Evidence for arbitrariness [li] ‘Lee’ English ‘Bed’ French ‘Borrowed/lent’ German ‘This’ Cantonese
Discreteness/duality of patterning cool/ Luke/ clue [k] [u] [l]
Productivity All human languages use a finite set of linguistic data to generate an infinite set of possible sentences – the creative aspect of language
. The language that shows the design features English, French, Mandarin Natural/formal languages Invented that may or may not possess the design features. Elvish, Klingon, Esperanto constructed languages
A mystery: where does language come from? (1) Ding-Dong humans make to mimic the sounds of the world around them. boom = explosion oink = the sound made by a pig. Bow-wow humans form their first words by imitating animal sounds. It seems difficult to accept that humans learned to speak to one another by talking to the animals.
A mystery: where does language come from? (2) Pooh-pooh the first words developed from sighs of pleasure, moans of pain, and other semi-involuntary cries or exclamations. Uh-oh human language begins with the use of arbitrary symbols that represent warnings to other members of the human band. Yo-he-ho language arose in rhythmic chants and vocalisms uttered by people engaged in communal labour.
A mystery: where does language come from? (3) Language is a human instinct Human beings are born with the ability to speak language. Universal Grammar (UG)
Definition The properties that all human languages share. Feature Innateness Human beings are born with language ability. Evidence Children can acquire languages they are exposed to with ease.
What does it mean by saying you speak Mandarin Chinese ? Linguistically, you possess the linguistic knowledge of Mandarin Chinese. Sounds Words Sentences
Linguistic Knowledge Knowledge of sound system The inventory of sounds in a language Chinese: [+l], [-r]. Lai, *rai The possible arrangement of sound sequences English: [nuk]; [snuk]; *[sknuk]; *[mnuk] Chinese: [mau]; [myau]; *[aum]; *[yaum] Knowledge of words Form and meaning => arbitrary Knowledge of sentences and non-sentences All students love linguistics; *Love linguistics all students
Competence vs. Performance Competence What you know about linguistic knowledge A perfect linguistic system Performance How you use this linguistic knowledge in actual speech production and comprehension Example: Competence: John likes German cars. Performance: You don ’ t *John like German car.
What is grammar? What a speaker knows about language. Linguistic knowledge, competence Components Phonology Morphology Syntax lexicon
Types of grammar Descriptive grammar To describe what you know about grammar John is the person who/whom I met yesterday. 暴露 [bau lou], [pou lou] Prescriptive grammar To tell you how you should use about grammar John is the person *who/whom I met yesterday. 暴露 *[bau lou], [pou lou] Teaching grammar Used to learn a language
Do you agree… Apes and dogs have their own languages. We just don’t understand them. The Formosan languages (e.g., Paiwan, Atayal) are aboriginal languages. They are not as good as Chinese, English, or French.
The truth is… Wherever humans exist, language exits. All languages are equal - no ‘ primitive ’ language