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25 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is the definition of language?
a shared symbolic system for communication
linguistic units, sounds that form words and other meaningful units that symbolizes or stand for the referent of the word
shared symbols
connections b/w sounds and meaning are arbitrary, but because they are shared they can be used
thoughts and ideas can be turned into a public msg and the other way around as well
the academic discipline that takes language as its topic
the internalized knowledge
of a language and its rules that fully
fluent speakers of that language have
– Abstract ideas about what is probably going on
when we produce and understand language
the study of
language as it is used and learned by
the actual language
behavior a speaker generates, the strings
of sounds and words that the speaker
Describe and give a daily life example of SEMANTICITY
language conveys
– unlike other sounds we may create
For example: Coughing would not be semanticity where as saying Yes would be
Describe and give a daily life example of ARBITRARINESS
there is no inherent
connection between the units (sounds,
words) used in a language and the
meanings referred to by those units
– Because of this arbitrariness it is important
that language is shared
For example: The word dog has no connection to an actual dog. You just have to know that that word goes with that object.
the arbitrary
connections between sounds and
meanings can be changed and new
ones can be invented
Ex: Automobiles became cars
the assigning of names to all
objects in our environment, to all the
feelings and emotions we experience, to
all the ideas and concepts we conceive of
ex: "Open" doesn't refer to an object but an action
the ability to talk
about something other than the
present moment
ex: I can talk about what i ate for breakfast and what I'm going to eat for lunch
is a productive and inherently novel
activity, we generate sentences
rather than repeat them
ex: What I'm writing right now is new... i did not memorize this sentence in order to say it again. I can create new sentences every time I talk
why are onomatopoeia an exception to arbitrariness?
Because an onomatopoeia actually does represent what is sounds like. Like buzz or whoosh.
Why does arbitrariness make it important that language is shared?
Because words do not have any direct connection to what the represent so we all need to know what those words mean. An example is a foreign language. I have no idea what a japanese person is saying because the words do not mean anything to me.
why does the producitivity of language require rules/syntax/grammar?
-it allows flexibility in creating new language
-it can generate new sentences but follow the rules
smallest unit of speech that,
if changed, changes the meaning of a
ex: Bat to Pat
describe the difference in the production of vowels and consonants
Consonants- there is a disruption in airflow
1. place of articulation
2. manner of articulation
3. voicing
Vowels- no disruption in airflow
1.Placement in mouth (front, center, back)
2. tongue position (high, middle, low)
Def. and life example of the variability problem
there is no simple
correspondence between acoustical
patterns and the phonemes we hear

ex: can produce one phoneme with different sounds. Like accents
Def. and life example of coarticulation
the way a phoneme is
pronounced depends on the phonemes that
precede and follow it

ex. bat and boat
Def. and life example of segmentation
how do we divide the
continuous stream of acoustic speech signals into
individual word

ex: foreign languages
ex: 'Scuse me, while I kiss this guy
– instead of
'Scuse me, while I kiss the sky
what is the solution to the variability and segmentation problem?
*context- Words, phrases, and ideas
already identified guide the
interpretation of new incoming sounds
*conceptually driven processing:
Simultaneous data-driven processing and
conceptually-driven processing to
interpret incoming speech signals
• an integrative or interactive approach
the arrangement of words as
elements in a sentence to show their
relationship to one another
– Sentence structure
why is syntax important for language as a tool for communication?
Syntax consists of the rules to make the meaning of the communication easier to understand