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What is Linguistics? Anthropology studies human beings in the round Linguistics studies language in all its forms. Description of languages Theory of Language.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Linguistics? Anthropology studies human beings in the round Linguistics studies language in all its forms. Description of languages Theory of Language."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Linguistics? Anthropology studies human beings in the round Linguistics studies language in all its forms. Description of languages Theory of Language Historical connections from Grammar, philology Has many contemporary connections Philosophy, history, archeology, literature, anthropology, sociology, psychology, neuropsychology, biology, physics, mathematics, computer programming

2 Ferdinand de Saussure ( ) Swiss linguist, working on Indo- European philology came to reinvent the system, the way language is theorized. Course in General Linguistics posthumously compiled from notes and lecture notes of his students. Modern structuralism - rules of relations among elements Semiology (semiotics)

3 Study Language (langue) not speech (parole) The subject matter of linguistics comprises all manifestations of human speech, whether that of savages or civilized nations, or of archaic, classical or decadent periods. 1)Describe all observable languages 2)Trace their histories (families), reconstruction 3)Determine permanent, universal forces, deduce general laws 4)Delimit and define the discipline

4 Langue, parole, langage langue - language the formal system of grammar (code) parole - speech/talking (writing) the realization of langue in actual talk langage - language/speech the overall phenomenon of which langue and parole are subparts

5 Langue is the true object of study Parole (speech, speaking, articulation) is messy, heterogeneous, variable, based in the individual Langue (language, competence) is both a social product of the faculty of speech and a collection of necessary conventions that have been adopted by a social body to permit individuals to exercise that faculty.

6 langue is no less concrete than parole Whereas speech is heterogeneous, language, as defined is homogeneous. It is a system of signs in which the only essential thing is the union of meanings and sound-images, and in which both parts of the sign are psychological. linguistic signs are not abstractions but regularities

7 Saussurian Duality of Language 1) Oral - aural pairing 2) Union of sound-image and concept 3) individual and social 4) Synchronic and diachronic realities An established system on the one hand Always a product of the past

8 Two people conversing

9 Semiotic circuit

10 Social crystallization of langue Among all the individuals that are linked together by speech, some sort of average will be set up: all will reproducenot exactly of course, but approximatelythe same signs united with the same concepts. The social, the essential Not the individual, accidental, accessory

11 Saussurian principles Language is form, not substance Units of language can only be defined by their relationships Structuralism first enunciated by Prague School of Linguists following these principles (Roman Jakobson, Nikolay Trubetskoy)

12 Arbitrariness Arbitrariness of the sign is when analyzed across systems The linguistic sign is non-arbitrary (necessary) within the system. Cant say just anything and be speaking English. Natural logic of the system (Whorf)

13 Two modes of analysis Synchronic - description of the state of a language at a particular moment Diachronic - change through time, comes from comparing sequences of synchronic analyses Antecedents are not origins

14 Competence and Performance Language is more than rules. Not just vocabulary and grammar. Saussures langue and parole Language and speaking Language is a social system, shared by a speech community Speaking always happens in a context

15 Speech and communication Speech is one-dimensional, sequence of signs Communication includes gestures and other signals Operates in parallel to speech Reinforcing ideas Contradicting (mixed signals)

16 Linguistics as a model for general semiology Language is comparable to a symphony in that what the symphony actually is stands completely apart from how it is performed; the mistakes that musicians make in playing the symphony do not compromise this fact.

17 Emile Benveniste explanation of Structuralism Saussure never uses the word structure: Language is a system that has its own arrangement. The system is an interdependent whole. If one part is modified, the whole system is affected because it remains coherent. Structuralism first enunciated by Prague School of Linguists following these principles (Roman Jakobson, Nikolay Trubetskoy)

18 Structuralism Trubetskoy: One cannot determine the place of a word in a lexical system until one has studied the structure of the said system. A science of the whole - system of relations system is formed of units that mutually affect one another distinguished from other systems by the internal arrangements of these units arrangement is structure

19 French structuralism Benveniste: The structuralist doctrine teaches the predominance of the system over the elements, and aims to define the structure of the system through the relationships among the elements, in the spoken chain as well as in formal paradigms, and shows the organic character of the changes to which language is subject.

20 studies the life of signs within society shows what constitute signs, what laws govern them language is the prototypical semiological system Science of signs - semiology

21 Metaphor of the chess game c

22 Diachronic view: previous state More chess

23 Change in time This is

24 Structures of the system c

25 Changes in the structure This is


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