A Course on
Linguistics for
Students of English
Zhou Changming
Dept. of Foreign Languages, SHUPL
The Goals for this Course




To get a scientific view on language;
To understand some basic theories on linguistics;
To understand the applications of the linguistic
theories, especially in the fields of language
teaching & learning (SLA or TEFL), cross-cultural
communication……;
To prepare for the future research work.
The Requirements for this course




Class attendance
Classroom discussion
Fulfillment of the assignment
Examination
Reference Books




戴炜栋,何兆熊,(2002),《新编简明英语语言学教程》,上
海外语教育出版社。
胡壮麟,(2001),《语言学教程》,北京大学出版社。
刘润清,(1995),《西方语言学流派》,外语教学与研究出版
社。
Fromkin,V. & R. Rodman, (1998), An Introduction to Language the
sixth edition, Orlando, Florida: Holt, Ranehart & Winston, Inc.
Chapter 1. Introduction
1. What is linguistics?
----Linguistics is the scientific study of language.
----A person who studies linguistics is known as
a linguist.
Four principles of linguistic studies

Exhaustiveness/adequacy

Consistency

Economy

Objectivity
The scope or major branches of linguistics

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

1.
2.
3.
Theoretical linguistics
Phonetics
Phonology
Morphology
Syntax
Semantics
Use of linguistics
Applied linguistics
Sociolinguistics
Psycholinguistics
……
Theoretical linguistics





Phonetics----speech sound (description, classification,
transcription): articulatory phonetics, acoustic phonetics,
auditory phonetics.
Phonology----sound patterns of languages
Morphology----the form of words
Syntax----the rules governing the combination of words into
sentence.
Semantics----the meaning of language (when the meaning
of language is conducted in the context of language use---Pragmatics)
Use of linguistics

Applied linguistics----linguistics and language
teaching

Sociolinguistics---- social factors (e.g. class,
education) affect language use

Psycholinguistics----linguistic behavior and
psychological process

Stylistics----linguistic and literature
Some other applications

Anthropological linguistics

Neurolinguistics

Computational linguistics (e.g. machine
translation)
Some important distinctions in linguistics
Descriptive vs prescriptive


Descriptive ---- describe/analyze linguistic facts
observed or language people actually use (modern
linguistic)
Prescriptive ----lay down rules for “correct”
linguistic behavior in using language (traditional
grammar)
Synchronic vs diachronic


Synchronic study---description of a
language at some point
of time (modern
linguistics)
Diachronic study---description of a
language through time
(historical development
of language over a
period of time)
Speech vs writing

Speech ---- primary medium of language

Writing ---- later developed
Langue vs parole (F. de Saussure)

Langue ---- the abstract linguistic system shared by all
members of the speech community.

Parole ---- the realization of langue in actual use.

Saussure takes a sociological view of language and his
notion of langue is a matter of social conventions.
Competence and performance (Chomsky)

Competence ---- the ideal user’s knowledge of the
rules of his language

Performance ---- the actual realization of this
knowledge in linguistic communication

Chomsky looks at language from a psychological
point of view and to him competence is a property of
the mind of each individual.
Traditional grammar vs modern linguistics

Traditional grammar ---- prescriptive, written,
Latin-based framework

Modern linguistics ----- descriptive, spoken,
not necessarily Latin-based framework
2. What is language?
Language can mean







what a person says (e.g. bad language, expressions)
the way of speaking or writing (e.g. Shakespeare’s language,
Luxun’s language)
a particular variety or level of speech or writing (e.g.
language for special purpose, colloquial language)
the abstract system underlying the totality of the
speech/writing behavior of a community (e.g. Chinese
language, first language)
the common features of all human languages (e.g. He
studies language)
a tool for human communication. (social function)
a set of rules. (rule-governed)
Sapir’s definition (1921)

“Language is a purely human and non-instinctive
method of communicating ideas, emotions and
desires by means of voluntarily produced symbols.”
Hall’s definition (1968)

Language is “the institution whereby humans
communicate and interact with each other by
means of habitually used oral-auditory
arbitrary symbols.”
Chomsky’s definition (1957)

“From now on I will consider language to be a set
of (finite or infinite) sentences, each finite in
length and constructed out of a finite set of
elements.”
Language can be generally defined as
a system of arbitrary vocal symbols used for
human communication.
Language is a system

Systematic---- rule-governed, elements in it are
arranged according to certain rules; can’t be
combined at will. e.g. *bkli, *I apple eat.
Language is arbitrary

Arbitrary---- no intrinsic connection between the
word and the thing it denotes, e.g. “pen” by any
other name is the thing we use to write with.
Language is symbolic in nature

Symbolic---- words are associated with objects,
actions ideas by convention. “A rose by any other
name would smell as sweet”----Shakespeare
Language is primarily vocal

Vocal---- the primary medium is sound for all
languages; writing system came much later
than spoken form.
Language is human-specific

Human-specific---- different from the
communication systems other forms of life
possess, e.g. bird songs, bee dance, animal
cries.
The design/defining features of human
language (Charles Hockett)
•
•
•
•
•
Arbitrariness
Productivity/Creativity
Duality
Displacement
Cultural transmission
Arbitrariness
----No logical (motivated or intrinsic) connection between
sounds and meanings.

Onomatopoeic words (which imitate natural sounds) are
somewhat motivated ( English: rumble, crackle, bang, ….
Chinese: putong, shasha, dingdang… )

Some compound words are not entirely arbitrary, e.g.
type-writer, shoe-maker, air-conditioner, photocopy…
Productivity/creativity
----Peculiar to human languages,users of language can understand and
produce sentences they have never heard before, e.g. we can
understand sentence like “ A red-eyed elephant is dancing on the
hotel bed”, though it does not describe a common happening in the
world.

A gibbon call system is not productive for gibbon draw all their
calls from a fixed repertoire which is rapidly exhausted, making any
novelty impossible.

The bee dance does have a limited productivity, as it is used to
communicate about food sources in any direction. But food sources
are the only kind of messages that can be sent through the bee dance;
bees do not “talk” about themselves, the hives, or wind, let alone
about people, animals, hopes or desires
Duality (double articulation)



Lower level----sounds (meaningless)
Higher level----meaning (larger units of meaning)
A communication system with duality is considered more
flexible than one without it, for a far greater number of
messages can be sent. A small number of sounds can be
grouped and regrouped into a large number of units of
meaning (words), and the units of meaning can be arranged
and rearranged into an infinite number of sentences. (we
make dictionary of a language, but we cannot make a
dictionary of sentences of that language.
Displacement
----Language can be used to refer to things, which are not present: real
or imagined matters in the past, present or future, or in far-away
places.
 A gibbon never utters a call about something he ate last year
 There is something special about the bee dance though. Bees
communicate with other bees about the food sources they have found
when they are no longer in the presence of the food. In this sense, the
bee dance has a component of displacement. But this component is
very insignificant. For the bees must communicate about the food
immediately on returning to the hive. They do not dance about the
food they discovered last month nor do they speculate about future
discoveries.
Cultural transmission
----Language is culturally transmitted (through teaching and learning;
rather than by instinct).

Animal call systems are genetically transmitted. All cats, gibbons and
bees have systems which are almost identical to those of all other cats,
gibbons and bees.

A Chinese speaker and an English speaker are not mutually
intelligible. This shows that language is culturally transmitted. That is,
it is pass on from one generation to the next by teaching and learning,
rather than by instinct.

The story of a wolf child, a pig child shows that a human being
brought up in isolation simply does not acquire human language.
Functions of language







Phatic: establishing an atmosphere or maintaining social
contact.
Directive: get the hearer to do something.
Informative: give information about facts.
Interrogative: get information from others.
Expressive: express feelings and attitudes of the speaker.
Evocative: create certain feelings in the hearer (amuse,
startle, soothe, worry or please)
Performative: language is used to do things, to perform
actions.
The origin of language

The divine-origin theory---- Language is a gift of God
to mankind.

The invention theory---- imitative, cries of nature, the
grunts of men working together.

The evolutionary theory---- the result of physical and
psychological development.
许国璋先生认为把语言定义成交际工具不够科学,至少不够严谨.
他对语言的定义做了如下概括:语言是一种符号系统.



当它作用于人与人之间的关系的时候,它是表达
相互反应的中介;
当它作用于人与客观世界的关系的时候,它是认
知事物的工具;
当它作用于文化的时候,它是文化的载体.
Chapter 2 Phonology

Language is primarily vocal. The primary
medium of human language is sound. Linguists
are not interested in all sounds, but in speech
sounds----sounds that convey meaning in human
communication.
Phonetics
----A branch of linguistics which studies the
characteristics of speech sounds and provides
methods for their description, classification and
transcription, e.g. [p] bilabial, stop.
Three branches of phonetics



Articulatory phonetics----from the speakers’ point of view,
“how speakers produce speech sounds”
Auditory phonetics----from the hearers’ point of view, “how
sounds are perceived”
Acoustic phonetics----from the physical way or means by
which sounds are transmitted from one to another.
Articulatory phonetics
It has the longest history. It studies the
sounds from the speaker’s point of view,
i.e. how a speaker uses his speech organ
to articulate the sounds.
■
Acoustic phonetics
It tries to describe the physical
properties of the stream of sounds which
a speaker issues.
■
Spectrograph (频谱仪):to record
sound waves
■
Speech organs: three important areas
•Pharyngeal cavity (咽腔)---- the throat;
•The oral cavity(口腔) ---- the mouth;
•Nasal cavity (鼻腔)---- the nose.
The diagram of speech organs
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
Lips
Teeth
Teeth ridge (alveolar)
Hard palate
Soft palate (velum)
Uvula
Tip of tongue
Blade of tongue
Back of tongue
Vocal cords
Pharyngeal cavity
Nasal cavity
Orthographic representation of speech sounds
---- A standardized and internationally accepted system of phonetic
transcription is the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The basic
principle of the IPA is using one letter to represent one speech sound.

Broad transcription ---- used in dictionary and textbook for general
purpose, without diacritics, e.g. clear [ l ] [ pit ]

Narrow transcription ---- used by phonetician for careful study, with
diacritics, e.g. dark [ l ], aspirated [ p ]
Some major articulatory variables
---- dimensions on which speech sounds may vary:

Voicing---- voiced & voiceless

Nasality ---- nasal & non-nasal

Aspiration ----- aspirated & unaspirated
Classification of English speech sounds
---- English speech sounds are generally classified into two
large categories:
 Vowels
 Consonants
Note: The essential difference between these two classes
is that in the production of the former the airstream meets
with no obstruction of any kind in the throat, the nose or
the mouth, while in that of the latter it is somehow
obstructed.
“Vowels are modifications of the voice-sound
that involve no closure, friction, or contact of
the tongue or lips ( Bloomfield )
A vowel is defined as a voiced sound in
forming which the air issues in a continuous
stream through the pharynx and mouth, there
being no audible friction.” (Jones)
Classification of consonants
---- English consonants may be classified
according to two dimensions:

The manner of articulation

The place of articulation
The manner of articulation

stops/plosives(闭塞音): [p], [b], [t], [d], [k], [g];

Fricatives(摩擦音): [f] [v], [s], [z], [
], [З], [], [ð], [h];

Affricates(塞擦音): [t 
], [d З];

Liquids(流音): [l](lateral), [r];

Nasals(鼻音): [m], [n], [];

glides/semivowels(滑音): [w], [ j].
The place of articulation







Bilabial(双唇音): [p], [b], [m], [w];
Labiodental(唇齿音): [f], [v];
Dental(齿音): [], [ð],
Alveolar(齿龈音): [t], [d], [s], [z], [n], [l], [r];
Palatal(腭音): [
], [З], [t 
], [d З], [j];
Velar(软腭音): [k], [g], [];
Glottal(喉音): [h].
The place of articulation
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Bilabial;
Labiodental;
Dental or
interdental;
Alveolar;
Palatoalveolar;
Palatal;
Velar;
Uvular;
Glottal.
The description of English consonants
Place
manner
Voicing
Bilabial
Stops or
plosives
VL
[p]
VD
[b]
Fricatives
Labiodental
Dental
Alveolar
Palatal
[t]
[d]
[g]
[f
[]
[s]
[∫]
VD
[v]
[ð]
[z]
[
]
Affricates
VL
([t∫] )
[t∫]
VD
(dЗ)
[dЗ]
Nasals
VD
Liquids
VD
Glides
VD
[n]
[h]
[
[l], [r]
[w]
Glottal
[k]
VL
[m]
Velar
[j ]
]
Classification of vowels
---- English vowels can be divided into two
large categories:

Monophthongs or pure/single vowels

Diphthongs or gliding vowels
Monophthongs or pure/single vowels
----According to which part of the tongue is held highest
in the process of production, the vowels can be
distinguished as:

front vowels: [i: ], [i], [e] [æ] [a]

central vowels: [

back vowels: [
], [
], [
], [
], [
];
], [
], [
].
According to the openness of the mouth

Close: [ ], [ ], [ ], [ ].

Semi-close: [ ], [ ];

Semi-open: [ ], [ ];

Open: [ ], [ ], [ ], [ ], [ ];
The diagram of single vowel classification by
applying the two criteria so far mentioned:
According to the shape of the lips or
the degree of lip rounding

rounded: [ ], [ ], [ ], [ ];

unrounded: [ ], [ ], [ ], [ ], [ ], [ ],
[ ], [ ], [ ], [ ].
According to the length of the vowels

long: [ ], [

short: [ ], [
[ ], [ ].
], [
], [ ], [ ]
], [ ], [ ], [
], [ ], [ ],
Diphthongs/gliding vowels

[ ], [ ], [ ], [ ], [
], [
], [ ], [ ].
Exercises: underline the words that begin with a sound
as required.







A bilabial consonant: mad sad bad cad pad had lad
A velar consonant: nod god cod pod rod
Labiodental consonant: rat fat sat mat chat vat pat
An alveolar consonant: nick lick sick tick kick quick
A palato-alveolar consonant: sip ship tip chip lip zip
A dental consonant: lie buy thigh thy tie rye
A glide: one war yolk rush
Underline the words that end with a sound as required:




A fricative
pay horse tough rice breath push sing wreathe hang
cave message
A nasal
train bang leaf limb
A stop
drill pipe fit crab fog ride laugh rack through
tip
An affricate: rack such ridge booze
Underline the words that contain the sound as
required:




A central vowel:
mad lot but boot word
A front vowel:
reed pad load fate bit bed cook
A rounded vowel:
who he bus her hit true boss bar walk
A back vowel:
paid reap fool top good father
Describe the underlined consonants
according to three dimensions:
vd/vl
Letter
Brother
Sunny
Hopper
Itching
Lodger
Calling
Singing
Robber
either
place
manner
Phonology

Phonology studies the patterning of speech
sounds, that is, the ways in which speech
sounds form systems and patterns in
human languages.
Phonetics & phonology

Both are concerned with the same aspect of language----the speech
sounds. But they differ in their approach and focus.

Phonetics is of general nature; it is interested in all the speech sounds
used in all human languages; it aims to answer questions like: how
they are produced, how they differ from each other, what phonetic
features they have, how they can be classified, etc.

Phonology aims to discover how speech sounds in a language form
patterns and how these sounds are used to convey meaning in
linguistic communication.
Phone, phoneme, allophone
Phone

A phone---- a phonetic unit or segment. The speech
sounds we hear and produce during linguistic
communication are all phones. Phones do not
necessarily distinguish meaning, some do, some
don’t, e.g. [ ] & [ ], [ ] & [ ].
Phoneme

A phoneme---- is a phonological unit; it is a unit
of distinctive value; an abstract unit, not a
particular sound, but it is represented by a certain
phone in certain phonetic context, e.g. the
phoneme /p/ can be represented differently in [p
t], [t p] and [sp t].
Allophone

Allophones ---- the phones that can represent a phoneme
in different phonetic environments.
Phonemic contrast, complementary
distribution and minimal pair.
Phonemic contrast

Phonemic contrast----different or distinctive
phonemes are in phonemic contrast, e.g.
/b/ and /p/ in [ bIt ] and [pIt].
Complementary distribution

Complementary distribution----allophones of the same
phoneme are in complementary distribution. They do not
distinguish meaning. They occur in different phonetic
contexts, e.g.
dark [l] & clear [l], aspirated [p] & unaspirated [p].
Minimal pair

Minimal pair----when two different forms are identical
(the same) in every way except for one sound segment
which occurs in the same place in the strings, the two
sound combinations are said to form a minimal pair, e.g.
beat, bit, bet, bat, boot, but, bait, bite, boat.
Some rules of phonology

Sequential rules

Assimilation rule

Deletion rule
Sequential rules

Sequential rules ---- the rules that govern the
combination of sounds in a particular language, e.g. in
English, “k b i I” might possibly form blik, klib, bilk,
kilb.

If a word begins with a [l] or a [r], then the next sound
must be a vowel.
Sequential rules

If three consonants should cluster together at the beginning
of a word, the combination should obey the following three
rules, e.g. spring, strict, square, splendid, scream.
a) the first phoneme must be /s/,
b) the second phoneme must be /p/ or /t/ or /k/,
c) the third phoneme must be /l/ or /r/ or /w/.
* [ N ] never occurs in initial position in English and
standard Chinese,but it does occur in some dialects, e.g. in
Cantonese: “牛肉,我, 俄语……”
Assimilation rule




Assimilation rule----assimilates one sound to
another by “copying” a feature of a sequential
phoneme, thus making the two phones similar, e.g.
the prefix in is pronounced differently when in
different phonetic contexts:
indiscreet
alveolar [In]
inconceivable
velar [IN ]
input
bilabial [Im]
Assimilation in Mandarin





好啊
海啊
看啊
唱啊
跳啊
……
hao wa
hai ya
kan na
chang Na
tiao wa
Deletion rule

Deletion rule---- it tells us when a sound is to be
deleted although it is orthographically represented,
e.g. design, paradigm, there is no [g] sound; but the
[g] sound is pronounced in their corresponding
forms signature, designation, paradigmatic.
Suprasegmental features

Suprasegmental features----the phonemic features
that occur above the level of the segments ( larger
than phoneme):

stress

tone

intonation
Syllable (what is syllable?)



Ancient Greek: a unit of speech sound consisting of a vowel
or a vowel with one or more than one consonant.
Dictionary: word or part of a word which contains a vowel
sound or consonant acting as a vowel.
a combination or set of one or more units of sound in a
language that must consist of a sonorous(响亮的)element (a
sonant (浊音的; 成(音)节的) or vowel) and may or may not
contain less sonorous elements (consonants or semivowels)
flanking it on either or both sides: for example ``paper'' has
two syllables See open See closed ”.
Stress

Word stress

Sentence stress
Word stress

The location of stress in English distinguishes meaning,
e.g. a shift in stress in English may change the part of
speech of a word:
verb: im5port; in5crease; re5bel; re5cord …
noun: 5import; 5increase; 5rebel; 5record …
Word stress

Similar alteration of stress also occurs between a compound
noun and a phrase consisting of the same elements:
compound: 5blackbird; 5greenhouse; 5hotdog…
noun phrase: black 5bird; green 5house; hot 5dog…
Word stress

The meaning-distinctive role played by word stress is also
manifested in the combinations of -ing forms and nouns:
modifier: 5dining-room; 5readingroom; 5sleepingbag…
doer: sleeping 5baby; swimming 5fish; flying 5plane…
Sentence stress


Sentence stress----the relative force given to the
components of a sentence. Generally, nouns, main verbs,
adjectives, adverbs, numerals and demonstrative pronouns
are stressed. Other categories like articles, person pronouns,
auxiliary verbs prepositions and conjunctions are usually
not stressed.
Note: for pragmatic reason, this rule is not always right, e.g.
we may stress any part in the following sentences.
He is driving my car.
My mother bought me a new skirt yesterday.
Tone


Tones are pitch variations,which are caused by
the differing rates of vibration of the vocal
cords.
English is not a tone language, but Chinese is.
ma 妈 (level)
ma 麻 (the second rise)
ma 马 (the third rise)
ma 骂 (the fourth fall)
Intonation





When pitch, stress and length variations are tied to the
sentence rather than to the word, they are collectively
known as intonation.
English has three types of intonation that are most
frequently used:
falling tone (matter of fact statement)
rising tone (doubts or question)
the fall-rise tone (implied message)
For instance, “That’s not the book he wants.”
Grammatical functions of intonations
----Intonation plays an important role in the conveyance of
meaning in almost every language, esp. in English.
a) It may indicate different sentence types by pitch direction.
Grammatical functions of intonations
b) It may impose different structures on the sentence by dividing it into
different intonation units, e.g. “John didn’t come because of Marry”
Within one intonation unit, it means: John came, but it had nothing to
do with Marry.
With two intonation units, it means: Marry was the reason why John
didn’t come.
Exercises: Think of the utterance in different intonations:
“Those who bought quickly made a profit.”
Grammatical functions of intonations
c) It can make a certain part of a sentence
especially prominent by placing nucleus on it,
e.g.
Jack came yesterday by train.
Grammatical functions of intonations
d) Its attitudinal functions.

Falling tone ---- matter-of-fact statement,
downright assertion, commands.

Rising tone ----politeness, encouragement,
pleading.
Note: these can only be very general indications. The
specific attitudinal meaning of an intonation pattern must be
interpreted within a context.
Chapter 3 Morphology

Morphology refers to the study of the internal
structure of words and the rules by which words
are formed.
Open class word and closed class word

Open class words----content words of a language
to which we can regularly add new words, such as
nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs, e.g. beatnik(a
member of the Beat Generation), hacker, email,
internet, “做秀,时装秀…” in Chinese.

Closed class words----grammatical or functional
words, such as conjunction, articles, preposition
and pronouns.
Morpheme--the minimal unit of meaning
---Words are composed of morphemes. Words may consist of
one morpheme or more morphemes, e.g.
 1-morpheme
boy, desire
 2-morpheme
boy+ish, desir(e)+ble
 3-morpheme
boy+ish+ness, desir(e)+bl(e)+ity
 4-morpheme
gentle+man+li+ness,
un+desir(e)+abl(e)+ity
 5-morpheme
un+gentle+man+li+ness
 6-morpheme anti+dis+establish+ment+ari+an+ism
Affix


Prefix ---- morphemes that occur only before
others, e.g.
un-, dis, anti-, ir-, etc.
Suffix ---- morphemes that occur only after
others, e.g.
-ful, -er, -ish, -ness, -able, -tive, tion, etc.
Free morpheme & bound morpheme

Free morpheme(自由词素)is one that may constitute
a word (free form) by itself, such as bed, tree, sing,
dance, etc.

Bound morpheme(黏着词素)----is one that may
appear with at least one other morpheme. They can
not stand by themselves, such as “-s” in “dogs”, “al”
in “national”, “dis-” in “disclose”, “ed” in “recorded”,
etc.
Allomorph(词素变体 )









Some morphemes have a single form in all contexts, such as “dog,
bark, cat”,etc. In other instances, there may be some variation, that is,
a morpheme may have alternate shapes or phonetic forms. They are
said to be the allomorphs of the morpheme, the plural morpheme may
be represented by:
map----maps [s]
dog----dogs [z]
watch----watches [iz]
mouse----mice [ai]
ox----oxen [n]
tooth----teeth
sheep----sheep
Each of the underlined part is called an allomorph of plural morpheme.
Derivational morpheme & inflectional morpheme


Derivational morphemes(派生词素)---- the morphemes which
change the category, or grammatical class of words, e.g. modern--modernize, length---lengthen, fool---foolish, etc.
Inflectional morphemes(屈折词素)---- the morphemes which are
for the most part purely grammatical markers, signifying such
concepts as tense, number, case and so on; they never change their
syntactic category, never add any lexical meaning, e.g.
a) number: tables apples cars
b) person, finiteness and aspect: talk/talks/talking/talked
c) case: John/John’s
Some other terms

Root

Stem

Base
Root

A root is that part of the word left when all the
affixes (inflectional & derivational) are removed, e.g.
“desire” in “desirable”, “care” in “carefully”, “nation”
in
“internationalism”,
“believe”
in
“unbeliev(e)able”…
Stem

A stem is part of a word-form which remains
when all inflectional affixes have been removed,
e.g. “undesiralbe” in undesirables
Base

A base is any form to which affixes of any kind can
be added. This means any stem and root can be
termed as a base.
The difference between root, stem & base





A base can be added by both inflectional & derivational
affixes while a stem can be added only by inflectional
affixes;
A base is derivationally analyzable (e.g. undesire in
undesirable) while a root cannot be further analyzed, e.g.
desire in undesirable;
Root, stem and base can be the same form, e.g. desire in
desired;
Undesirable in undesirables is either a stem or a base;
Desirable in undesirable is only a base.
Morphological rules


The rules that govern the formation of words,
e.g. the “un- + ----” rule.
unfair unthinkable unacceptable…
Compounding is another way to form new
words, e.g.
landlady rainbow undertake…
Compounds




Noun compounds
daybreak (N+V) playboy (V+N) haircut (N+V)
callgirl (V+N) windmill (N+N)
Verb compounds
brainwash (N+V) lipread (N+V) babysit(N+V)
Adjective compounds
maneating (N+Ving) heartfelt (N+Ved)
dutyfree (N+adj.)
Preposition compounds
into (P+P)
throughout (P+P)
Some points about compounds




When the two words are in the same grammatical category,
the compound will be in this category, e.g. postbox,
landlady, icy-cold, blue-black…
When the two words fall into different categories, the class
of the second or final word will be the grammatical category
of the compound, e.g. head-strong, pickpocket…
Compounds have different stress patterns from the noncompounded word sequence, e.g. red coat, green house…
The meaning of a compound is not always the sum of the
meanings of its parts.
Chapter 4 Syntax
What is syntax?

----a branch of linguistics that studies how
words are combined to form sentences and the
rules that govern the formation of sentences.
Transformational Generative Grammar
(TG)








Norm. Chomsky, the most influential linguist in 20th
century, some important works:
(1957) Syntactic Structure;
(1965) Aspects of the Theory of Syntax;
(1981) Lectures on Government and Binding;
(1986) Barriers
(1993) A Minimalist Program for Linguistic Theory;
(1995) The Minimalist (极简主义) Program;
(1998) The Minimalist Inquiry……
Criteria on good grammar





Observational adequacy (观察的充分性)
Descriptive adequacy (描述的充分性)
Explanatory adequacy(解释的充分性 )
The ultimate goal for any theory is to explain.
TG differs from traditional grammar in that it
not only aims at language description, but also
its explanation.
Chomsky is much more interested in the
similarities (language universals) between
languages rather than their differences.




Linguists should attempt to find a grammatical framework
which will be suitable for all languages;
Linguists should concentrate on the elements and
constructions that are available to all languages rather than
on elements that actually occur in all languages.
There are likely to be universal constraints on the ways
linguistic elements are combined
Chomsky proposed that the grammars of all human
languages share a common framework (Universal
Grammar).
Categories

Category refers to a group of linguistic items which
fulfill the same or similar functions in a particular
language such as a sentence, a noun phrase or a verb.
The most central categories to the syntactic study
are the word-level categories (traditionally, parts of
speech)
Word-level categories


Major lexical categories: N, V, Adj, Prep.
Minor Lexical categories: determiner (Det限
定词), degree words (Deg 程度词), qualifier
(Qual 修饰词), Auxiliary (Aux 助动词 ) ,
conjunction (Conj.连词)
The criteria on which categories are
determined




Meaning(意义)
Inflection (屈折变化)
Distribution (分布)
Note: The most reliable criterion of
determining a word’s category is its
distribution.
Phrase categories and their structures





Phrase categories----the syntactic units that are built
around a certain word category are called phrase categories,
such as NP(N), VP(V), AP(A), PP(P).
The structure: specifier + head + complement
Head(中心词)---- the word around which a phrase is
formed
Specifier(标志语)---- the words on the left side of the
heads
Complement(补语)---- the words on the right side of the
heads
Phrase structure rules





The grammatical mechanism that regulates the arrangement
of elements that make up a phrase is called a phrase
structure rule, such as:
NP  (Det) + N +(PP)……e.g. those people, the fish on the
plate, pretty girls.
VP  (Qual) + V + (NP)……e.g. always play games, finish
assignments.
AP  (Deg) + A + (PP)……very handsome, very
pessimistic, familiar with, very close to
PP  (Deg) + P + (NP)……on the shelf, in the boat, quite
near the station.
The XP rule
XP
Specifier
X
Complement
Head
Note: The phrase structure rules can be summed up
as XP rule shown in the diagram, in which X stands
for N, V, A or P.
X’ Theory


XP  (Specifier)X’
X’  X(complement)
XP(Phrase level)
X’
specifier
X(head)
complement
Coordination rule
Coordination structures-----the structures that are formed by
joining two or more elements of the same type with the help
of a conjunction such as and, or, etc.
----Coordination has four important properties:
 no limit on the number of coordinated categories before the
conjunction;
 a category at any level can be coordinated;
 the categories must be of the same type;
 the category type of the coordinate phrase is identical to the
category type of the elements being conjoined.

Phrase elements



Specifiers (标志语)
Head(中心词)
Complement(补语)
Specifiers

---- Semantically, specifiers make more precise the
meaning of the head; syntactically, they typically
mark a phrase boundary. Specifiers can be
determiners as in NP, qualifiers as in VP and
degree words as in AP.
Complements

---- Complements themselves can be a phrase, they provide
information abut entities (实体) and locations(位置)
whose existence is implied by the meaning of the head, e.g.
a story about a sentimental girl; There can be no
complement, one complement, or more than one
complement in a phrase, e.g. appear, break, put…; a
sentence-like construction may also function as a
complement such as in “I believed that she was innocent. I
doubt if she will come. They are keen for you to show up.”
That/if /for are complementizers(补语化成份), the clauses
introduced by complementizers are complement clause.
Modifiers (修饰语)

---- Modifiers specify optionally expressible
properties of heads.
Sentences (the S rule)

S  NP VP
S
VP
NP
Det
A
NP
N
boy
V
found
Det
the
N
evidence
Sentences (the S rule)

S  NP infl VP
InflP(=S)
NP

Infl
VP
Many linguists believe that sentences, like other
phrases, also have their own heads. Infl is an
abstract category inflection (dubbed ‘Infl’) as
their heads, which indicates the sentence’s tense
and agreement.
Infl realized by a tense label
InflP ( =S )
VP
NP
Det
A
NP
N Infl
boy Pst
V
found
Det
the
N
evidence
Infl realized by an auxiliary
InflP ( =S )
VP
NP
NP
Det
A
N Infl
boy will
V
find
Det
the
N
evidence
Transformations





Auxiliary movement (inversion)
Do insertion
Deep structure & surface structure
Wh-movement
Move α and constraints on transformations
Auxiliary movement (inversion)


Inversion Move Infl to the left of the subject NP.
Inversion (revised) Move Infl to C.
CP
S
NP
C
Det
the
N Infl
train will
V
arrive
Auxiliary movement (inversion)
CP
S
C
Infl Det
Will the
NP
N Infl
train e
V
arrive
Do insertion

Do insertion---- Insert interrogative do into an empty Infl
position.
CP
S
C
NP
Infl
Birds
VP
fly
Figure-1
CP
CP
S
C
NP
Infl
Birds do
Figure-2
VP
fly
S
C
Infl NP
Infl
Do birds e
Figure-3
VP
fly
Deep structure & surface structure

Consider the following pair of sentences:
John is easy to please.(约翰很容易满足)
John is eager to please.(约翰急于讨好他人)

Structurally similar sentences might be very
different in their meanings, for they have quite
different deep structures.
Deep structure & surface structure

Consider one more sentence:
planes can be dangerous.
Flying

It can mean either that if you fly planes you are
engaged in a dangerous activity or Planes that are
flying are dangerous.
Deep structure & surface structure

Deep structure----formed by the XP rule in accordance with
the head’s sub-categorization properties; it contains all the
units and relationships that are necessary for interpreting the
meaning of the sentence.

Surface structure----corresponding to the final syntactic
form of the sentence which results from appropriate
transformations; it is that of the sentence as it is
pronounced or written.
The organization of the syntactic component
The XP rule
Deep structure
transformations
Surface structure
Subcategorization restricts
choice of complements
Wh-movement

Consider the derivation of the following sentences:
What languages can you speak?
What can you talk about?

These sentences may originate as:
You can speak what languages.
You can talk about what.
Wh-movement

Wh-movement---- Move a wh phrase to the
beginning of the sentence.
What language can you
speak
?

What can you

talk about
?
Wh-movement

Wh-movement---- Move a wh phrase to the specifier
position under CP. (Revised)
CP
S
NP
Who
C
VP
NP
e
Infl
Pst
V
won
NP
the game
Move α(包含性术语) and constraints on
transformations


Inversion can move an auxiliary from the Infl to the
nearest C position, but not to a more distant C
position.
No element may be removed from a coordinate
structure.
Chapter 5 Semantics

Semantics----the study of language meaning.

Meaning is central to the study of communication.

What is meaning?---- Scholars under different
scientific backgrounds have different understandings
of language meaning.
Some views concerning the study of meaning




Naming theory (Plato) (命名论)
The conceptualist view (概念论)
Contextualism (Bloomfield) (语境论)
Behaviorism (行为主义论)
Naming theory (Plato)


Words are names or labels for things.
Limitations:
1) Applicable to nouns only.
2) There are nouns which denote things that do not
exist in the real world, e.g. ghost, dragon, unicorn
(麒麟), pheonix…
3) There are nouns that do not refer to physical
objects but abstract notions, e.g. joy, impulse,
hatred…
The conceptualist view

The conceptualist view holds that there is no
direct link between a linguistic form and what
it refers to (i.e. between language and the real
world); rather, in the interpretation of meaning
they are linked through the mediation of
concepts (思维的概念)in the mind.
Ogden and Richards: semantic triangle
Thought/reference/concept
Symbol/form
word/phrase/sentence
Referent/object in the
world of experience

Charles Kay Ogden (1889-1957)奥格登
美国作家、教育家和语言心理学家。毕业于剑桥大学并留
校,创立《剑桥杂志》。
20世纪20年代,出版《意义之意义(The Meaning of
Meaning),提出著名的语义三角(semantic triangle)。
该书是20世纪最重要的著作之一。
1930年他创立基本英语,作为一门国际辅助语;而哈佛大
学的理查兹(I. A. Richards)则是基本英语的重要宣传
者。
1925年,出版(心理学的意义)(The Meaning of
Psychology),提出了他的语言心理学思想。
1927年,成立语言正字研究所,总部设在英国剑桥。

Ivor Amstrong Richards (1893-1979)理查兹
英国心理学家、教育家、评论家和诗人。毕业于剑桥大学
并留校任教。
1923年,与奥格登合著《 意义之意义》,《文学批评原
理》。
1944年,任哈佛大学教授,是基本英语的倡导者。
Ogden and Richards: semantic triangle




The symbol or form refers to the linguistic
elements (words and phrases);
The referent refers to the object in the world of
experience;
Thought or reference refers to concept.
The symbol or a word signifies things by virtue of
the concept associated with the form of the word
in the minds of the speaker; and the concept
looked at from this point of view is the meaning of
the word.
The Contextualism (语境论)




Meaning should be studied in terms of situation, use,
context—elements closely linked with language behavior.
Two types of contexts are recognized:
Situational context: spatiotemporal situation
Linguistic context: the probability of a word’s co-occurrence
or collocation.
For example, “black” in black hair & black coffee, or black
sheep differs in meaning; “The president of the United States”
can mean either the president or presidency in different
situation.

J. R. Firth 弗斯(1890-1960)
英国语言学家,伦敦学派的奠基人。毕业里兹大学,
曾任教于伦敦大学语言系,后在伦敦大学设立普通语言学
讲座。曾与马林诺夫斯基(B。 Malinowski)共事多年。
弗斯对语言学贡献有两点:1、发展了马林诺夫斯基
的意义语境理论(或情境的上下文理论)。2、提出语言
学中的韵律分析(亦称超音段分析)。
主要专著:《言语 Speech》,《人的语言The Tongue
of Men》和《语言学论文集 Papers in Linguistics》。

Bronislow Malinowski (1889-1942)马林诺夫斯
基
波兰著名人类学家。毕业于牛津大学人类学系,一直
从事文化人类学研究。
他对语言学的贡献:1、“提供了一种普遍的理论,特
别是他使用了语境和语言功能的概念”。2、“在行动中
的语言”和“语义就是使用”。
主要著作:《原始语言的意义问题The Problem of
Meaning in Primitive Languages》和《珊瑚岛Corral Garden
and Their Magic和其魔力》
Wittgenstein Ludwig 维特根斯坦(1889-1951)
奥地利人,旅居英国。20世纪英语世界中哲学界的重要人
物,主要贡献:《哲学研究》和《逻辑哲学论》。第一本
书揭示概念怎样同行为和反应相联系,怎样同人们的生活
方式,而不是根据模糊的精神领域来展示概念的作用和意
义。第二本书的中心问题是“语言是怎样发生的”。
Behaviorism


Behaviorists attempted to define meaning as “the
situation in which the speaker utters it and the
response it calls forth in the hearer”.
The story of Jack and Jill:
Jill
Jack
S_________r--------s_________R
Lexical meaning



Sense (意义)and reference(指称) are both concerned
with the study of word meaning. They are two related but
different aspects of meaning.
Sense---- is concerned with the inherent meaning of the
linguistic form. It is the collection of all the features of the
linguistic form; it is abstract and de-contextualized. It is the
aspect of meaning dictionary compilers are interested in.
Reference----what a linguistic form refers to in the real,
physical world; it deals with the relationship between the
linguistic element and the non-linguistic world of
experience.
Note:

Linguistic forms having the same sense may have
different references in different situations; on the
other hand, there are also occasions, when
linguistic forms with the same reference might
differ in sense, e.g. the morning star (晨星) and
the evening star(昏星), rising sun in the
morning and the sunset at dusk.
Major sense relations





Synonymy (同义现象)
Antonymy (反义词)
Polysemy (多义现象)
Homonymy (同音异义)
Hyponymy (下义关系)
Synonymy
Synonymy refers to the sameness or close
similarity of meaning. Words that are close in
meaning are called synonyms.
1) Dialectal synonyms(方言同义)---- synonyms used
in different regional dialects, e.g. autumn - fall,
biscuit - cracker, petrol – gasoline…
2) Stylistic synonyms(文体同义)----synonyms
differing in style, e.g. kid, child, offspring; start,
begin, commence;…

Synonymy
3) Synonyms that differ in their emotive or evaluative
meaning,(情感或评价意义不同的同义)
e.g.collaborator- accomplice,…
4) Collocational synonyms(搭配同义), e.g. accuse…of,
charge…with, rebuke…for; …
5) Semantically different synonyms(语义不同的同义词),
e.g. amaze, astound,…
Antonymy



Gradable antonyms(等级反义词)----there are often
intermediate forms between the two members of a pair, e.g.
old-young, hot-cold, tall-short, …
Complementary antonyms (互不反义词) ----the denial of
one member of the pair implies the assertion of the other,
e.g. alive-dead, male-female, …
Relational opposites (关系反义词) ----exhibits the reversal
of the relationship between the two items, e.g. husband-wife,
father-son, doctor-patient, buy-sell, let-rent, employeremployee, give-receive, above-below, …
Gradable antonyms(等级反义)

Gradable antonyms ---there are often
intermediate forms
between the two
members of a pair, e.g.
old-young, hot-cold, tallshort, …
Complementary antonyms

Complementary antonyms ---the denial of one member of the
pair implies the assertion of the
other, e.g. alive-dead, malefemale, …
Polysemy






Polysemy----the same one word may have more than
one meaning, e.g. “table” may mean:
A piece of furniture
All the people seated at a table
The food that is put on a table
A thin flat piece of stone, metal wood, etc.
Orderly arrangement of facts, figures, etc.
……
Homonymy




Homonymy (同音异义词) ---- the phenomenon that words
having different meanings have the same form, e.g. different
words are identical in sound or spelling, or in both.
Homophone (同音异义词) ---- when two words are
identical in sound, e.g. rain-reign, night/knight, …
Homogragh (同形异义词) ---- when two words are
identical in spelling, e.g. tear(n.)-tear(v.), lead(n.)lead(v.), …
Complete homonym (完全同音异义词) ---- when two
words are identical in both sound and spelling, e.g. ball,
bank, watch, scale, fast, …
Note:

A polysemic word is the result of the
evolution of the primary meaning of the
word (the etymology (词源学) of the word);
while complete homonyms are often brought
into being by coincidence.
Hyponymy




Hyponymy (下义关系) ----the sense relation
between a more general, more inclusive word and a
more specific word.
Superordinate (上坐标词) : the word which is more
general in meaning.
Hyponyms (下义词) : the word which is more
specific in meaning.
Co-hyponyms (并列下义词) : hyponyms of the
same superordinate.
Hyponymy




Superordinate: flower
Hyponyms: rose, tulip, lily, chrysanthemum, peony,
narcissus, …
Superordinate: furniture
Hyponyms: bed, table, desk, dresser, wardrobe,
sofa, …
Sense relations between sentences






(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
X is synonymous with Y (同义)
X is inconsistent with Y (不一致)
X entails Y (蕴含)
X presupposes Y (预设)
X is a contradiction (自我矛盾)
X is semantically anomalous (语义反常)
X is synonymous with Y

X: He was a bachelor all his life.
Y: He never got married all his life.

X: The boy killed the cat.
Y: The cat was killed by the boy.

If X is true, Y is true; if X is false, Y is false.
X is inconsistent with Y


X: He is single.
Y: He has a wife.

X: This is my first visit to Beijing.
Y: I have been to Beijing twice.

If X is true, Y is false; if X is false, Y is true.

X entails Y






X: John married a blond heiress.
Y: John married a blond.
X: Marry has been to Beijing.
Y: Marry has been to China.
Entailment is a relation of inclusion. If X entails Y, then the
meaning of X is included in Y.
If X is true, Y is necessarily true; if X is false, Y may be true
or false.
X presupposes Y





X: His bike needs repairing.
Y: He has a bike.
Paul has given up smoking.
Paul once smoked.
If X is true, Y must be true; If X is false, Y is still
true.
X is a contradiction

*My unmarried sister is married to a bachelor.

*The orphan’s parents are pretty well-off.
X is semantically anomalous

*The man is pregnant.

*The table has bad intentions.

*Sincerity shakes hands with the black apple.
Analysis of meaning


Componential analysis (成分分析法)
Predication analysis (述谓结构分析法)
Componential analysis





Componential analysis---- a way to analyze lexical meaning.
The approach is based on the belief that the meaning of a
word can be dissected into meaning components, called
semantic features. For example,
Man: [+HUMAN, +ADULT, +ANIMATE, +MALE]
Boy: [+HUMAN, -ADULT, +ANIMATE, +MALE]
Woman: [+HUMAN, +ADULT, +ANIMATE, -MALE]
Girl: [+HUMAN, -ADULT, +ANIMATE, -MALE]





Predication analysis
1) The meaning of a sentence is not to be worked out by
adding up all the meanings of its component words, e.g “The
dog bites the man” is semantically different from “The man
bites the dog” though their components are exactly the same.
2) There are two aspects to sentence meaning: grammatical
meaning and semantic meaning, e.g.
*Green clouds are sleeping furiously.
*Sincerity shook hands with the black apple.
Whether a sentence is semantically meaningful is governed
by rules called selectional restrictions.
Predication analysis




Predication analysis---- a way to analyze sentence meaning
(British G. Leech).
Predication----the abstraction of the meaning of a sentence.
A predication consists of argument(s) and predicate.
An argument is a logical participant in a predication,
largely identical with the nominal elements in a sentence.
A predicate is something said about an argument or it states
the logical relation linking the arguments in a sentence.
Predication analysis





According to the number of arguments contained in
a predication, we may classify the predications into
the following types:
One-place predication: smoke, grow, rise, run, …
Two-place predication: like, love, save, bite, beat,…
Three-place predication: give, sent, promise, call, …
No-place predication: It is hot.
Predication analysis




Tom smokes.  TOM (SMOKE)
The tree grows well.  TREE (GROW)
The kids like apples.  KIDS (LIKE) APPLE
I sent him a letter.  I (SEND) HIM LETTER
Chapter 6 Pragmatics (语用学)


---- the study of language in use or language
communication; the study of the use of context
to make inference about meaning.
---- the study of how speakers of a language
use sentences to effect successful
communication.
Some basic notions in Pragmatics

Context

Pragmatics vs. semantics

Sentence meaning vs. utterance meaning

Correctness vs. appropriateness
Context

Context---- a basic concept in the study of
pragmatics. It is generally considered as constituted
knowledge shared by the speaker and the hearer,
such as cultural background, situation(time, place,
manner, etc.), the relationship between the speaker
and the hearer, etc.….
Pragmatics vs. semantics



Semantics---- is the study of the literal meaning of a
sentence (without taking context into consideration).
Pragmatics---- the study of the intended meaning of a
speaker (taking context into consideration), e.g.
“Today is Sunday”, semantically, it means that today is the
first day of the week; pragmatically, you can mean a lot by
saying this, all depending on the context and the intention of
the speaker, say, making a suggestion or giving an
invitation…
Sentence meaning vs. utterance meaning
---- Sentence meaning:
 Abstract and context-independent meaning;
 literal meaning of a sentence;
 having a dyadic relation as in: What does X mean?
----utterance meaning:
 concrete and context-dependent meaning;
 intended meaning of a speaker;
 having a triadic relation as in: What did you mean by X?
For example, “The bag is heavy” can mean




a bag being heavy (sentence meaning);
an indirect, polite request, asking the hearer to help him
carry the bag;
the speaker is declining someone’s request for help.
Note: The meaning of an utterance is based on the sentence
meaning; it is the realization of the abstract meaning of a
sentence in a real situation of communication, or simply in a
context; utterance meaning is richer than sentence meaning;
it is identical with the purpose for which the speaker utters
the sentence.
Correctness vs. appropriateness



*“John play golf”---- grammatically incorrect;
?“Golf played John” ---- logically incorrect; but it
might be appropriate pragmatically in certain context.
Note: Pragmatics can make sense out of nonsense, given a
suitable context. Appropriateness is very important in
linguistic communication, especially in cross-cultural
communication. If you say something grammatically
incorrect, you are at worse condemned as “speaking badly”,
but, if you say something inappropriately, you will be
judged as “behaving badly”, such as insincere, untruthful, or
deceitful. (Thomas, 1983)
Speech act theory

Speech acts is a term derived from the work of the
philosopher J. L. Austin (1962) and now used to
refer to a theory which analyzes the role of
utterances in relation to the behavior of the speaker
and the hearer in interpersonal communication. It
aims to answer the question “What do we do when
using language?”
Two types of utterances



Constatives (叙述句) ---- statements that either state or
describe, and are thus verifiable;
Performatives (施为句) ---- sentences that do not state a fact
or describe a state, and are not verifiable.
Note: Sometimes they are easy to get confused, e.g.“It is
raining outside” can be a constative, and also a performative,
for by uttering such a sentence, we may not only state a fact,
but involve in the act of informing someone about the rain.
Some Examples of Performatives





“I do”
“I name this ship Elizabeth.”
“I give and bequeath my watch to my brother.”
“I bet you sixpence it will rain tomorrow.”
“I declare the meeting open.”
Austin’s new model of speech acts
----According to Austin’s new model, a speaker might be
performing three acts simultaneously when speaking:
locutionary act, illocutionary act and perlocutionary act.
 The locutionary act----an act of saying something, i.e. an
act of making a meaningful utterance (literal meaning of an
utterance);
 The illocutionary act----an act performed in saying
something: in saying X, I was doing Y (the intention of the
speaker while speaking).
 The perlocutionary act----an act performed as a result of
saying something: by saying X and doing Y, I did Z.
For example,“It is cold in here.”
Its locutionary act is the saying of it with its literal meaning
the weather is clod in here;
 Its illocutionary act can be a request of the hear to shut the
window;
 Its perlocutionary act can be the hearer’s shutting the
window or his refusal to comply with the request.
----Analyze one more example: “You have left the door wide
open.”
Note: Of the three acts, what speech act theory is most
concerned with is the illocutionary act. It attempts to
account for the ways by which speakers can mean more
than what they say.

Analyze the illocutionary acts of the following conversation between a
couple:
----(the telephone rings)
----H: That’ the phone. (1)
----W: I’m in the bathroom. (2)
----H: Okay. (3)
 This seemingly incoherent conversation goes on successfully because
the speakers understand each other’s illocutionary acts:
 (1) Making a request of his wife to go and answer the phone.
 (2) A refusal to comply with the request; issuing a request of her
husband to answer the phone instead.
 (3) Accepting the wife’s refusal and accepting her request, meaning
“all right, I’ll answer it.”

Searle’s classification of speech acts (1969)





Assertives/representatives(陈述)
Directives(指令)
Commissives(承诺)
Expressives(表达)
Declarations(宣布)
Assertives/representatives
---- Stating or describing, saying what the speaker
believes to be true, e.g.
 I think the film is moving.
 I’m certain I have never seen the man before.
 I solemnly swear that he had got it.
…
Directives
---- Trying to get the hearer to do something,
e.g.
 I order you to leave right now.
 Open the window, please.
 Your money or your life!
…
Commissives
---- Committing the speaker himself to some
future course of action, e.g.
 I promise to come.
 I will bring you the book tomorrow without
fail.
…
Expressives
----Expressing the speaker’s psychological state
about something, e.g.
 I’m sorry for being late.
 I apologize for the sufferings that the war has
caused to your people.
…
Declarations
----Bringing about an immediate change in the
existing state or affairs, e.g.
 I now appoint you chairman of the committee.
 You are fired.
 I now declare the meeting open.
…


Note: (1) All the acts that belong to the same
category share the same purpose but differ in their
strength or force, e.g.
I guess / am sure / swear he is the murderer.
Note: (2) In order to get someone open the door, we
can choose one from a variety of the forms in below:
Could you open the door, please!
Can you open the door!
Do you mind opening the door?
Open the door!
The door please!
Principle of conversation (Paul Grice)


Cooperative principle (CP)---- According to Grice,
in making conversation, there is a general principle
which all participants are expected to observe. It
goes as follows:
Make your conversational contribution such as
required at the stage at which it occurs by the
accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange
in which you are engaged.
Four maxims of CP
The maxim of quality
----Do not say what you believe to be false.
----Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.
 The maxim of quantity
----Make your contribution as informative as required for the current
purpose of the exchange.
----Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.
 The maxim of relation
----Be relevant ( make your contribution relevant).
 The maxim of manner
----Avoid obscurity of expression.
----Avoid ambiguity.
----Be brief.
----Be orderly.

Conversational implicature

In real communication, however, speakers do not
always observe these maxims strictly. These
maxims can be violated for various reasons. When
any of the maxims is blantantly violated, i.e. both
the speaker and the hearer are aware of the
violation, our language becomes indirect, then
conversational implicature arises.
Violation of Maxim of quality
----A: Would you like to go movie with me tonight?
----B: The final exam is approaching. I’m afraid I have to
prepare for it.
----A: would you like to come to our party tonight?
----B: I’m afraid I’m not feeling so well tonight.
----A: Who was that lady I saw you with last night?
----B: That was no lady, that was my wife.
Violation of maxim of quantity



At a party a young man introduces himself by
saying “I’m Robert Sampson from Leeds, 28,
unmarried…”
“War is war.”
“Girls are girls.”
----A:When is Susan’s farewell party?
----B:Sometime next month.
Violation of maxim of relation
----A: How did the math exam go today, Jonnie?
----B: We had a basketball match with class 2 and we
beat them.
----A: The hostess is an awful bore.
----B: The roses in the garden are beautiful, aren’t they?
----A: What time is it?
----B: The postman has just arrived.
Violation of maxim of manner
----A: Shall we get something for the
kids?
----B: Yes. But I veto I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M.
Politeness principle (Leech)
Chapter 7 Language change



Sound change
Morphological and syntactic change
Vocabulary change
Morphological and syntactic change




Change in “agreement” rule
Change in negation rule
Process of simplification
Loss of inflections
Vocabulary change



Addition of new words
Loss of words
Changes in the meaning of words
Addition of new words







coinage(创新词)
clipped words(缩略词)
blending(紧缩法)
acronyms(词首字母缩略词)
back-formation(逆构词法)
functional shift
borrowing
Coinage
----A new word can be coined outright to fit some
purpose, e.g.
 walkman
 Kodak
 Xerox
 Ford
 Benz
 Toyota
Clipped words
----The abbreviation of longer words or
phrases, e.g.
 gym—gymnasium
 memo—memorandum
 disco—discotheque
 fridge—refrigerator
Blending
----A blend is a word formed by
combining parts of other words, e.g.
 smog—smoke + fog
 motel—motor + hotel
 camcorder—camera + recorder
Acronyms
----Acronyms are words derived from the
initials of several words, e.g.
 CBS---- Columbia Broad casting system
 ISBN----International Standard Book
Number
 WTO WHO PLA AIDS UNESCO
APEC OPEC CAD SARS
Back-formation
----New words may be coined from already
existing words by “subtracting” an affix
thought to be part of the old word.
 edit  editor
 hawk  hawker
 beg  beggar
 baby-sit  baby-sitter
Functional shift
----Words may shift from one part of speech to another
without the addition of affixes, e.g.




Noun verb: to knee, to bug, to tape, to brake…
Verb noun: a hold, a flyby, a reject, a retreat…
Adj. verb: to cool, to narrow, to dim, to slow…
Adj. noun: a daily, a Christian, the rich, the impossible…
Borrowing






----When different cultures come into contact, words are
often borrowed from one language to another. The
following are some of the loan words in English (see more
in P100-101).
Latin
bonus education
exit
German beer
waltz
quartz
Chinese tea
kowtow
sampan
Russian sputnik commissar vodka
Arabic
zero
algebra
alcohol
Loss of words





Words can be lost from a language as time goes by.
The following words, taken from Romeo and Juliet,
have faded out of the English language.
Beseem  to be suitable
Wot
 to know
Gyve
 a fetter
Wherefore  why
Changes in the meaning of words



Widening of meaning
Narrowing of meaning
Meaning shift
Widening of meaning

Holiday:
[+specific] holy day
[+general] any rest day

Tail:
[+specific] tail of a horse
[+general] tail of any animal
Narrowing of meaning





hound: any dog
a special kind of dog
girl:
young person of either sex
young people of female sex
deer: any animal
a particular kind of animal
meat: food
edible part of an animal
corn: grain
a particular grain
Meaning shift




inn: a small, old hotel or pub
well-known, nice hotel
nice: ignorant (1000 years ago)
good, fine
lust: pleasure
with negative and sexual overtones
silly: happy
naïve, foolish
Some recent trends

Moving towards greater informality

The influence of American English

The influence of science and technology
The influence of science and technology



Space travel
Computer and internet language
Ecology
Causes of the language change




The rapid development of science and technology;
More and more women have taken up activities formerly
reserved for men, more neutral job titles have been created;
“ Economy of memory” results in grammar simplification;
Regularization of exceptional plural forms provides
another example for analogical change.
Chapter 8 Language and society

Sociolinguistics ---- a sub-field of linguists that
studies the relation between language and society,
between the uses of language and the social
structures in which the users of language live.
The relatedness between language and society
----There are many indications of the inter-relationship
between language and society.
 Language is often used to establish and maintain social
relationships. (e.g. greeting)
 The use of language is in part determined by the user’s
social background. (social class, age, sex, education level,
etc.)
 Language, especially the structure of its lexicon, reflects
both the physical and the social environments of a society.
(“snow” for Eskimo)
 As a social phenomenon language is closely related to the
structure of the society in which it is used, the evaluation of
a linguistic form is entirely social ( the postvocalic [r] ).
Speech community and speech variety


Speech community---- the social group that is
singled out for any special sociolinguistic study is
called the speech community.
Speech variety or language variety---- any
distinguishable form of speech used by a speaker or
a group of speakers. In sociolinguistic study three
types of speech variety are of special interest, i.e.
regional dialects, sociolects and registers.
Two approaches to sociolinguistic studies


Macro sociolinguistics, i.e. a bird’s-eye
view of the languages used in society;
Micro sociolinguistics, i.e. a worm’s-eye
view of language in use.
Varieties of language



Dialectal varieties
Register
Degree of formality
Dialectal varieties






Regional dialect is a linguistic variety used by people living in the same
geographical region(e.g. Br.E. & Am.E.).
Sociolect is a linguistic variety characteristic of a particular social class.
(e.g. Received Pronunciation)
Language and gender (e.g. intonation, lexicon)
Language and age (Lexical difference: icebox---- fridge, wireless---boombox)
Idiolect---- a personal dialect of an individual speaker that combines
elements regarding regional, social, gender, and age variations(e.g.
Hemingway, Luxun).
Ethnic dialect----a social dialect of a language that cuts across regional
differences; it is mainly spoken by a less privileged population that has
experienced some form of social isolation such as racial discrimination
or segregation (e.g. Black English).
Register



Register, in a restricted sense, refers to the variety of
language related to one’s occupation.
In a broader sense, according to Halliday, “language
varies as its function varies; it differs in different
situations.” The type of language which is selected as
appropriate to the type of situation is a register.
Halliday further distinguishes three social variables
that determine the register: field of discourse, tenor o
discourse, mode of discourse.
Three social variables



Field of discourse: what is going on: to the area of operation
of the language activity. It is concerned with the purpose
(why) and subject matter (about what) of communication. It
can be either technical or non-technical.)
Tenor of discourse: the role of relationship in the situation
in question: who are the participants in the communication
and in what relationship they stand to each other. (customershop-assistant, teacher-student, etc.)
Mode of discourse: the means of communication. It is
concerned with how communication is carried out. (oral,
written, on the line…)
Degree of formality
----Five stages of formality (Martin Joos)
 Intimate: Up you go, chaps!
 Casual: Time you all went upstairs now.
 Consultative: Would you mind going upstairs right away,
please?
 Formal: Visitors should go up the stairs at once.
 Frozen: Visitors would make their way at once to the upper
floor by way of the staircase.
----Note: Different styles of the same language can be
characterized through differences at three levels: syntactic,
lexical and phonological(P121).
Standard dialect

The standard variety is a superimposed, socially
prestigious dialect of a language. It is the language
employed by the government and the judiciary
system, used by the mass media, and taught in
educational institutions, including school settings
where the language is taught as a foreign or second
language.
Pidgin and Creole


A pidgin is a special language variety that mixes or
blends languages and it is used by people who speak
different languages for restricted purposes such as
trading.
When a pidgin has become the primary language of
a speech community, and is acquired by the children
of that speech community as their native language, it
is said to have become a Creole.
Bilingualism and Diglossia

In some speech communities, two languages are used side
by side with each having a different role to play; and
language switching occurs when the situation changes. This
constitutes the situation of Bilingualism.

According to Ferguson (1959), diglossia refers to a
sociolinguistic situation similar to bilingualism. But in stead
of two different languages, in a diglossia situation two
varieties of a language exist side by side throughout the
community, with each having a definite role to play.
Chapter 9 Language and culture
What is culture?



In a broad sense, culture means the total way of life of a
people, including the patterns of belief, customs, objects,
institutions, techniques, and language that characterizes the
life of the human community.
In a narrow sense, culture may refer to local or specific
practice, beliefs or customs, which can be mostly found in
folk culture, enterprise culture or food culture, etc.
There are generally two types of culture: material and
spiritual.
The relationship between language and culture





The same word may stir up different associations in people under
different cultural background, e.g. the word “dog”.
Language expresses cultural reality, reflects the people’s attitudes,
beliefs, world outlooks, etc.
The culture both emancipates and constrains people socially,
historically and metaphorically.
Culture also affects its people’s imagination or common dreams which
are mediated through the language and reflected in their life.
On the one hand, language as an integral part of human being,
permeates in his thinking and way of viewing the world, language
both expresses and embodies cultural reality; on the other, language,
as a product of culture, helps perpetuate the culture, and the changes
in language uses reflect the cultural changes in return.
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis


Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf, proclaimed that the
structure of the language people habitually use influences
the ways they think and behave, i.e. different languages
offer people different ways of expressing the world around,
they think and speak differently, this is also known as
linguistic relativity.
Sapir and Whorf believe that language filters people’s
perception and the way they categorize experiences. This
interdependence of language and thought is now known as
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis.
Strong version & weak version
Strong version believes that the language patterns determine
people’s thinking and behavior;
 Weak version holds that the former influence the latter.
----The study of the linguistic relativity or SWH has shed two
important insights:
 There is nowadays a recognition that language, as code,
reflects cultural preoccupations and constrains the way
people think.
 More than in Whorf’s days, however, we recognize how
important context is in complementing the meanings
encoded in the language.

Linguistic evidence of cultural differences




Denotative meaning ---- a meaning that can be
found in a dictionary.
Connotative meaning ---- a meaning or idea
suggested by a word or thing in addition to the
formal meaning or nature of the word or thing.
Iconic meaning ---- the image or icon invoked in
mind by a word.
For example, “rose”.
Some cultural differences in language use







Greetings and terms of address
Thanks and compliments
Color words
Privacy and taboos
Rounding off numbers
Words and cultural-specific connotations
Cultural-related idioms, proverbs and metaphor
The significance of cultural teaching and learning

Learning a foreign language is inseparable from
learning its culture.

We need to learn enough about the language’s
culture so that we can communicate in the target
language properly to achieve not only the linguistic
competence but also the pragmatic or
communicative competence as well.
Cultural overlap

Cultural overlap refers to the identical part of culture
between two societies owing to some similarities in the
natural environment and psychology of human beings.
For example, the superior tends to refer to himself or
herself by means of kinship terms, such as
“Have daddy/mummy/teacher told you that?”
Cultural diffusion
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Through communication, some elements of culture A enter
culture B and become part of culture B, this phenomenon is
known as cultural diffusion.
One typical example of cultural diffusion is the appearance
of loan words.
The practice of observing holidays of foreign origins and
accepting concepts from other cultures.
The attitude towards cultural diffusion (esp. cultural
imperialism owing to linguistic imperialism)
Intercultural communication


Intercultural or cross-cultural communication is
communication between people from different cultures
(their cultural perceptions and symbols systems are distinct
enough to alter the communication event.)
In cross-cultural communication, we need to pay special
attention to the significant differences regarding social
relations and concept of universe from different
perspectives such as language, food, dress, attitude towards
time, work habits, social behavior and religious belief that
can cause frustrations in communications and contacts.
Chapter 10 Language acquisition

Language acquisition----refers to the child’s
acquisition of his mother tongue, i.e. how the
child comes to understand and speak the language
of his community.
Theories of child language acquisition

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A behaviorist view of language acquisition
(Skinners)
An innatist view of language acquisition (Chomsky)
An interactionist view of language acquisition
Cognitive factors in child language development
A behaviorist view of language acquisition


Traditional behaviorists view language as behavior
and believe that language learning is simply a matter
of imitation and habit formation.
Imitation  Recognition  Reinforcement
The inadequacy of behaviorist view lies in
explaining how children acquire complex language
system. (See examples in P144)
An innatist view of language acquisition

According to the innatist view of language
acquisition, human beings are biologically
programmed for language and that the language
develops in the child just as other biological
functions such as walking.
An interactionist view of language acquisition

The interactionist view holds that language develops
as a result of the complex interplay between the
human characteristics of the child and the
environment in which the child develops. Integrated
with the innatist view, the interactionist further
claims that the modified language which is suitable
for the child’s capability is crucial in his language
acquisition. (motherese)
Cognitive factors in child language development

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1)
Language development is dependent on both the
concepts children form about the world and what they feel
stimulated to communicate at the early and later stages of
their language development. (the acquisition of perfect tense
and the concept of present relevance)
2)
The cognitive factors determine how the child makes
sense of the linguistic system himself instead of what
meanings the child perceives and expresses. (the acquisition
of negative form)
Language environment
& the critical period hypothesis

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Two important factors: the linguistic environment children are
exposed to and the age they start to learn the language.
In behaviorist approach, language environment plays a major role in
providing both language models to be imitated and necessary
feedbacks.
The innatist view emphasizes more on children’s internal processing
of the language items to be learnt. The environment functions as a
stimulus that triggers and activates the pre-equipped UG to process
the materials provided by the linguistic environment around the
children.
The interactionist view calls for the quality of the language samples
available in the linguistic environment, only when the language is
modified and adjusted to the level of children’s comprehension, do
they process and internalize the language items.
Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH)

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---- Eric Lenneberg argues that the LAD, like other
biological functions, works successfully only when it is
stimulated at the right time ---- a specific and limited time
period for language acquisition.
The strong version of CPH suggests that children must
acquire their first language by puberty or they will never be
able to learn from subsequent exposure.
The weak version holds that language learning will be
more difficult and incomplete after puberty. (Support in
Victor’s and Genie’s cases)
Stages in child language development
Phonological development
 Vocabulary development
1) Under-extension
2) Over-extension
3) Prototype theory
 Grammatical development
1) Telegraphic speech (2)
2) Sentences of three main elements (2.5)
 Pragmatic development

Atypical development

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Atypical or abnormal language development occurs due
to trauma or injury. Atypical language development
includes:
Hearing impairment
Mental retardation
autism
stuttering
Aphasia
Dyslexia and dysgraphia
Chapter 11 Second Language Acquisition


Second Language Acquisition ---- formally
established itself as a discipline around the 1970s,
refers to the systematic study of how one person
acquires a second language subsequent to his native
language.
Distinguish second language & foreign language
Connections between first language acquisition
and second language acquisition

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The first language study has served as a backcloth
for perceiving and understanding new facts about
second language learning (Littlewood, 1986).
SLA is different from first language acquisition.
Interlanguage
Contrastive analysis (CA) (1960s)

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Positive transfer----facilitate target language learning
Negative transfer----interfere or hinder target language
learning
It is believed that differences between the native language
and the target language would pose difficulties in
second/foreign language learning and teaching, e.g.
*To touch the society .
*There are more people come to study in the states.
*I wait you at the gate of the school.
Shortcomings of CA

The CA was soon found problematic, for many of the
predictions of the target language learning difficulty
formulated on the basis of contrastive analysis turned out to
be either uninformative or inaccurate. Predicted errors did
not materialize in learner language while errors did show up
that the contrastive analysis had not predicted. “differences”
and “difficulties” are not identical concepts.
Error analysis (EA)


The contrastive approach to learners’ errors has shed
new light on people’s attitudes: the errors are
significant in telling the teacher what needs to be
taught, in telling the researcher how learning
proceeds and those errors are a means whereby
learners test their hypotheses about the language to
be learnt.
Two main sorts of errors: Interlingual errors &
intralingual errors
Interlingual errors
----Interlingual errors mainly result from crosslinguistic interference at different levels such as
phonological, lexical, grammatical or discoursal etc.
For examples,
a. Substitution of [t] for [W] and [d] for [T]:
threetree, thisdis.
b. Shortening of long vowels: sheepship,
meetmit
Intralingual errors
----The intralingual errors mainly from faulty or partial
learning of the target language, independent of the
native language.

Two types of errors have been well exploited:
overgeneralization & cross-association
Overgeneralization
Overgeneralization ---- the use of previously available
strategies in new situations.
 Walked, watched, washed…
*rided, *goed, *doed, *eated…
 Jane advise me to give up smoking.
Jane told me to give up smoking.
*Jane hoped me to give up smoking.
*Jane suggested me to give up smoking.
Cross-association



Cross-association refers to the phenomenon that the close
association of the two similar words often leads to
confusion, e.g.
Other/another, much/many, stalagmite/stalactite…
It may also occurs at all levels of language from
phonological to syntactic, e.g.
The coffee is too hot to drink.
*The apricot is too sour to eat it.
Errors & mistakes

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Errors ---- unintentionally deviant from the target
language and not self-corrigible by the learner
(failure in competence);
Mistakes ---- either intentionally or unintentionally
deviant forms and self-corrigible (failure in
performance).
Interlanguage (S. Pit Corder & Larry Selinker)


Interlangauge ---- learners’ independent system of
the second language which is of neither the native
language nor the second language, but a continuum
or approximation from his native language to the
target language.
What learners produce, correct or wrong, are
evidence or the approximation from their first
language to the target language.
Characteristics of interlanguage


Interlanguage has three important characteristics:
systematicity, permeability and fossilization.
Fossilization---- a process occurring from time to
time in which incorrect linguistic features become a
permanent part of the way a person speaks or writes
a language.
The role of native language
in 2nd language learning
Language transfer: positive & negative (behaviorism)
 Mentalists argued that few errors were caused by language
transfer; transfer is not transfer, but a kind of mental process.
 Three interacting factors in determining language transfer:
A learner’s psychology
Perception of native-target language distance
Actual knowledge of the target language

2nd language learning models and input hypothesis

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
Behaviorism model emphasizes the role of imitation and
positive reinforcement, a “nurture” position;
The mentalists or the innativists shift to a “nature” position
by stressing that human beings equipped innately with
language acquisition device, are capable of language
learning provided with adequate language input.
The social interactionists argue that language and social
interaction cannot be separated.
Krashen’s Input Hypothesis




Krashen make a distinction between acquisition & learning.
He put forward that learners advance their language
learning gradually by receiving comprehensible input.
He defined comprehensible input as “i + 1” :
“i” represents learners’ current state of knowledge, the next
stage is an “i + 1”.
Krashen mistook input and intake, thus receive criticism.
Individual differences

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Language aptitude
Motivation
Learning strategies
Age of acquisition
Personality
Language aptitude

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Language aptitude refers to a natural ability for
learning a second language. It is believed to be
related to a learner’s general intelligence. John
Carroll identified some components of language
aptitude:
Phonemic coding ability
Grammatical sensitivity
Inductive language learning ability
Rote learning ability
Motivation

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Motivation can be defined as the learner’s attitudes
and affective state or learning drive. It has a strong
impact on his efforts in learning a second language.
Generally four types of motivations have been
identified:
Instrumental motivation
Integrative motivation
Resultative motivation
Intrinsic motivation
Learning strategies

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Learning strategies are learners’ conscious, goal-oriented
and problem-solving based efforts to achieve learning
efficiency. According to Chamot (1986) & Oxford (1990),
three types of strategies have been identified:
Cognitive strategies ---- analyzing,synthesis and
internalizing what has been learned.
Metacognitive strategies ---- planning, monitoring and
evaluating one’s learning.
Affect/social strategies ---- the ways learners interact with
other speakers.
Cohen (1998) further distinguishes language learning
strategies and language using strategies.
Age of acquisition

The Critical Period Hypothesis

Recent studies support the hypothesis that in terms
of learning achievement and grammaticality the
younger learners outperform the adults.
Personality

In terms of communicative ability rather than
grammatical accuracy or knowledge of
grammatical rules, the personality traits such
as extroversion, talkative, self-esteem, selfconfidence can be found in successful second
language learners ( as in the case of Liyang:
Crazy English).
SLA & its pedagogical implications
Chapter 12 Language and Brain
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