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Lecture 3

CMNS 110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Concatenation, Reflectance, Meta-Communication

Course Code
CMNS 110
Gary Mc Carron

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Week 3 [LECTURE]
Language and culture
Language origins
Corax believed language originated from the gods
Ancient Greeks = first to question origins of language itself
Language acquisition
Augustine: learned language by associating objects w/ sounds i.e. words stored in his
Impossible to acquire language without being surrounded by language-using people
(feral children -> Victor of Aveyron)
"Magical" words
Politeness (ex. Please, thank you)
Expletives (cursing, swearing)
Hate speech
Hockett's Design Features of Language
Vocal/auditory channel
Speaking/hearing used as main mode of language
Rapid fading
Compels us to be attentive
Sounds only exist for brief period of time
Humans can give/receive identical signals, i.e. "Anything one can hear, one can say"
Intrapersonal feedback
Speakers can hear their own speech and control/modify what they are saying as they
say it
Specific sound signals are directly tied to certain meanings
No intrinsic connection between sound signal and its meaning
Humans can talk about things not physically present or existent, i.e. "Speech is not
limited to the here and now"
Language users can create and understand novel utterances
Able to produce an unlimited amount of utterances
Language is constantly changing
Humans born with innate language capabilities, but language is learned after birth in
social setting
Ability to lie or deceive
Reflectivity (meta-communication)
Humans can use language to talk about language
Concatenation (Duality of Patterning)
Meaningful messages are made up of distinct smaller units (ex. Syllables in words)
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