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Lecture 4

LING 1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Language Disorder, Aphasia

Course Code
Sportiche Dominique

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300916 (Discussion 1)
Evidence that language is an instinct
Linguistic Creativity
o Recursion allows the existence of infinite sentences
o Competence vs performance
Poverty of the stimulus
o Stimulus is whatever the child hears spoken growing up
o This basically is saying that whatever they grow up hearing isn’t enough to give
them knowledge on all the rules of grammar
Observational evidence:
o Pidgins and creoles
o Language ability and general intelligence are distinct:
Aphasia (Broca’s)
From brain damage, they can think and do other stuff properly
but cannot speak properly
Specific language impairment
From genetic problems, same as aphasia
William’s syndrome
Can speak very fluently but are severely disabled
Denyse’s syndrome (not an actual syndrome Denyse is a person in the
Can speak very fluently but are severely disabled
Prescriptive and descriptive grammar (not mutually exclusive)
o Which one are linguists interested in? Why?
Descriptive! Cos it says interesting things about our innate language
Prescriptive rules are also kind of arbitrary
o “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy”
an army and a navy means institutional power backing one version of a
language over another. So basically its saying that is the same as any
other dialect
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