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Exercises:

1) Complete the text using the words below:


ARBITRARY
COMPETENCE

LEXICON

PRESCRIPTIVE

DESCRIPTIVE
GRAMMAR
SEMANTICS

DICTIONARY
PERFORMANCE
SYNTAXE

CREATIVE
PHONOLOGY
TEACHING

UNIVERSAL

We are all intimately familiar with at least one language, our own. Yet few of us ever
stop to consider what we know about it. There is no book that contains the English or
Russian or Zulu language. The words of a language can be listed in a (1) __________ , but
not all the sentences, and a language consists of these sentences.
These rules are part of the (2) _____________ of a language, which is learned when
you acquire the language and includes the sound system (the (3) ________________),
how words may be combined into phrases and sentences (the (4) ________________), the
ways in which sounds and meanings are related (the (5) ____________________), and the
words or (6) _________________. The sounds and meanings of these words are related in
an (7) ____________________ fashion. If you had never heard the word syntax you would
not, by its sound, know what it meant. Language, then, is a system that relates sounds with
meanings, and when you know a language you know this system.
This knowledge (linguistic (8) _________________) is different from behavior
(linguistic (9) __________________). If you woke up one morning and decided to stop
talking, you would still have knowledge of your language. This ability or competence
underlies linguistic behavior. If you do not know the language , you cannot speak it; but if
you know the language, you may choose not to speak.
Grammars are of three kinds. The (10) __________________ grammar of a language
represents the unconscious linguistic knowledge or capacity of its speakers. Such a
grammar is a model of the mental grammar every speaker of the language knows. It does
not teach the rules of the language; it describes the rules that are already known. A
grammar that attempts to legislate what your grammar should be is called (11)
_________________ grammar. It prescribes; it does not describe, except incidentally. (12)
_________________ grammars are written to help learn a foreign language or a dialect of
their own language.
The more that linguists investigate the thousands of languages of the world and describe
the ways in which they differ from each other, the more they discover that, these
differences are limited. There are linguistic universals that pertain to all parts of grammars,

the ways in which these parts are related, and the forms of rules. These principles comprise
the (13) _________________ grammar, which forms the basis of the specific grammars of
all possible human languages.
If language is defined merely as a system of communication, then the language is not
unique to humans. There are, however, certain characteristics of human language not found
in the communication system of any other species. A basic property of human language is
its (14) ____________________aspect a speakers ability to combine the basic linguistic
units to form an infinite set of well-formed grammatical sentences, most of which are
original, never before produced or head.
(Text taken from FROMKIN & RODMAN. An Introduction to Language)
2) Research in several dictionaries the meaning of the word Language, then write them
below:
Source: _______________________________________________________________
Meaning: ______________________________________________________________
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Source: _______________________________________________________________
Meaning: _____________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
Source:________________________________________________________________
Meaning: ______________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
Source: _______________________________________________________________
Meaning: ______________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
Source: _______________________________________________________________
Meaning: ______________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
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