The Form of the Message
Chapter 2
Part 1
What is language?

Language is a communicate system consisting
of formal units that are integrated through
processes of combination.

Structural linguistics- description of formal
properties of language
Etics vs. Emics

Ken Pike, 1950s
 A core concept in anthropology
 Etics

outside, cross-cultural /comparative
 absolute, objective
 a step to analysis (positivistic)

Emics



inside, culture-specific
relative, subjective
a goal of emic analysis.
The Sounds of Language


Sounds
Phonology-study of sound systems



Phonetics- describes articulation of soundsds are produced
Phonemics- (min. unit)differentiate meaning
Sounds:



Voiced or voiceless
Oral or nasal
Produced by vocal apparatus
Place of articulation- position
 bilabial and apicoalveolar
 Manner of articulation- airstream stops & fricatives



See figure 2.2
Vowels
Phonetics

Acoustic
 physical

properties of sound, sound waves,
Auditory
 perception

of sounds, psychological “reality”
Articulatory
 pronunciation
of sounds, articulation
 also known as descriptive phonetics.
Producing Speech Sounds
• lungs

larynx &
vocal
cords
 voicing
• oral &
nasal
cavities
• velum
(soft palate)
mouth closed: [m, n]
mouth open = [õ]
Writing Speech Sounds
Phonetic Charts & Symbols
 Spelling vs phonetic transcription
 cat
(English)
 ciel (French)
 cizi (Czech)
 “ghoti”

Phonetic charts
 I.P.A.
Phonetic Charting

Mapping the sounds of a language
 Helps
you to analyze and pronounce sounds...
 Helps you to analyze sound systems...
 and
to see patterns
 Guides
you in understanding accents….
Consonants: Place

From front to back:
bilabial [p, b, m]
labiodental [f, v]
(inter)dental [, ]
alveolar [t, d, s, z, n, l, ]
alveopalatal (palatal-alveolar; postalveolar)
[, , ñ].
Consonants: Place (continued)
Front to back
retroflex
[,  ]
velar [k, g, x, , ]
uvular [ ] (French ‘r’)
pharyngeal [ (Arabic ‘ain’)]
glottal [, h] .
Consonants: Manner

Stops (plosives) [t, d], [!, ]
 Aspirated:
[th, dh]

Fricatives [s, z]

Affricates [t, d]

Taps & Trills
 Taps
 Trills

/ flaps [ ]
[ r]
Nasals [ n ]
 Approximants [ l, , j, w ].
Vowels: Place

part of tongue raised
 front,

i
u
e
o
center, back
height of tongue
 high,
mid, low
a
Vowels: Manner

rounded
[u, o] - back (e.g. most English back vowels)
[y, ø] - front (e.g., French, German, Danish)

unrounded
[ i, e] - front (e.g. all English front vowels)
[ ,  ] - back (e.g., Turkish, Native Am. langs)

tense/lax (close/open)
 [i]
vs [I] .
Charting Vowels
Phones and Phonemes

phone
 smallest
identifiable unit of sound in a language
 more easily identified by outsiders

phoneme
 smallest
contrastive unit of sound in a language
 heard as a single sound by insiders
 Contrasts are not predictable.
Phonology

Sounds and their arrangements
 Phonetics
& Phonemics
 Phonetics:

identify & describe sounds in detail (phones)
 Phonemics


analyze arrangements of sounds
identify groupings of sounds (phonemes)
 Examples:


English “pill” vs “spill -- [ph] + [p] = /p/
Hindi “phl” (fruit) vs “pl” (minute) -- [ph] + [p] = /ph / + /p/ .
are heard as ‘the same sound’ by native speakers
 are usually ‘complementary’ to one another

 we

say they are in ‘complementary distribution’
because the variation is usually ‘conditioned’ by
neighboring sounds,
 we
can also call this ‘conditioned variation.’
Practice with Allophones:
English /p/
[p] (aspirated) [p  t]
 [p] (unaspirated) [s p  t ]
 [p] (unreleased) [s  p]

/p/
[p] / #___
[p ] / s___
[p] / ___#
what about ‘t’ and ‘k’ in English?
Prosodic Features
Sound systems also make use of prosodic or
suprasegmental whicha ra features that alter and
contrast the sounds or rhythms of speech.
 Three prosodic features affect meaning:

Stress- degree of emphasis placed on syllables
 Pitch- or tone refers to the voice pitch accompanying a
syllable’s production.



Many languages use pitch to distinguish meaning.
Length-refers to continuation of a sound during its
production.

Short vs. long vowel contrasts.
Next:

Morphology: The Structure of Word
 Morphological Typologies
 Grammatical

Concepts
Syntax: The Structure of Sentences
 Semantics: The Analysis of Meaning
Overview

Morphology: The Structure of Word
 Morphological Typologies
 Grammatical

Concepts
Syntax: The Structure of Sentences
 Semantics: The Analysis of Meaning
Morphology
Words vs morphemes
 Morphemes as smallest units of
meaning in a language

 respect+ful;
dis+respect+ful
 room+mate; stir+fry
 fire+fight+er
 Manhattan.
Morphological Analysis
Identifying morphemes
 Describing morphemes
 How Morphemes are arranged- roots or
stems

 Order
& placement of affixes
 Prefixes
 Suffixes
 Infixes
Kinds of Bases
 Roots
 Serve
as underlying foundation
 Can’t be broken down any further


English: fish
Shinzwani: -lo- (fish)
 Stems
 Derived from roots
 By means of affixes (see ‘affix’ slide)
 English: fish+ing = fishing; talk+er = talker
 Shinzwani: lo+a = -loa (fishing)
 Can have additional affixes attached
 English: talker+s = talkers
 Shinzwani: ni+ku+loa = nikuloa (I am fishing).
Kinds of Affixes

Prefixes
im+possible
 un+likely


Suffixes

walk+ing

Infixes

fan+bloody+tastic
How Morphemes are Arranged
Hierarchy- order affixes attach
 Derivation & Inflection

 Derivation-
creating new words
 Inflection- modifying existing words

Allomorphs- variant form of a morpheme
3
allomorphs for “NOT”
 Im Il-
p
l
 In- d, t, s
Syntax
How words combine into phrases & sentences
 Note fuzzy boundary between morphology
and syntax

 Subjects
precede verbs and direct objects follow
verbs (in English)
 The
dog chased the cat
 The cat chased the dog
Syntax

Substitution frames- grammatical frames to
place related words.
 Also
called ‘slots and fillers’
 The
cat in the hat
 The cat in the basket
 The cat in the tree

Grammatical genders- categories to classify
words in a language
 Grammatical
 Czech:
gender
masculine, feminine, neuter
 Shinzwani: human, animal, body part, useful, abstract
How Syntactic Units are Arranged

Restrictions- which ones can be
used in which part of the sentences
 Which
words can go together?
 The
hat in the cat?
 The cat exploded on the rug?
 Roasting a pot of coffee?
 Which
 the
orders are permitted?
black cat vs le chat noir
 (the) good person vs mtu mzuri
 Anymore I don’t eat pizza?
Kinds of Grammars

Prescriptive
 Provides
 Many

a model of ‘proper’ speech
schoolteachers, even today
Descriptive
 Describes
terms
 Boas

a language structure on its own
and anthropologists, 1900s
Generative
 Generates
language
 Noam
all possible sentences of a
Chomsky, 1950s.
Advantages of Generative
Grammar

Trees show structure more clearly.
Semantics: The Analysis of
Meaning
What is the function of language?
 Relation to meaning- must ber encoded
through language in segmented linear
form.

 Semantic
analysis: words have referential
senses (see hand-out) as well as cultural
meanings, situational relevance (formal vs.
informal) and affective meaning (attitudes of
speakers)
 Chomsky’s famous- “Colorless green ideas
sleep furously”- semantic inconsistencies
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Communication and Speech