Topics: Language, Linguistics, Phoneme Pages: 8 (2053 words) Published: March 25, 2013
Defining Language
Language is a method for communicating information, including ideas, thoughts, and emotions.

Unusual Language
Bees have a little dance that tells other bees where a source of nectar can be found •Music is a universal language that often strikes the same emotion in all humans •Players in card games will use their bids as communication •Body language

Information can be communicated only if both the sender and receiver understand what is going on •Vervet Monkeys-different alarm calls for the different types of predators: this elicits a different response in the group of monkeys as they respond to the threat of the predator •--Young vervet monkeys react approprietley to the different calls but their production lags behind their understanding of the meaning of the calls (similarly in humans comprehension precedes production) Sometimes the young monkeys make a snake alarm call when they see a stick ogeneralization

semanticity- refers to the extent to which a form of communication can meaningfully represent ideas, events, and objects symbolically oThe honeybee has a low level of semanticit because it uses symbols to transmit meaningful messages, but it has a limited selection of symbols and only conveys distance and direction information oVervet monkeys show a moderate level of semanticity because their alarm calls are actually basic semantic signals or symbolic signals because each alarm call seems to mean something to them oA flower arrangement given to someone who understands the meaning of flowers is a high level of semanticity because you can use roses for achievement, lilies for elegance, etc. •Having a large vocabulary makes it possible for more complicated and powerful ideas, However we don’t need a word for everything. Instead language combines a limited number of words and a few rules to convey many ideas-this is called generativity •We have this ability to communicate more complex and complelling ideas by using rules of grammar and semantics that completely change the meaning of our words if not followed…vervet monkeys don’t have any rules and so have much more limited communication •TO be considered language, any form of communication has to have displacement, or the ability to convey messages that are not tied to the immediate time and place oHoney bee communication has this because they discuss a diff. place-> where the flowers are located oVervet monkeys don’t have this because they can only say “danger is here NOW” oMusic supports the lyrics while the lyrics are conveying the more complicated message oASL meets the definition of displacement

oChimpanzee sign language also meets the definition of displacement oBidding in card games do not meet the definition of displacement and are closer to codes than to language LANGUAGE Definition- socially agreed-upon, rule-governed system of arbitrary symbols that can be combined in different ways to communicate ideas and feelings about both the present time and place and other times and places, real or imagined

Linguists study the “rules” of language, whereas psycholinguists study verbal behavior and cognition. Psycholnguistics: A branch of cognitive psychology devoted to the study of the acquisition, comprehension, and production of language.

Basic Sounds
Phonology-the rules that govern the sounds or phonemes of a language Phonemes- perceptually distinct units of sound that serve to distinguish one word from another Phonemic discrimination-in some languages R and L have just one shared phoneme Phonological rules govern how phonemes can be combined in a given language. In English the sound combination VI doesn’t occur in the beginning of words, but it does in Ductch. In English it occurs in the middle or end Units of Meaning

Phonemes are combined to form morphemes-the smallest meaningful units in a language •Knowledge about how morphemes can be used and combined is...
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