LANGUAGEAN INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDYOF SPEECH
The noted linguist and anthropologist Edward Sapir wrote this work toshow language in “relation to other fundamental interests—the problemof thought, the nature of the historical process, race, culture, art.”
is not only a study of language and culture, but ultimately onthe world of relations and influence.
NEW YORK: HARCOURT, BRACE, 1921
1.INTRODUCTORY: LANGUAGE DEFINED
Language a cultural, not a biologically inherited, function. Futility of interjectional and sound-imitative theories of the origin of speech.Definition of language. The psycho-physical basis of speech. Conceptsand language. Is thought possible without language? Abbreviations andtransfers of the speech process. The universality of language.
2.THE ELEMENTS OF SPEECH
Sounds not properly elements of speech. Words and significant parts of words (radical elements, grammatical elements). Types of words. Theword a formal, not a functional unit. The word has a real psychologicalexistence. The sentence. The cognitive, volitional, and emotionalaspects of speech. Feeling-tones of words.
3.THE SOUNDS OF LANGUAGE
The vast number of possible sounds. The articulating organs and theirshare in the production of speech sounds: lungs, glottal cords, nose,mouth and its parts. Vowel articulations. How and where consonants arearticulated. The phonetic habits of a language. The “values” of sounds.Phonetic patterns.
4.FORM IN LANGUAGE: GRAMMATICAL PROCESSES
Formal processes as distinct from grammatical functions. Intercrossingof the two points of view. Six main types of grammatical process. Wordsequence as a method. Compounding of radical elements. Affixing:prefixes and suffixes; infixes. Internal vocalic change; consonantalchange. Reduplication. Functional variations of stress; of pitch.
5.FORM IN LANGUAGE: GRAMMATICAL CONCEPTS
Analysis of a typical English sentence. Types of concepts illustrated byit. Inconsistent expression of analogous concepts. How the samesentence may be expressed in other languages with striking differencesin the selection and grouping of concepts. Essential and non-essentialconcepts. The mixing of essential relational concepts with secondaryones of more concrete order. Form for form’s sake. Classification of linguistic concepts: basic or concrete, derivational, concrete relational,pure relational. Tendency for these types of concepts to flow into eachother. Categories expressed in various grammatical systems. Order andstress as relating principles in the sentence. Concord. Parts of speech:no absolute classification possible; noun and verb.
6.TYPES OF LINGUISTIC STRUCTURE
The possibility of classifying languages. Difficulties. Classification intoform-languages and formless languages not valid. Classificationaccording to formal processes used not practicable. Classificationaccording to degree of synthesis. “Inflective” and “agglutinative.”Fusion and symbolism as linguistic techniques. Agglutination.“Inflective” a confused term. Threefold classification suggested: whattypes of concepts are expressed? what is the prevailing technique? whatis the degree of synthesis? Four fundamental conceptual types.Examples tabulated. Historical test of the validity of the suggested