Lecture Notes on Language

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University of Toronto Scarborough
John Bassili

Chapter 10 Language The Building Blocks of Language What are the elements that make up spoken language? Language can be broken down into elements at several levels Ex. the players talked to the fans The building blocks of the language are made of letters and this is partly true because when we speaking the letters as building blocks we are speaking about the written language Not everyone can read and write but everyone can speak, we are focusing on speaking language, the verbal language Sentence: The players talked to the fans this hierarchy consists of phrases (the player), words (the, player), morphemes (players) and phonemes (pleyarz) Phonemes: the building block of spoken language, the smallest unit of sound in language and they are not words, rather they are codes of how you pronounce the word Morphemes: when phonemes combined to a bigger unit; they are the smallest unit of meaning in language; ex. Player has 3 morphemes and each has a meaning; Words: when morphemes comes together produce words Phrases: when words are arranged in an order such as the player produce phrases Sentence: when the phrases puts in an order with combining of other phrases produce the sentence, ex. the player talked to the fans Phonemes Are the smallest significant units of sound in language Linguistics called phonemes bilabial plosives www.notesolution.com Bilabial means that there are both lips involved in producing the phonemes; plosives refers to the fact of explosion when producing the sound, ex. P and b (s dont involve plosives) P and b is different in one small characteristic, in the case of p, the voicing start o.4, o.5 seconds earlier then b Alveolar fricatives: alveolar means when pronouncing s or z as we put our tongue up to the lips and fricatives means the friction sound, such as s and z when a friction is producing that sound. The difference between s and z is that we when can feel the vocal cord of z when we pronouncing z, it is voiced and s is not voiced It takes energy, it starts with producing air pressure that send air out of my mouth which comes from ours lungs This column of air contains sound waves, it is not the sound waves itself, and the sound waves can travel farther and faster than the column of air can. As you speak, you will use vocal cords and vocal cords produce voicing Interesting Facts about Phonemes There are 40 phonemes in English, yet only 26 letters to capture these sounds. Some letters can stand for different phonemes. For example, o in HOT and COLD The normal rate of speech is about 180 words per minute which is equivalent to 14 phonemes per second. There are phonemes that exist in other language than in English language, there are sounds that the English language dont pronounce, roughly 40 in languages Morphemes Morphemes are the smallest units of sound that denote meaning in a language As an example, the word talked has two morphemes, talk and the suffix ed players are been made up of 3 morphemes, 1-play; er-tell you that it is a person and s-means that there are several of the players It captures little bits fundamental elements of meaning Lexicon or Vocabulary www.notesolution.com
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