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Lengua Inglesa II Grammar Topics 2009-2010 Tom Morton IV-bis 205

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1 Lengua Inglesa II Grammar Topics Tom Morton IV-bis 205

2 Grammar topic 1: Language and communication

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4 1. Language and communication What is language? –Code for communication –Learnt, not biologically inherited –Meaning is arbitrarily assigned to symbols What / who is involved in human language? How is language studied? –Language as sounds  Phonology: the way languages organize sounds to convey differences in meaning). –Language as wordings  Syntax / Grammar: the study of word structure (morphology) and the study of word sequence within sentences (syntax). –Language as meanings  Semantics: the way language is structured or organized to express meanings. Approaches to language: –Cognitive approach: language is something that exists in the minds of the users. –Social approach: Observe what people do with language and model their linguistic behaviour Language

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6 1. Language and communication Grammar studies how words combine together to form larger units. Approaches to Grammar: –Generative approach: forms of the language and how they combine –Functional approach: function of each utterance (e.g. declarative vs. interrogative) Types of grammar: –Prescriptive grammar: one variety of language has higher value than others, and therefore should be imposed on the whole speech community. Standard. –Descriptive grammar: concerned with the facts of linguistic usage 1.2. Grammar

7 1. Language and communication Which of the following statements are prescriptive and which are descriptive? a. "It's me" is ungrammatical; "It's I" is the correct way to say this. b. People who say "ain't" may suffer some negative social consequences because many speakers of English associate "ain't" with the dialects of the working classes. c. In casual styles of speaking, English speakers frequently end sentences with prepositions; ending sentences with prepositions is avoided in formal styles. d. "Between you and me" is correct; "between you and I" is ungrammatical. (from Language Files 1994: 14) 1.2. Exercises (i): prescription vs. description

8 1. Language and communication Language Description via Google: Which is “correct”? 1.John and I went out. 2.John and me went out. 3.John and myself went out Exercises (i): prescription vs. description

9 1. Language and communication Language Description via Google: Which is “correct”? Google hits 1.John and I went million 2.John and me went...71,000 3.John and myself went...50,000 With so many real usages, can any of these be said to be incorrect? (Important to check for false hits, and pages written by non- native speakers) 1.2. Exercises (i): prescription vs. description

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11 1. Language and communication All of these sentences are acceptable to some speakers of English, but not to others. Which prescriptive rule has been violated in each case? a. He don't know about the race. b. You was out when I called. c. Me and Peter walked to school. d. There's 20 horses registered in the show. e. That window's broke, so be careful. f. Jim and me are gonna go campin' this weekend. g. I hope to quickly finish writing my essay. h. Jack has approached the essay topic differently to the way I took it. i. None of us were there on time. (???) j. We haven't done nothing wrong. (a-f from O'Grady et al Contemporary Linguistics. An Introduction, p. 12; g-k from O'Dell, F English Panorama 1. C.U.P) 1.2. Exercises (ii): Prescriptive rules broken

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13 1. Language and communication Experiential meaning: –Deals with the content of the message, the speaker's conceptualisation of reality. –Experiential meanings are expressed through the choice of processes, participants, circumstances and attributes Language: types of meaning Tarantinowill presenthis new movie tomorrow ActorProcess: materialGoalCircumstance: time Hetoldreportersthat he thought it was his best movie yet SayerProcess: verbal AddresseeVerbiage

14 1. Language and communication Experiential meaning : –Deals with the content of the message, the speaker's conceptualisation of reality. –Experiential meanings are expressed through the choice of processes, participants, circumstances and attributes Language: types of meaning Tarantinowill presenthis new movie tomorrow ActorProcess: materialGoalCircumstance: time Hetoldreportersthat he thought it was his best movie yet SayerProcess: verbal AddresseeVerbiage ParticipantProcessParticipantCircumstance

15 1. Language and communication Interpersonal meaning : What is the speaker/writer trying to achieve in respect to the listener/reader: give information, request information, demand action, etc. Often called speech acts. Informal labels: statement, question, order, promise, offer, thanking, etc. Examples: Thanks a lot; Do not close the door; Shall we go? Interpersonal meanings are expressed through the Mood structure. Typically: –Statement: declarative mood –Question: interrogative mood –Order: imperative mood Although other expressions are possible: –Question/declarative: John is coming? –Order/declarative:This floor must be clean by 5! 1.3. Language: types of meaning

16 1. Language and communication Textual meaning : –How the text is organised as a message: –What does the speaker/writer indicate as important (Theme, marked word order), e.g. John was seen by Mary vs. Mary saw John –Use of cohesive devices to help us understand the text: John lost his bag. vs.  John lost John’s bag. –Textual meaning expressed through various parts of the grammar, e.g., Theme: use of marked word order and other grammatical choices to place particular entities at the front (see Topic 8) Cohesion: pronouns, determiners, ellipsis, substitution (see Topic 7) 1.3. Language: types of meaning

17 1. Language and communication Match each line with the following discourse functions/illocutionary acts: thanking, offer, echo question, directive, promise, exclamation (2), question (3), statement (3) Exercise on interpersonal meanings Offer J: If you like, I'll come into your shop tomorrow and get some model aeroplane kits. C: OK. Don't forget to bring the bill with you this time. J: I won't. Do you enjoy working here? C: It's all right, I suppose. C: But I am looking for another job. My dad keeps on at me to go into his business. but the last thing I want to do is work for him! J: Why? C: Why? He’s a bit of a slave driver. Do you think it is possible to get me on a part-time Youth Leadership course? J: I'll ring up tomorrow, Chris, and find out for you. C: Thanks a lot.

18 1. Language and communication 1.3. Exercise on interpersonal meanings Offer J: If you like, I'll come into your shop tomorrow and get some model aeroplane kits. C: OK. dir Don't forget to bring the bill with you this time. prom J: I won't. quest Do you enjoy working here? Stat C: It's all right, I suppose. C: But I am looking for another job. stat My dad keeps on at me to go into his business. exclam but the last thing I want to do is work for him! quest J: Why? Echo quest C: Why? exclam He’s a bit of a slave driver. Quest/dir Do you think it is possible to get me on a part-time Youth Leadership course? prom J: I'll ring up tomorrow, Chris, and find out for you. thank C: Thanks a lot.

19 1. Language and communication 1. For each of the following clauses say whether a participant or a circumstance has been chosen as Theme: a)Main Street is usually crowded on late shopping nights. b)The girls armed with hockey-sticks chased the burglar. c)Quite by accident I came across a very rare postage-stamp. d)Away in the distance you can see Mount Kilimanjaro. e)What I am going to tell you must not be repeated. Exercise (i)

20 1. Language and communication 1.For each of the following clauses say whether a participant or a circumstance has been chosen as Theme: a)Main Street is usually crowded on late shopping nights. participant b)The girls armed with hockey-sticks chased the burglar. participant c)Quite by accident I came across a very rare postage-stamp. circumstance d)Away in the distance you can see Mount Kilimanjaro. circumstance e)What I am going to tell you must not be repeated. participant Exercise (i)

21 1. Language and communication 2. In each of the following clauses say whether the Subject, the Direct Object or the Adjunct has been chosen as Theme: a.About fifty or sixty thousand years ago, there lived on earth a creature similar to man. b.Skulls and bones of this extinct species of man were found at Neanderthal. c.Where the first true men originated we do not know. d.These newcomers eventually drove the Neanderthalers out of existence. e.In Asia or Africa there may be still undiscovered deposits of earlier and richer human remains. Exercise (ii)

22 1. Language and communication 2. In each of the following clauses say whether the Subject, the Direct Object or the Adjunct has been chosen as Theme: a.About fifty or sixty thousand years ago, there lived on earth a creature similar to man. Adjunct b.Skulls and bones of this extinct species of man were found at Neanderthal. Subject c.Where the first true men originated we do not know. Direct Object d.These newcomers eventually drove the Neanderthalers out of existence. Subject e.In Asia or Africa there may be still undiscovered deposits of earlier and richer human remains. Adjunct Exercise (ii)

23 Windows is shutting down, and grammar are On their last leg. So what am we to do? A letter of complaint go just so far, Proving the only one in step are you. Better, perhaps, to simply let it goes. A sentence have to be screwed pretty bad Before they gets to where you doesnt knows The meaning what it must of meant to had. The meteor have hit. Extinction spread, But evolution do not stop for that. A mutant languages rise from the dead And all them rules is suddenly old hat. Too bad for we, us what has had so long The best seat from the only game in town. But there it am, and whom can say its wrong? Those are the break. Windows is shutting down. (Guardian, April 27, 2005)

24 "hI KATHY i am sending u the assignmnet again,". "i had sent you the assignment earlier but i didnt get a respond. If u get this assgnment could u please respond. thanking u for ur cooperation."

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26 Agree or disagree? 1.New forms of communication such as , twitter or text messages are changing the grammar of English and Spanish. 2.Using ‘correct’ forms of grammar is not important in these types of communication. 3.Young people (e.g. in Spain, the US or UK) do not use grammar correctly. 4.A new variety of English (English as a Lingua Franca or ELF) is emerging and its rules are different from those of native speakers. 5.It is better (and easier) to learn ELF for communicating with other non-native speakers than ‘native’ English.


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