Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Introduction I. Some interesting facts about language

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Introduction I. Some interesting facts about language"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction I. Some interesting facts about language
II. What is linguistics? III. Why study linguistics? IV. Emphasis on spoken language V. Basic attributes of language (1) (2) Yun-Pi Yuan 1

2 Some Interesting Facts About Language
Number of languages: about 6,809 languages in the world (or about 4,000 ~ 8000 languages because it’s hard to define what counts as a language), about 50% of theses are dying out Ten most widely spoken languages: (based on info. from in Sept ) 1. Mandarin Chinese 2. Spanish 3. English 4. Bengali 5. Hindi/Urdu 6. Portuguese Russian 8. Japanese 9. German Chinese-Wu Yun-Pi Yuan 2

3 Ten Most Widely Spoken Languages
According to David Crystal The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (1987, p. 287)—mother tongue speakers 1. Chinese (Mandarin) 2. English 3. Spanish 4. Hindi 5. Arabic 6. Bengali 7. Russian 8. Portuguese 9. Japanese 10. German Yun-Pi Yuan 3

4 Reasons for the Uncertainty over Numbers of language (1)
New discoveries: new people (and therefore languages) continue to be discovered in the unexplored regions of the world (esp. in the Amazon basin, Central Africa, and New Guinea). Alive or dead language? Political decisions Economic reason Diseases others Yun-Pi Yuan 4

5 Reasons for the Uncertainty over Numbers of language (2)
Language or dialect? Five types of relationship between dialect and language Type 1 community A community B e.g. British Eng same language American Eng. Mutually intelligible common cultural history Yun-Pi Yuan 5

6 Reasons for the Uncertainty over Numbers of language (3)
Type 2 community A community B e.g. English different languages Hindi Type 3 community A community B e.g. Norwegian ? Danish Mutually unintelligible different cultural history Mutually intelligible different cultural history Yun-Pi Yuan 6

7 Reasons for the Uncertainty over Numbers of language (4)
Type 4 community A community B e.g. Cantonese Hakka (Chinese) ? (Chinese) Type 5 Community A community B e.g. Turkish ? Uzbek Mutually unintelligible same cultural history Partially (un)intelligible overlapping cultural history Yun-Pi Yuan 7

8 Reasons for the Uncertainty over Numbers of language (5)
Language names Many communities have no specific name for their language (especially in Africa and South America). e.g. Bantu, refers to a whole family of languages, and means simply “people.” Or a community whose language has too many names Or same name is applied to two different languages (e.g., Mexicano used in Mexico to refer to “Spanish” and to the main Indian language “Nahuatl”). Yun-Pi Yuan 8

9 What Is Linguistics? Definition
the systematic & scientific study of language Purpose: to learn the different aspects of language How it is structured; how we produce & understand it in ongoing time; how we learn it; how it developed in humans; how we use it every day & what we use it for; how it works in our minds and in society. Study range of linguistics 1. Phonology (Phonetics & Phonemics) 2. Syntax (Morphology & Grammar) 3. Semantics (Meaning) 4. Pragmatics (the interpretation in context) Yun-Pi Yuan 9

10 Why Study Linguistics? (1)
To improve your English through study of subject in English Exploiting a language’s total resources to create literature To learn something about psychology Lang. is very important to everything you do. To examine your own belief about lang. in general, lang. in particular, and especially, speakers. To learn to observe & analyze Yun-Pi Yuan 10

11 Why Study Linguistics? (2)
More reasons . . . Might keep you out of prison To improve language teaching & learning Language rights Technology Yun-Pi Yuan 11

12 Emphasis on Spoken Language
Speech primary History individual Writing is not always present. Change reflected slowly in writing Similar writing system can be used for very different languages, or more than one system for one language. Yun-Pi Yuan 12

13 Basic Attributes of Language (1)
Unique properties: Language is random (and not so random). (Nash 4~5) *Arbitrariness (Yule 21~22) Displacement (Yule 20~21) Language is a body of (very productive and creative) knowledge. (Nash 3) *Productivity (creativity or open-endedness) (Yule 22~23) Language is social and cultural. (Nash 5~6) *Cultural transmission (Yule 24) Language has a series of levels, & governed by rules. (Nash 3~4) * Duality (or double articulation) (Yule 25) Discreteness (Yule 24) Yun-Pi Yuan 13

14 Duality (or Double Articulation)
A series of levels: Sounds, no meaning Sound + meaning Sentence structure Discourse Duality: Sound Meaning Yun-Pi Yuan 14

15 Basic Attributes of Language (2)
Language uses sounds (Nash) * Vocal-auditory channel (Yule) Reciprocity (Yule) Specialization (Yule) Non-directionality (Yule) Rapid fade (Yule) Language is communication (Nash) Language is human (Nash) Language is a system (Nash) Languages are more similar than they are different (Nash) Language changes (Nash) Language is accompanied by gestures (Nash) Yun-Pi Yuan 15

Download ppt "Introduction I. Some interesting facts about language"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google