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					Linguistics (2006 fall)

  Textbook: Linguistics
An Introduction to Language
          What is Linguistics?
• What is Linguistics?
  It is the scientific study of human natural
  (Rules of languages.)
• What is a language?

  Do animals have languages?
  Animal communication -
   one for warnings of predators, one for claims to
  territory, etc.
   Do Animals have languages?
• Animals could give warnings of predators
  Does it mean animals have a languages?
  No, they are finite number of signs.
  You can make infinite number of sentences.
  Ex. 1. It was unexpectedly cold.
      2. John wrote that it was unexpected cold.
      3. Mary said that John wrote that it was
          unexpected cold.
      4. I heard that Mary said that that John wrote
         that it was unexpected cold.
      Can chimpanzee learn a
• Chimpanzees share 98% of genes with
  human beings.
  Can they learn a human language?
• Some psychologists taught English to
  A chimp responded to some speeches such
  as “Kiss me” and “Bring me the dog.”
  However, the chimp did not respond to
  “Kiss the dog.”
       Chimpanzee - language
• A language must have grammar.
  (The difference between “kiss me” and “kiss the
  Animals may have signs that are equivalent to
  words, but they do not have grammar.
• warning that a predator is coming.
  Is there a sign that no predators are coming?
• Animal communications do not have structures.
  (no grammar)
     poor input  complicated
• Ex1. Hawaii plantation labors from Japan, China,
  Korea, and Philippine – pidgin language (late 19th
  Century to early 20th century)
  Pidgin language – no grammar
  their children – developed the grammar
  (complicated language)  Creole
• Ex2. deaf child
  parents’ sign language – grammatical mistakes
  The sign language produced by the child has
                      Wug test
• Children are born with language acquisition device.
  (Children are able to understand the grammar.)
• Wug test
  The word, “wug” is not a real word.
  A researcher shows a pretended creature to a child saying
  “this is a wug.” Next, he shows another one, and says that
  there are two of them. There are two ...?” The child
  responds that “wugs.”
  The child added the plural morpheme “-z” although he has
  never heard of “wug” before. The result of this test
  indicates that children do not memorize the plural forms,
  but they follow the rules.
              Languages rules
• Linguistics is the study of language rules.
  We are going to study these rules.
  Is Linguistics useful?
  If you learn the rules of English, it would help you
  improve English.
  Example: morpheme
  able vs. unable, acquainted vs. unacquainted
  When “un-” is attached to an adjective, the
  meaning becomes the opposite of the original
  meaning. (不) You do not have to memorize each
     Application of Linguistics
• Syntax: how you combine words.
  MS words have grammar checkers.
  They use syntactic rules.
• Linguistic knowledge is used to speech
  recognition, machine translation and so on.
     All languages are complex
• Some people consider that some languages are
  better than other languages. For example, African
  American English (Black English) were
  considered to be bad. However, the research
  shows that the grammar in African American
  English is different from the standard English.
  Furthermore, African American English is as
  complex as the standard English.
  (They need to speak the standard English to get
• Taiwanese is as complex as Mandarin.
       The areas of Linguistics
• The areas of Linguistics are Morphology,
  Phonetics, Phonology, Syntax, Semantics,
  Language Variation (Sociolinguistics), Language
  Change (Historical Linguistics), etc.
• Morphology deals with the properties of words
  and word-building rules.
      The areas of Linguistics 2
• In Phonetics, people conduct research on
  production and perception of speech sounds. In
  this class, we will study transcription of speech
  sounds, and where these sounds are produced.
• In Phonology, researchers look for the rules of
  sounds. Phonetics is physical sounds while
  Phonology is abstract of sounds.
• Syntax is concerned with the structures of
  sentences and phrases. We will study Syntax next
      The areas of Linguistics 3
• Semantics is concerned with the meanings of
  languages. Synonyms, paraphrasing, etc will be
  discussed. We will study Semantics next semester.
• In Historical Linguistics, linguists have worked on
  the changes of Languages. For example, some
  words in Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese are
  derived from old Chinese. Based on these words,
  some linguists have worked to construct the old
      The areas of Linguistics 4
• An example study of Sociolinguistcs is the
  difference between British English and American
  English (lift vs. elevator).
• In Pragmatics, researchers have worked on speech
  acts and the intension of the speech. For example,
  the speech, “it is hot,” may be a request, “please
  open the window.”
• Other areas of linguistics would be explained if we
  have time.
     Morphology (morpheme)
• What is a morpheme?
  A morpheme is the smallest unit of
  linguistic meaning.
  An example of a morpheme is such as “-s”
  in “walks”. You may think that it does not
  have meaning. This “-s” indicates that the
  subject of the sentence is third person
  singular and present. So the meaning of
  morpheme can be grammatical information.
          Morphemes: useful
• Learning the meanings of morphemes helps
  building vocabulary.
  Psyche: the soul or sprit, the mind
  psycho-: “mental”
  psycho-analysis 精神分析,
  psycho-analyst 精神分析學家,
  psychology 心理學, psychologist 心理學家
  psycho-drama, psycho-history,
       Inflectional morphology
• Morphology has two areas: inflectional
  morphology and derivational morphology.
• In a dictionary, a word is listed with some forms
  such as “walked,” “walking,” and “walks.”
• Inflectional morphology deals with these forms.
• The forms consist of two parts:
  (ex. “walk” and “-ed”). “walk” is called the base,
  and “-ed” is affix (suffix)
  Suffix comes after the base and prefix comes
  before the base.
     Derivational Morphology
• Derivational morphology deals with word-
• Derivational affixes change the word
  meanings or parts of speech.
  (Parts of speech: grammatical categories
  such as noun)
      Examples of morphemes
• An example is “-er” in “baker.” “bake” means “to
  cook, esp. in an oven. “baker” means that
  someone who bake. “Opener” is a tool that is
  used to open things.
  So when you find a word that consists of a verb
  and “-er”, it means someone who does it or
  something which is a tool to do it.
  Another example is “-ition” in “competition.”
  “Compete” is a verb while “competition” is a noun.
  So the part of speech changes from verb to noun
  by attaching “-ition.”
    Free and bound morphemes
• Free morphemes can stand alone. Free
  morphemes are independent bases. For example,
  “walk” is a free morpheme.
• Bound morphemes must be attached to another
  morphemes. For example, “-s” is a bound
  There are three kinds of bound morphemes:
  affixes, bound bases and contracted forms.
           Morphemes (cont.)
• Affixes: prefixes, suffixes and infixes
  prefixes are attached to the beginning of a base.
  Examples are “in-”, “re-”, and “pre-” Suffixes are
  attached to the end of a base. Examples are “-ize,”
  Infixes are attached within another morpheme.
  English does not have infixes.
• An example of bound bases is “cran-” in
  “cranberry.” There is no independent word,
  “cran” so it is bound.
    Open class and closed class
• Closed class words are grammatical or functional
  words. The numbers of these words increase very
  slowly so it is called closed class. (the way of
  memorizing - The door to this class is closed.)
  Ex. articles (a, the), demonstrative (this, that),
  quantifiers (some, many), etc.
• Open class words are content words.
  Ex. nouns, verbs, adjectives.
    Open class and closed class
• Closed class words are omitted in telegraphic
  Telegraphic speeches are used in telegraph (電報).
  They are also used in newspaper headlines, and
  classified advertising.
  “ The Taiwan dollar hit a 10-month low…”
  In order to reduce the amount, the closed class
  words are omitted in telegraphic speech.
          Creating new words
• Coined words: speakers invent (or coin) new
  words (sound and meaning). 新的單詞
   blog, google, web
• Acronyms: each of the letters that spell the words
  is the first letter of some other complete words.
  These acronyms are pronounced as normal words;
  in other words, people do not spell these words.
• For example, the word, “radar” is pronounced
  [rejdA], but NOT pronounced like [Ar
  ej d ej Ar].
         Creating new words 2
• Alphabetic abbreviations
  Each letter is pronounced separately.
  www: World Wide Web [dj
  dj dj]
• Clippings: words are shortened.
  photograph  photo, telephone phone,
  orthographic abbreviation – in writing, shortened
  forms are used but people pronounce these words
  with the original forms.
  Doctor  Dr. Arizona  AR
• 學生號碼  學號
        Creating new words 3
• Blends: Blending existing words
  ex. breakfast + lunch  brunch
  a combination of breakfast and lunch
  In the USA, many people oversleep (they get up
  late) and do not eat breakfast. Then they eat
  Ex. motor + hotel  motel
      network + etiquette  netiquette
        Creating new words 4
• Generified words: brand names of products
  become the name for products in general.
  Ex. Xerox, Kleenex, Band-Aid, Post-it
• People say “Post-it” instead of “sticky note.”
• Borrowings: Direct (pronunciation)
  chocolate 巧克力, curry 咖哩, 颱風 typhoon
• Borrowings: Indirect (translation)
   Microsoft 微軟, hotdog 熱夠, white house白宮
  download 下載, 鍋貼 pot-sticker
    Change the Meaning of words
   同志 comrade  gay
   Broadening: the meaning of a word is expanded
    ex. “cool”
     a specific style of jazz     anything
    Narrowing
   Semantic drift: ex lady
    kneader of bread  a woman with nice behaviors
 Change the Meaning of words 2
• Reversal: positive  negative
  square: honest (positive)  boring (negative)
• Metaphorical Extension
  ex1. terms for travel in sea  travel in space (ship,
  ex2. Physical vocabulary is used for mental life
  (chew on the idea, swallow the idea)
• Compounding: two or more words form a
  compound word (複合詞)
• Head of compound words: the rightmost
  The parts of speech of compound words
      generally are the same as those of the heads.
  Stress falls on the leftmost part
  Ex. green house (adj + noun)  the head “house”
      part of speech: noun
      stress: GREEN house
     Compound words (cont.)
• The head of compound words - underlined
  newsstand, pigpen, sandpaper,
  sandbox, freeway, watch-maker
• Chinese examples whose head of compound
  words are the rightmost member
  蜜蜂, 毛筆, 大學生, 英語
 Other types of Chinese compound words:
 尺寸, 大小
    Compound words – phrases
• writing compound words – not consistent
  Some has hyphen (ex air-conditioner)
  Some has space, some are written together
  teatime, tea-time, tea time
• In general, compound words have only one stress
  (there are exceptions)
  ex. compound words vs. phrases
     blackbird            black bird
     makeup               make up
     Headless compound words
• Headless compound words
  Maple Leafs (hockey team)
     leaf – not the head of the word
  Pickpocket, cutpurse (扒手)
  The rightmost parts are not the head of these
  compound words.
  A pickpocket is not a kind of pocket.
  Ladyfingers are finger-shaped cookies.
          Agentive suffix “-er”
• When the suffix “-er,” is added to a verb (X) , the
  meaning of a new word is “one who does X, or
  “an instrument that does X”.
    write 書寫 writer 書寫人
   play 運動 演奏 player 運動員 演奏者
   open 開 opener 開啟工具
   sound change: adding [r]
  category change: verb  noun
               Suffix “-able”
• When the suffix “-able” is attached to a verb (X),
  the meaning of a new word is an adjective, whose
  meaning is to be able to be “X’d.”
  “X’d” – participle, “be X’d” – passive voice
  The pronunciation of “-able” is [].
  Meaning: 能 可以 耐
  drink drinkable 可以飲用
  wash washable 耐洗
          Suffix “-able” (cont.)
• sound change: adding []
   category change:
       transitive verb  adjective
   “-able” can be attached to transitive verbs
   but NOT to intransitive verbs (*sleepable)
  In Linguistics, “*” indicates that the word or the
   sentence is ungrammatical (incorrect).
      Diminutive suffix “-y/ie”
• Diminutive suffix “-y/ie”
  Sound change: adding [-i]
   Ex. dad [dd] daddy [dd]
  Meaning: no change
  Category change: noun noun (no change)
  Difference: speakers are babies
   Parents use these diminutive to their babies
  Hierarchical structure of words
• A word consists of several morphemes. These
  morphemes are added in a fixed order.
  system + -atic  systematic
  un- + systematic  unsystematic
  unsystematic + -al  unsystematical
  unsystematical + -ly  unsystematically

  In other words, you cannot add “-al” to “system”
  system + -al  *systemal
          Backformation (p97)
• The revised process of word formations
  In general, a suffix is attached to a base word, and
  form a new word. (xerox + -able xeroxable)
  Backformation is to create new words by deleting
  Ex. peddler (drug dealer)  peddle, editor edit,
      burglar (破門入室的盜賊)  burgle (偷盜)
  Laser - acronym (light amplification stimulated
  emission)  “-er” is not a agent suffix.
  BUT the verb, “lase,” was coined (invented).
         Backformation (cont.)
• “s” in kudos (fame and respect because of
  achievement) is NOT the plural suffix, and it was
  pronounced [s].
  BUT “s” in kudos is considered to be a plural
  suffix “-s” and pronounced [z].
• Backformation  backform, Enthusiasm
  enthuse, liaison  liaise
• The word “bikini” was taken from the Bikini atoll
  (環礁); however, “bi” was considered to be prefix
  “2”, and then “monokini” and “trikini” are coined.
      Inflectional affixes (p101)
• Inflectional affixes in English are limited.
• Noun inflectional suffix
  plural marker girls
  possessive marker Mary’s
• Verb inflectional suffix
  Third person present singular marker bakes
  past tense marker baked
  progressive marker baking
  past participle marker eaten (broken, given)
• Adjective inflectional suffix
  comparative marker faster
  superlative marker fastest
    inflectional vs. derivational
• inflectional affixes in English NEVER changes the
  ex. cheap (adj)  cheaper (adj)
  derivational suffixes can change the category
  ex. love (verb)  lovable (adj)
      the category is changed from verb to adjective
• inflectional suffixes will attach after the
  derivational suffixes
  ex. modern         base word
      modernize derivational suffix “-ize”
      modernizes inflectional suffix “-s”
     inflectional vs. derivational
• inflectional suffix – the meaning changes is
  predictable (regular)
  ex. tree  trees “-s” in “tress” shows the plurality.
• derivational suffix – the meaning change is NOT
  ex. The meaning of “inattentive” is the opposite
  meaning of “attentive” so the meaning of the
  prefix “in-” is the opposite of.
  The meaning of “in-” in “inbound” is “towards.”
  Thus, the meaning of “in-” is not predictable.
  Morphology and Syntax (p103)
• Paraphrasing
  You can express the same thing syntactically or
  England’s queen is Elizabeth II. vs.
    The queen of England is Elizabeth II.
  He loves books. vs. He is a lover of books.
  The planes which fly are red. vs.
   The flying planes are red.
  He is hungrier than she.
   He is more hungry than she.
• Irregular forms such as the plural form of “children” are
  the residue of Old or Middle English.
  am           was            been
  come         came           come
  go           went           gone
  sing         sang           sung

  mouse        mice
  woman        women

  good         better         best
  bad          worse          worst