3Lecture 1: The early beginnings Greece, India around 400 ADLinguistics started out in societies with a writing system, like most sciences
4Importance of writingto convey insights and to allow cumulative development of scienceto provide food for thought on the relationship between sounds and letters (fonology)the mind seems to have a better grasp on written material than on the fleeting words of spoken language
5Primacy of Letters over Sounds Until well into the 19th century, linguists spoke mainly about letters, not sounds
6Contexts in which linguistics arose philosophy (Greece)language teaching (Alexandria)philology (study of ancient texts, often of sacred nature) (India, Greece)
13Cratylus: a Socratic dialogue Protagonists:Cratylus: words are natural signssome names are ‘correct’, others are notHermogenes: names are arbitrary/ conventionalSocrates: middle position: there is such a thing as a correct name, but names may be corrupted, and yet be used
14Hermogenes“I believe that any name you give a thing is its correct name. If you change its name and give it another, the new one is as correct as the old.”In its extreme form, this is the Humpty-Dumpty view on meaning
16`I thought it looked a little queer `I thought it looked a little queer. As I was saying, that seems to be done right -- though I haven't time to look it over thoroughly just now -- and that shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents --'`Certainly,' said Alice.`And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'`I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'`But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master -- that's all.' (Lewis Carroll – Through the Looking Glass)
17Socrates Names can be ‘correct’ or not They are given by a name-giver Hector (‘possessor’) is a good name for a rulerOrestes (‘mountain-man’) is a good name for a brutish savage
18Etymology of theos ‘god’ Socrates: It seems to me that the first inhabitants of Greece believed only in those gods in which many foreigners still believe today – the sun, the moon, earth, stars and sky. And, seeing that these were always moving or running, they gave them the name ‘theoi’ because it was their nature to run (thein).
19CratylusThe name ‘Hermogenes’ (offspring of Hermes) is not correct.
20SocratesWe see that some names are fit and proper, and some are not. Sometimes, this is because they were wrong in the first place, sometimes because they were corrupted (letters disappeared, others were added for no good purpose) or borrowed from alien languages (and therefore opaque to the Greek ear).
21Sound Imagery Socrates: r is hard, indicative of motion l is soft, smooth, passiveBut note: Latin arbor > Spanish arbolperegrinus > Dutch pelgrim
22Modern View (F. de Saussure) words and expressions are basically conventional: arbitrary by agreement in a speech communityno Humpty-Dumptypartial motivation of signs possible:when they are complexonomatopoetic words(maybe) sound symbolism
31AristotleOrganon: Collection of works on reasoning and logic, brought together posthumously by Aristotles pupils
32Art of reasoning syllogistic logic (further systematized in the middle ages)
33BARBARA (all – all – all) All men are swine All swine are dirty All men are dirty
34DARII Some – all – some All soldiers are cruel Some men are soldiers Some men are cruel
35CELARENT No – all – no No spirit is a body All humans are a body No human is a spirit
36Structure of a syllogism Two premisses: major and minorMajor contains the predicate of the conclusion, the minor the subject of the conclusionConclusion
37Sothe notion of a main division between subject and predicate stems from Aristotles logicstill debated in 20th century syntax (is the division of S in NP and VP universal, or just useful for languages like English)
38Aristotelian logic was the main theory of quantification until the advent of predicate logic in the late 19th century (Frege)