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lecture notes from the whole fall-2009 semester of Ling 110

Course Code
LING 110

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Sept 18 2009
Ling 110
The matrix - morphology
Morpheus he who shapes (shapes dreams)
Neo new
Cypher zero (guy in background)
Lexicon: the set of words in a language - addition and loss of words
Contemporary eng has a strict svo word order
OE has relatively free word order because it inflected nouns for their function in a
Tri = 3 ex tricycle
3 political divisions in ancient Rome = tribe
Leader of a tribe is a tribune
Payment to a tribe is a tribute
Therefore the meaning of tri has changed.
Components of Language
Phoetics and sound system of language sounds and the way they pattern ad change
Morphology methods for creating words
Lexicon the set of words in a language
Syntax the ways in which words are combined in to phrases
Semantics the ways in which words and phrases convey meaning
An identifying part of a dialect, IE kitsilano and capilano identify western van and
eastern van.
How dialects differ?
The same way that languages change: lexicon
Boot vs trunk
Homework: mass or count noun

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Semantics (whats a chesterfield)
Dialects shift due to the idea of group membership.
When ideas/technologies/foods etc are borrowed the words for them are borrowed as
Borrowed words stay in a language long enough to begin to look like a native word and
follows the rules of the language: basubaru
This is evidence that there are rules in a language that words follow.
So by looking at the ways words are pronounced and the rules the words follow we can
discover from where the word originates.
Some languages don’t approve borrowing (French, German)
Sometimes borrowing is necessary to distinguish concepts (underwater, subaquatic)
If a word existed in old English (or old French) then it is an English (or French) word
It developed naturally from old English and was NOT borrowed
When following a chain of borrowings take it to the last language
Refer to the indo-european family tree
Voice Aspirates
Bh ---> ph
Dh ---> th
Gh ---> kh
Latin: dh bdh f
Latin: gh h ie: horticulture
English: gh g y ie: garden

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The Alphabet
The alphabet is no longer well adapted to the pronounciation of modern English. A new
representation is necessary to closely examine changes in speech through orthography
Rebus principle is the use of similar sounds to represent different words (ie: b4 k9 l8er)
This solves some problems with a pictographic system
Alphabet is ideally one sound per symbol
However the language changes but the orthography doesn’t. ie: knee and know
We don’t want to represent sounds that are not distinctive
so how do we choose which sounds are important? Yet we must keep relationships
between words (native/nation)
history: born of economics to keep track of trade agreements, clay figures were pit in a
clay envelope which was fired….until eventually the contents were written on side which
progressed to clay tablets.
Both the romance languages and English need new characters to represent new sounds
Romance languages created or reusedJ’ andV
Y: has various duties
represents [y]
Represents [i]
Note tyre or tiger (Br. Spelling)
Represents [theta]
Represents a greek vowel ie: psychology
Spelling rules
Languages change over time
Addition to characters
Spelling systems must be augmented to reflect that change
Addition of new sounds requires new representations
A consensus is required to recognize that the digraph (two letters) represents one sound
(education system for example)
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