions to function

51 English 306A; Harris Indexicality Egocentricity Speaker-oriented Deixis (pointing words) Anthropocentrism Human-oriented Inherent orientation (human-body orientation projected to objects)

52 English 306A; Harris Indexicality Deictics Gk. deiktos ≈ “to show” Pointing words Langauge which orks by ‘gesturing outward’ from speaker, the EGO, to other objects

53 English 306A; Harris Indexical orientation — Deictic centre Lexical egocentricity Pronouns EGO = 1st person (I, me, …) EGO+others = 1st person plural (we, us, …) Hearer-of-EGO = 2nd person (you, your, …) Hearer-of-EGO+others = 2nd person plural (you, your, …) Not-EGO-and-not-hearer-of- EGO = 3rd person (he, she, it, …) Not-EGO-and-not-hearer-of- EGO+others = 3rd person plural (they, them, …)

54 English 306A; Harris Indexical orientation — Deictic centre Lexical egocentricity Proximals Speaking location Where-EGO-is: here, near, … Where-EGO-is-not: there, far, … Speaking time When-EGO-is: now, today, … When-EGO-is-not: then, tomorrow, … Relative location to speaker Close-to-EGO: this, these, … Not-close-to-EGO: that, those,..

55 English 306A; Harris Indexical orientation — Deictic centre Expressive egocentricity The speaker (or, in a rhetorical extention, the hearer) as the (default) reference point for everything else. “The squirrel is behind the tree.” “Mount Pinotubo is on the left”

56 English 306A; Harris Indexicality Anthropocentricity Gk. anthropos ≈ “man” (hu)man-centred Inherent orientation: human orientation projected onto artefacts and entities) front, back left, right before, behind

57 English 306A; Harris Deictic (egocentric) vs. Inherent (anthropocentric) Orientation

58 English 306A; Harris Iconicity is metaphoric Defined by similarity (rather than association) Sequential order “Don’t drink and drive” Distance Immediacy of action Quantity Reduplication

59 English 306A; Harris Iconicity Principle of sequential order Unless marked, the order of words (by default) mirrors the order of events. He kicked sand in my face and I got mad. I got mad and he kicked sand in my face.

60 English 306A; Harris Iconicity Principle of distance Linguistic distance (proximity) tends to mirror conceptual distance. She squeezed me. She gave me a squeeze. She gave a squeeze to me.

61 English 306A; Harris Iconicity Principle of quantity Length of utterance correlates with (speaker’s perception of) quantity of concept. Dinosaurs lived a l o o o n g time ago. Dinosaurs lived a long, long, long, … time ago. Lawyerese. Political speeches.

62 English 306A; Harris Iconicity — Principle of quantity Reduplication Japanese hito 'person' hitobito ’group of people' kami 'god' kamigami ’group of gods' Mandarin xiao 'small' xiaoxiao 'very small' gaoxing 'happy' gaogaoxingxing 'very happy'

63 English 306A; Harris Iconicity — Principle of quantity Reduplication /ora¯/ = man/ ora¯ ora¯/ = all sorts of men /anak/ = child/anak anak/ = all sorts of children /ma¯a/ = mango/ ma¯a ma¯a / = all sorts of mangoes

64 English 306A; Harris Iconicity — Principle of quantity Reduplication /ora¯/ = man/ ora¯ ora¯/ = all sorts of men /anak/ = child/anak anak/ = all sorts of children /ma¯a/ = mango/ ma¯a ma¯a / = all sorts of mangoes Download the SIL IPA fonts to see these transcriptions in PPS files

65 English 306A; Harris Iconicity — Principle of quantity Conceptual Reduplication Trinidad and Tobago [jEswij] emphatic confirmation, agreement; interjective intensifier yes-we? yes-whee? yes-oui!

66 English 306A; Harris Any questions? Human accommodations for language Features of language Metaphoricity, metonymy Symbolicity (arbitrariness, convention, learning) Indexicality (relation of association) Egocentricity (deixis) Anthropocentricity (inherent orientation) Iconicity (relation of resemblance) Sequential order Distance Quantity


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