Science of Language - Midterm Study Guide
Science of Language - Midterm Study Guide CSD-UE.1045
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Date Created: 03/26/16
Science of Language – Midterm – Study Guide Linguistics – the scientific study of language. The language system has six subsystems: In Linguistics Terms: 1. Sounds (Phonetics) 2. Sound patterns (Phonology) 3. Wordformation (Morphology) 4. Sentenceformation (Syntax) 5. Meaninginterpretation (Semantics) 6. Using words/sentences in context (Pragmatics) Subfields of Linguistics: 1. Phonetics a. The study of speech sounds of human language b. Concerned with physical properties therefore it is more universal c. i.e. [p] and [b] are articulated similarly with the lips 2. Phonology a. The study of sound patterns in individual language 3. Morphology a. The study of the structure/combination of words in each language. b. Morphology affects syntax and semantics 4. Syntax a. The study of the structure of phrases and sentences in each language 5. Semantics a. How meaning is composed from words and phrases (purchase vs buy) 6. Pragmatics – the study of word meaning in context. Categorizing the fields of linguistics: Phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics are parts of the language system that come from the native speakers’ judgments. whereas… Neurolingusitics, Psycholinguistics, 1 and 2 language acquisitions, historical linguistics, and Sociolinguistics show how the language system changes, exists in the brain, and is acquired. Experimental data is used to assess this. PHONETICS and PHONOLOGY In Linguistics, “grammar” refers to a speaker’s: Mental “grammar”: a language system in the speaker’s mind The “grammar” of a language: a description of a particular language; emerges from grammars of individual speakers. Properties of Grammars: 1 Systematic – follow their own internal set of rules 2 Generality – all languages have a grammar 3 Equality – “nonstandard” varieties of a language have equally systematic grammars as prestige varieties do. No such thing as a “primitive” base language 4 Universality – languages are alike in basic ways 5 Mutability – all languages change over time (and/or die out) 6 Inaccessible – grammatical knowledge of a language is subconscious Phonetics = Speech Sounds Created when air from lungs enters the vocal folds and exits through the mouth/nose 2 major types: o Consonants – sounds made with a constriction (when air is blocked in the mouth) o Vowels – sounds w/o a constriction Consonants: There are 24 consonant sounds in English: Because consonants have constrictions, the type of sound being produced depends on Place, Manner, and Voice 1 Place: a A location of constriction; where airflow is temporarily blocked. 2 Manner: a Means by which the sound is made b Fricatives, affricates, lateral, nasal, stops, approximants 3 Voice: a Open (voiceless) vs Closed (voiced and vibrating) vocal cords Additional guidelines about the chart** o Fricatives : air leaks out slowly o Plosive/Stop : air bursts out and then stops o Nasals : the velum stays down and lets the air flow through the nose [always voiced] o Affricatives : a combination of stops and fricatives o Approximants : tongue doesn’t fully make the constriction but comes close [always voiced] Vowels: No constrictions in mouth 2 types : moonothongs and diphthongs English vowel sounds = around 15 “hat” = æ “free” = i “show” = oʊ “met” = ɛ “pot” = a “raw” = ɔ “hit” = ɪ “sofa” = ə “my” = aɪ “book” = ʊ “maze” = eɪ “cow” = aʊ “gum” = ʌ “shoe” = u “boy” = ɔɪ /ʌ/ and /ə/ sound every similar but… /ʌ/ is found in stressed syllables whereas /ə/ is found in unstressed syllables. Because vowels don’t have constrictions we define them through 4 properties: 1. Height of the tongue (high/mid/low) 2. Tenseness of the tongue (tense/lax) 3. Backness of the tongue (front/central/back) 4. Roundedness of the lips 1. Height a. How low/high is the tongue? b. There is more room for movement for high vowels ( i, I, e ) 2. Backness a. Is the tongue closer to the front or to the back of the mouth? b. [i] “heet” front [u] “hoot” back 3. Tenseness a. How “tense” is the tongue? b. Lax a little shorter, closer to the center c. Tense a little higher, further from the center, longer [I] “hit” = lax [i] “heat” = tense 4. Roundedness a. Are the lips rounded or not? b. In English, all rounded vowels are back, so it’s not really a distinctive feature. Also in English, /ʌ/ and /a/ are the only vowels that are back but not rounded. Diphthongs: Begin making one vowel but end up making another vowel Variation in distance o “narrow” = [ eɪ], oʊ ] o “wiiiiide” = [ aɪ], [aʊ], [ɔɪ] 1 . Phoneme a. What we know a sound to be represented as (“p” sound in “spot” belongs to the sound /p/). b. Phonemes are meaningdistinguished sounds. c. Abstract sound unit in speaker’s mind. 2 . Allophone a. Can have different allophones for a phoneme (different ways of pronouncing one sound) b. Brain lumps them together under a single “phoneme”. c. The actual pronounced sound. Big Picture: we produce speech sounds with some variations (allophones), but we hear them as one of a set of group sounds (phonemes). Difference between brackets and slashes: brackets indicate phonetic analysis (sound), whereas slashes claim something as a phoneme. How do we figure out if a sound is a Phoneme or Allophone? … We look for Minimal Pairs: (established on basis of sound, not spelling) Pairs of words that differ in only ONE sound (phoneme can show up in different places of a word). [Pit] and [Bit] = these 2 critical sounds can distinguish meaning. So /p/ and /b/ are each phonemes, and are minimal pairs. Contrastive Distribution: when 2 sounds occur in the same context, and are therefore minimal pairs. (/p/ and /b/) Complementary Distribution: when 2 sounds always occur in different environments. (Aspirated [t] at beginning of word. Unreleased [t] at the end of a word. Languages have rules for this). Template: Are there words in language X in which sounds [y] and [z] occur in the same context and mean different things? Yes they are minimal pairs. Contrastive (cat and bat) No not minimal pairs. Complementary (p and p^h) Making Rules from Phoneme Allophones: 1. Figure out which allophone is an underlying phoneme (usually the one that occurs in the most environments in a language). 2. Figure out what that special environment is (natural class: voiceless consonants, high tense vowels, etc) 3. Put the rule in this form: /X/ turns into [Y] when ______, otherwise it says [X]. Natural Classes: Groups of speech sounds described by a common property. 3 major phonological units: 1. Syllable: [KI] a. A grouping of a phoneme composed of a sonorant (usually a vowel), and the consonants around the sonorant. 2. Segment: [k] and [i] a. Phonemes/allophones that make up a syllable 3. Feature: [+ voice] [sonorant] a. The “atoms” that make up a phoneme, and describe natural classes. b. Binary (either +/) c. Grounded in phonetic properties (voice/place/manner) Syllable structure: Dog D (onset) + OG (rhyme = nucleus and coda) O (nucleus) and G (Coda) Phonotactics: different languages allow different syllabic structures. Constraints on general shape (CV is most commonly used) Constraints on specific phoneme combinations ( [bl] but not [bn] for English onsets) Constraints on where phoneme combinations can be found in syllables (in English, [nk] is found in coda but never in onset) MORPHOLOGY: Morpheme: smallest unit of meaning in a language. Morphology combines morphemes into larger units/words. New words enter a language through: 1. Outside Sources 2. Coinage a Inventing totally new terms (eponym=from a name, product names) 7 Borrowing a Adopting words from another language (le weekend, taco, spaghetti) 8 Innovation within language by native speakers a Compounding – joining 2 separate words into a single term (doghouse) b Blending – taking parts of 2 separate terms and making a single term (smoke + fog = smog) c Backformation: i Word of one category arranged to make a word of another category (NV) ii Television (N) televise (V) or option (N) to opt (V) d Conversion: i Changing the lexical category of the same word. ii a chair to chair a meeting e Acronyms: i New words formed from initials of other words (DVD, CD, VCR, AP, etc.) f Derivation/Inflection: i Small parts of words combined into a larger word ii Derivation – changes a word’s meaning (known + un = unknown). Can also change syntactic category (squish (V) + y = squishy (Adj)) iii Inflection – changes grammatical function within same syntactic category (walks walked) g Multiple Processes – combo of the above *New words must always follow the phonological properties of that language! Free Morpheme – can stand alone as a word by itself Lexical morphemes o Nouns, verbs, and adjectives Functional morphemes (more grammatical) o Conjunctions, prepositions, articles, pronouns Bound Morpheme – cannot stand alone as a word Derivational o Changes the meaning of the word (un + cool = uncool) o Can change a word’s syntactic category, like from a V N (work + er = worker) Inflectional o Indicates a grammatical function o Can NOT change syntactic category o i.e. ( ’s ), ( s ), ( ed ), ( er ), ( est ) Inflectional Processes: o Reduplication – repeating all/part of a base to mark a grammatical contrast. o Suppletion – replacing a morpheme with completely different morphemes to mark a grammatical contrast Go went be was o Internal Change – substituting one segment within a word to mark a grammatical contrast sing (present) sang (past) sung (past participle) Syntactic category = adjective, verb, noun, preposition etc. Word structure: Root – smallest unit of a word can’t be further broken down o “friend” in unfriendly o “walk” in walking Affix – bound morphemes 4 types: prefix, suffix, infix, circumfix o Prefix (before a base) : “un” and “re” o Suffix (after a base) : “ed” and “ness” o Infix (within base) : In Tagalog, “bili” = buy, but “binili” = bought o Circumfix (around base) : In German, ge–verb–t = past participle of verb Base (Stem) – what you add affixes to these CAN be broken down further, if necessary o “friendly” in unfriendly. Bound Morphemes attach in this order : ROOT + DERIVATIONAL + INFLECTIONAL Ex) teach (verb) + er (becomes noun) + s (becomes plural) = teachers Allomorphs – different versions of a morpheme 1. Because of irregular forms. The past inflectional suffix /d/ varies with: a. Internal change forms (sing/sang/sung) b. Suppletion forms (be/was) 2. Because of morphophonemic variation: a. /d/ varies with [t] and [“eh”d] depending on the segments within a word. SYNTAX: combining words into phrases: Phrase Structure Rules in English: NP (Noun Phrase) Determiner + Noun Determiner + Adj. + Noun Pronoun Noun Adj. + Noun PP (Prepositional Phrase) Preposition + NP VP (Verb Phrase) Verb + (NP) + (PP) Verb + CP. CP = Complementizer Phrase. It allows us to embed a sentence into another sentence with words like “that”, “which”, etc. TP (Tense Phrase/Sentence) NP + Tense + VP CP (Complementary Phrase) Complementizer + Sentence Recursion – the repeated application of a rule in generated structure. Allows for infinite sentences, and makes human language unique. Modularity – different subsystems of a person’s grammar operate independently of each other (but may interact). Ex: some sentences are syntactically correct but semantically odd. “The girl drank the milk” <> “the milk drank the girl” Movement Rule – moving constituents/phrases for structural reasons. Ex: NP + T + VP => T + NP + VP (becomes a question) Constituents – components of a phrase that act as one larger syntactic unit. Test using… 1. Substitution – words acting a syntactic unit can be replaced by a more generic element such as “do so”, “there”, or a pronoun. 2. Movement – The syntactic unit can be moved from one part of a sentence to another. 3. Coordination – 2 constituents of the same type can be joined using conjunctions Structural Ambiguity – when a sentence has the same words in the same linear order, but has 2 different meanings depending on how you group the words. EX: the girl jumped over the cow on a motorcycle. The PP “on a motorcycle” attaches to either the VP headed by “jump”, or to the NP headed by “cow”. SEMANTICS: computing meaning in your native language. There are formal semantics, lexical semantics, and syntaxsemantics interface. Lexical Semantics: Q – What are the ways we can “define” a word? A. How they relate to other words (lexical/semantic relations) B. Connotation, denotation/extension, intension C. Based on semantic features D. Based on prototypical examples. A. Semantic Relations – antonyms, synonyms, polysemy Synonyms – 2 words with closely related meaning. o True synonymy is rare. Always differences in nuance (formality/magnitude/extremity) Antonyms – 2 words with opposite meaning in terms of one aspect of meaning. Polysemy – one word has multiple related meanings. (ex: mark = punctuation mark, road mark, grade mark, a target, indication). o NOT the same as homophones, because homophones have unrelated meanings (ex: “light” = not heavy and “light” = illumination) Problems: o Not so useful for defining words o Circular : “big” means “large” “large” means “big” o Words have multiple related meanings – so syn/ant/pol are not specific enough to define that particular word. B. Connotation, Denotation/Extension, Intension Connotation – set of associations evoked by a word Ex: “winter” = snowy, cold, snowman, iceskating Problems: o It’s still “winter” during a certain time period even if it doesn’t snow. o Different people have different associations Denotation – the actual thing “real world” entity that the word refers to. Ex: “winter” = the time b/w winter solstice and spring equinox. Problems: o Some words just don’t exist (unicorns, mermaids) o Some words don’t exist anymore (King Louis VI) o Some words change every 4 years (the president of the US) Fix this with Extensions (similar to denotations) o Extensions reference something in parentheses, to specify the denotation. o Abstract ideas and mythical characters don’t have extensions Intension – gives us a feeling or inherent “sense” of the word. o Ex: the oldest human being = the human being who has spent the most time on earth. o Ex: the tooth fairy = small magical creature with wings C. Semantic Features and Componential Analysis Breaking down the meaning of a word to certain semantic features / “natural classes” Ex: [+/ human] [+/ male] Problems: o Defines only limited aspects of meaning (lots of things can fall into the above category) Fuzzy Concepts – maybe words don’t have precise, clearcut definitions because our concepts don’t even have precise, clearcut boundaries. It’s subjective and abstract. Ex: rich = what amount of money makes someone rich (if it even is money)? Fish = trout, salmon, shark, eel, flounder too many options for one definition D. Prototype Theory o Helps visualize this idea of gradedness o Individual mental categories are based on prototypes rank members in order of relevance. o Ex: birds = sparrow Problem: no official definition for the term. Word Meaning: How do Languages Differ? Lexicalization and Grammaticalization examine how morpheme structure affects meaning. Lexicalization – concepts are explained using individual lexical morphemes. o Determines how many words will represent a concept. o Ex: In English, motion and manner are combined to describe movement (rolled). But in French, motion and manner are separate lexical morphemes (est entrée…roulant) o Likewise in English, motion and path are separate lexical morphemes (go up), whereas in French, motion and path are combined (monte) Grammaticalization o Determines which inflectional/functional morphemes will represent a concept. o Ex: In English, [ed] = past, [s] = plural, [must] = obligation, [and] = conjunction, etc. o BUT this varies depending on the language! How do Syntax and Semantics Interact? 1. Compositionality – the meaning of a sentence is determined by the meaning of its component parts and their syntactic arrangement. a. Ex 1: Structural Ambiguity – ambiguity with interpreting the linear order b. Ex 2: Constructional Meaning – structural patterns (NPVNPPP) form meaning. 2. Thematic Roles – determines the role of different NP’s in a situation. o Subject – the first NP. It is not always the “doer”. o Agent – the “doer” of the action o Theme – whatever is affected by the action of the “doer” o Instrument – tool used to do something o Experiencer – feeling/reception/state described by verb (accidental: “I heard”) o Location – location of happening o Source – where someone/something moves from o Goal – where someone/something moves toward
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