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Deacriptive Linguistics

Defines linguistics and communication; discusses the anatomy of speech; reviews the basics of articulatory phonetics, phonology, morphology, and syntax

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Deacriptive Linguistics

  1. 1. Descriptive Linguistics The Construction of Language
  2. 2. Introduction to Linguistics <ul><li>Every culture in the world has a spoken language </li></ul><ul><li>Learning a spoken language come naturally to children (top photo) </li></ul><ul><li>Language is what ties a culture together and so is a unifying factor </li></ul><ul><li>Different language also keeps different cultures apart and so is divisive (bottom photo) </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, we cover linguistics in this course of cultural anthropology </li></ul>
  3. 3. Communication <ul><li>Language is a subtype of communication, and most animals have some form of communication </li></ul><ul><li>This is the ability of one organism to trigger another; in other words, one organism provides the stimulus and the other responds </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Bouncer ask an unruly patron to leave and he does so, communication has occurred </li></ul><ul><li>If he does not and the bouncer tosses him out, communication has not occurred; physical force has been used instead--with this disenchanted patron as a result. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Closed System of Communication <ul><li>Communication of most animals is closed. </li></ul><ul><li>One call or gesture has only one meaning </li></ul><ul><li>This call by a thrush is a warning call </li></ul><ul><li>But it cannot combine this call with another one to create a third meaning </li></ul>
  5. 5. Open System of Communication <ul><li>Language is an open system </li></ul><ul><li>We use speech sounds that have no meaning in and of themselves </li></ul><ul><li>When we combine them, they have meaning </li></ul><ul><li>The speech sounds of c-a-t mean a feline animal </li></ul><ul><li>The same sounds recombined as a-c-t give us a comedy routine. </li></ul><ul><li>You may polish up your act, but would you polish up your cat? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Overview of Linguistics <ul><li>How does an open system like language come to be? To answer, we will look at the following topics: </li></ul><ul><li>Biological Roots of Language: Brain and Articulatory System </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive Linguistics: Phones and Phonemes, the building blocks of language </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive Linguistics: Morphology and Syntax, which put these building blocks together </li></ul><ul><li>Language and Animal Communication will then be compared </li></ul><ul><li>Language and Culture will conclude this section </li></ul>
  7. 7. Why Do We Need an International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)? <ul><li>Linguists use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to transcribe sounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Why? Glad you asked. Take English: </li></ul><ul><li>How many vowels are there in English? </li></ul><ul><li>Our written alphabet is not entirely phonetic </li></ul><ul><li>The letter a could be pronounced as [æ] in b a t or as [e] in b a ted breath? </li></ul><ul><li>Or try [a] as in b a h or “say a h”; we have 3 sounds for a. </li></ul><ul><li>In English we have a total of 12 vowels, not only 5 as most people assume, </li></ul><ul><li>That means in linguistics we need 12 symbols to transcribe them </li></ul>
  8. 8. The IPA: How It Works <ul><li>First, there are phones , any speech sound </li></ul><ul><li>The IPA ideally assigns one symbol to a sound </li></ul><ul><li>So [a] is used for “ah,” [e] for “bated,” [æ] for “bat” </li></ul><ul><li>Square brackets [ ] are used to enclose phones </li></ul><ul><li>But sounds alone do not carry a language; groups of them, known as phonemes, do this job (more shortly) </li></ul><ul><li>Phonemes are enclosed in slashes (//), e.g. /a/ </li></ul>
  9. 9. How Language Works: An Overview <ul><li>To show how languages work, we will use a sample of six consonants known as stops: </li></ul><ul><li>These are [p], [b], [t], [d], [k], and [g] </li></ul><ul><li>But first, we have to look at some preliminaries: </li></ul><ul><li>We have to look at the organs of speech: the brain, lungs, larynx, and oral cavity </li></ul><ul><li>Then we have to see how the oral cavity is involved in creating speech. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Biology of Language: A Refresher on the Brain’s Role in Language <ul><li>Here’s a refresher; see is you can identify these areas involved in speech </li></ul><ul><li>Broca’s Area </li></ul><ul><li>Wernicke’s Area </li></ul><ul><li>Arcuate Fasciculus </li></ul><ul><li>Angular Gyrus </li></ul><ul><li>Hypoglossal Nerve </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Brain and Language <ul><li>Broca’s area: The area that generates speech </li></ul><ul><li>Wernicke’s area: The area that processes the reception of speech </li></ul><ul><li>Arcuate fasciculus: The bundle of nerves that connect Broca’s with Wernicke’s area, so that you get feedback on your speech </li></ul><ul><li>Angular Gyrus: The part of the brain that coordinates the five senses; its role is to transcribe the other four senses into sound </li></ul><ul><li>Hypoglossal Nerve: The nerve running from the brain to the tongue and so provides impulses to the tongue to move. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Vocal Tract <ul><li>Lungs </li></ul><ul><li>Diaphragm and Rib Cage </li></ul><ul><li>Larynx and Vocal Cords </li></ul><ul><li>Hyoid Bone </li></ul><ul><li>Oral Cavity </li></ul><ul><li>Nasal Cavity </li></ul>
  13. 13. Functions of the Vocal Tract <ul><li>Lungs are the source of the air stream essential to speech </li></ul><ul><li>Diaphragm pushes the air through the windpipe and into the mouth; the muscles of the rib cage do the same </li></ul><ul><li>The vocal cords housed in the larynx or voice box vibrate and so provide our voice </li></ul><ul><li>The oral cavity contains the parts of the mouth that enable us to speak. </li></ul><ul><li>The nasal cavity allows us to make certain sounds, such as n [n] and m [m], with the passage of air in that cavity. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Articulatory Phonetics <ul><li>When we utter any sound, we articulate </li></ul><ul><li>We position our tongue or other speech part in certain ways </li></ul><ul><li>When we speak, we use </li></ul><ul><li>Points of articulation : Speech parts in upper half of mouth </li></ul><ul><li>Articulators: Speech parts in lower half of mouth </li></ul><ul><li>The next panels and diagrams show how these work </li></ul>
  15. 15. Oral Cavity: Description <ul><li>The articulators are the active parts of the speech mechanism: they do all the work </li></ul><ul><li>They include the lower lip, the lower teeth, and the tongue </li></ul><ul><li>The points of articulation are the passive parts of the speech mechanism, except for the upper lip </li></ul><ul><li>They comprise the upper lip, the upper teeth, the alveolar ridge, or gum ridge behind the upper teeth, the hard palate, the soft palate or velum, and the uvula, the hanging membrane at the far end of the mouth </li></ul><ul><li>In the next diagram, find and identify these parts just mentioned. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Oral Cavity: Diagram
  17. 17. Articulators: Description <ul><li>In the diagram that follows, you will find the following articulators: </li></ul><ul><li>The lower lip, which can move on its own </li></ul><ul><li>The lower teeth, which moves because the lower jaw moves </li></ul><ul><li>The four parts of the tongue, which moves on its own </li></ul><ul><li>The apex is the tip of the tongue </li></ul><ul><li>The blade or front of the tongue is behind the apex </li></ul><ul><li>The center or centrum of the tongue is at the center; some linguists recognize this part and others do not </li></ul><ul><li>The dorsum is the back of the tongue </li></ul><ul><li>Identify these parts in the diagram. Which part listed here is not identified in the diagram? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Articulators: Diagram <ul><li>All articulators are movable </li></ul><ul><li>They include: </li></ul><ul><li>Lower lip </li></ul><ul><li>Lower teeth </li></ul><ul><li>Tongue </li></ul><ul><li>Apex (tip) </li></ul><ul><li>Front </li></ul><ul><li>Center </li></ul><ul><li>Back (dorsum) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Points of Articulation: Description <ul><li>All points are fixed in position except the upper lip </li></ul><ul><li>The upper lip is movable on its own and coordinates with the lower lip </li></ul><ul><li>The upper teeth is fixed because the upper jaw does not move </li></ul><ul><li>The alveolar ridge is the gum ridge behind the upper teeth </li></ul><ul><li>The hard palate is the roof of the mouth </li></ul><ul><li>The velum is the soft palate behind the hard palate </li></ul><ul><li>The uvula is the hanging flesh at the far end of the mouth </li></ul><ul><li>Identify these on the chart that follows. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Points of Articulation <ul><li>All are immovable except upper lip </li></ul><ul><li>Upper lip </li></ul><ul><li>Upper teeth </li></ul><ul><li>Alveolar ridge (gum ridge behind teeth) </li></ul><ul><li>Hard palate (roof of mouth) </li></ul><ul><li>Velum (soft palate) </li></ul><ul><li>Uvula (pendant lobe at border of velum) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Other Speech Parts <ul><li>Larynx , or voice box which contains </li></ul><ul><li>Two Vocal Cords (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>When vocal cords are drawn tight (lower right), they produce a voice </li></ul><ul><li>When relaxed (lower left), no voice is produced. </li></ul><ul><li>Other species and infant: larynx is high on throat </li></ul><ul><li>Nasal Cavity: Nasalized phones produced by lowering of velum </li></ul>
  22. 22. Position of Articulation <ul><li>For consonants , position of articulator is placed relative to point of articulation </li></ul><ul><li>For vowels, resonant sounds created by </li></ul><ul><li>The height of tongue (high, mid, or low) </li></ul><ul><li>The advancement of the tongue (front, center, or back, and </li></ul><ul><li>the lip shape (rounded or unrounded) </li></ul><ul><li>Consonants include: </li></ul><ul><li>Stops (momentary stop of air stream) </li></ul><ul><li>Fricatives or Spirants (constricted passage of air) </li></ul><ul><li>Others, such as laterals , nasals , et al. </li></ul><ul><li>All speech sounds are known as phones </li></ul>
  23. 23. Positions of Articulation: Stops <ul><li>A stop is formed when </li></ul><ul><li>an articulator touches </li></ul><ul><li>a point of articulation </li></ul><ul><li>halting the air stream momentarily </li></ul><ul><li>A stop is named </li></ul><ul><li>By naming the articulator first </li></ul><ul><li>Then naming the point of articulation </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: labio-labial , apico-alveolar , and dorso-velar stops </li></ul><ul><li>Study the next three diagrams carefully. </li></ul><ul><li>Please note that the transcriptions in brackets are in IPA; the [ I ] in the three examples is in small caps. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Bilabial Stops <ul><li>Upper lip is pressed against lower lip </li></ul><ul><li>Labio- describes the lower lip (articulator) </li></ul><ul><li>Labial describes the upper lip (point of articulation_ </li></ul><ul><li>This position of articulation is called bilabial stop for short </li></ul><ul><li>Example: [p] as in [pın] or pin </li></ul>
  25. 25. Apico-Alveolar Stops <ul><li>Tip (apex) of tongue presses against gum ridge (alveolar ridge) behind upper teeth </li></ul><ul><li>Apico- describes apex of tongue (articulator) </li></ul><ul><li>Alveolar describes alveolar ridge (point of articulation) </li></ul><ul><li>Example: [t] as in [tın] or tin </li></ul>
  26. 26. Dorso-Velar Stops <ul><li>Back (dorsum) of tongue presses against soft palate (velum) </li></ul><ul><li>Dorso- describes dorsal part of tongue (articulator) </li></ul><ul><li>Velar describes velum (point of articulation) </li></ul><ul><li>Example: [k] as in [kın] or kin </li></ul>
  27. 27. Contrasting Sounds in the Stops <ul><li>Across the board, </li></ul><ul><li>[p] contrasts with [t] </li></ul><ul><li>[t] contrasts with [k] </li></ul><ul><li>[p] contrasts with [k] </li></ul><ul><li>But there are two sets each of </li></ul><ul><li>bilabial stops: [p] and [b] </li></ul><ul><li>apico-alveolar stops: [t] and [d] </li></ul><ul><li>dorso-velar stops [k] and [g] </li></ul><ul><li>Can you explain why there are two sets of each position of articulation before moving on to the next slide? </li></ul>
  28. 28. Voiced and Voiceless Stops <ul><li>One set of stops is voiceless or unvoiced, namely [p], [t], and [k] </li></ul><ul><li>The other set of stops is voiced: </li></ul><ul><li>[b] the bilabial voiced stop; </li></ul><ul><li>[d] the voiced apico-alveolar stop; and </li></ul><ul><li>[t] the voiced dorso-velar stop </li></ul><ul><li>A small experiment: put your fingers on your throat and repeat [p] then [b] </li></ul><ul><li>When does your throat start to vibrate in each case? Answer is on next slide. </li></ul>
  29. 29. When Vocal Cords Vibrate <ul><li>You notice that when you utter [p I n], the vocal cords don’t vibrate until you utter the vowel, namely [ I ] </li></ul><ul><li>But when you utter [b I n], the vocal cords vibrate when you utter [b], well before [ I ]; all vowels are voiced. </li></ul><ul><li>Do the same for [t I n] and [d I n] and for [k I n] and [g I n] </li></ul><ul><li>By the way, did you pronounce [g] as in get and not as in gin, the stuff you have tonic with? If so you pronounced it correctly. </li></ul><ul><li>If not, you pronounced it [dz I n]. </li></ul>
  30. 30. How Vocal Cords Work <ul><li>When vocal cords are relaxed (upper diagram), they produce no voice </li></ul><ul><li>When drawn tight with a small aperture or hole (lower diagram), they produce a voice </li></ul><ul><li>That is what causes the throat to vibrate </li></ul><ul><li>There are other voiceless consonants, s in sin, sh in shin, and ch in chin. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Summing up <ul><li>Voicing involves tightening of vocal cords to produce a sound </li></ul><ul><li>When unvoiced phones are uttered, the vocal cords are relaxed </li></ul><ul><li>Voiced sounds contrast with unvoiced sounds </li></ul><ul><li>voiced [b] contrasts with unvoiced [p] </li></ul><ul><li>voiced [d] contrasts with unvoiced [t] </li></ul><ul><li>voiced [g] contrasts with unvoiced [k] </li></ul>
  32. 32. Phonemes <ul><li>The sounds we described are also phonemes </li></ul><ul><li>Definition: The smallest significant unit of speech </li></ul><ul><li>The significance is that the speaker can hear the difference. </li></ul><ul><li>We can hear the difference between [bın] and [pın], [dın] and [tın], and [gın] and [kın] </li></ul>
  33. 33. Phonemes: An Explanation <ul><li>Why significance: If you could not hear the difference, you could not have a language; the sounds would all be the same. Phonemes are kept separate. </li></ul><ul><li>Why the term unit ? As you will soon see, there are two or more phones (speech sounds) in most phonemes. </li></ul><ul><li>The speech environment refers to the sounds that are the context for the phone or phoneme being analyzed. We start with minimal pairs . </li></ul>
  34. 34. Minimal Pairs <ul><li>[bın] and [pın]: what’s the difference? </li></ul><ul><li>[tın] and [dın]: same question </li></ul><ul><li>[gın] and [kın]: Again, what differs? </li></ul><ul><li>Short answer: the speech environment is identical </li></ul><ul><li>Only the stops differ </li></ul><ul><li>the [-ın] utterance is identical; that’s the environment </li></ul>
  35. 35. Summary of Phonemic Stops in English <ul><li>From this chart, notice the following </li></ul><ul><li>English doesn’t have all possible stops: labiodental, interdental, or palatal </li></ul><ul><li>We do have labio-dental fricatives {f], [v] and interdental ones [ θ ] and [ð] (Don’t worry about these symbols unless you take up linguistics) </li></ul><ul><li>The Russians have a palatal stop [t j ]; the blade of the tongue touches the hard palate </li></ul><ul><li>There are many other phones in the world’s languages </li></ul>
  36. 36. Allophones <ul><li>Another example: key and ski </li></ul><ul><li>Another experiment: put a sheet of paper in front of your mouth and utter the following: key and ski . Which k sound moves the paper </li></ul><ul><li>[k h ] in key [k h i] is aspirated; emits a puff of air </li></ul><ul><li>[ k ־ ] in ski [sk ־ i] is unaspirated; it doesn’t do so. </li></ul><ul><li>In English, [k h ] and [k ־ ] never form minimal pairs; an A for the course if you find such a pair (haven’t lost that bet yet!) </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, [k h ] and [k ־ ] are allophones, or phonetic variants of the same phoneme </li></ul>
  37. 37. Allophones of Phonemes <ul><li>Definition: Variations of the same phoneme </li></ul><ul><li>Our example: [k’] and [k ־ ] are allophones of the phoneme /k/ </li></ul><ul><li>Notation: </li></ul><ul><li>Slash marks (//) indicate phoneme </li></ul><ul><li>Square brackets ([]) indicates phone (and allophone) </li></ul>
  38. 38. Allophones in One Language: Phonemes in Another <ul><li>Take Old Sanskrit (from which Hindi and Urdu are derived): </li></ul><ul><li>[k h il] and [k ־ il] do form minimal pairs </li></ul><ul><li>[k h il] means “parched grain” </li></ul><ul><li>[k ־ il] means “small nail” </li></ul><ul><li>[-il] is identical in the speech environment in which the two phones occur </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, /k’/ and /k ־ / are phonemes in Old Sanskrit and we have to mark them with a slash </li></ul><ul><li>In that language, they are significant units </li></ul><ul><li>Every language has its own set of phonemes </li></ul>
  39. 39. Phonemes as Structural Duality I <ul><li>Note chart on p. 36 under the picture </li></ul><ul><li>[b] contrasts with [d] which contrasts with [g] </li></ul><ul><li>[p] contrasts with [t] which contrasts with [k] </li></ul><ul><li>All the voiced stops contrast with unvoiced ones: </li></ul><ul><li>[b] with [p], [d] with [t] and [g] with [k] </li></ul><ul><li>So we have two things </li></ul><ul><li>First, we have a minimal set; there are three or more utterances that contrast as minimal pairs do </li></ul><ul><li>Second, they form a structure based on sound contrasts; that’s the first part of a language’s structural duality. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Structural Duality II: Morphemes and Syntax <ul><li>Once the phonemes are identified, they must be arranged for meaning </li></ul><ul><li>That’s the job of morphemes and syntax </li></ul><ul><li>Morphemes are The smallest meaningful unit of speech </li></ul><ul><li>You can form words from morphemes </li></ul><ul><li>Syntax are the rules and principles of phrase and sentence construction </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar: In linguistics, this is the entire formal structure of a language’s phonemes, morphemes, and syntax </li></ul>
  41. 41. Morphemes <ul><li>Morphology: Study of morphemes and their construction into words </li></ul><ul><li>There are several types of morphemes: </li></ul><ul><li>Free morphemes: Morphemes that can stand unattached in a language: cat, dogs </li></ul><ul><li>Bound morphemes: Morphemes that cannot stand unattached in a language: cats, dogs [dogz} </li></ul><ul><li>Inflectional bound morphemes : those that change number or tense, but not meaning: e.g., cat, cat s </li></ul><ul><li>Derivational bound morphemes: those that change the meaning: e.g., part, part y </li></ul>
  42. 42. Allomorphs <ul><li>Allomorphs: Variants of a morpheme </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: plurals of dogs, cats, horses </li></ul><ul><li>Namely [dog z ], [k æt s ], [hors əz ] </li></ul><ul><li>Others: tooth/teeth, booth/booths (why not “beeth”?), sheep/sheep </li></ul><ul><li>So the process involves bound morphemes for the plural </li></ul><ul><li>But the sounds change according to context </li></ul><ul><li>Dog ends with a voiced g; cat ends with a voiceless t; and horse ends with a fricative s; so this is a phonetic issue </li></ul><ul><li>Morphophonemics : Study of allomorphs based on sound (the phonemes) combined with morphology (the plurals) </li></ul>
  43. 43. Syntax: Parts of Speech <ul><li>Syntax is the study of rules and principles of phrase and sentence construction. </li></ul><ul><li>Parts of speech are similar to those in high school grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Noun: Word referring to a person, place, or thing </li></ul><ul><li>Pronoun: Word that replaces a noun or other pronoun </li></ul><ul><li>Verb: Action word </li></ul><ul><li>Adjective: word that modifies nouns </li></ul><ul><li>Adverb: word that modifies verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs </li></ul>
  44. 44. Syntax: More Parts of Speech <ul><li>Preposition: Word that indicates a relation between an object in time, space, or logic to the rest of a sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Conjunction : Word connecting words or groups of words </li></ul><ul><li>Interjection: Word that expresses feelings, but usually not part of a sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>Although the words are made up of morphemes, they play an integral part of phrase and sentence construction. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Syntax and Word Order <ul><li>Word order (sentence, verb, object) vary by language </li></ul><ul><li>In English: </li></ul><ul><li>Subject (S): The thing or person of what a sentence is about comes first in a declarative sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Predicate (V): Phrase that says something about the subject; always include the verb that comes after the subject </li></ul><ul><li>Verb (O): Action word that forms the main part of the predicate </li></ul><ul><li>Object: The person or thing affected by the verb </li></ul><ul><li>In English, the word order is typically S-V-O </li></ul><ul><li>In Spanish, the word order is sometimes V-S-O </li></ul><ul><li>Other languages have other word orders </li></ul>
  46. 46. So Why Aren’t Morphemes and Syntax Separate Structures? <ul><li>An exercise: cats </li></ul><ul><li>Two cats (upper photo) </li></ul><ul><li>Cat’s meow (lower picture: when this is spoken, how do you pronounce the apostrophe?) </li></ul><ul><li>Rest of sentence defines morpheme </li></ul><ul><li>Another example </li></ul><ul><li>“ Cookie, lend me your combs”; combs are nouns </li></ul><ul><li>“ Cookie combs his hair”; combs now becomes a verb. </li></ul>
  47. 47. Descriptive Linguistics: Conclusion <ul><li>We have looked at the biological basis of language </li></ul><ul><li>We’ve also examine the parts of the speech mechanism: lungs, larynx and vocal cords, oral and nasal cavity </li></ul><ul><li>We’ve seen how the sounds of speech are articulated </li></ul><ul><li>Once the sounds are produced, we’ve seen how they are put together into words (made up of morphemes) , phrases, and sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Next up: language and culture </li></ul>