⇒‘minimal pair’ – the initial sound in words as the tool for
opposition – the initial sound as what keeps makes the distinction between words
⇒Nasal consonants as existing in all languages and also among the
earliest sounds acquired by children.
⇒Consonants produced near the back of the throat are relatively rare
and among the last sounds to be acquired by children.
⇒Bloomfieldian ‘manual of techniques’ – the approach came to be
known as descriptive since the goal was to describe languages as a means toward
understanding the cultures that used them. – the method to gain insight into language
⇒Noam Chomsky: argued that an understanding of language as a
universal faculty of the human brain could never be developed from a piecemeal
description of the sounds, word forms, etc. – argued that a true theory of language
would have to explain, for instance, why all languages seem to reveal a similar
pattern for constructing complex sentences from more simple ones.
oTransformational: the rules that turn paraphrases into sentences with
identical surface structures
oComsky claimed that as linguists studied the nature of rules in different
languages, they would eventually come to the conclusion that they could
be conflated into one universal set of rule-making principles.
oChomsky claimed the task of the linguist was to describe the ideal
knowledge of a language, which he called ‘linguistic competence’
⇒Cognitive linguistics – an approach that emerged to challenge the validity of the
oThis approach is anthropological, focusing on the relation between
language, cognition, and culture.
⇒Today, linguistics is divided into theoretical or applied subfields
oTheoretical: concerned with building language models or theories to
describe languages and to explain the similarities of language structures.
oApplied: applying the findings of linguistic research to language teaching,
dictionary preparation, speech therapy, computerized machine translation,
and automatic speech recognition.
⇒Sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics: branches that are concerned with
the relations between language and the subject matter of cognate academic