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Chapter 1

LIN102H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Linguistic Competence, Tnf Receptor Associated Factor, Soft Palate

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Arsalan Kahnemuyipour

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Language: A Preview
-Language is the heart of all things human; it's used when talking, listening, reading, writing and
-Language defines us, as all normal human beings have at least one language
-Linguistics is the study of how language works -- how it is used, acquired, or how it changes
over time
-Early humans were anatomically like us and through archaeological evidence, it has been
suggested that they also had the type of intellect that could accompany language
-Although our speech organs (lungs, larynx, tongue, teeth, lips, nasal passages, soft palate) are
primarily concerned with breathing and eating, they have also become highly specialized for use
in language
Organ Survival Function Speech Function
Lungs Exchanges carbon dioxide and oxygen Supplies air for speech
Vocal Cords Creates seal over passage to lungs Produces vibrations for speech sounds
Tongue Moves food to teeth and back into
Articulates vowels and consonants
Teeth Breaks up food Provides place of articulation for
Lips Seals oral cavity Articulates vowels and consonants
Nose Assists in breathing/smelling Provides nasal resonance during speech
-Language is much more than just speech sounds and doesn't have to be oral
-In sign language for example, meaning is conveyed via gestures, body posture and facial
expressions rather than through sounds
-Sign languages are independent systems of communication with their own vocabulary and
grammatical rules
What is language and what does it mean to know it?
-It is necessary to understand the resources that a language makes available to its native speaks to
answer these questions
-Language has to be creative, giving us the freedom to produce and understand new words and
sentences as the need arises
-There are rules to language, although we can be innovative in our use of it
-This freedom to language has limits however and a new verb is rarely coined if a word with the
intended meaning already exists
--> For example, we might say "jail the robber" to say "put the robber in jail" but we can't say
"prison the mean"
The reason being is because the verb "imprison" already has the meaning that the new form
would have
-Not all time expressions can be used in sentences;
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