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UCLA / Linguistics / LING 1 / What comprises our linguistic knowledge?

What comprises our linguistic knowledge?

What comprises our linguistic knowledge?


School: University of California - Los Angeles
Department: Linguistics
Course: Introduction to Study of Language
Professor: Nina hyams
Term: Winter 2019
Tags: final study guide, Linguistics, Winter, UCLA, Language, syntax, phonology, phonetics, semantics, pragmatics, and dialect
Cost: 50
Name: Ling 1 Final Study Guide
Description: Here is my final study guide for Ling 1: including a combination of lecture and reading notes, with graphics and diagrams, summaries, and additional comments from discussion.
Uploaded: 03/17/2019
68 Pages 66 Views 5 Unlocks

timothyvarghese (Rating: )



What comprises our linguistic knowledge

Linguistics 1 Final Study Guide 

Professor Hyams

Winter 2019

Final Focus:

More on second half: Chapter 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9

Including first half: Chapter 1, 2, 3 , 4

Linguistic Knowledge 

I. Overview of Ling 1

A. An introduction to the scientific study of human language

B. Subject areas: words (morphology), sentences (syntax), sound

(phonetics/phonology), word and meaning (semantics) , acquisition of language in children, brain basis for language (neurolinguistics) , signed language Don't forget about the age old question of What is the justice for all act?

language change and dialect variation

C. Learn to analyze data from diff languages

D. Language 

Why don't we use sentences that go on and on and on if we have that capacity? a) linguist

1. One way of approaching language: function 

a) What do we do it with : communicate

b) ;osters dcoe speech sounds of hand shapes into meaning

2. Knowledge 

a) 2 central ?s

(1) What do we know when we know language?

(2) How do we acquire this knowledge as children

(a) We have a finite set of building blocks and rules by If you want to learn more check out How do we classify organisms?

which we construct words, phrases, and scenes

(b) This is unconscious and implicit knowledge

b) What comprises our linguistic knowledge

(1) Phonestics -inventory of sounds in our language:

Do we have case morphology in english?

(a) I.e [b] an english sound, boy

(b) Brackets-symbol for international symbol of


(c) [x] is not an English sound, but it is a sound of

Spanish in the name [xose] “Jose’

(d) Brackets show nique symbols that represent the

sound, unlike alphabets (not reliable for sounds

(2) Phonology: sound patterns , what sequences are possible


(i) Ie. english words that begin with [sk}

(a) Ski, skate

(ii) Italian words with [sg] -sgabello ‘chair/stool’ (b) Diff. languages have different possibilities with sequences of sounds

(i) Apart of linguistics/ phonological knowledge (3) Lexicon: a mental dictionary

(a) Words are arbitrary pairing of sound and meaning (b) Brown, cow, speak, fast Don't forget about the age old question of Was the pre- wwi era a “golden age”?

(c) inspidi ,nefarious, prevaricate

(d) The relationship between the form and the meaning is arbitrary

(i) true for both spoken and signed languages (ii) Even onomatopoeic words formation is


(4) Possible vs impossible words

(a) Our knowledge of sound sequences allows us to determine what constitutes a possible (though non existing) word

(i) I.e Brincan could be an English words

(ii) I.e Blincam could not be, because it's not an english sound sequences

(b) 3 way distinction -possible by linguistic knowledge (i) Existing words

(ii) Possible but non existent words

(iii) Impossible words

(5) Morphology: let us build complex words, structures and properties of words

(a) I.e she talks/is talking/ talked

(b) differ , different, differentiate, differentiation, differentiational, differentiationality If you want to learn more check out What characteristics define an animal?

(c) Constraints on how words can be built: ie


(i) *=astris--used to indicate that word is not

well formed or grammatical

(6) Morphemes: we build complex words from rules that combine elements smaller than the word-Morphemes (a) -Morphology: knowledge of how words are constructed

(b) Individual morphemes are listed in the lexicon: i.e differ -ent, -iae, and combined morphological rules (7) Syntax: we know how to build phrases and sentences (a) Spanish: un perro blanco/ English: a white dog


(b) Different categorical order

(c) English: subject-verb word order

(d) Syntax rules:

(i) (WH) Questions

(a) I saw the man steal a book.

(b) What did you see the man steal


3. Language and Thought

a) Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: structure of a language influences how

it's speakers perceive the world around them

(1) Linguistic relativism (weaker form) language differs in

categories they encode and speakers of different language

think about the world

(2) Linguistic determinism (strong form) how we speak If you want to learn more check out Describe messel shale.

determines how we perceive and think about the world

(3) False hypothesis: peoples thoughts and perceptions are

not determined by words or structures of language

(a) Claim that Inuit people have many words for snow If you want to learn more check out What role does protein play in body functioning?

more than english which affects their worldview but

in fact English do too (sleet, blizzard, flurry, etc)

I. Previously:

A. Knowing a language means knowing the inventory of sounds in the language B. Permissible and impermissible sound sequences

C. Lexon of existing words (arbitrary sound-meaning pairs)

D. How to build complex words by combining morphemes according to rules: 1. Differ-entity but not * differ-iate-ent

E. How to build phrases and sentences according to syntactic rules

Continue: what we know in a language

II. Semantics: Meaning of Language

A. We know the meanings and other semantic properties of words:

1. Count nouns: a chair, nine chairs, manu chars by not *much chair, * ten pounds/pieces of chair

2. Mass nouns: much wine, five gallons wine, but not *a wine, *many wines a) Excepct: “a wine from napa valley”

III. Sentence Meaning

A. We also know how to assign meaning to sentences

1. I.e The bear promised the monkey to dance or The bear persuaded the monkey to dance

a) Who's the dancer

(1) The bear

(2) The monkey

b) Hidden meaning difference,


c) Promising vs persuading --changes entire structure of the

sentence in terms of who the dancer is

2. Verb choice impacts meanings in sentences

B. Ambiguous sentences

1. Sentences can have multiple meanings

a) I.e Flying planes can be dangerous

(1) Can be a dangerous occupation

(2) Planes flying overhead can be dangerous

C. Noam Chomsky and Creativity of Language : Linguistic Creativity 1. Human linguistic knowledge is “creative: We are able to produce and understand an infinite set of novel utterances

a) Failed password security question answer attempts limit

b) “Monsters mull volcano ash cloud flight chaos measures:

c) Airbag function safety recall follow up notice

2. There is no limit to how long a setce can be

3. We have creativity that is universal property of human language 4. Rules: Infinite USe of Finite Means: 

a) Linguistic creativity exists because we know (a finite number of) rules that can be applied repeatedly (including rules for

coordination, subordination, recusing of adjectives, PPs, etc)

b) Rules combine sounds into words, words into meaningful phrases, into system of rules

D. Grammer: system of rules

1. Every speaker has a mental grammar of the rules of his language that he follows in producing, understanding, and making judgments of well formedness (grammaticality) about his/her language

2. Al languages are governed by a grammar

3. Job of linguist is to uncover and model the mental grammar that speakers have in their heads

E. Knowing a rule vs Using a rule

1. Why don't we use sentences that go on and on and on if we have that capacity?

a) Linguistic Competence: a speaker’s knowledge of the rules of his language and grammar

b) Linguistic performance: actual speech production and


2. Performance errors:

a) Our linsuttive permcne can be affected by many factors:

(1) Memory limitations

(2) shifts in attention and interest

(3) Psychological and physical states

(4) Linguistic and non-linguistic context

3. Performance vs competence:


a) We have a system of rules in our heads (linguistic knowledge) enables us to understand infinite number of sentences, bu in the actual world our ability to understand is impeded by other kinds of factors

4. Speech Errors

a) Spoonerism-a kind of speech or performance error in which sounds or other units are transposed

(1) I.e “you have hissed my mystery lecture and tasted the

whole worm”

(a) Target: “You have missed my history lecture and

wasted the whole term”

(2) What happened? Difference between Competence and


(a) Something happens with brain and transmission of


b) Garden Path Sentences 

(1) We also experience errors of comprehension

(a) I.e The ball thrown in the air dropped

F. NOT EVERYONE has clear linguistic understanding of their language 1. Prescriptive Grammar/rules: are intended to teach people how they should speak according to some arbitrary standard (often based on Latin) a) I.e my friend and I not my friend and me

b) Don't end a sentence with a preposition

(1) I.e Don't say: This is something I can't deal with

(a) Do say: This is something with which I can’t deal

c) Don't use who instead of whom

d) Don't use double negatives

e) Arbitration of prescriptive rules:

(1) Other languages do use double negative:

(a) Il ne mange rien: He does not eat nothing

2. Descriptive grammar/rules : linguists are interested in describing and understanding the rules that people actually follow in speaking and understanding their language and not in prescribing a standard usage 3. Descriptive vs prescriptive:

a) Descriptive: individualized rules, sound natural

(1) Dialtec impacts this

4. Teaching Grammar: whening you learn another language/dialect a) Gloss: parallel word in student’s native language

(1) Ie maison-house

G. Don't some people know their language better than others, speak more articulate?

1. No every native speaker has perfect knowledge of the ruel spf his native language, these fuels may be different for different people


a) Ie. dialects of idiolect

H. Aren't some dialects of english less precise, clear, or expressive of standard language

1. No all dialects/languages are rule-governed , fully expressive, and logical 2. I.e

a) Appalachian English: Mine, ourn, yourn, hisn, hern, thiern

b) Black English (AAVE): mines, ours, yours, his hers, thiers

c) Standard mine, ours, yours, his, theirs

I. Language universals

1. Not all languages exquisitely complex, but below the surface all

languages are very much alike

a) There Is a aset of universal properties possessed by all

languages, which linguists refer to as Universal Grammar 

b) Universal Grammar can be thought of as the laws of language , a

blueprint that all languages follow

Continue: Universals

A. UG Rule: don't question part of the relative clause

II. Language Difference: Parameters 

A. Word order

1. I.e English: S-V-O (sub, verb, object) “The Student reads a book”

2. Japanese: SOV

B. How questions are formed

1. English: Who do you like?

2. Chinese: Ni xihuan shei? You like who?

C. How negation is done

1. English: I don't see anyone

2. Spanish: Ne veo nadie (not see 1st person no one)

III. Language Universals and LAnguage Acquisition

A. What do we know when we know language?

1. Some observations about language acquisition

a. Learning language is different from learning to tie your shoes

i. Language development happens earlier and less effortful, despite


ii. Children are language geniuses

1. Children know how to do this by themselves

b. How do children learn language 

i. Universal Grammar: set of principles common to all languages, a

blueprint all lagueus follow

1. Innate In the child and enables him to acquire the specific rules of

his language with relative speed and ease based on evidence in

the input

2. Children are not starting from scratch, properties of language are

innate specific


a. Related to acquisition

b. Nature vs nurture

c. Properties where languages differ from on another area

where the kids must learn

i. I.e an English child learns SVO while a japanese

student learns SOV

ii. Non human language:

1. Discreteness: an essential property of human language not

shared by the communication systems of other animals

a. Discreteness: internal structure

b. Displacement: capacity to talk or sign messages

unrelated to here and now

2. Can computers learn human language

a. Computer speech has discreteness and displacement, but

can’t pass the Turing Test 

i. Ultimate test of linguistic competence (choosing

between a human and a computer to see which

one is human)

iii. Moral of the story: no escaping biology

iv. Other ways children learn

c. Summing uP:

1. Linguists: All languages are rule-governed

2. Universals reveal to us the essential character (the laws) of

human language, the properties that all languages share

a. the y help us to explain the eease and speech with which

children acquire language

b. In this sense the study of language provides a window to

the mind


A. The structure of words: Morphology

a. What's the longest word in english:

i. i.e antidisestablishmentarianism

ii. There is no longest word (compound words)

1. Great grandmother, great-great grandmother, great-great-great



b. Morphology: the study of the internal structure of words and the rules for combining parts of words (building blocks to make morphologically complex words

i. We know how to combine elements to build new words

1. Membership=membership

2. Lighthouse +keeper =lighthouse keeper

ii. We know how to decompose words into their parts

1. homeless= homeless

2. deregulate= de=regulate

iii. Content words and function words

1. Open class: regularly add new words to these classes

2. Function words: specificity grammatical relations and have little or no semantic content

i. I.e the, as , and

3. Closed class: no new entries able

iv. Types of morphological rules

1. Compounding 

a. Ie great-grandmother. Googleganger

b. In english and other languages, simple way to form new


c. Compounds are formed by combining two or more

independent words

i. Noun+Verb--Baby sit= V

d. Can be represented by word trees that show the internal

structure of the complex word

2. Properties of Compounds: Compounds have a “head”

a. Complex words inherit grammatical properties form their


i. Syntactic category: smartwatch is a noun and is

its head, watch

1. Inherits its “noun” and meaning from the


ii. Meaning: smartwatch is a kind of watch

iii. Inflectional endings (ie plural, past tense) are

deternig my thehead

1. I.e babysat


iv. Some exceptions:

1. A flatfoot=police mean, headless terms

v. Another exception to the Right hand head rule “RHH Rule” 

1. When the right hand member is a

preposition, it does not determine the

category of the compound

a. Verb+preposition: hang up =noun

b. VP -drop out- noun/verb

2. Why are prepositions different?

a. Prepositions are a closed class

i. They don't admit new words

b. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs

are open classes

vi. Other properties of English compounds 1. The head comes last

2. Stress comes first

a. Adf+ n (noun phrase) —--compound

i. Black board= black board

ii. Blue bird=bluebird

iii. White house =whitehouse

vii. Meaning and complexity

1. Compositionality: the meaning of a phrase is compositional, predictable from the

meaning of its parts

a. A bluebird is a bird that is blue (noun


2. In compounds the meaning is not

completely compositional

a. A blackboard may be green

b. A cold hot dog is still a hot dawg

c. Can you think of another kind of

expression which is not


i. Idioms are completely


ii. I.e water under a bridge

3. Ambiguous words: some compounds are structurally ambiguous

a. 2 meanings, 2 structures

i. “california history teacher”

a) A teacher from California


b.)A teacher that teaches

california history

ii. Word tress are heircahcillay


I. Affixation 

A. Another way to build new words is by adding prefixes and suffixes to existing words

B. Prefixes attach at the beginning of the root

1. (base )word, ie undo, rewind, prehistoric

C. Suffixes attach to the end of the root (base) word

1. I.e doable

II. Morpheme: the minimal unit of meaning

A. Basic unit of morphology

B. Free morphemes: words

1. Can stand on their own and have well defined meaning

a) I.e dog, happy, love

2. Open and closed class

C. Bound morphemes/ “affix” always attached to apart of the word

1. Can't stand by themselves, must be attached by a root

a) Prefix: before- un

b) Suffix: after- iness

2. Affix:

a) Derivational and inflectional

D. Syllable vs morpheme: sing+er (2 morphemes) vs finger (1 morpheme) --monomorphemic 

1. I.e commitment, settlement vs *ce+ment, *Mo+ment

a) Discreteness: combine morphemes in novel ways understandable

to speakers of the language

E. Free and Bound Morphemes

1. Compounding: compounds words are built from two or more “free: 

morphemes (what we have been calling “word” till now)

a) Sleepwalk, time suck, lowlife

2. Affixation: one or more bound morphemes (affixes) attached to a free morpheme to build a word

a) I.e peaceful

F. Circumfixes: morphemes attached to base morpheme both initially and finally 1. Not in english

G. Roots and stems

1. Root: word that does not have a prefix in front of the word or a suffix at the end of the word. The root word is the primary lexical unit of a 

word--morphologically complex words have a root

a) Ie in painter the root is paint


b) believe

2. Base: base is the same as the stem but the root has no lexical meaning while the base does ,

a) I.e system, systematic, unsystematic = bases

3. Stem: root morpheme and affix

a) Believable

H. Derivational and inflectional affixes/morphemes

1. Derivational affixes: modify the meaning and often , not always,the semantic category of the host —-the root (bound)

a) I.e happy-unhappy, love-loveable

2. Inflectional affixes: affect the grammatical function of the root, not the meaning

a) Dance-dances, walk-walked

(1) Comparative and superlative are inflectional

I. A new bound morpheme:

1. English has recently developed a new vulgar and colloquial intensifier morpheme: ass

a) “Big-ass burrito

b) “Cold-ass night”

c) ass= bound morpheme

d) Why is it not a compound?

(1) Can't stand by itself

(2) Violated the RHH rule

(a) Not a type of ass instead just an intensifier

J. The Structure of Complex Words

1. Morphologically complex words can also be represented by word trees (like compound)


b) Word trees are built by morphological rules 

(1) Un + adjective = adjective

(a) I.e unhappy, unreal, untroubled

(2) Adj+ ness=n

(a) I.e happiness, tidiness

c) Morphological rules and the word trees they generate represent our knowledge of the internal structure of words


d) More than one rule can apply

(1) (2) (A) un + adj = adj

(3) (B) adj +ness=n

e) Suppose we tried:

(1) Adj + ness=n , un +n =Adjie ungovernment

(a) Could not work, has to be internal structure, rules define how morphemes build upon each other

f) A new Rule:

(1) -able rule

(a) V + able=adj (means able to be verbed)

(i) Laughable, believable, desirable

g) Structural Ambiguity

(1) Unlockable : not able to be unlocked

(a) V + adj =adj, un+adj=adj

(b) Lockable=lockable => Un {lock able}]=unlockable (2) Unlockable: able to be unlocked

(a) V + -able, un + verb (lock) : unlockable

(3) Anbuiguity is strong evidence for htehierachrical structure of words

(4) h) Possible vs impossible words 

(1) Our knowledge of morphology also allows us to judge well formed vs impossible word


(a) Differentiate vs *differiatent

(b) V+ ent => adj

(i) Different, correspondent, absorbent

(c) Adj+ate =v

(i) Differentiate, activate 

(d) Good words: depersonalize, detoxify

(e) Not good words: *deperson, detoxin

i) Moral of the story : complex words are not just strings of morphemes

(1) They have hierarchical (tree like structure defined by morphological rules that are part of our mental grammar (2) Knowledge of morphemes and morphological rules allow speakers to:

(a) Recognize structurally ambiguous words

(b) Etc

(3) We can understand novel complex words because we know

(a) The meanings of the individual morphemes

(listened in mental lexicon)

(b) The rules for building structures out of these


(c) These same rules allow us to create new

(4) Linguistic creativity

(a) Friend —-> unfriend (verb in English now )

(b) Tweet ——> retweet, tweeter

(c) Troll (n) —> (to) troll —(v)

(d) Speakers show linguistic creativity with respect to words 

(i) Due to knowledge of morphemes and 


(e) CHildren’s ability to be creative:

(i) “Daddy, I'll be the listener and you be the


(ii) “Mom, you’re a mistaker”

(iii) Children as young as 2 often create new

words by attaching bound morphemes to

words to which they don't attack in the adult


(iv) What does this tell us about acquisition?

(a) Children are acquiring rules and not

just imitating adult language

(v) Children’s novel verbs

(a) Noun ⇒ verb (zero affixation)


(i) “You have to scale it”

(ii) “I broomed her”

(iii) “He’s keying the door”

(opening the door with the


(f) Productivity of affixes

(i) Highly productive rules 

(a) -er

(i) Surfer writer

(b) -able

(i) Likebable ,zippable

(c) Zero affixation (n-> v)

(i) Shelf->( to) shelf

(d) Compounds

(ii) Less productive rules 

(a) -th

(i) Wealth, health

(b) -ling

(i) Foundling, seedlign

(c) -let

(i) Piglet, leaflet, droplet

(5) Summing up derivational morphemes

(a) Derivational morphemes: have meaning and they

change the meaning of the root

(i) Ie. unhappy

K. English Inflectional Morphemes: 

a) 3rd sing, pres -s

b) Past tense -ed

c) Progressive -ing

d) Past participle -en

e) Plural -s

f) Possessive -s

g) Comparative -er

h) Superlative -est

2. Do not change the grammatical category of the root

3. Don't create new words , they create a version of the original word 4. Usually have grammatical function and often depend on the syntax of the sentence

a) I.e 3rd person singular -s agrees with the subject of the sentence 5. Are very productive

a) Easily attack to new words

(1) I.e Unfriend-unfriended

(2) Tweet-tweeting


b) Experimental studies

(1) I.e Wug tests 

(a) There is a Wug

(b) Now there is another one. There are two of them.

There are two _____? A: Wugs

(c) Results show at what age children can correct

inflect “novel” words

(i) Ie acquired a rule

6. Exceptions :

a) Past tense

(1) -eat -ate

(2) -go -went

(3) Sing -sang

b) Plura;

(1) Man-men

(2) Tooth -teeth

(3) Foot-feet

c) Many irregular forms in English involve word internal (vowel) changes

d) But not all

(1) I.e hit-hit, ox-oxen, fish-fish, child-children

e) The Mental Lexicon (dictionary )

(1) There is a lexical entry for each morpheme we know:

(a) The pronunciation associated with a morpheme,

(i) Ie. table, truth -ing, un, ness

(b) The meaning of the morpheme

(c) The syntactic category of free morphemes (ie how

to use the word in a sentence--its distribution)

(i) A shark has two rows of teeth (noun)

(ii) Babies teeth on bages (verb)

f) Morphological Variation 

(1) A morpheme that is free in one language may be bound in another

(a) Togan : tense morphemes are free

(i) Na’e lea ‘a Sione

(a) Past speak Sione

(b) “Sione Spoke”

(b) English

(i) I danced all night

(2) Hare (Canadian) : body parts are bound

(a) I.e fi “head” —-sefi , my head

g) Another kind of affix : Circumfixes


(1) (does not exist in english)--surround the root , occur both initially and finally

(2) German : lieb —> ge + lieb + t (love—> loved)

h) Do we have case morphology in english?

(1) Went away once had it

(2) English pronouns

(3) When case is marked by inflectional morphemes

i) Do we have infixes in English?

(1) Only one: fantastic —-> fan-friggin’-tastic

(2) Expletive-infixation rule: an explicative may be inserted only before a stressed syllable

(a) I.e FanTAstic: fan-friggin-tastic

(b) absoLUTEly : abso-friggin-lutely

j) Reduplication : inflecting word through repetition (1) Indonesian and tagalog

(2) I.e Indo: rumah (house)--> ruhmahrumah (houses) (3) Houses?

(4) I.e “Are you up or are you UP UP?”

(a) Contrastive Focus Reduplication: in English 

puts focus on most prototypical stereotypical 

example of something 

(i) Should i wear a hat-hat? (a real hat)

(ii) Are you nervous-nervous? (really nervous)

k) Schm-reduplication 

(1) Books, schmooks, I don't care what you’ve read

(2) Flu, schmu, he’s not worried about getting sick

l) Word making without morphology

(1) Blends

(a) Smog = (smoke and fog)

(b) Motel (motor and hotel)

(c) Bromance (brother romance)

(2) Clipping

(a) Hamburger

(b) Radical: rad

(c) Professional : pro

(3) Acronyms

(a) NATO

(b) NASA

(c) GOAT: Greatest of All TIme

m) Malapropism: confusion of a word through misinterpretation of its morphemes

(1) Ie coffee = person who coughs

n) Summing up


(1) Our knowledge of morphology allows us to:

(a) Create and understand new worlds

(b) Recognize structurally ambiguous words

(c) Distinguish well formed vs impossible words

(d) Various morphological processes

(e) Compound, affixation, republication, morpheme

internal changes

(f) ;languages can vary in morphological types


Syntax I : How to Build Sentences 

I. Syntax: speakers knowledge of sentences and structures 

A. Two theories of sentence structure

1. The Flat Structure Hypothesis: a sentence is just a string or

juxtaposition of words

a) Every word is at same level

b) Sentences are strings of words with no real structure

c) l

2. Tree Structure Hypothesis: sentences have hierarchical structure,

words grouped in sub groups at different levels

a) Hierarchical internal structure with groups or words behaving like


b) Supported by constituent structure tests of sentences, flat

structures don't explain those judgements

c) Also supported by other linguistic judgements, such as when we

judge a sentence to be ambiguous

(1) Sub-trees are called constituents - ends at node, where

branches meet, all words are contiguous or next to each



e) constituents : behave like single unit


(1) Sentence: Mary will visit the Getty

(a) Constituents: vist, the, Getty

(b) Next to each worth, but does not have to be contiguous to be a constituent

(2) What is a constituent>

(a) Corresponds to a node (a branching point) on the tree

(i) To be one, all and only the words under the node not be included

(ii) Must include all words below it or just the two words

(a) Ie. drink today

(b) The getty


(d) Not a constituent: “ He will “

(i) Because not all the words

are all and only, the He

branch comprises the whole


(e) Not “will drink” because it does not

include all the other stuff beblow it

(3) In what ways does a constituent behave like a single unit? (a) Can stand alone

(b) Can Be displaced from one position to another in a sentence

(c) Can be substituted by a single word (i.e pronoun) (d) We can use these properties as constituency tests 

(i) Provide evidence against the flat structure hypothesis

(4) Constituency Tests: only has to pass one test (a) Test 1: ability to stand alone 

(i) Your friend will visit the Getty

(a) What will your friend visit?

(i) The Getty (constituent)

(b) What will your friend do>

(i) Visit the Getty (constituent)

(c) Who will visit the getty?

(i) Your friend (constituent)


(ii) Non constituents

(b) Test 2: move as a unit 

(i) Mary will visit the Getty

(a) (The Getty), Mary wil visit

(b) (visit the Getty), marry will.

(c) Context: Bill promised that MAry will

visit the Getty and visit the Getty,

Mary (surely) Will

(d) Underline words can't move as a unit

(i) Will visit, Mary the Getty

(ii) Visit the, MAry will Getty

(iii) Means that sentence is 

judged to be grammatical 

and this hypothesis proves 

there is a hierarchical 

structure to sentence 


(c) Test 3: Replacement by pronoun: (best with 

Prepositional phrases) 

(i) Mary will visit the Getty

(a) Mary will visit (it)

(d) Test: Do-replacement (best with verb phrases)

(i) Ability for verb and object to be replaced

with “do, did, etc”

(a) Great grandma dared cop to tase

her, so he did

(i) Constituent ( tase her)

(5) Argue against Flat structure hypothesis:

(a) If sentences didn't have internal structure and every word has same status there would be no

explanation for why certain groups of word can

stand alone or move as a unit while others cant

(i) Sentences are not just strings of words but

do have hierarchical internal structure

f) Lexical ambiguity: some sentences are ambiguous because they contain ambiguous words

(1) I.e Republicans grill IRS chief over lost emails

(a) Cook the chief?

(b) Examine the chief?

(c) grill=2 meanings

g) Structural ambiguity: ambiguity in structure of sentence rather than words 

(1) I.e Students cook and serve grandparents


(2) Mary will hit the student with the book

(a) Instrumental: the hitting is done with the bok

(i) With the book (not a constituent)

(b) The student is holding the book (possession)

(i) With the book is a constituent

(c) Flat structure can explain this ambiguity

(3) PredictionS if we o a test that forces the student with the

book to e=ve a constituent (i.w move as a unity) meaning I

(instrumental) should disappear

(a) Prediction affirmed:

(i) The student with the book, Mary wil gtut

(a) Meaning 1: the student is holding

the book

(b) Meaning 2: the hitting is done with a


B. Syntactic categories and word order

1. Syntactic categories: family of expressions that can substitute for one another without loss of grammaticality

a) Syntactic- Phrasal Categories: to be a phrase must be a constituent 

(a) Noun phrase (NP) = Determiner + Noun

(i) The dog

(b) Verb phrase (VP)

(i) Visit the getty

(c) Prepositional phrase

(i) Up on the hill

(d) Adjective phrase

(i) Red as a beet

(e) Adverb phrase

(i) Surprisingly well

2. Speakers know how to group words into units--cosnituntnes and they know:

a) Syntactic category of the individual words and constituents in a sentence and also,

(1) Syntactic category: family of expressions that can

substitute for one another without loss of grammatically

b) How they are ordered with respect to one another

3. Categories and word order

a) Colorless green ideas sleep furiously

(1) Np: (adj adj n) vp: (v adv)

4. Lexical categories 

a) Heads:

(1) Noun


(2) Verb

(3) Preposition

(4) Adjective

(5) Adverb

b) Functional Categories 

(1) Other less familiar categories include:

(a) Determiners: a, the , that , this, your my,...

(b) Auxiliaries: will, might, can, must (modals)

(c) Complementizers: that, for, if, whether

(2) Unlike lexical categories, functional category words don't really have meaning by themselves, more grammatical functions

(a) More of a grammatical function

(b) So, ‘a dog’ and ‘the dog’ both mean “dog”, but ‘the dog’ means you have a specific one in mind, while

‘a dog’ can be any random dog.

(c) Auxiliaries indicate the tense of a sentence or

describe the likelihood of an event, e.g. John

is/was/could be sick.

(d) Complementizers are used to embed one

sentence inside another, e.g. Mary thinks that John

is handsome, John wonders whether/if Mary will

date him.

c) Phrase Structure Trees 

(1) Trees must include category labels


(3) Phrase Structure Rules and Trees

(a) Subject-> NP, VP 

(b) NP —> Det, N 

(c) VP —-> V, NP


(d) NP—> DEt N 

(4) Phrase structure rules generate (define) the set of well-formed trees in a language.

(5) Phrase structure rules and trees show 3 aspects of a speaker knowledge:

(a) hierarchical organization of a sentence

(b) Word order for language

(c) syntactic categories of words and phrases

d) Head and complements:

(1) Complementizer: CP= C, S

(a) Ie the professor hoped THAT the students..

(i) That- complementizer

(2) Head: the mother of John

(a) The mother= head

(b) John complementizer

(3) C selection/ subcategorization: complement types selected by verbs

(4) S selection: semantic specific requirements

e) Different kind of verbs:

(1) Transitive verbs require a direct object NP, e.g. catch, hit, push, visit, etc.

(a) *The man caught. The man caught a ball.

(2) Intransitive verbs do not take an object, e.g. go, sleep, etc. but they can take a PP

(a) *The dog slept the cat. The dog slept (on the bed) (3) Some verbs take a full sentence as complement, e.g. think,

know, hope, etc.

(a) The students know/think/hope that linguistics is


f) Intransitive verbs:

(a) The dog slept

(b) VP-> V



(d) The dog slept on the bed


(f) VP -> V ,PP

(g) PP -> P, NP

(h) NP-> Det, N

g) Proper nouns and pronouns : Noun Phrases

(1) What category are proper nouns?

(a) The dog slept on the bed or Nellie slept on the bed

(i) Not: *The nellie slept on the bed

(2) What category are pronouns?

(a) The dog slept on the bed. She slept on the bed.

(b) No: *The she slept on the bed. Who slept on the

bed? *The who slept on the bed.

I. Recursion: Sentential Complements

A. Ie John knows that Mary lied

1. S-> NP VP

2. VP-> V CP

3. CP -> C S


II. No longest sentence

A. John knows that Mary lied

B. Paul believes that john knows that Mary lied

C. Susan said that Paul believes that John knows that Mary lied

D. Recursive rules account for the infinity of natural language

III. Summary: Phrase structure rules

A. s-> NP VP


B. Np-> Det , N

C. VP -> V, NP (transitive verb)

D. VP -> V (intransitive verb)

E. VP -> V, PP

F. PP -> P, NP

G. VP-> V, Cp (sentential complement

H. CP - C, S

IV. Relationships on trees


B. What about “will” and other auxiliaries

1. Your friend will visit the Getty

2. * TP =S

C. Tense (T) and Tense Phrase (TP) 

1. S/TP -> NP T’

2. T’ -> T, VP

3. VP -> V, NP

4. NP-> Det, N



E. English Modals and Auxiliary Verbs

1. Modal verbs: can, shall, would, could , should, may, must, will, might 2. Auxiliary verbs: have (+en form of the verb) , be (+ing)

3. Tense: Past (-ed) and present (-s),

a) The man washed the car.

b) The man washes the car.

F. The Position of Tense, Auxiliaries, and Modals


2. NO Longest NP: PP recursion

a) {np The Chairman) slept.

b) (np The Chairman of the Linguistics Department) slept.

c) (np The chairman of the ling dept at ucla in westwood) slept. 3. Where does the PP go>

a) Old rule: NP-> Det , N

b) New rules

(1) NP -> Det, N’

(2) N’ -> N, PP

(3) PP -> P, NP



d) Recursion in NP


4. X-Bar Schema: necessary to add space in structure for auxiliary a)

b) Word order varies across languages

(1) X-bar schema specifies a 3 level of structure of OS trees for all languages. That’s universal

(2) But languages may differ in the order of categories within each level

c) Word order difference

(1) English: the student reads a book (S, V, O)

(2) Japanese: Gakusei-wa hono-o yon da (S O V)

d) Head direction

(1) English is SVO -head first 

(2) Japanese is SOV -head last



G. Adjective and adverbs


V. Phrase Structure: Summing up

A. Sentences have a tree like organization; they are not simply flat strings of words B. The hierarchical structure is shown by constituency tests: stand alone, move as a unit, pronounce replacement

C. Sentences with more than one PS tree are structurally ambiguous

D. Phrase structure trees specify:

1. The grammatical categories of words, groups of words in a sentence a) Ie N, V, VP, TP, T’

2. The position of categories with respect to one another

a) Ie. word order (SVO, ADJ N, V, PP)

3. Internal organization of words into phrases (i.e constituent structure, ie V NP form a unit )

E. PS rules for a language define the set of well-formed (grammatical) structures in that language

F. This is an infinite set because of recursive rules

G. X-Var (X’) is a universal schema (part of UG) that specific how languages organize phrases into sentences (apart from word order which may vary across languages)


H. PS Trees also define relationships and dependencies between different elements in a sentence (i.e head, complement)

VI. Long Distance Dependencies 

A. PS trees also provide a natural account of ‘long distance’ dependencies’ ie constructions in which 2 elements that depend on each other are separated by an arbitrary number of words

1. Subject -verb agreement rule 

2. Question-formation rule 

3. Pronoun coreference rule 

B. Grammatical Dependencies 

1. Subject verb agreement

2. Linear agreement

3. Structure dependent agreement

VII. Case Study 1: Subject-verb agreement

A. This guy seems kind of cute

B. There guys seem kind of cute

1. Linear Agreement Rule Hypothesis. The verb agrees in person, # with the words to its left

C. The guy we met at the party next door seems kind of cute

D. The guys we met at the party….that lasted till...and was finally … seems kind of cute

1. Linear agreement does not work

E. Structure Dependent Agreement rule: the verb agrees (peon, number, gender, etc with the subject NP(=NP id by TP)


VIII. Long Distance S-V agreement

A. Agreement rules are structure dependent



IX. Moral of the story

A. Rules are structure dependent, they are sensitive to sentence structures and not to the particular words or number of words in a phrase or sentence

B. The fact that rules are structure dependent supports the tree like arrangement of constituents in a sentence

C. If sentences were just flat strings of words, it would not be possible to state the agreement rule

I. Cont. Syntax

A. Case Study 2: Yes-no questions

1. The man has eaten a fish

2. Has the man eaten a fish

3. Declarative (1) asserts a situation exists

4. The y/n question (2) asks for confirmation of a situation

5. Meaning difference corresponds to a syntactic difference which is

reflected in different word orders

6. Hypothesis 1: move the auxiliary/ modal to the beginning of the sentence a) The man is eating a fish —> Is the man eating a fish>

b) But: the man is eating a fish that is rotten—> is the man eating fish

that is rotten?

7. Hypothesis 2: move to the beginning of the sentence the first auxiliary that is uttered

B. The English Y/N Question Rule 

1. Hypothesis 3: : move to the beginning of the sentence the auxiliary that is immediately under the right and daughter of the root

2. Derivation of a Y/N Question

a) 2 steps in the derivation of a Y/n question

(1) The basic declarative sentence is generated by PS rules

-D Structure:

(a) The Man has eaten a rotten fish

(2) The Aux movement rule applies to produce question form


(a) Has the man eaten a rotten fish?

C. 2 Types of Syntactic Rules


1. Phrase Structure rules: generate the basic structures (D Structures) ie John can dance

2. Transformational (movement) rule describe relationships between different sentence types. They take the output of the PS rules and generate S-structures. Ie Aux movement trle. Transformational rules describe systematic form -meaning relationships

a) I.e The green turtle will spit wooden nickels—> Will the green turtle t spit wooden nickels?

b) Examples of Transformational (movement) rules

(1) The man has eaten a fish or Has the man eaten a fish?

(a) Aux movement rule / y/n question rule

(2) The cat chased the mouse or The mouse was chased by

the cat

(a) (Passive rule)

(3) There was a man on the roof. Vs A man was on the roof

(a) (there insertion rule)

(4) I gave a book to John. v I gave JOhn a book

(a) (to dative rule)

(5) Nellie rolled down the hill/ v Down the hill rolled Nellie

(a) (PP fronting)

c) All trans. Rules are structure dependent

(1) Structure rules > linear rules

3. *Syntactic derivation/ How to form Yes/No ?s are formed S -structure (surface, sentence) <- transformational rules <- D structure (focriming declarative sentence ←- phrase structure rules ←- lexicon 

a) First is d structure 

b) Second is transformational rule 

c) Last is s structure or surface sentence 

D. Case Study 3: Coreference 

1. I saw John yesterday. He seemed happy.

a) he=John

2. John will know that he snores

a) He = John

3. He will know that John snores

a) John (not equivalent)

4. Coreference: a relationship where 2 NPs refer to the same individual a) Linear Order Hypothesis: a pronoun can't curfew with an

element that follows it

5. His mother will know that John snores.

a) His = John

b) Thus linear order hypothesis is wrong because a PP can come first and still corefer


6. The coreference rule is universal:

a) Structure Dependent Coreference rule : a pronoun and a proper

name or definite description cannot corefer is the first branching

node dominating the pronoun aldo dominated the name /definite


b) Proper nouns and definite descriptions refer to …..

c) Need structure dependent rule to capture entire paradigm

d) Rules determining reference of proudness are structure


II. Sum up of Syntax:

A. 2 kinds of rule sof systantci rules:

1. PS rules: generate the basic struycyes (D-structures_

2. Transformational (movement) rules operate on D-structure and

generateS-structures, ie questions

3. And show systemic form-meaning relationships

B. All syntax rules, including movement rules, agreement rules, and pronominal reference rules are dependent on STRUCTURE and not linear 

C. Structure dep. Rules account for :long distance” dependencies ie S-V agreement, Y-N questions, conference, Linear rules DO NOT

D. The PS trees are associated with every sentence are abstract structure, not audible in the spoken language input

E. So how does a child learn the PS tree/rules and about strtcute dependency? 1. Can't hear the structure

2. He doesn't need to learn these things. Structure dependency and rules for forming trees (X Bar) are principles of Universal Grammar and are

therefore part of our innate knowledge of language

I. Universal Grammar

A. The Theory of Universal Grammar

1. All languages conform to certain rules or patterns -grammars

2. Some rule sare specific to a particular languages or languages and must be learned (i.e word order)

3. SOme ruel are shared by all languages --Universal grammar and are unlearned, ie X-bar

4. The universals reveal to us the essential character r9the laws) of human language

5. The study of language provides a window to the mind

B. Language and the human mind

1. If language is a product of the human mind (brain) then:

a) Other specific can't acquire human language

b) Languages cant be that different from one another and

c) The difference that exist are superficial and do not determine how

speaker sthik about the world


(1) The mind computes language but language does not

determine the content of our minds

C. Does our language control our thoughts?

1. George Orwell

2. Using language to frame public opinion:

a) Pro life v pro choice

b) Estate inheritance tax vs death tax

c) Serious, sometimes fatal events--including infections, lymphoma, and other types of cancer have happened

d) Handicapped or disabled or challenged

e) We change language in the hopes that it will change thinking 3. Sexist language 

a) English does not have a well established gendered pronoun

(1) Change our language, change our thoughts?

(a) Chairperson, chair, firefighter , service


(i) Not chairmen, fireman….

(2) The hope is to allow and get people to see women in those


D. Linguistic Determinism (the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) 

1. The words and structure of a language determines a native speaker's perception and categorization of experience

a) I.e Hopi language and time concepts

(1) Yesterday I cooked lamb. Tomorrow I will cook ham

b) No special tense terms—-no concept of time

(1) No corresponding (ed)

2. Linguistic Relativity (weaker version) 

a) Differences among languages cause differences in the way their speakers thing

(1) The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax ( prof. Geoff Pullum

at UC Santa Cruz)

(a) Believed that the Inuit have more words for snow

(2) English does in fact have multiple words for snow : snow,

slet. Slush. Bizzard, avalanche, …

(3) Direction of causation backwards? Culture and worldview

create a need for certain words

b) If the Sapir Whorf hypothesis were correct then

(1) How could we formulate new concepts for things that

previously had no labels

(a) I.e hacktivist-someone who engages in social

activism by means of computer hacking

(2) How could a child ever learn a new word?

(a) If they need to have a word before concept


(3) How could an L2 learner learn a word that does not have

an equivalent in his L1

(a) I.e hpic speaking learning english

(4) How could we translate from one language to another

(5) How could we have expressions like “i meant to say…” “ i

can’t quite express what I mean”, etc

3. Some support for a weak version of linguistic relativity

a) In experiments, grammatical gender in a seems to influence the

adjective speakers use to describe inamanteibects

E. Summary:

1. Stronger forms of the SW hyptheis -lngnusuisc dterminsism and linguistic relativity are WRONG

2. Evidence that some features of language, such as grammatical gender may influence how we conceptual objects

a) A german speaker can certainly iahnie a long strong and sturdy

bride and a SPanish a beautiful graphical and delicate one

b) O

c) Our thoughts are not

Semantics and Pragmatics 

I. Meaning

1. “I want you to leave!” -literal meaning

2. “Theres the door, right behind you!” - meanings given to hearer in virtue of words and context

3. Close the window - literal meaning

4. It's cold in here - meanings given to heater in virtue of words and context B. Semantic Meaning: literal meaning , meaning words literally express , (compositionAL meaning of a sentence

1. Semantics: study of sentence meaning

a) Lexical semantics: meaning of words and relationships

b) Compositional semantics: how meaning of word is combined to

form meaning of large syntactic units

C. Pragmatic/Speaker meaning:can be built on top of semantic, message the speaker intends to convey with his utterance which may be different from linguistic meaning, it is context-dependent

1. Study of this: Pragmatic

D. Word meaning: lexical semantics, what a word means

II. Sentence Meaning

A. What do speakers know about sentence meaning?


1. Speakers can understand the meaning of (infinitely man) sentences they have never heard before (linguistic creativity) 

2. They know when a sentence is structurally ambiguous, that iss when it has more than one meaning, enceauce it has more than one structure 3. They understand the various semantic relations that can exist between different sentences

4. 2 important components of semantic knowledge 

a) Principle of compositionality: the meaning of a sentence is determined by the meaning of its words and it syntactic structure (1) I.e different words, different meaning:

(a) Biden will (debate) Bernie.

(b) Biden will (beat) Berne

(2) Different structures, different meaninG

(a) Biden will beat Bernie

(b) Bernie will beat BIden

b) Truth conditions 

(1) Also known as compositional semantics: rules that allow

speakers to determine which conditions need to hold for a

sentence to be true or false

(2) Extra-truth conditional how speaker uses literal meaning in


B. Continue of principles of compositionality: 

1. Structural Ambiguity

2. Non-compositional expressions

a) Anomaly: cant becombiend together as required by synaptic, can’t get meaning

b) Metaphors: meaningful concept maybe not syntax

c) Idioms or expressions with a fixed meaning in which the semantic rules of compositionality do not apply

(1) I.e The cat kicked the bucket (died)

(2) She put her foot in her mouth

d) Idiom syntax

(1) Constituency tests : (i.e move as a unit) don't work in the

normal way

(a) SHe put her foot in her mouth

(i) * (does not work) her foot was put in her


(a) Lost its idiomatic meaning

(b) She put her book in their desk

(i) Her book was put in her desk

(2) Idioms behave like units, can't break them into parts to

find sinigual meanings , because they lose idiomatic

meaning since they are a unbreakable unit


C. Continue of Truth conditions 

1. Knowing the meaning of a sentence involves knowing the conditions under which it would be true/false --Truth Conditions

a) Dance: move rhythmically to music, typically following a set

sequence of steps (dictionary definition)

(1) The set of individuals that dance

D. Semantic rules

1. Semantic rules; combine the meaning of the words according to structure (compositionality) to give the truth conditions (meaning) a) TCs are computed off of syantci structure

b) Semantic rule : if the meaning of NP (an individual) is a member of the meaning of the VP ( a set of individuals ) then S is true,

otherwise it is false


E. Truth and Meaning: Truth Condition \s

1. Tautology: Some sentences are always true

a) Bachelors are unmarried

b) It’s raining or it's not raining

2. Contradiction: some sentences are always false

a) Bachelors are married

b) It’s raining and it’s not raining

F. Semantic relations

1. Truth conditions also allow us to define benign relationships

2. Entailment: meaning relation, 1 sentence entails another if whenever the first sentence is true the second is also true in all conceivable


a) S(sentence)1 entials S(sentence) 2 if whenever S1 is true, s2 is also true

(1) John dances wonderfully —> John dances.

b) Synonymy: 2 sentences are synonymous (paraphrases) if they are always true in the same set of circumstances

(1) 2 sentences are synonymous if they entail each other

(a) Congress passed the bill.


(b) The bill was passed by Congress

(c) Both are synonyms by virtue of their related


(2) Congress postpones voting on the bill

(3) Congress put off voting on the bill

(a) Put off and postpone are synonymous

3. Presuppositions S1 presupposes S2 if and only if S1 entials S2 and not S1 , also entails S2 , aching tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of agreement or course of action

a) The king of france is bad , presuppose france has a king

b) Like entailments D: logically follow meaning of sentence, special

because they remain true even when sentence is negated or


c) S1 presupposes S2 if and only 21 entails s2 and not s1 entials s2

(1) John Stopped smoking, (presupposes)

(2) JOhn used to smoke

(3) JOhn didn't stop smoking also presupposes s2

(4) Did john stop smoking? Also presupposes s2

d) Presuppositions are sticky. They stay around even when a

sentence is negative or question

(1) Careful in court of law: i/e “ SO mr. Jones, when did you

stop selling drugs?”

e) Presupposition “triggers”: again, too, know , regret, stop

(1) I.e JOhn s in the library again 

4. Speech acts: ability to express thoughts and feelings by articulate


a) Performative verbs: particular acts denoted

(1) i. E I warn you… (to warn)

b) Performative sentences: I warned you to go to bed.

III. Pragmatic Meaning 

A. The meaning of a sentence that comes about a sa result of how a speaker uses the literal meaning in context or as a part of a discourse

B. There is a lot of implicit content in sentences , which we magalang to fll unconsciously and very quickly boss on who's speaking, who’s hearing and even our knowledge of the world

C. Different from semantic because it is context dependent

D. Pronouns, deictic expressions, implicatures

1. Context sensitive (deictic) words - relating to a word whose meaning is dependent on context 

a) I.e I really like it in Venice — deictic= Taylor really likes it in 

Venice, italy.


b) Some words have meaning regards sof context (ie John or run) other words get the remains from the context (oe here, now, pronouns)

(1) John: I’m hungry/ You’re mean. 1st/2nd person pronouns (2) Mary: I’m hungry/ You;re mean ‘ He’s mean

(3) Demonstrative pronouns /adverbs:

(a) This boy (here) won the race

(b) That boy (there) lost the race.


2. Reference resolution: look at context a pronoun is used to determine reference

a) Linguistic context: anything in discourse prior to or along with pronoun

b) Situational context: anything on linguistic such as knowing Venice is in italy

3. Implicatures: action or implying the meaning beyond the literal sense of what is explicitly states interference that may be drawn from context which are neither expressed directly (part of the literal meaning of the sentence) nor strictly implied (that is , entailed)

a) Ie Mary: It's cold in here

b) Mary intents to convey that its cold, this close the window without saying close the windows

c) Maxims of Discourse or Conversational Maxims; descriptive rules of conversation, how speakers behave with each other (1) Maxim of Quantity: information-Don't say too much! Don't say too little !

(2) Quality: Truth- DOn't lie or say something you don't have evidence for!

(3) Relation: Relevance- Be relevant !

(4) Manner: Clarity- DOn't be obscure! Be orderly

d) Cooperative principle: language users assume that other lang. Users are being cooperative. They assume we all try to

communicate effectively. Assume that if maxims are not being followed, its for a reason

e) I.e Dana: DO these socks make my butt look big?

f) James: You look great in chartreuse

(1) James says something irrelevant on purpose, Dana can infer is is flouting a maxim--deliberately using it to implicate a meaning which is to avoid answering the question

g) Scalar Implicatures:

(1) John ate some of the cookes —> john did not eat all of the cookies


(a) Languages have words that form scales (< is

weaker than)

(i) Some < many < most < all

(ii) Might < must < is

(iii) Start < finish

4. Structural ambiguity 2 different phrase structures

a) Ie The boy saw the man with the telescope


c) 1= the man has the telescope

d) 2= the boy used the telescope

5. Lexical Ambiguity: word has multiple meanings

a) This will make you smart

(1) smart= clever or feel a burning sensation

Language Acquisition of Children 

I. How do children acquire language: Language Acquisition 

A. They must acquire:

1. Words (mental lexicon) sound systems: phonetics/phonology

2. Morphology

3. Syntax

4. Pragmatics

B. Children come up with structure dependent rules

1. Know hierarchy of sentences

2. Process by humans acquire language is roti din human bio;oggy and supported by linguistic input from the environment

C. Children learn from acquisition not imitation

D. Children understand word order and grammatical relations

E. But children often don't understand complete grammtci and pragmatics F. Methods for studying language acquisition

1. Investigate children’s language at various stages of development to see what parts of grammar and the lexicon they acquired at what points and what parts they don't yet have (compared to adult grammar)


2. We record spontaneous speech and also so experiments to elicit

language from children and to test their comprehension of particular


3. Different methods are appropriate at different ages

II. Pragmatics: Scalar Implicatures

A. Picture of tomatoes on a palate

1. True or false: are all tomatoes on plate

a) Children understand how to accept or reject statement

2. “Some of the tomatoes are on the plate”

a) They understand “see” and say true

b) But then they also accept some when all would be the answer,

while adults don't

(1) Children don't have maximum quantity

(a) Some does not mean all

3. Children are found to be literal

a) Experiments on implicatures

(1) Ie “some stories are made of bubbles. (no) children: 95 %,

adults 98 % corect

(2) Some birds live in cages (yes) children 84%, adults 99%

(3) Some giraffes have long necks ( no, all) 89% children, 41%


(a) Children compute the compositional (semantic)

manign, but they don't the implicature

4. Grammar development is fast and easy

a) Children go through a uniform set of stages and arrive an adult

grammar in a few short years (age 2-6)

b) In essentially the same way regardless of language or parentage

or culture

c) They make few errors relative to the complexity of what's being


B. Major Stages of child language: 

a) Babbling (6-12 months)

b) First words (1 year roughly)- ‘one-word stage’

c) First word combinations (18 –24 months) – ’telegraphic speech’ 

d) Rapid grammatical growth after 2-3 years.

(1) These stages are uniform across kids and languages,

though ages are approximate; children develop at different


2. Babbling (6-12 months)

a) A few weeks after birth: a baby is able to distinguish different

sounds, mother’s voice, intonation patterns of different language…

b) 6 months: began producing speech sounds


c) 9 months: babies are syllabic, reduplicative, ie mama, aggaa, intonation is “native-like” to the language acquired

d) Babbling is about language , not speech, deaf babies babble in sign (short repetitive motions of basic hand gestures) ; hearing children babble vocaly

(1) More about development in brain, not speech system

e) Children are discovering the basic sound units in their language and possible combinations

3. “Telegraphic” speech - period of development in which ,multi words are 

a) “Me/I like coffee” , “mommy red shoe”, “it fall down”, “papa away” b) Word order is always correct

(1) “I like coffee”, “Papa change pants”

4. Case morphology

a) On pronouns in English

5. Some basic principles of language development

a) Despite appearances, child language is not simply a degenerate form of adult language

b) Children are not simply imitating adults around them

c) Rather, language acquisition is a creative process 

d) Children are predisposed to dvolver rules in the input to make generalizations

e) The stages reflect the child building up his grammar

f) At each stage of development children have a set of rules--a grammar Their errors are not really errors

g) And they are largely impervious to correction

6. Language acquisition is a creative process:

a) Children regularize irregular morphology

(1) “My teacher holded the rabbit and patted them”

7. How do they do this?

a) How do children construct a complex set of rules for the lr language without:

(1) explicit instruction: not before school and then it's too late, not for form, only for truth value

(a) Baby:: Mama isnt boy, he a girl

(b) Mom: that's right

(2) Correction: impervious to it in any case

(a) In the face of fata that is:

(i) Unsystematic: adults use language to

communicate and not to provide language



(ii) Impoverished:no evidence of abstract rules, tree structures, prickles like co

-reference rule,s structure dependency

(iii) Poverty of the stimulus problem: what accounts for the ease, rapidity, and

uniformity of language acquisition in the

face of impoverished input?

(a) AKA: the logical problem of

language acquisition

(b) The answer: they get a lot of help

(not from their parents but

Universal grammar

(i) Universal Grammar: the set

of grammatical principles and

categories which constitute

an human being’s innate

knowledge about the

structure of human language

(iv) Learned and not learned

(a) Morphology (ie -ed, ing) = learned

(b) Aux rule to form questions= learned

(i) I.e Is Tony Eating Sushi?

(c) X-BAr Theory =innate

(i) one -substitution-a

constituency test for X’ level

(ii) I'll play with this red ball and

you can play with that one

(iii) one=ed ball

(b) Predicting children's errors:

(i) The innantennes theory leads us to expect that children will take more time and make errors where there is learning

(a) Overgeneralization of

morphological rules

(i) Children treat irregular verbs

and nouns as if they were


(ii) Ie eated

(b) But they should not make errors with

universal principles, those are innate

(i) I.e X-bar

(c) Yes-no questions


(i) Childrens have to learn the

specific movement rule for

forming ?s in English, Aux


(ii) They could/should make


(iii) And they do:

(iv) -”did i Saw that in my book?

(tense doubling)

(v) -DId you came home?

(d) Structure dependency and yes no


(i) But Aux movement is

constrained by a UG


(ii) Rule: Move to the beginning

of the sentence the auxiliary

that is immediately under the

right-hand daughter of the


(iii) Structure Dependency

Prediction: Children will not

violate SD when forming

yes-no questions

(iv) They do not violate SD.

(ii) Back to “telegraphic stage”

(a) Even during telegraphic stage,

children errors are “UG compliant”

(i) Ie missing subjects: “see

ball”, missing copula be: cow

tired, double articles: the my

car, missing articles: bunny


(c) Moral of the story

(i) Linguists studying language development try to figure out what’s learned, what’s not. (ii) Children acquire the specific properties of their language based on the data they hear, but they do not need to acquire abstract

rules and principles, these are given by UG, part of an innate language faculty.

(iii) Many of the common “errors” children make are “possible” rules of grammar.


(iv) Children operate within a restricted

hypothesis space, the space defined by UG,

so acquisition is fast, uniform and proceeds

despite the ‘poverty of the stimulus’.

I. Movie: Language Acquisition

A. The Human Language Series: “Acquiring the Human Language” By Gene Searchinger

1. How do children acquire language without learning it

a) Chomsky argues that we are born with acquisition of language

2. Children acquire speech by playing the language game

a) Children learn when their mothers repeat what they say

American Sign Language and Deaf Culture Benjamin Lewis guest lecture 

I. American Sign language is used by the deaf community in the US and Canada A. From France

B. Not universal Sign Language

C. William Stokoe is the father of ASL

1. Coined the term: cherology-the original SL equivalent to phonology D. ASL Phonology:

1. 5 parameters: location, movement, handshape, facial expression, and palm orientation

E. Grammar:

1. non manual signs and prosody:

a) Through facial expressions and upper body position

b) Mouth positions, facial expression, eyebrows, eye gaze

2. Classifiers: describe size and shape of an object, represent object,

demonstrate movement, relation to others

3. morphonology : iconic— replication and indexicality

4. WH Question and Yes/ NO ?s structure by face expressions

5. Fingerspelling = lexicalized

a) Fingerspelling that looks like a sign


I. What's the smallest unit of language

A. Phonetics: the study and classification of speech sounds


1. What’s the smallest unit of language?

a) Word are built from morphemes

b) Morphemes are the smallest meaningful units of language, but they aren't the smallest units

c) Morphemes are composed of consonants and vowels, but even those are not the smallest units

d) Vowels and consonants are composed of phonetic features

e) Which correspond roughly to the articulatory gestures speakers use to make sounds

f) Articulatory (phonetic) features co,bint to make speech sounds 2. I.e to make a “b” sound we put our lips together for a brief instant then release

3. “M” : put lips together, then release, air that has been pushed up from lungs gets released mainly through the nose

B. The problem with alphabets

1. Not the best way for language learners to learn because alphabets don't accurately represent all speech sounds of a language

a) Different letters used for the same sound

(1) C —> k : cat

(2) K —-> k: kite

b) Same letter used for different sounds

(1) c—> s : nice

(2) C—-> k : cat

c) Some sounds have no letter to represent them

(1) Butter

(2) Flap

d) Some letters correspond to no sound

(1) Knight, knife,

(2) Dumb, womb

(3) Scene

(4) Align

C. The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) uses letters and symbols to represent all of the sounds across the world's languages

1. Created in 18th century

2. Provides a system for representing sounds in an unambiguous (1 sound-1 symbol) way

3. That can be used by linguists and other people who need to have a precise system for representing sounds of a dialect



5. Unfamiliar IPA symbols 

a) Symbol [ ʃ ] = “shoe”

b) ð= 9‘the’ 

c) [θ] = thin 

d) [ʃ] = shoe 

e) [tʃ] - chew 

f) [ʒ] - azure 

g) [dʒ] - gem 

h) [ŋ] - sing 

6. Articulatory phonetics: production o sounds; 

a) glottis : opening between vocal cords in larynx 

b) Pharynx= the mouth 

c) Oral cavity 

d) Nasal cavity 

e) Tongue and lips 

f) All sounds fall into consonants or vowels 

7. How many vowels in English 

a) Some argue 5: a , e, i, o, u 

b) But there's actually many: 

(1) [i] 'see' [ɪ] 'it' [e] 'able' [ɛ] 'set' [æ] 'at' [ʌ] ‘but' (stressed syllable) [ə] 'about‘(unstressed syllable) 



D. English Diphthongs : a sound formed by the combination of two vowels in a single syllable, in which the sound begins as one vowel and moves toward another (as in coin, loud, and side) 

1. [aɪ] ‘eye’ [aʊ] ‘out’ [ɔɪ] ‘boy’ 

E. How are sounds produced by the vocal tract: air get pushed up by lungs, pushed through trachea, 

1. Articulators help articulate the sound 

2. Locations of sound production in the vocal tract 

a) Velum, (hard) palate, alveolar ridge, lips, (larynx) vocal cords, glottis , tongue 


F. Phonetic parameters: 

1. State of glottis (voiced or voiceless) 

a) Where the vocal cords are vibrating 

2. Place of articulation (mouth) 

a) Consonants: 

(1) Produced with some restriction to airflow

(2) Manner of articulation: speech sounds variation by vocal


b) Top part of IPA chart : Consonants 

(1) Bilabial [p, b, m] +/-voice bring lips together 

(2) Labiodental [ f, v] touching bottom lips to upper teeth 

(3) Interdental [ð, θ], “the” tip of tongue between teeth 

(4) Alveolar [ t, d, s ,z, r,] tongue raised to alveolar ridge 

(5) Palatal (tongue brought up to top of mouth) [ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ] 

front tongue to palate 

(a) Ie mission, cheap, judge 

(6) Velar [k, g, ŋ]: back of tongue to soft palate 

(a) I.e kick, gig 

(7) Glottal (produced at glottis--flow of air through glottis, past 

tongue): [[ʔ, h] ie Button 

c) Some manners of articulation 

(1) Voiceless: air flows between glottis.oral cavity


(a) [s,p] in super, rope, fate, neck

(i) Aspirated: puff of air before glottis closes (a) pit

(ii) Unaspirated : vocal cords vibrate when lips open

(a) Spit

(iii) Oral sounds: sounds produced with vellum up, blocking air escape through nose

(a) Ie [b]

(iv) Nasal sounds: velum lowered air through nose and mouth , all nasals voice





B, d, g

M, n, ŋ--all 




P + k



(2) Voiced: air creates vibration [b] [z] in buzz

(a) Ie robe, fade, rag

(3) Stop [p, t, d, b, ʔ] airstream blocked in oral cavity for a short period 

(a) Continuants: not stops, all other sounds 

(b) non continuants: stops and affricates because of total obstruction 

(4) Fricative [f, v, s, z, θ, ð ,h] airflow sevelry obstructed to cause friction 

(a) Interdental fricative : [θ]-- friction at tongue and teeth 

(5) Affricate [tʃ, dʒ] complex sounds— stop closure , than release 

(a) Not continuants in church 

(6) sibilant [s, z, ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ] — stem final sounds --hissing sounds 

(7) lateral [l, r] 

(8) glides[j, w]-- little obstruction to airstream 

(a) Always followed by a vowel , not at end of word (i) Gloves into place to form next vowel 

(9) Liquids: [r] some obstruction of air but not enough for friction and obstruction


(10) Approximates [w, j, r, l] approximate a fictional collie,

but does not occur

(11) Trills and flaps

(a) Trills [r]- rapid vibrations

(i) Ie in Spanish

(ii) [R] in French

(b) Flaps: [ɾ] flick of tongue, like a fast d

(i) Rider

(12) Clicks: moving air between articulators

(a) More common in African languages

d) Classification of consonants (find points on IPA chart) 

(1) Voice --place — manner

(a) [t] voiceless alveolar stop

(b) [d] voiced alveolar stop

(c) [ŋ] (voiced) velar nasal

(d) [f] voiceless labiodental fricative

(i) Featured notration [t] = -voice, + alveolar, +


(e) [m] (voiced) bilabial nasal

(f) [dʒ] Voiced palatal affricate (sibilant)

e) Some parts of the chart are empty because they don't exist in the English sounds 

f) Non English sounds 

(1) [ɸ] voiceless bilabial fricative e.g. fuerte (Spanish) 

(2) [x]-voiceless velar fricative 

(a) Ie. Bach (German ) 

G. American English vowel sounds= all voiced 

a) PArts of chart: 

(1) Position of tongue 

(2) height of tongue 

(3) part of the tongue thats high or low (front or back) 


c) Tongue position in height-position-tense or lax


(1) Tense: long vowels 

(2) Lax : short vowels 


(4) [i] high front tense 

(5) [ʊ] high back lax 

(6) [ɔ] low back lax 

(7) [u] high back tense 

(8) [o] mid central tense 

d) Lip rounding : rounded to spread 

(1) Rounded: [u, o, ʊ] 

e) Nasalization: nasal vowels before nasal consonants 

H. Transcribing english words into IPA 

1. ‘high’ [haɪ] 

2. ‘king’ [kɪŋ] 

3. ‘laugh’ [læf] 

4. ‘talk’ [tɔk] 

5. ‘heed’ [hid] 

6. ‘hid’ [hɪd] ‘ 

7. about’ [əbaʊt] 

II. Summing up 

A. sounds are composed of features that roughly correspond to the articulatory gestures used to produce the sounds 

B. IPA provides unambiguous symbols for speech sound organized according to the major phonetic parameters of voicing, place, and manner of articulation C. In actual speech production, sounds are not separate discrete units 1. Speech illusions 

a) Continuous speech stream—> discrete sound, words



2. English plural morpheme 


b) English plural 

(1) [s] 

(a) Cats [t] 

(b) Caps [p] 

(c) Tacks [k] 

(2) [z] 

(a) Dogs [g] 

(b) Rams [m] 

(c) Cabs [b] 

(d) Things [[ŋ] 

(3) [əz] 

(a) Churches [tʃ] 

(b) judges [dʒ] _ 

(c) boxes [s] _ 

(d) ashes [ʃ] _ 

(e) causes [z] _ 

(f) garages [ʒ] 


I. Phonology: the sound system of language or how sounds interact with one another II. Rule or memorized forms


A. The plural morpheme is pronounced 

1. as [s] after a voiceless C (non-sibilant) 

2. as [z] after a voiced C (non-sibilant) 

3. as [əz] after a sibilant 

B. But let's make sure we’re really dealing with a rule and not just a list of memorized plural forms 

C. WUG test used with novel verb to see if the speaker is following a rule 1. Ie a blink —-> 2 blink [s] 

2. A gliv —> 2 gliv [z] 

III. Another Question: Sounds or features 

1. List of Sounds Hypothesis (LSH) the plural morpheme is pronounced as [s] after [t, p, k, θ, f] --based of believe that sounds create rules 

2. Feature Hypothesis (FH) the plural morpheme is pronounced as [s] after a [-voice, -sibilant] based of belief that features of the hounds create the rules 

a) Correct one 

3. Prediction: If the rule applied to a sound that is not on the list in the LSH in (i) but meets the description in the FH in (II) then the FH is correct 

B. The Bach Family 

1. Jonathan Sebastian Bach and his sons 

a) [x] voiceless velar fricative 

(1) Those Bachs were a talented bunch. 

(a) [baxs] not [baxz] 

(b) [S] for plural -rule 

(i) In terms of features 

IV. Phonological Rules- feature based 

A. Phonological rules are rules that speakers use to pronounce the morphemes in their language 

B. The fact that we extend a rule to a sound that is not in our language supports the hypothesis that the rule is feature-based (not just a list of sounds) 

C. Phonological rules affect sounds that share a particular feature or 

features--natural classes: groups of sounds disorbed buy small number of distinctive features ie voiced, voiceless, sibilant,e etc and not arbitrary sets of sounds or words 

D. By specifying the rule in terms of features we gain an understanding of WHY the rule applies 

E. Morphemic rules: concern pronunciation of morphemes, 

1. Past tense morphemic rule: insert [ ə] before past tense morpheem if verb ends in an non nasal avelorr 

V. Back to the English ‘plural’ Rule 

A. The plural morpheme is pronounced as

1. [s] after a voiceless non-sibilant 

2. [z] after a voiced non-sibilant


3. [əz] after a sibilant 

B. This is simpler than listing all the individual sounds

C. Features allow for a explanation of why the rule happens 

VI. Allomorph: varian of morphemes

VII. Voicing assimilation


B. kæt + s

1. [t] - voiceless - [s] voiceless

C. Ease of articulation: tendency to print an articulatory gesture (ie voicing) gives rise to assimilation, a kind of phonological process

VIII. The English Morpheme in- )not)

A. [ɪn] - insincere

B. [im] impossible

C. [iŋ) incompetent (velar sound)

IX. The place of articulation assimilation 

A. In

1. [ɪn]- tolerant —-

a) [ɪn] )alveolar + [t]tolerant - alveolar

b) The nasal in the morpheem in- is prondounce [n] before an

alveolar C

B. In

1. [ɪŋ]capable, [ɪŋ]grate, [ɪŋ]competent, [ɪŋ]complete,

a) [ɪŋ] (velar) + [k]competent (velar)

b) Homorganic nasal rule:

(1) The nasal in- is pronounced as

C. Blending words together by spreading features

D. Occurs in many languages , normal process

E. Homorganic nasal rule- sounds made at same place --

1. Occurs in many languages

X. Help the speaker? --help the listener?

A. Ease of articulation: tendency to prolong an articulatory gesture (ie voicing, nasalization assimilation)

1. The more similar sounds are the harder it is to listen, more difficult perceptual issue

B. Ease of perception: tendency to avoid the creation of identical or nearly identical C’s in sequence (ie buffer vowel)

C. Dissimilation (insertion of a buffer vowel)

1. *Bus + s *bus + z

D. Language Is a vehicle for communication and must be maximally efficient for both articualin and perception (for the speaker and the listener) so there is tension between these two demands


XI. English “intervocalic flapping rule’ 

A. Voiced alveolar flap [ [ɾ]. 

B. ‘wait ‘ [weit] —> wei[ɾ]er “waiter” 

C. “intervocalic flapping rule’ : a voiceless alveolar stop becomes a [+ voice] flap [ɾ]. 

D. Between two vowels

1. These are two phonetic realizations of “t” in English

E. The rule applies inside a morpheme too, not only acordes morpheme boundaries 1. Ie butter and waiter 

F. Nasal Assimilation Rule: a vowel [+ nasal] when it precedes a nasal consonant 1. [sid] ‘seed’ [sĩn] ‘seen’ [bɪt] ‘bit’ [bɪñ] ‘bin’ [bot] ‘boat’ [bõn] ‘bone’ 

2. There are 2 phonetic realizations of English vowels, with and without 

nasalization ie [õ] [o], 

XII. Aspiration 

A. A brief period of voicelessness following the release of the stop 

1. Waveforms 

2. Aspiration in English 

a) + aspirated : [thap] ‘top’ [khat] ‘cot’ [phat] ‘pot’ [pʰæt] ‘pat’ [pʰik] ‘peek’ 

[pʰɪk] ‘pick’ 

b) - aspirated : [stap] ‘stop’ [skat] ‘Scot’ [spat] ‘spot’ [spæt] ‘spat’ [spik] 

‘speak’ [æpəl] ‘apple’ 

3. Rule: a [-voice] stop is aspirated word-initially 

a) There are two variants of voiceless stops 

XIII. Wrong pronunciation or wrong word 

A. Wrong pron. 

1. Pass me the [bʊtər]. no flapping 

2. In the tent we slept on a [kat]. no aspiration 

B. Wrong word 

1. Play a [tun] on the guitar. 

XIV. Phonemes: some sounds differences in a language are contrastive others are not A. Contrastive: like minimal pairs --different phonemes 

1. [t] vs. [d] e.g. tie/dye, tune/dune 

2. [m] vs. [n] e.g. moon/noon, mice/nice 

B. Non contrastive : like complementary distribution 

1. [t] vs. [ɾ] e.g. bu[t]er /bu[ɾ]er, u[t]er/u[ɾ]er 

2. [ph] vs. [p] e.g. [ph]hot/pot, [t h] ip/tip 

C. Contrastive sounds represent different phonemes and give rise to minimal pairs 

XV. MInimal pairs 

A. Phonemes create minimal pairs --contrastive sounds

1. Words that differ in only one segment (sound) and have different meanings a) tune/dune, dune/moon, moon/noon..

b) t, d, m, n, s u, o,… represent different phonemes in English..

B. Minimal Pairs in ASL


1. Phonological Parameters

a) Handshape Location Palm orientation Movement Facial expression

I. Phonemes or Allophones 

A. Every language has a set of contrastive sound units from which words are built 1. We call these phonemes: abstract basic form of a sound, sensed mentally using // 

a) /t/, /d/, /n/.. 

B. A phoneme may have different systematic realizations (pronunciations) in actual speeches 

1. These are called allophones, ie [t]...= perceptible sounds corresponding to the phoneme in different environments , usign [.] 

C. Phonological rules of a language describe how a phone is pronounced (its allophone) in different phonetic contexts 

D. Allophones are contrastive, they are “predictable” 

E. Phonetic Level”: level at which we represent phonemes 

1. Phonological rule stake those categories and spell them out, pronounce the,m 

a) Bottom level is phonetic level 

2. We don’t say phonemes, they are abstract and part of how we represent, we only hear the allophone (phonetic level) 

F. complementary distribution 2 or more sounds are allophones of the same phoneme when: 

1. They are phonetically related 

2. They never occur in the same phonetic context (ie there are no minimal pairs in which they represent the sole difference ) 

3. In this case they are in complementary distribution with one another )-non contrastive 

a) Phonemes must be phonetically similar 

(1) Minimal pairs are NOT in complementary distribution but 

instead just allphones of two different phonemes 

(2) complementary distribution are phonemes who compliment

each other, and aren't in the same environment, and ARE 


b) This distribution of allophones (where they occur) is predictable by 

rule because they occur in different phonetic contexts 

(1) Superman and Clark Kent are in complementary distribution: 

(a) You won't find them in the same place, because they 

are the same person 

(2) They are realizations of the same thing 

c) I.e different forms of /a/ —-> [a] or [Ã] 

4. Phonological rules 

a) Pronounce vowel phonemes with a lowered velum before a nasal 

consonant; and with a raised velum elsewhere 

(1) /a/ —> [Ã] before a nasal C 

(2) /a/—> elsewhere


G. Mental and physical units 

1. Phonemes can have multiple or only one allophone 


2. Phonemic and allophonic differences 

a) Speakers of a language easily hear differences in segments that are 

contrastive or phonemic in their language. 

b) On the other hand, allophones of the same phoneme tend to be 

treated as the same sound. Speakers may not even be aware of the 

different pronunciations, or easily be able to hear the differences. 

H. Summary: 

1. Speakers of a language easily hear differences in segments that are 

contrastive or phonemic, in their language 

I. On the other hand, allophones of the same phoneme tend to be treated as the same sound 

1. Speakers may not even be aware of the different pronunciations 

2. Allophones are different version of the same phoneme 

II. Second Language Acquisition 

A. What accounts for accent in a second language: caused by using first language phonetic knowledge 

B. We use phonological rules automatically and unconsciously 

1. Adult L2 learned typically impose the phonological system to their L1 to their L2 

C. For example: English L1 speakers speaking French and Italian typically protected word initial inspirations 

1. Je [p^H] peux (FT.) “I can” 

D. And adults acquiring English as an L2 have difficulty with 

1. [+/- lateral], [r] v [l] (ie Japanese speakers) 

E. Features Values 

1. Such as labial, voiced, and nasal,

2. Distinctive and non distinctive 

a) Distinctive (contrastive features; can result in a new word with a 

new meaning


(1) Every phoneme differs

(2) I.e voicing [pæt] v [bæt]

(3) nasatlation on constants : [bæt] v [mæt]

b) Non-distinctive (predictable) features: do not affect meaning (1) Redundant, predicatible feature

(2) Ie aspiration of [pæt]

(3) National on vowels [bon] , [bõn]

(4) Non distinctive for vowels because all vowels in English are nasal

(5) Ie aspiration for voiceless stops

c) Languages differ in which features are distinctive (1) I.e ie Flapping in Spanish

(a) [pita] = pita

(b) [piɾa] = funeral pyre —- {piera}

(i) Separate phones

(c) In spanish /t/ and /ɾ/ are distinct phonemes

(2) Do spanish [d] vs [ð] represent distinct [phonemes or are they allophones of the same phoneme?

(a) [d] —-

(i) [dar] -to give

(ii) [de ðonde] - from where {de donde}

(iii) [donde} - where

(iv) Occurs in multiple places


(b) [ð]

(i) [daðo] ‘given’

(ii) [usteð] ‘you (pl) {usted}

(a) Occurs after vowel—particular


(c) Are there minimal pairs distinguished by [d] and [ð] ?

(i) No these are most likely not distinct


(ii) Are they allophones? If so they should be in

complementary distribution and

(a) [d] in any locations while [ð] occurs

only after a vowel

(i) Similar to the Clark Kent and

Spiderman reference, won't

appear in same place cuz

they are the same thing kind



(b) Thus they are in complementary 

distribution, they are allophones 

of the same phoneme 

(c) Spirantization= turning a stop into a


(i) Spirantization Rule: /d/

becomes [ð] ] a vowel

(ii) A voiced alveolar stop

becomes a fricative after a


3. Summary I

a) Our knowledge of phonology includes:

(1) Contrastive features/phonemes of our language

(2) Phonological rules for pronouncing words and

morphemes in context (allophones. allomorphs )

b) Rules affect natural classes of sounds by ie: changing features to be more alike or different from surrounding sounds, often

motivated by ease of articulation or ease of perception of


c) Phonological rules are unconscious and automatic: we often ‘transfer’ out L1 phonological system to L2 (accent)

F. Speech Illusions

1. How can children acquire this?

a) Continuous speech stream —> discrete words

b) “ we hallucinate word boundaries when we reach the edge of a stretch of sound that matched some entry in our mental lexicon ‘ -S. Pinker, The Language Instinct

G. Word Stress:

1. Stress-relative emphasis given to a syllables in word signaled by loudness and vowel length

a) I.e INsight (noun) v inCITE (verb)

(1) Pronounced the same, but not for their stress

2. English Word stress

a) Most bisyllabic words (90%) in English are Strong-weak 

(1) Ie : DOCtor vs guiTAR

b) Monosyllabic content words are strong while function words are Weak

(1) I.e DOG v the

c) The learner assumed that a strong syllable marks the onset of a new word , he’d be right most of the time

(1) 9 month old english learning children prefer to listen 

to lists of bisyllabic words with Strong Weak (initial


stress) ie, (FORmer, CAble) vs WS (final stress) ie

(acrOSS, befORE) \

d) Head Turning Results

(1) babies took longer at words they heard in the passage (familiarity effect in the SW condition

(a) test : doctor v kingdom —> succeed

(2) But not the WS condition

(a) Test guitar vs device ——> fail

(3) In other words , they recognize the SWord when they hear it again, but not thE S word, showing that they must have segmented the SWord out of the passage but not the WS word

e) Function Words

(1) Babies take the Strong syllable mark to the onset of a word (In English)

(2) Determiners like a, the are weakly stressed and precede a content word

(3) This info can be used by babies for word segmentation (a) Whatever follows the is a word….

f) How do babies deal with segmentation problem? (1) Babies use stress (and other ) cues to segment the speech stream into discrete units (=words)

(2) (and meaningful sound categories --more on this soon) (3) Babies are innately wired with the linguistica abilities that enable them to extract and learn the words and sounds of their language

g) The categorization problem 

(1) “Universal listeners”

(a) Can discriminate the differences that appear in any language (therefore , adult learner won't be able to

discriminate the difference, but babies can)

(2) Universal-language specific

(a) After age 6-8 months babies begin to lose ability to discriminate non-native controls, their perceptual

abilities become fine-tuned to their environment

(3) What happens:

(a) We are universal listeners, we have ability to adapt to whatever environment we are born into, adn with

exposure to a league, contract gets stronger in us,

we form categories with phonetic sounds, lose

ability to discriminate non native sounds

h) Speech Production in Children ( remember bolded features of children’s speech production)


(1) First words emerge at 1 y/o

(2) Children have acquired the sounds of their language, but

they are not always able to articulate all

(3) --stops easier to pronounce than firactvies > before

(a) Ie see-> [ti}

(4) Front C > back C

(a) Goat -> [dot]

(5) Strong syllables > weak syllables

(a) Away -> [we]

(6) Single consonants > clusters

(a) spoon-> [pun]

(7) Glides > liquids

(a) Nellie -> [neji]

3. Summary : acquisition of phonology

a) Infants are born with ability to distinguish an important phonetic

features but lose ability to discriminate non-native contrasts by 1


b) They also know how to deploy linguistic cues such as stress to

segment continuous speech stream

c) Based on the words they learn, thye build a phonological

system--phonemes, all[phones, phonological rules

d) Some sounds are easier for children to articulate

Phonological Rules mentioned:

1. English ‘plural’ Rule 

The plural morpheme is pronounced as

2. [s] after a voiceless non-sibilant

3. [z] after a voiced non-sibilant

4. [əz] after a sibilant

2. Homorganic nasal rule- sounds made at same place

3. English “intervocalic flapping rule’ 

C. Voiced alveolar flap [ [ɾ]. 

D. ‘wait ‘ [weit] —> wei[ɾ]er “waiter” 

E. “intervocalic flapping rule’ : a voiceless alveolar stop becomes a [+ voice] flap [ɾ]. 

F. Between two vowels

4. Assimilation Rules: neighboring segments become more similar by adding a feature Class of sounds + phonetic change + phonological environment

I.e vowels + to nasal vowels + before nasal consonants = Nasal Assimilation Rule Nasal Assimilation Rule: a vowel [+ nasal] when it precedes a nasal consonant 1. [sid] ‘seed’ [sĩn] ‘seen’ [bɪt] ‘bit’ [bɪñ] ‘bin’ [bot] ‘boat’ [bõn] ‘bone’ 

2. There are 2 phonetic realizations of English vowels, with and without 

nasalization ie [õ] [o],


5. Disassmilaition: certain segments become less similar to other segments 

Ie Fricative Assimilation Rule: /sθ/—> [st] becomes similar by becoming a stop 6. Segment insertion and deletion RUles 

Epenthesis: inserting a consonant/vowel, insert [ə] before /z/ (plural morpheme) when a regular noun ends in a sibilant giving [əz] 

Function of Phonological Rules: 

Input: phonemic, mental lexicon representation of words in a sentence —-> To phonological rules (P-rules) —-> 

to : Output: phonemic representation of word sina sentence 


I. Dimensions of Dialect Variation

A. We each have certain characteristics of our speech that are influenced by the region or community in which we were raised

1. We speak a dialect : systematic differences in ways groups speak a


a) Mutually intelligible forms of a language that differs in systematic


b) Every speaker at least 1 dialect and idiolect

c) Languages can often be mutually intelligible but considered a

different language due to social and political issues

B. Dialects can differ from one another along a variety of dimensions

1. Phonology (accent), lexicon (words) , morphology, syntax

C. In the US most dialect differences are lexical or phonoglocial (Accents) D. How do dialect differences arise:

1. An innovation (e.g. a new word or pronunciation, or grammatical feature) is introduced into one community of speakers; it may eventually spread to the other communities, or not….

2. If the speakers of the different dialects are in contact with each other (and want to sound like one another), the differences level out across the population – dialect leveling.: movement towards greater uniformity 

and less variation among dialects 

3. On the other hand, dialect differences persist when innovations happen for one community and do not spread beyond that community because of various barriers to communication.

E. Dialect Continuum: dialects merge into each other

F. Dialect variation more common in urban areas, groups attempt to maintain distinctiveness


G. Accents: regional phontolletical phonetic distinctions --characteristic of speech that conveys where your form

H. Dialect Atlases: dialect maps--differents geographically located 1. Isogloss: line dawn in dialect map to separate dialect areas

2. Dialect difference may develop when speakers are separated along any of the following liens:

a) Geographic region

b) Social class

c) Race or ethnicity

d) Level of education

e) Age

3. In other words: we can have dialects based on any of these factors a) The separation can be physical, social, or based on issues of identity

I. I.e: Rhotic and Non rhotic English Dialectic

1. Some english speakers drop their “r” sounds

a) In the 18th century, speakers of English in southern England stopped pronouncing [r] before consonants and in word-final


b) In other words the following phonological change happened: [r] → Ø / before a C and at the end of a word

c) This rule was preserved by settlers from southern England who came to Boston and New York

(1) How would a native Bostonian pronounce farm, park, car?

[faːm] [pa:k] [c:a] [paːk ðə ˈkaːɹ‿ɪn ˈhaːvəd ˈjaːd]

J. Lexical differences in US

1. soda : pop, soda, tonic, coke

2. Shoes: tennis shoes, sneakers, gym shoes

K. Some Syntactic Differences

1. American English v British English

a) I said I would go and I would have.

b) I said I would go and I would have done.

L. Discourse differences

1. He looks like he’s like twelve or like eight.

a) approximative adverb: signals approximation.

2. Tommy was like, “I’m tired of buying you burritos.”

a) quotative complementizer: introduces a quote, a thought,

reported speech

3. I hate that professor. Like he always wants us to spell correctly. a) discourse particle: signals a relationship between sentences e.g. exemplification, illustration, explanation, etc.

M. All dialects are rule governed


1. We many have lots of opinions and attitudes about the different ways people talk, but

a) Regardless of origin, nature of dialtec (regional or social) it

operates according to rules

b) Dialects are not sloppy versions of the standard language

c) The standard is an idealization, based on social and historical


d) All dialects are creative , lovcial , expressive

e) The “standard” is of the majority population

2. The Standard: language purists and prescriptive grammarians usually consider the dialect used by political leaders and national newscasters as correct form of language

a) Taught In school

b) SAE: Standard American English

N. Dialect or Language

1. There is no intrinsic difference

2. Rule of thumb: 

a) Two ways of speaking are different dialects if they are mutually

intelligible, if they are not mutually intelligible, they are different


(1) British English, American English and Australian English

are mutually intelligible even if they are lexical , pholonicala

and some grammatical differences

O. Linguistic POlitics: often political considerations

1. The dialects of China are not mutually intelligible, ie Mandarin and


2. Russian and Polish- mutually intelligent

3. Serbian and Croatian were once on language before the Balkan


4. Czech (spoken in the Czech Republic) and Slovak (spoken in the Slovak Republic) were once one language, Czechoslovakian (before the break up of the Soviet Union).

5. “Language is a dialect with an army and a navy” -Weinreich

Language Change

I. While languages vary by Dialect, they can also completely change , it is inevitable II. Ie. Early Modern Elizabethan English Late 1400s to early 1600s

A. “Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit, For I am sick when I do look on thee.”- A Midsummer Night’s Dream,-Shakespeare


1. Translation: Don’t push me, I hate you so much that I might harm you. The sight of you makes me sick.

III. History : Latin

A. bechame: Italian, Portuguese Spanish. French. Cat. Ru

B. 100 AD-200 AD height of ROman Empire-different varieties of LAtin spoken throughout much of SOuthern EUrope, Vulgar Latin

C. 500 AD: RE collapses, dilatees of Vulgar Latin become diverse and different D. English was in the English island, native to that land and Latin became the modern day romance languages

IV. Dialect leveling

A. Sound change of vowels

1. I.e [mi:s] v [mais]

V. Languages change all the time, but People Resist Change

A. People believe what we speak is correct and that it is supposed to be right and anything that changes or comes before or after it is wrong or a conspiracy B. “Tongues like governments, have a natural tendency to degeneration we have long preserved our constitution, let us make some struggles for our language” -Samuel Johnson

1. Examples of Places maintaining language

a) Icelandic Language Policy

(1) ICelandic Language COuncil is to provide the gov and

general public with counseling regarding the ICelandic


(a) Preserve the structure

(b) Don't let foreign words to be borrowed into their


VI. Language change is inevitable

A. Natural and normal

B. Does not represent t h e degradation of language

C. Languages are living things they exist in the minds of living beliefs, all living things changed and so do languages

VII. In what ways do languages change?

A. Every component of language is susceptible to change

1. Lexicon

2. Morphology

3. Syntax

4. Phonology (new pronunciations)

B. Sound Change is the most frequent or studies

C. Lexical Change: 

1. New words are created

a) Dax, disrespect, aight, bromance

2. Words become obsolete

a) Wherefore=why


b) Oft =often

c) Fain = gladly

d) groovy= cool

3. Words change meaning

a) Hund = dog, -> hound dog

b) Wenche = female child —> female servant, lewd female

c) Silly = Old English- Happy, blessed, innocent, Modern English: foolish

d) Tweet = a type of bird vocalization, a message sent by Twitter D. Morphological Change 

1. 2 common changes:

a) Regularization of inflectional morphology

(1) Past tense : climb —> climbed

(i) Dove —> dived

(2) I’ve eaten —> I’ve ate

(3) I’ve driven —> I’ve drove

(a) Why?

(i) Regular paradigme: I dance, I danced, I

have danced

(ii) This regularity is being extended to irregular

paradigms since both past aprticlipels in

regular forms are the same

b) Loss of case morphology 

(1) Case: system where nouns are marked differently

depending on grammatical function (subject, object,

indirect object)

(a) Old English noun for dog

(i) Hund (singular, nominative,

(ii) Hunde: singular, dative

(iii) HUndum, plural dative

(b) Change in English: maintained casse morphology n

pronouns abyt not nouns , case morphology does

not still really exist, we are losing it

(c) Case morphology: defines subject and object,

E. Syntactic Change:

1. Word order:

a) Old English: SVO, more flexible word order or VSO or SOV

(1) ‘He saw the man’ v ‘THen the king sent the dish ‘, “She

advised him”

b) Modern English: SVO only

c) Important to have word order or case morphology because it defines what is the subject and what is the object


2. Language change in various ways, but communication must be pressed a change in one part of the grammar could lead to less comprehensibility may be compensated by a change in another part of grammar 

3. The same thing happened in the development of the ROmance languages from Latin

F. Sound Change

1. Place of articulation assimilation

a) Old Spanish: semda —> Modern Spanish : Senda

b) Latin: octo —> Italian otto

G. Why is English spelling so screwed up


Middle Eng.

Modern English


Knight [next]


K -> O/_n



w-> O/ _r

2. The written language is more conservative than the spoken language 3. Conditioned sound change: a sound is lost or changed in a particular environment

a) I.e we didn't lose the “w” or “k” sound

4. Unconditioned sound change: every instance of the sound is affected regardless of context

a) I.e English Great Vowel Shift (1400- 1616)

(1) Diphthongization of high heels

(2) Raising of [e:] and [o:]

(3) Tensing of ...

(4) Fronting of [a:] to [e:]

b) Pronunciation: all long vowels changed


Middle English

Modern Eng.


[mais] ‘mice’


[maus] ‘mouse’

c) Sound change: regular and systematic, because it can be

described by a rule

5. Regular sound correspondence: when pronunciation in one dialect, but different in another

a) Ie sound shift

H. The Neogrammarians 

1. Language changes according to specific rules that take root gradually


a) Regularity Hypothesis: sound change is ordered and systematic. Languages do not change in random ways

(1) Proves language change is regular and rule governed

b) The Relatedness Hypothesis: When differences among two or more languages are systematic and regular the languages are related, ie descdnende form a common source

(1) Proves descended from a common source

2. Romance Cognates

a) Cognantes: related words languages descended from a common source

b) Ie amie, amiga, amica, amica, friend


d) Italian: no change

(1) Words are too similar to be accidental

(a) Descended from a common source undergoing

different sound changes along the way

e) Spanish : k -> g : became voiced

(1) Voicing assimilation : put vocalign on consonant since vowels are voiced

f) French: k and final a were deleted

(1) Deletion: 

g) Proto-Indo-European language, the descendant language (1) Indo-European is a reconstructed language based on the comparative method

3. Summary: Language Change

a) Is inevitable, all languages change over time

b) Can affect every component of language

c) Represents change in the grammars and lexicons of successive generations of speakers

d) Does not indicate a deterioration of the language

e) Is regular and rule governed (The Regularity HYpothesis) f) Systematic sound correspondes among language syndicate that they are descended from a common source (The Relatedness Hypothesis)


Language Loss

I. A dominant tongue 

A. Very often when two languages connect, one language is considered the dominant language(often by the group of greater political power)

B. Children begin to speak dominant language and don't speak othe rlanaguag enativey --those children will never speak the non-dominant language natively. C. This is where language loss begins

D. Only 4% of the people on Earth exclusively speak an indigenous language. II. Many people wonder whether language loss is simply part of a natural biological progression, and why we should mourn the loss of a language. Because the loss of a language entails:

A. the loss of important information about the possible structures of languages. B. as linguists, we rely on data from a vast variety of languages to help us understand all the different possibilities available.

C. When languages are lost, we lose valuable knowledge about the range of linguistic complexity that can be found.

D. we lose a culture and a wealth of knowledge contained within that culture III. Preserving Languages:

A. Working with native speakers to study and document the language

B. Writing grammars and dictionaries sna dake recordings for use by future generations

C. Teach the language in schools and community centers

IV. Hebrew is one of very few success stories of language revival.

A. It began during the late 19th century.

1. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858-1922) ‘the reviver’ of Hebrew

2. •Hebrew taught in schools, school books written.

3. The Academy of the Hebrew Language codified rules, words


4. “to prepare the language to be spoken in all affairs of life.”

5. Hebrew evolved from a pidgin spoken among merchants in the markets of 6. Tel Aviv to a full-fledged language in less than 50 years, as children of 7. immigrants acquired Hebrew as their first language.

V. Movie “The Linguists

A. Preserving languages and the role that linguists play in that

B. The loss of language

1. Focus: Siberian native languages

a) Dominant language: Russian

b) Looking to find Chylum the native Siberian language

(1) Only the older generations speak it

c) History:


(1) Chylum was forbidden to be spoke

(2) Children were sent to boarding school

(a) Boarding schools a distaste for indigenous and tribal children

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