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Lecture 1

LING 1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Waggle Dance, Morse Code

Course Code
Sportiche Dominique

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220916 (Lecture 0)
Lecture Notes & Homework
LN posted on ccle website end of the week. Diff from lecture slides and is not
HW handed out in sections, to be turned in the following week
Email as last resort and smth v short if not use office hours
Cumulative point total
7 assignments but only top 6 taken ~ 45% of total (drop week 7 one)
Grades update on myUCLA so check for mistakes
Cheating = 0 and will not be dropped
1 paper to be submitted online ~ 10%
Closed book final exam ~ 45%
o Exactly like the hw, all mcq so should be ok
Syllabus, office hours, lecture notes, updates & instructions:
Updates in scheduling: registrar
Purpose of class: study the implicit knowledge of a native language
Implicit knowledge: things that you know but you don’t know that you know them
About language
Language is a complex, rule-governed system represented in the mind of its native
Even the most stigmatized languages and varieties of languages are complex, rule-
governed systems
Our ability to acquire and use language separates us from all other species
o It is part of our genetic endowment
o We come to speak in our native language much like the way we learn to walk
o Learning is inevitable, relatively easy and as easily spread
About truth
If history is any guide, most of what we believe to be true today is actlly false though
perhaps not too far from the actual truth
Good to remember:
What methods do we use to get the results?? Try to formulate precise hypotheses, list
predictions made, test these predictions
Question your teaspoons: It is to pay special attention and question ordinary things to provide
a new perspective
2 major ways to think about language
1. A system that allows us to communicate or express our thoughts. A system that produces or
recognises info
2. A conventional artefact
e.g. morse code, mmiming, facial expressions, bees waggle dance
Ways in which we can study language:
The actual diversity (typological linguistics or anthropological linguistics)
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