Quiz 1 Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Monica Irimia

Linguistics: Quiz 1 Study Notes Linguistics: Interdisciplinary (science) whose field of study is human or more generally natural language is called linguistics. 1) Structure and mechanisms - the way string of sounds/words is structured and not random. 2) Principles of use - we convey more than we physically say, deeper meanings, metaphors, similes (implications) 3) The way language is acquired - adults pick up language slower than children 4) How language changes over time - Shakespeare to now, changes are not random 5) How language is instantiated in the brain - what areas of the brain are responsible for language 6) Its interaction with other cognitive systems - influenced by psychological models like attention, memory etc 7) Its biological bases - how and when did language arise in humans and not animals The task of linguistic research is to understand what these principles (rules) are and how they are instantiated in language or individual languages. Linguistic = related to language. Linguistic Knowledge Knowing a language = ability to speak and be understood Produce sounds that can be understood by others Understand what linguistics constructions are possible/not possible Linguistic knowledge is unconscious knowledge - know construction but don’t know why it’s like that Arbitrary: Things are not named based on their properties. The relationship between sound/word (form) and its meaning is arbitrary. In spite of arbitrariness; there is creativity Creativity Discreet Infinity - infinite amount of sentences from a finite amount of words. Creativity is regulated by systematic constraints or rules. Ex: Nouns used as verbs. Making words, creates a new word. There are limits: Jail the robber NOT prison the robber. 1 Ex: A constraint is that nouns used as verbs can only be used when they are describing extended periods of time. Some words in a sentence can be repeated as many times as needed. Ex: Old, old. Sentences can be expanded by adding other sentences. Ex: He said that she said... Competence is a speaker’s unconscious knowledge of what can/can’t be said in their language. Performance is how the speaker actually uses his/her linguistic competence to produced and understand speech. You can test this by putting a string of letters together and seeing if it sounds right. Ex: Mbood Prescriptive/Descriptive Grammar Prescriptive grammarians tell you how to use a language (English). Ex: Rules, should and shouldn’ts. Descriptive grammarians analyze how people use language (linguistics). Mental Grammar Certain sounds can only occur in certain positions and we know which ones Mental lexicon: The correspondence between a sequence of sounds and a meaning is stored in a speaker’s mental lexicon. This is arbitrary. Syntactic Rules Rules for combining words to form sentences. Rules are finite and unconscious - we can know them. They allow for creativity of language. Characteristics of Grammar Generality: All languages have a grammar but the structure of the grammar is different. Parity: All grammars are equal. One language is not worse than the other. Mutability: Grammar changes over time. Inaccessibility: Grammatical knowledge is unconscious. Universality: All grammars are alike in basic ways. Ex: No language puts question words at the end of a sentence. 2 Universal grammar: The laws/rules that pertain to all human languages. Language faculty: Part of human biological and genetic makeup specifically designed for language acquisition and use. Areas of Linguistic Study main areas of linguistics Phonetics: Description of sound properties. Structure of the sounds of speech. Phonology: Classification of sound systems. Morphology: Principles of word structure. Syntax: Analysis of sentence formation. Chapter 2 Articulatory phonetics: What organs produce speech sounds and how. Acoustic phonetics: Measuring sound waves produced in speech. IPA: Universal system for transcribing the sounds of speech. Purpose is to represent each sound with a symbol. Symbols of alphabets do not always correspond to the same sound. Ex: GH - F, U, O IPA does not represent the spelling system of any language. Segments: Individual speech sounds (phones). When we speak we combine segments (phones). Slips of the tongue prove we have individual segments (phones). Ex: Melcome wat. Humans have a sound producing system. Formed of: Air supply - Lungs Sound source - Larynx Set of filters - Pharynx, oral cavity, nasal cavity Lungs Intercostals - muscles raise the ribcage to allow air to flow into lungs Diaphragm - sheets of muscles separating chest cavity from abdomen and maintains release of air Larynx - contains vocal folds/chords, boxlike organ of cartilage and muscle 3 Trachea - windpipe Airflow: Lungs -> Trachea -> Vocal folds of larynx -> tongue -> lips Larynx: a) Thyroid cartilage b) Cricoid cartilage c) Vocal folds d) Arytenoids e) Glottis Glottal states Voiceless - Vocal folds pulled apart, air passes right through Voiced - Vocal folds brought close together, sound produced as they vibrate Whisper - Similar to voiceless but anterior close together while posterior fall apart Murmur/breathy voice - Voiced sounds produced, but while vocal folds are relaxed allowing air to escape. Sound classes: Grouping of sounds based on shared phonetic characteristics. Ex: All voiced sounds form a class as do voiceless sounds. Vowels: Usually voiced, sonorous, basis of syllables, little obstruction of vocal tract. Consonants: Voiced or voiceless, less sonorous, some are basis of syllables, closure or narrowing of vocal tract. Glides: Share properties of both vowels and consonants. Can never form nucleus. Tongue: Primary articulatory organ. 5 areas: Tip - narrow area at the front Blade - behind the tip Body - main mass of tongue *Body + Back = dorsum Back - the hindmost part/back of the mouth Root - lies in the pharynx Places of articulation Tongue and lips produce sound modification at specific places or points of articulation. Tongue and lip sounds Labial: Sound produced by lips Bilabial: Sound produced by both lips 4 Labiodental: Sound produced by lips and teeth Interdental: Sound produced by tongue between teeth Alveolar: Sound produced when tongue moves to alveolar ridge Alveopalatal: Sound produced when tongue moves to alveopalatal area Palatal: Tongue in centre of the mouth Velar: Using the part of the tongue which is further in the back (velum) Within oral cavity Uvular: Sounds produced at the back of the throat *not in English In the pharynx Pharyngeals: Sounds produced in pharynx *not in English At the glottis Glottals sounds produced with vocal fold as primary articulator Manner of Articulation Oral = Velum raised, cutting off airflow through nasal passages Nasal = Velum is lowered and allows air to pass through nasal passages Stops Produced by stopping airflow Continuants Airflow out of mouth is continuous not stopped All language sounds can be classified as stops or continuants Fricatives Noisy, friction causing sounds voiced or voiceless Affricates Stops w/friction Stridents and sibilants Noisier fricatives are called stridents (sibilants) [s] [z] [g] [dƷ] [Ʒ] [ʃ] Liquids Are continuants, air passing more freely Lateral liquid L - air passes through sides of tongue Retroflex liquid R - tongue is curled back towards alveolar 5 Flap R - tongue tip strikes alveolar ridge no real friction Types of L are: Velarized (Dark L) Alveolar L Voiceless liquids come after voiceless consonant and are indicated with a circle Glides are voiced continuants (except ʍ but that is not English) Palatal glide (j) Labiovelar glide (w) 6 Lecture 3, 4, and chapter 2 – Phonetics (parts II, III) Vowels: -sonoric -syllabic -sounds made with the vocal tract more open than consonant and glide productions (no blocking/little blocking of airflow). Vowel Qualities: Rounded vowels: produced by protruding the lips Nasal vowels: produced by lowering velum (passing airflow to the nasal cavity) Vowels may be tense or lax, depending on the vocal tract constriction during their articulation. Simple vowels: no noticeable change in quality during articulation Complex vowels: (ex. diphthongs) change in quality within a single syllable Diphthongs: changes in vowel quality due to tongue movement away from initial vowel articulation towards a glide position -made up of a vowel + glide Ex. [baj] starts from one position, and ends up in a different one Note: always count as 1 sound, even if written as 2 Major diphthongs: radical change from vowel to glide Ex. [sawnd] Minor diphthongs: change is not as radical Ex. [gow] Major Parameters in vowel Production: -height (high/mid/low) (tongue) -place of articulation in oral cavity (front/back) -tense/lax -rounded/unrounded (lips) how high the tongue is in the mouth, and whether it’s in the front or back of the mouth Tense vowels are longer in duration, and higher in tongue position and pitch than lax vowels. [ʌ] -> only appears as stressed vowel [ə] -> (schwa/reduced vowel) only occurs as unstressed vowel In English 7 Besides inherent features, phones have specific suprasegmental or prosodic prope
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