Descriptive Linguistics | Linguistics | Word

LINGUISTICS LINGUISTICS is a scientific study of language.

“SCIENTIFIC” here means that language is studied through regular investigations which can be empirically proved in accordance with general theory of language structure. Why scientific? It is the influence of hard sciences such as physics and mathematics. Some argue that linguistics is not scientific because its object is neither observable nor measurable. BRANCHES OF LINGUISTICS General Linguistic It is a study of language in general Sociolinguistics It is a study of language use in the society. Psycholinguistics It is a study of language in relation to psychological process. Applied Linguistics It is the application of theories, methods, or findings of linguistics to the solution to practical problems Levels of Linguistics Phonology . It is a study of organization of speech sounds. Morphology . It is a study of morphemes. Syntax . It is a study of sentence structures. Semantics . It is a study of meaning. Pragmatics . It is a study of factors influencing a person’s choice of language. Discourse analysis . It is a study of patterns of linguistic organization of discourse. LINGUISTICS should be descriptive not prescriptive/normative. Descriptive. Linguistics studies how really people talk and write Prescriptive. It studies how people should talk and write For example: Well-formed versus ill-formed He wants to be rich. (w.f.) He wanna be rich. (i.f.) Linguistic rules are not immutable; they change over time and across dialects. We have to think linguistically, meaning that we view language as a dynamic entity, constantly changing, alive on the lips and on the pens of its users. In studying linguistics we are trying to articulate what we already know; studying about ourselves. The rule book exists inside us. What linguists do: observe, describe, and explain. Language Language. Is it just “take it for granted”? Words. Are they natural or conventional? Some words are natural such as neigh, crash, bang, bleat, tinkle, and gecko. Almost all of the others are not of that kind (conventional). Language is studied in some other disciplines; depending on the approach to language. In Literature, language is viewed as a means of expressing art.

In Sociology, language is a means to interact socially in the society. In Psychology, language is a means of expressing emotion.

In Physics, language is a natural phenomenon. It is a sound wave which goes from one’s mouth to another’s ears. Benefit of Linguistics Linguistics is useful for a linguist, language teacher, translator, writer, journalist, politician, lawyer, public relation, etc. What People Need in Language 1. Linguistic Performance. It is mechanical/motor skills necessary for the production and reception of language. 2. Linguistic Competence. It is cognitive skills necessary for the construction and understanding of meaningful sequences of words; consisting of grammatical competence, communicative competence, and creative competence 3. Grammatical competence. It is the ability to assign sounds and letters to word shapes (lexical knowledge) and the ability to recognize larger structures (syntactic knowledge) 4. Creative Competence. It is the ability to use language in a uniquely valuable way. 5. Communicative Competence. It is the ability to select and use words purposively. Language Functions 1. Micro Function. It covers particular individual uses. 2. Macro Function. It relates to the larger, more general purposes underlying language use. Micro Function: a. To release nervous/physical energy (physical function) What we say when we are surprised or angry. Well done. Good job. What a pity! Son of bitch. Damn you b. Purpose of sociability (phatic function): to signal our general disposition to be sociable (Greetings and leave takings) Good morning. Hello. Good night. Have a nice day. Have a nice dream. c. To provide a record (recording function): to record things we wish to remember (Shopping list, diary, agenda, note) d. To identify and classify things(identifying function) (house, hotel, hut, villa, castle, inn, motel) e. An instrument of thought (reasoning function) (We are talking although we are silent) f. As a means of communicating ideas and feelings (directing, persuading, preaching, regretting) g. To give delight (pleasure function)

(poem, song) Macro Function: a. The ideational function We conceptualize the world for our own benefit and of others. We bring the world into being linguistically. b. The interpersonal Function It is the way we bring ourselves into being linguistically. We try to be able to communicate and get along with others. c. The poetic Function It is the ability to bring the world into being as an area of play. (joke, metaphor, rhythm, poetry) d. Textual Function It relates to our ability to construct texts out of our utterances and writings. We bring texts into being. Some Characteristics of Language : 1. Language is a system 2. Language is a symbol 3. Language is a sound 4. Language is arbitrary 5. Language is meaningful 6. Language is conventional 7. Language is unique 8. Language is universal 9. Language is productive 10. Language is varied 11. Language is dynamic 12. Language is a means to interact socially 13. Language is an identity

MORPHOLOGY Morphology is a subfield of linguistics that studies the internal structure of words and the interrelationships among words. A word is an arbitrary pairing of sound and meaning. There is no necessary reason, for example the word girl, why the particular combination of sounds represented in that word should mean what it does. Words are categorized into two: simple and complex. A simple word cannot be broken down further into meaningful parts. For example: hippopotamus, spouse, cook. On the other hand, the word cats is made up of two parts; the noun cat and the plural ending s. The basic parts of a complex word i.e. the different building blocks that make it up are called morphemes. In other words we can say that morphemes are the minimal units of word-building in a language; they cannot be broken down any further into recognizable or meaningful parts. Morphemes can be categorized into free and bound morphemes. A free morpheme can stand alone as an independent word, such as the word dog. A bound morpheme cannot stand alone. It must be attached to another morpheme, for example the plural morpheme s. Certain bound morphemes are known as affixes. When affixes are attached to the beginning of another morpheme, they are called prefixes. For example, un in undo, resend, un, illegal, pretest.

Affixes attached to the end of another morpheme are called suffixes. For example, modernize, classify, development, burning, education.







CONTENT WORDS AND FUNCTION WORDS Content words (open-class words) have meanings as independent words. For example: noun, adjective, verb, and adverb. Function words (closed-class words) serve to indicate some grammatical function in a phrase or sentence. For example, conjunction, article, demonstrative, and preposition. Word Category 1. Noun

a. A common noun is the name that is common to a group: ship, parrot, truck. b. A proper noun is the name of an individual person, place, or thing: Susan,
Adelaide. 2. Determiners: words which usually precede nouns

a. Demonstratives: this, that, these, those b.Possessives: my, your, his, her, etc. c. Numerals: three, five, one hundred, etc. d.Indefinites: every, both, many, no, several.
3. Verbs: words which show actions.

a. Regular verbs: marry, wash, answer, etc. b. Irregular verbs: do, see, bear, etc. c. Transitive verbs (need an object): buy, make, cook, etc. d. Intransitive verbs (no object): smile, snore, walk, etc.
4. Auxiliaries: can, may, do, have, etc. 5. Adjectives: positive, comparative, superlative long longer longest much more most careful more careful most careful 6. Adverbs: manner, place, time Diva spoke interestingly at the conference yesterday. 7. Intensifiers: very, quite, rather, somewhat, too 8. Conjunctions: a. Coordinating conjunctions: and, but, or b. Correlative conjunctions: either … or, neither … nor, not only … but also, both … and, whether … or. c. Subordinating conjunctions: time, place, cause, result, exception, condition,

alternative. (though, where, when, on condition, unless) 9. Prepositions: One syllable: a. Location: at, by, in, on, near b. Direction: to, from, down, off, through, out, past, up c. Association: of, for, with, like Two Syllable: About, above, across, after, against, along, amid, among, around, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, despite, during, except, inside, outside, over, toward, under. Compound preposition: According to, prior to, in regard to, owing to, instead of, because of, by means of, apart from, along with. 10. Pronouns α. Subjective: I, you, we, they, he, she, it β. Objective: me, you, us, them, him, her, it χ. Possessive: With Noun: my, your, our, their, his, her, its Without Noun: mine, yours, ours, theirs, his, hers, its δ. Reflexive/Emphatic: myself, yourself/ves. ourselves, themselves, himself, herself, itself. INFLECTION VERSUS DERIVATION Inflection. It is a change in the outer layer (asks, caring, wished) Derivation. It is change in the inner layer, from a class of word into another (build → builder, kind → kindly, pay → payment) INFLECTION 1. Noun inflectional suffixes a. Plural marker –s; boy boys b. Possessive marker ‘s ; Jack Jack’s 2. Verb inflectional suffixes a. Third person singular marker –s; end ends b. Past tense marker –ed: wait waited c. Progressive marker –ing: cry crying d. Past participle marker –en or –ed: forget forgotten, work 3. Adjective inflectional suffixes a. Comparative marker –er: sweet → sweeter b. Superlative marker –est : short → shortest Derivation 1. Nouns a. Nouns derived from nouns 1) small X : -let, -ette, -ie (booklet, kitchenette, cigarette, doggie)


2) 3) 4) 5)

female X : -ess, -ine (princess, heroine) inhabitant of X : -er, -(i)an (New Yorker, Indonesian, Texan) state of being X : -ship, -hood (hardship, childhood) devotee of or expert on X : -ist, -ian (linguist, physicist, mathematician)

b. Nouns derived from adjectives

-ity : security, maturity, sensuality -ness : greediness, holiness, calmness -ism : pluralism, feminism, patriotism c. Nouns derived from verbs -ance, -ence : avoidance, inference, difference -ment : development, engagement -ing : painting, building, meeting -(a(t(ion))): communication, liberation, deletion -al : refusal, arrival, proposal, denial -er : lecturer, preacher, painter, builder -or : creator, corruptor, elevator, donator Change in stress: perm’it → p’ermit Change in the final consonant: proof, belief Change in vowel: sit → seat, sing → song 2. Verbs a. Verbs from other verbs re-X : reread, redo, rewrite un-X : untie, undo de-X : decompose, deregulate dis-X : dislike, disagree, distrust b. Verbs from other class of word beauty → beautify terror→ terrorize burglar → burglarize simple → simplify sure → ensure deep → deepen 3. Adjectives a. From adjectives: -ish : greenish, whitish, reddish, yellowish un- : untrue, unavoidable, unfair, unforgettable in- : inactive, irregular, illegal, impatient b. From other classes of words 1) From Verbs V-ing : boring, challenging, interesting, caring V-ed : damaged, drunk, broken, stolen V-able : workable, readable, reliable V-ent, -ant : repellent, pollutant, resistant V-ive : explosive, decisive, speculative 2) From Nouns N-ful : hopeful, cheerful, meaningful, helpful N-less: hopeless, restless, childless, fruitless N-al : original, normal, national, regional N-ish : girlish, selfish, bookish 4. Adverbs Derived from adjectives +ly: interestingly, beautifully, successfully, slowly, silently But hard, fast, soon, early, much, and well do not have +ly (Jerry never works hard).

PHONOLOGY Phonology is the subfield of linguistics that studies the structure and systematic patterning of sounds in human language. Phonology is often used to refer to the abstract rules and principles that govern the distribution of sounds in a language. Phonetics usually refers to the study of articulatory and acoustic properties of sounds. How speech sounds are produced 1. a flow of air from the lungs 2. a constriction of the airflow in the mouth 3. an additional noise source in the throat Consonants of English A consonant is a speech sound produced when the speaker either stops or obstructs the airflow in the vocal tract. 1. Stops Stops are produced when the airflow in the vocal cavity is completely blocked /p/ voiceless bilabial stop (pin, pen, pick) /b/ voiced bilabial stop (box, big, bag) /t/ voiceless alveolar stop (tip, top, take) /d/ voiced alveolar stop (dog, dig, dam) /k/ voiceless velar stop (kind, king, kite) /g/ voiced alveolar stop (great, gene, gang) 2. Fricatives Fricatives are sounds produced when the airflow is forced through a narrow opening in the vocal track so that noise produced by friction is created. /f/ voiceless labiodental fricative (find, fan, fun) /v/ voiced labiodental fricative (van, very, vast) / / voiceless dental fricative (thing, think, thick) /  / voiced dental fricative (thus, this, that) /s/ voicelss alveolar fricative (sick, sow, sum) /z/ voiced alveolar fricative (zoo, zip, zero) / / voiceless palatal fricative (ship, shop, shark) / /voiced palatal fricative (measure, leisure) /h/ glottal fricative (how, here, hug) 3. Affricates An affricate is a single sound, beginning as a stop but releasing secondarily into a fricative. / /voiceless palatal affricate (chip, cheat, chat) / / voiced palatal affricate (judge, just, jug) 4. Nasals A nasal is similar to a stop, but with a nasal, the airflow is channeled into the nasal passages. /m/ bilabial nasal (mock, mice, mute) /n/ alveolar nasal (nice, now, nude) / / velar nasal (long, sing, bang) 5. Liquids A liquid is formed when the tongue blade is raised and air is allowed to flow freely from the mouth without great friction. /l/ lateral alveolar liquid (lid, lit, log) /r/ nonlateral alveolar liquid (red, rod, rig)

6. Glides Glides are vowel-like articulations that precede and follow the vowels (often called semivowels) /y/ palatal glide (yes, yet, young) /w/ labialised velar glide ( win, why, wet) English Vowels Vowels are produced with a relatively open vocal tract, which in effect serves as a resonating chamber. Front Central Back High Mid Low There are three major types of vowels. 1. Short (Lax) Vowels / / short high front vowel (bit, shit, big) / / short mid front vowel (get, beg, let) / / short low front vowel (bat, cat, fat) / / short high back vowel (foot, soothe, food) / / short central low vowel (cut, but, but) / / short low back vowel (hot, pot, dot) / / central low vowel (car, bar, tar) / / short mid back vowel (bought, taught) 2. Reduced Vowels a. Schwa; a mid central vowel whose symbol is an upside down and reversed e / democracy. b. / /or barred-i, the high central vowel, such as in chicken. There is a considerable variation in the pronunciation of the two vowels. 3. Long Vowels and Diphthongs Front High Mid Low iy ey  w uw ow, oy aw, ay Back

/ such as in

/iy/ (i) long high front vowel (lead, three, knee) /ey/ (e) long mid front vowel (clay, way, pay) /uw/ (u) long high back rounded vowel (crude, shoe, crew) /ow/ (o) long mid back rounded vowel (boat, road, goat) /oy/ long mid back rounded vowel (boy, toy, soy) /aw/ long low back vowel with an accompanying w (cow, blouse, mouse) /ay/ long back vowel an accompanying y (my, shy, cry) SYNTAX Syntax is the study of sentence structure. STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS Leonard Bloomfield in his book Language sets out the main ideas of structural linguistics. Structuralists view that language structure is associated with the phoneme as the unit of phonology

(the sound system), and the morpheme as the unit of grammar. Morphemes are made up of combinations of phonemes, and sentences of combinations of morphemes. So, phonemes and morphemes are regarded as the building blocks of language. The first task of a linguist is to find out what the units or building blocks of a language are. He follows certain techniques or discovery procedures. He firstly discovers the phonemes and then morphemes of the language, then he moves on to syntactic rules. He has to be empirical and scientific in his approach. What he does is to choose or collect a corpus (sample) of the language he is investigating. SENTENCE PATTERNS The lady wore an expensive dress to the party. Det. Noun Verb Det. Adjective Noun Prep. Det.


SYNTAX SYNTAX is a branch of linguistics which deals with the structures of a phrase, clause, sentence, and a discourse. A SENTENCE is a unit of language which has an ending intonation, which is relatively independent, and which consists of clauses. (unit of language, relatively independent, ending intonation, and consisting of clauses) A sentence is the largest structural unit in terms of which grammar of a language is organized. CLASSIFICATION OF SENTENCE 1. By the Number of its Clause A. SIMPLE SENTENCE: CONSISTING OF ONE FREE CLAUSE NANCY IS EXHAUSTED. Hasan does not care much about his health. B. COMPOUND SENTENCE: CONSISTING OF ONE MAIN CLAUSE AND AT LEAST ONE SUB CLAUSE. KATHY GOT MARRIED AFTER SHE GOT A PERMANENT JOB. IRENE COULD NOT ATTEND THE MEETING BECAUSE HER FLIGHT WAS CANCELLED. c. Complex Sentence: consisting of some free clauses JACK PEELED THE ONION, JIM FRIED SOME EGGS, AND PAUL PREPARED THE PLATES. 2. By the Expected Response

a. b. c.

Statement: giving information and not expecting any certain response THOSE WHO TAKE THE SYNTAX COURSE MUST WRITE A TERM PAPER. Love needs some kind of sacrifice. Question: expecting a response in form of an answer WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO SAY AT THE MEETING? Who will be in charge of the championship? Imperative: expecting a response in form of an action

BE HARDWORKING. DON’T TELL ME A LIE. Keep your promise. 3. By the relationship between the actor and the action

a. Active : Joan washes her hair twice a week. b. Passive: Our dinner will be served at 7:30. c. Medial: The agent acts as a subject and an object at the same time
You will just hurt yourself. Myra loves only herself.

d. Reciprocal: The subject and object do something to each other
The kids hugged each other. We tried to forgive one another. SYNTACTIC RULES 1. Reduction Rules I like music, and my sister likes it, too. MY LIKES MUSIC, AND MY SISTER DOES, TOO. My brother has got married, and my sister, too. 2. Pro Form John threw the ball and Jim caught it. (Pronouns are the most familiar kind of Pro Form). 3. Sentence Trappings (that, to, -ing) I know that Susan is smart. I know Susan is smart. I expect Jimmy to be better. There is something flying in the sky. 4. Permutation Rules Nova believed Joan was not serious. Nova did not believe Joe was serious. 5. Relative Clause Mira is talking to a boy. The boy used to be my neighbor. The boy to whom Mira is talking used to be my neighbor. 6. Clefting: the operation of fronting a constituent and surrounding it by it is/was … that Dicky sent the flowers to Nancy last Saturday. • It was last Saturday that Dicky sent the flowers to Nancy. • It was to Nancy that Dicky sent the flowers last Saturday. • It was the flowers that Dicky sent to Nancy last Saturday. • It was Dicky that sent the flowers to Nancy last Saturday. 7. Pseudo-Clefting: the use of what • What Dicky did was send the flowers to Nancy last Saturday. • What Dicky sent to Nancy last Saturday was the flowers. • The flowers are what Dicky sent to Nancy last Saturday. 8. Fronting: putting a constituent in front • Ella did her best to pass the exam. • To pass the exam, Ella did her best. 9. Passivisation: the relocating of the agent and patient The person/thing that performs the activity is called the Agent; and whoever/whatever undergoes it is called the Patient. The Agent and the Patient are roles. • They provided us with the best facilities. • We were provided with the best facilities.

IMMEDIATE CONSTITUENT ANALYSIS The boy The boy chased the ball.

chased the ball the ball

TRANSFORMATIONAL GENERATIVE GRAMMAR Instead of attending a corpus and methods of analysis , TG focuses attention on the fact that all speakers of a natural language are able to form new sentences and understand utterances they

have never heard before. TG assumes that the basis of this ability is the knowledge of what may be called grammar, which enables a speaker to understand and produce new sentences on a given situation. Chomsky makes a distinction between competence and performance. Competence: the linguistic knowledge of fluent speakers of a language. Performance: the actual production and comprehension of speech by the speakers. Grammar is a finite set of rules and principles for capturing the regularities in the language. A linguist tries to describe the language competence of the speaker by observing his performance. Deep and Surface Structure The surface structure is that which is more obvious. It describes the sentence as it is actually produced or spoken. The deep structure takes into account the transformation and contains all the units and relationships that are necessary for interpreting the sentence. Example: John is easy to please. John is eager to please. The surface structures of the sentences are the same. It is easy to please John. It is eager to please John. (ungrammatical) The deep structures are: 1. It is easy. Somebody pleases John (or John is pleased). 2. John is eager. He pleases somebody. Rules in TG The rules of TG are “rewrite” rules: they write one symbol as another or several others until the sentences of the language are generated. XY+Z Meaning “rewrite” X as Y + Z. The arrow means rewrite. For example : a string like A + X + A + C + X, Then we will have : A + Y + Z + A + B + Y + Z Here is a set of rules (grammar) to generate simple sentences: 1. S  NP + VP

2. VP
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

 Verb + NP

NP  Det + N Verb  Aux + Main Verb Det  (the, a, an, … N  (boy, house, skyscraper, … Aux  (will, can, may, … Main Verb  (cry, peep, regret, …

Applying the rule: S Rule 1 : NP + VP Rule 2 : NP + Verb + NP Rule 3 : Det + N + Verb + Det + N Rule 4 : Det + N + Aux + Main Verb + Det + N Rule 5 : The + N + Aux + Main Verb + a + N Rule 6 : The + lady + Aux + Main Verb + a + car Rule 7 : The + lady + will + Main Verb + a + car Rule 8 : The lady + will + buy + a + car

The rules can be extended in various ways, for example by including optional elements (e.g. adverb). The above rules are called phrase structure rules (PS-rules). PS-rules may be represented as a tree diagram, which reveals that TG grammar incorporates IC analysis as one of its components. The tree diagram will look like this:








Aux The lady will

M.Verb buy

Det a

N car

Exercise: Breakdown the following sentences into its immediate constituents by using a tree diagram.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The boy can borrow a compact disk. A cat is a lazy pet. The president may visit the museum. The students must hand in their paper next week. A social status may cause arrogance.

Clauses 1. Noun Clause The use of that, if/whether, and interrogatives • That she loves you is true. • She does not know whether we can spend the night there. • Why she gets mad makes us curious. 2. Adjective Clause: the use of who, whose, which, that • The girl who loves him is my classmate. • The woman whose daughter is a doctor is very kind-hearted. • The book which I checked out yesterday is hard to read. • Something that makes me happy is to make others happy. Adjective Order: general  more specific A wonderful smart black American girl An beautiful small black Balinese statue. (superficial, size, color, origin) 3. Adverbial Clause Manner: Shella can type as fast as I can. Time: Dina got married by the time she was 27 years old.

Adverbial Order: manner, place, time Betty sang a song beautifully before us at the party last Sunday.

Kinds of Adverbial Clauses a. Time when(ever), while, whilst (Br.), since, before, after, until, till, as, as soon as, as long as, now (that), once I will be there whenever you need me. He has been living in this house since he was born. Now (that) the time has come for him to get the promotion, he simply refuses it. b. Concession although, even though, though, (in spite of, despite, regardless of the fact that, not withstanding (the fact) that) Although she is very rich, she lives a simple life. Despite his being affluent, he is close to the needy. c. Result So .. that, so + adjective + that, so + adverb + that, such (a) … that, Nancy is so smart that none of us can beat her. Mary sang the song so beautifully that we were all astonished. d. Purpose (in order) that, so (that), in the hope that, for fear that Irene worked hard in order that she earned enough to buy a new car. e. Clause of Condition if, unless, in case, provided (that) or providing (that), as long as, if only, suppose (that) or supposing (that), whether If I have enough time, I will trim the fence. Suppose you win her heart, what will you do? Whether she agrees or not, we will just go on. f. Clauses of Manner as if, as though, as We treat her as if she were a queen. She always does as her husband tells her. PHRASES 1. Noun Phrase Both these two Specifier

beautiful American premodifier

girls head

with blue eyes post modifier

The Head Noun is preceded by words such as a, an, the, this, young, etc. or followed by a modifier. The Head Noun is called Referent, those which specify specifiers, and those which modify modifiers. 2. Pronoun: Subjective: I, you, we, they, he, she, it Objective: me, you, us, them, him, her, it Possessive; With Noun: my, your, our, their, his, her, its Without Noun: mine, yours, ours, theirs, his, hers, its Emphatic/Reflexive: myself, yourself, ourselves, themselves, himself, herself, itself 3. Verb Phrase may have written

an article before



V. complement


a. Intransitive: Susan is sleeping soundly.
Copula: Jane is a smart girl. Monotransitive: Jim is dating Mona. Ditransitive: Nancy sent me some flowers yesterday. Intransitive + Adverbial Complement: Mira goes downstairs. f. Transitive + Adverbial Complement Lora typed the article in her office. g. Complex transitive: We call her the brain. 4. Prepositional Phrase some years after her marriage specifier head complement 5. Adjective Phrase quite proud of his position specifier head complement 6. Adverb Phrase very wisely specifier head b. c. d. e.

SEMANTICS Semantics is a major branch of linguistics devoted to the study of meaning in language. Logical Semantics: the study of the meaning of expression in terms of logical systems of analysis Behaviorist: they neglect semantics because it is not observable and measurable Stucturalist: the study of meaning through the notion of semantic relation Generative Linguistics: the study of meaning in relation to the grammar’s organization Psychologist: the technique devised by psychologists to find out emotional reactions of speakers to lexical items Chomsky: each language contains a finite set of words, so the word meanings can be given in a finite list. Semantics comes from the word sema meaning sign. Semantics is one of three language analysis: phonology, grammar, and semantics. Semantics is related to other disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and psychology. Coverage: word, phrase, clause, sentence, and discourse. Benefit: to facilitate people to choose and use words with proper meaning to convey information to the public. MEANING AND REFERENCE Some words refer to things such as book, car, plane, computer, cat, and fish. HOWEVER, NOT ALL WORDS REFER TO THINGS SUCH AS, FOR EXAMPLE, VERBS OF HOPE, BELIEVE, THINK, IMAGINE, AND UNDERSTAND. MEANING AND CONCEPT Language is a system of interdependent terms in which the value of each term results solely from the simultaneous presence of others’.

Have Give Lend Borrow Rent Hire

criticize praise accuse assess blame reprimand

angry happy calm pleased annoyed offended

However, not all verbs have a concept, such as or, and, but, and meanwhile. The explanation of meaning by means of concept is unempirical. COMPONENTIAL ANALYSIS This gives an explicit representation of the systematic relations between words. For example: spinster [female, never married, adult, human] By the componential analysis, it is difficult to give an explicit representation of the abstract words. MEANING AND TRUTH The meaning of a sentence is the basis for a semantic theory, and not the characterization of word meaning. Truth: if for each sentence of the language, a rule schema can predict correctly the formula: S is true if and only if P To know the meaning of a sentence is to know under what conditions that sentence be true. Snow is white is true if and only if snow is white. WAYS TO CONSTRUCT EXPLANATIONS OF MEANING IN LANGUAGE 1. Word meaning 2. Sentence meaning 3. The process of communication • Words refer to objects or actions • Sentences are used to describe events, beliefs, or opinions • Interpretation of language should be explained in terms of its role in communication Example: the word “mean”

a. Bachelor means “unmarried man”. b.Do killed Jack means that someone called Don deliberately murdered someone
called Jack. c. X : Are you hungry? Y : What d’you mean? X : I mean I am starving, and I want you to accompany me to have lunch. a and b  indicate c  intend to indicate THREE STARTING POINTS The significance of words The interpretation of sentences What the speaker is intending to convey in acts of communication

1. 2. 3.

SIGN AND SYMBOL Sign: made by nature, animal, and human being (verbal & non-verbal) Theory of sign: semiotics 1. Semantics: meaning 2. Syntax: structure 3. Pragmatics: use


signifier  car signified 

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Sound imitation: gecko, knock, bang Specification: the dwarf, the black, the yellow devil Partition: coke, burger, coffee, tea Inventor/maker: Honda, tip ex, Xerox, sandwich Material: glass, tin, plywood Similarity: king, star, brain, queen Abbreviation: UNO, ASEAN, UFO, air-con Renaming: police officer, flight attendant Definition: college, academy, institute, university

TYPES OF MEANING 1. Lexical and Grammatical Lexical : in accordance with its reference, real meaning by our senses. (cat, dog, dolphin, train, moon). It is called full word. Grammatical : it has grammatical function. The word in, and, because or for does not any reference but it has function grammatically. Referential and Non-referential Referential : refers to something (house, rose, sea, sun, cloud) Non-referential: does not refer to something (to, from, therefore, so, nevertheless)

Denotative and Connotative Denotative: involving factual, objective information (true meaning) Connotative : sense value or additional meaning to the original one (flower, dog, pig, BMW)

Word and Term Some words are used as terms in certain fields which have special meanings. (deposit, savings, dead line, due date, prompt, enter, scapegoat, skyscraper)

Conceptual and Associative Conceptual: in accordance with its concept or reference Associative: in accordance with symbols used in the society. ( red, green, skull and bones)

Idiomatic and Wise words Idiomatic : word, phrase, or sentence which deviates from its lexical meaning (look after, call off, beat about the bush, get along with) Wise words: sentences which bear advice, philosophy) To err is human, to forgive divine. It is no use crying over spilt milk.

CHANGES IN MEANING 1. Science and Technology enter power plant quit screw driver yield network

2. Social and Culture master  master of science steward/stewardess  flight attendant tart, brain, cream, bug

3. Abbreviation airconditioner  aircon refrigerator  fridge human immuno virus  HIV I flew by Panam/JAL. 4. Figure of Speech a. Simile: comparison of one thing to another as proud as peacock, as white as snow b. Metaphor: indicating something different from the literal meaning He eats my words. He has a heart of stone. c. Personification: regarding something as a person. Love is blind. d. Hyperbole: exaggerated statements made for effect, not intended to be taken literally The waves were as high as Mount Everest. e. Litotes: Saying a negative to mean the opposite It was no easy matter. I shan’t be sorry if you leave me. f. Irony: saying something the meaning of which is the opposite. What a clean room! (the room is dirty). g. Euphemism: use of words of phrases in place of what is required by truth or accuracy pass away, pass water, get a period, deliver a baby, wash my hands.

SENTENCE MEANING Verificationist theory: sentences are meaningful if (and only if) have a determinate truth-value. The meaning of an expression, if it has one, is determined by the verifiability of the sentences, or propositions, containing it. A sentences is factually significant to a given person if, and only if, he knows how to verify the proposition which it purports to express. Truth-conditional theory: the meaning of an expression is its contribution to the truth-condition of the sentences containing it. The requirements of a sentence: a. Grammaticality: sentences are, by definition, grammatically well-formed. I want her come. Vs. I want her to come. b. Acceptability: sentences must be acceptable to the speakers and listeners. My mother died last week. Vs. My mother passed away last week. c. Meaningfulness: sentences must bear a meaning. The sea flies the car carelessly. Janet drove her car carefully. It may happen that a sentence is grammatical, but not acceptable, nor meaningful. In daily conversation, there are sentences that are not grammatical, yet acceptable. LEXICAL RELATION 1. Synonym: sameness of meaning (smart, clever, skillful, bright) a. Substitution: idiot, fool

b.Contrast: ask vs. reply, answer c. Connotation: lavatory = restroom
2. Antonym: the opposite of meaning good x bad, hot x cold, young x old 3. Homonym: word which is the same in form and sounds as another but different in meaning

a. Homophone: the same pronunciation but different in meaning (some, sum; know,

b.Homograph: word spelt like another but
(present, can, rebel, record, fly)

different meaning or pronunciation

4. a.

Hyponym: word the meaning of which is a part of another (pigeon = bird)

b. Hypernym: word covering the meaning of other words (flower = rose, jasmine, tulip, sunflower) 5. Polysemy: word that has more than one meaning (get, have, can, may) 6. Ambiguity: phrase/sentence that has more than one meaning Ask me more difficult questions. John is easy to please. 7. Redundancy: phrase/sentence that has more words than needed Many thousands of workers are fired. ASPECT OF MEANING 1. Sense A meaning can be achieved if the speaker and the listener use the same language. She is the brain in her family. 2. FEELING It is related to the attitude of the speaker toward a situation or context. Congratulations on your success. Please accept my deepest sympathy. I wish you best luck. 3. Tone It is related to the attitude of the speaker toward his/her listener. Get out of my face. Poor you. How kind you are! 4. Intention Obviously, the purpose of the speaker is to give some influence to the listener. a. Declarative: make something known; announce I declare this seminar closed. The president declared the Olympiad open. b. Persuasive: to persuade or convince It will be very kind of you if you give some your charity to this new foundation. We would be very happy if you could come to our celebration. c. Imperative: to express a command Never do it again. Don’t be a fool. d. Narrative: to describe an event Having worked all day long, she just took a shower and slept away. Shally got married when she was 27, and she had her first baby two years later. e. Politic: involving public affairs in general Better payment for the teachers may improve the quality of education. This road is constructed on your tax. f. Pedagogic: giving some lesson/education Giving a hook is much better than giving fish. FUNCTIONS OF LANGUAGE 1. INFORMATIONAL: to deliver information to the listener/reader. John got an accident when he was on the way home last night. 2. EXPRESSIVE: to express one’s feelings and attitudes What a beautiful lady! How handsome he is! 3. DIRECTIVE: to influence other’s behavior or attitudes (commands and requests) Hurry up. Could you do me a favor?

4. AESTHETIC: the use of language for the sake of the linguistic artifact itself and for no other ulterior purpose. Poetry is an example. To Electra (Robert Herrick) I dare not ask a kiss, I dare not beg a smile, Lest having that, or this, I might grow proud the while. No, no, the utmost share Of my desire shall be Only to kiss that air That lately kissed thee. 5. PHATIC: to keep the communication lines open, and to keep social relationships in good repair. How’s the weather? SPEECH ACT (JANE AUSTIN) 1. LOCUTIONARY ACT: THE ACT OF UTTERING A SENTENCE WITH A CERTAIN MEANING 2. ILLOCUTIONARY ACT: THE ACT OF PRAISE, CRITICISM, AGREEMENT, REQUEST, ETC. THAT THE SPEAKER MAY HAVE INTENDED. 3. PERLOCUTIONARY ACT: THE ACT OF ACHIEVING A CERTAIN CONSEQUENT RESPONSE FROM THE HEARER. A speaker utters with a particular meaning (locutionary act), and with a particular force (illocutionary act), in order to achieve a certain effect on the hearer (perlocutionary act) Example: It’s very hot here. (Locutionary act) He wants the students to open the windows. (Illocutionary act) The students open the windows. (Perlocutionary act) Exercise: Supply the probable illocutionary act and perlocutionary act for the following sentences. 1. The car is quite dirty. 2. You look much prettier in pink. 3. Dinner is ready. 4. Time is up. 5. Give me a break. 6. It’s raining. 7. I’m starving. 8. You look very pale. 9. Get out of my face. 10. Your paper, please.

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