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LING 201 Fall 16 Lecture Notes

by: Kate Jahaske

LING 201 Fall 16 Lecture Notes LING 201

Marketplace > University of Arizona > Linguistics > LING 201 > LING 201 Fall 16 Lecture Notes
Kate Jahaske
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Week 1 lecture notes. Various definitions including syntax, semantics, phonology etc. The difference between prescriptive and descriptive grammar. Also, the definition of language itself and variou...
Intro to Linguistics
Rachel Brown
Class Notes
Linguistics, ling, semantics, phonology, syntax, pragmatics, Language, english, Prescriptive, Descriptive




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kate Jahaske on Friday August 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to LING 201 at University of Arizona taught by Rachel Brown in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Intro to Linguistics in Linguistics at University of Arizona.

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Date Created: 08/26/16
First Day, 8/22/16 Rachel Brown ( prefers to be referred to as Rachel. All assignments will be on D2L and will be due at 11:20PM. First assignment is due Aug, 31 @ 11:30PM. Write a response to the article posted in D2L in the from of a discussion post on D2l. Some things you can discuss:  What is your background?  How do you agree/disagree with the author – specifics  What are the pros and cons of prescriptive grammar  When should each type of approach be used  Do you have any pet-peeves about English?  Be honest  200-300 words  Respectful  Specific  Be prepared to discuss during class Bring printed copies to the paper and peer review process. In a very broad term, Linguistics is the scientific study of language. What is language? Language is a coding system. Speaker thinks of the message -> Speaker encodes message -> Speaker transmits encoded message -> Hearer decodes message -> The elements of the code are sound/meaning pairs. For example, you want to make the meaning of "cat" and you have to pull the phonological sound for the meaning of "cat." The mapping between phonology and semantic information is very arbitrary. Cat is cat mostly by accident. It is lost in history.  Syntax is the a sentence that consists of a noun phrase and a verb phrase.  NP = Noun phrase  VP = Verb phrase  S = Sentence S / \ NP VP We will cover the following in this class:  Phonetics: The study of the physical aspects of speech production and perception.  Phonology: The study of how sounds form order systems within language.  Morphology: the study of the internal structure of words.  Syntax: the study of the structure of sentence I.e. how words can combine. We will also go over the IPA or international phonetic alphabet. This lets you write the sounds of any language. Subareas of Linguistics:  Semantics: the study of meaning at the word and sentence level  Pragmatics: the study of linguistic meaning in interaction with broader contexts, and world knowledge.  Sociolinguistics: the study of the interactions of language and culture  Psycholinguistics: the study of how language is used in the mind. For example, what is going on in the mind while someone is processing the language. Linguistics uses the scientific method, and therefore is scientific. It uses:  Observe  Make generalizations  Develop a hypothesis  Test  Repeat, endlessly The difference between prescriptive grammar and descriptive grammar: First, grammar is a set of rules describing a language system.  Prescriptive grammars describe the structure a language should be, as consciously decided by grammar nerds  Descriptive grammars describe the structure of a language as it is actually used by native speakers Think of the two sentences: "Give this book to whoever you like" and "This pen is hard to write with" If these sound okay to you, that is because you used descriptive grammar. If not, you used prescriptive grammar. In the first sentence it should be "whomever" and the second sentence should have used "difficult" and should not end with a preposition. However, to most native speakers, these sentences will be natural and the "corrected" sentences will sound stuffy or formal. If the native speaker says it sounds natural, the linguist says "Okay!" A linguistic wants to know what sounds formal versus informal. Linguistics in no way restrict themselves to the "proper" way to speak. They want to know how people use language, not how history thinks people should. So therefore, they care about descriptive grammar. There is an appropriate time for using prescriptive grammar, but most people will simply use descriptive grammar. However, there is such a thing as descriptively unacceptable sentences:  Me am going to the store  Susan put the book  I to Gordon some cookies gave To a native speaker, these seem strange and clunky, one would assume that the person saying these things are not a native speaker. A complete descriptive grammar of a particular language would include all and only the grammatical forms of the language. In the real worlds, speakers judgements are sometimes gradient, certain forms may fall in a gray area between grammatical and ungrammatical. For instance, native speakers will think sentences may be better or worse than another. A joke around the linguist community: Once you become a linguist, you become a native speaker of nothing. Because you spend so much time studying the right and wrong things all day long in so many different languages, it ruins your native intuitions. Linguists tend to use the term "Standard American English" to refer to English that is spoken in national media mostly. It may overlap a lot with prescriptive grammar. However, outside of that, every place has their own dialect and they all equally valid and worthy of study. Week 1, 8/24/16 th Quiz 1 will open today, after class. It will close on August 29 at 11:30pm. Discussion post is due on August 31 .st A sentence is grammatical if it seems grammatical to a native speaker, at least grammatical to them. Generally these are automatic to a native speaker. This comes naturally to anyone who is fluent/native in that specific language. You do not have to be a specific age either, even a child can. It requires no training. However, sometimes it can be difficult to completely peg down, a sentence might be iffy whether or not it is correct. But, even that will be obvious to a native speaker. Something that may "grammatical" but it may not be "logical" for instance, look at the sentence below: Colorless green ideas sleep furiously It works together by following the arbitrary rules of grammar, but it does not make sense to native speakers who hear or read it. Some definitions:  Idiolect: a linguistic variety unique to an individual. Every idiolect is unique and only specific to the particular individual. I.e. something quirky someone might do, but the other might not. ^  Sociolect: a linguistic variety associated with a socially recognized category (I.e. gender/sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, social class, etc) ^  Regional dialect: A linguistic variety associated with a geographic area. ^  Language: a set of idiolects, sociolects and regional dialects that share a political, social, historical, economic identity. Review: Grammar = set of rules describing a language Prescriptive grammar = a structure set up by people trying to define language Descriptive grammar = grammar as it is set by the native speakers of the language Linguistics do not prefer prescriptive grammar because it uses only one version of the language, it is more "correct" or "logical" or even "better" which does not actually happen in reality. All societies have been known to promote one form of the language over another, while another side will be more stigmatized. Which form of the language is "better" is based simply on who is in power and/or who was better off than the majority using the other form. Linguistics love all language and all dialectical forms because all forms in use are equally valid and worthy of study. However, that does not mean that linguists do not have personal preferences and understand that in order to be able to get a job in a English speaking country, you will need to speak the standard form of the language.


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