Lecture 2
Lec. Maha Alwasidi
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The Communicative Cycle
Perception
Production
Transmission
Lec. Maha Alwasidi
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Linguistics
The scientific study of languages; i.e. the inquiry of
the systems and patterns of phonology, morphology,
syntax, and semantics inherent in a human
language.
Language
Linguistic competence
(abstract - knowledge)
Linguistic performance
(clear - production)
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Linguistic competence
• Producing and interpreting an unlimited number of utterances
• Recognizing unacceptable utterances
i.e. there is a mental system (grammar) that allows speakers to form and
interpret utterances.
Components of grammar
Phonological
system
the rules that govern the use of sounds of a language.
Morphological
system
the rules used to construct words from their component parts.
Syntactical
system
the rules used to form and interpret units of language larger than
words.
etc
…
Linguistic performance
The application of linguistic competence to actually producing an utterance.
Lec. Maha Alwasidi
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Phonetics and Phonology
Phonetics is the study of speech sounds: their physical
properties, the way they are produced, and the way they are
received and decoded by the brain. It aims to provide a set of
features to describe and distinguish all the sounds of the
human language.
Phonology is the study of the systems and patterns of sounds
that occur in a language (i.e. it is concerned with the study of
how languages structure sounds to convey linguistic
information.)
Phonology is, then, a branch of linguistics which has very close links
with phonetics.
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Competence vs. Performance
Phonology has two sides
Phonological competence:
our knowledge of the
phonological system of our
language.
Phonological performance
The actual production of
sounds and sound
sequences.
Example:
1- Bill is an English teacher.
2- tlirhs bhigl Dogkh.
The first sentence could be interpreted because it matches your phonological
knowledge. In contrast, when you produce the second sentence, you could not
interpret it because it does not match your phonological knowledge.
So, the speech production can be meaningful if it matches the phonological
knowledge; it can be meaningless if it does not.
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Ὥ Why do we need to study phonetics and phonology?
- The process of communication is, in part, dependent on the nature of the
sound.
- Non-native speakers of a given language can understand the features of the
sounds of that language; hence produce them correctly.
- Linguists may study the phonology of a given languages to communicate with
its people.
- It helps in describing the languages' changes and the variation in dialects.
- It helps to understand the processes involved in the phonological acquisition
by children.
- Understanding the physics of speech sounds enables to create synthetic
speech (e.g. computers).
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For more information on the topics covered in this lecture, go to
www.bedfordstmartins.com/linguistics/language
and click on Sources.
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End of lecture 1
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Read chapter 6
from “The Study of Language”
George Yule
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