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Chapter 1

LINA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Vocal Folds, Word Formation


Department
Linguistics
Course Code
LINA01H3
Professor
Chandan Narayan
Chapter
1

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Chapter 1- Language: A Preview
Language is at the heart of all things human, which defines who we are (uniquely human)
Linguistics- the study of how language works
1.1- SPECIALIZATION FOR LANGUAGE
Early humans were structurally like us and had the type of intellect that would accompany
language
Speech organs have all become highly specialized for use in language:
o Lungs- supply air for speech
o Vocal cords- produce vibrations for speech sounds
o Tongue- to articulate vowels and consonants
o Teeth- to provide place of articulation for consonants
o Lips- to articulate vowels and consonants
o Nose- to provide nasal resonance during speech
What makes language special can be neither heard nor seen because it involves the way in
which the human mind goes about forming words, building sentences, and interpreting meaning
1.2- A CREATIVE SYSTEM
Native speakers- one who has acquired a language as a child in a natural setting
Creativity- the characteristics of human language that allows novelty and innovation in response to new
thoughts, experiences, and situations
The process that creates verbs from nouns
Verbs that are created from time expressions
Certain patterns of sounds have the ‘look’ of English words
Words are familiar, but they are simply not arranged in the right way to make a sentence of
English
1.3- GRAMMAR AND LINGUISTICS COMPETENCE
Linguistics competence- speakers’ knowledge of their language, which allows them to produce and
understand an unlimited number of utterances, including many that are novel
Grammar- the mental system of rules and categories that allows humans to form and interpret the
words and sentences of their language
Phonetics- the articulation and perception of speech sounds
Phonology- the patterning of speech sounds
Morphology- word formation
Syntax- sentence formation
Semantics- the interpretation of words and sentences
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