Topic 2: Language v. Communication Systems

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Department
Linguistics
Course
LING 1000
Professor
Katherine Martin
Semester
Spring

Description
LING 1000 notes – Language vs. Communication Systems – page 1 Defining language 1960s ­ Charles Hockett ­ "design features" of language Agreed on by most linguists ALL languages have all these features Mode of communication ­ dedicated way to transmit language Interchangeability ­ individuals can produce and receive Semanticity ­ all parts have meaning/function Pragmatic function ­ communication system is useful Cultural transmission ­ learned via social interaction with a group of people Displacement ­ ability to communicate about things that are not physically or  chronologically present Arbitrariness ­ form not predictable from meaning Learned by convention (also unpredictable) Counterexample: onomatopeoia Sound symbolism: sound /ee/ in English ­ smallness Discreteness ­ system made up of finite number of discrete, separate units Units can be rearranged, combined Productivity ­ infinite number of ways discrete units can be recombined Rule­governed, but with productive rules Additional design features (not in official 9) Prevarication ­ ability to (intentionally) lie/mislead Learnability Reflexiveness ­ communication system can refer to itself Specialization ­ only purpose of system is for communication Spontaneity ­ not just used as reaction to stimulus Animal Communication Bird calls: short, simple, can be difficult to locate Used for keeping together, warning Bird songs: long, complex Seasona, specific meanings Repitition, internal structure, rules for combination Mon
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