The Forms of Language
• Language helps us become a separate being from others.
• Language has created the separateness in the first place, it's also
used largely to bridge that separation.
• It allows you to believe that the kinds of things you think, also allows
for people to think the same way, have the same ideas, share the
same culture, because we have the same language.
Levels of linguistics (language) form
• Discourse analysis: Text and context
• Syntax: sentence structure
• Morphology: words and their structure
• Phonology: the sound system
The Levels of Language
• Texts (studied in discourse analysis)
Sentences (studied in syntax)
• Words (studied in morphology)
• Phonemes (studied in phonology)
Phones (studied in phonetics)
Difference between phonology and phonetics
• Construction of sounds and their structure - associated with
• Qualities of sounds - associated with phonetics (not done in this
(1) any meaningful item or items perceived as a unit
o e.g. book, chapter in a book, or even a single word
• (2) a meaningful item or items understood as not forming part of a
• "to be or not to be" - a text
• Hamlet - a text
o Both depend on how you look at it.
• Linguistic and non-linguistic texts Everything is a text & we can read it
• Every human situation can be considered a text.
• In language and in other semiotic systems,
• The meaning and function of each item depends on the context
o e.g. slurping sounds in North American culture.
• Context: what's outside the actual text but is relevant to it, it has
bearing on its meaning.
e.g. when someone takes off the organ cover, in that context it
• All things come in a context
• The structure of sentences
• Linguists often use "grammar" to mean "syntax"
• "Bad Grammar"
• To constantly smile Example of
If a normal native speaker says it in normal circumstances, then
it is grammatical
o Linguists describe how people speak; they do not prescribe
how to talk "correctly"
• The structure of words
• Morpheme: smallest unit of language that carries meaning
• e.g. (As most linguistic analysis), morphology Is concerned with
spoken, not written language
o Sipp ed (ed means in the past)
o Care ful ly (ly means in the manner of) o Shoe s (s means plural)
o Anti dis establish ment ari an ism
A word can have an infinite number of morphemes, an infinite
amount of sentences can be created by word,
• These are not syllables! (morphemes taken down to allomorphs is a
Stud ent (stud is a variety of the morpheme study, ent is the
embodiment of actions)
o Cf. presid ent
• Assist ant
o Cf. account ant
• Im migr ant
• Frisbee - a single morpheme word
Meaning matters in the context! Bee means nothing in the
• Stu dent
• Ass is tant
• Immig rant