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Lecture 1

LING 240 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Transformational Grammar, Human Nature, Sarcasm


Department
Linguistics
Course Code
LING 240
Professor
Margaret Antonisse
Lecture
1

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LING240-Lecture 1: Overview and Mental Grammar
Dr. Peggy Antonisse- Senior lecturer
Anton Marcov-TA
What is Linguistics?
Linguistics is the study of human language as a cognitive science
Human nature
What is the nature of the human mind?
Nature vs. Nurture
Pre-wired vs. acquired
Is there some sort of balance?
Why do we have language?
1. It’s universal
2. Distinguishing feature that separates humans from other animals
Noam Chomsky-Syntactic Structures(1957)-introduced the idea of transformational generative
grammar
How are humans designed to process language?
Think of languages as the product of human brains
Questions
1. What is it that we know when we know a language?
2. How do children get language (nature vs nurture)
Nature of mental grammar
Arguments for innate knowledge
Creativity (or expressive variety) of language use implies a set of unconscious
grammatical principles or rules.
Children may have genetic disposition for language.
Mental Grammar
Why do we propose we have a mental grammar?
We don’t really speak with pauses
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