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5 Components of Language

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Brittany Meyer

on 9 September 2014

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Transcript of 5 Components of Language

5 Components of Language
What are they?
What do they mean?
How do they all fit together?
I'm so happy that you asked!
Syntax
The form or structure of the sentence depends on this! (very important, hence the exclamation point)
Allow me to explain...
There are rules that specify what is an appropriate sentence:
word, phrase, and clause order, sentence organization, and the relationships between words, word classes, and other sentence elements
* In other words, syntax explains why certain word combinations make sense while others do not.
Let me share an example with you please
This is my cat, Pepper, and she loves to sleep, as you can tell by the video below.
However, regarding this video, I would not say "Cat sleeps my a great time amount of. That just does not make sense.
Syntax tells me that "My cat sleeps a great amount of time" sounds better.
Morphology
Explores the internal organization of words
Let's look a little more at morphemes...
The difference between single morphemes and more complex morphemes are as follows:
Since I love cats so much, we'll focus on one of their favorite foods: tuna.
* -f and -ish cannot stand alone or if we were to split the word into -fis and -h, we would have the same issue. This is a single morpheme, which is also referred to as bound.
More complex morphemes are the opposite of simple morphemes and are referred to as free.
These morphemes can be broken apart and still make sense. They are words in themselves.
* The word catfish can be further dissected into -cat and -fish, but both of these words can stand alone.
But wait, there's more...
Derivational Morphemes
* consist of both prefixes and suffices
* are involved in parts of speech and can change classes of words.
-For example, the word "pretty" has many forms: pretty, prettier, and prettiest.
Inflectional Morphemes
* consists of only suffixes
* change the state of being or further articulate a free morpheme
-Taste can be tasted, tastes, or he tastes.
Phonology
concerned with the rules that involve the structure, distribution, and sequencing of speech sounds and syllable shapes
-Phonemes are very involved:
For example, words are made up of morphemes. They can only have one or many more.
Phonemes are small linguistic units of sound and they can signal differences in meaning and they are actually families of sounds that are very similar.
For example:
These two pictures are not the same, but how do we know that?
Because of phonemes!
One picture is corn and the other is a picture of a cow.
-All sounds in a phoneme family sound a little different, but not enough to sound like another phoneme. Because of this, the meaning of a word does not change.
-Also, corn and cow , while they both start with the letter c, each c is influenced by the sounds that surround them.
-However, each c sound is alike enough so that it does not get confused with another phoneme.
On the flip side...
*So the c is its own distinct English phoneme!
What if I have these two pictures?
*The words for these pictures are
pear
and
hair
.
*We recognize the difference initially because each word begins with a differentiating phoneme
Why is this...Because phonemes are grouped based on their sound properties, the way they are produced, and where they are produced! (Hint: Not like in Wal-Mart, but in your body like the vocal cords.)
Semantics
A system of rules that govern the meaning or content of words and word combinations.
*Words are not always literal because we define them based on our own experiences.
As an example, I've thought of some of my own words...
I could describe both of these pictures with the word
chicken
. However, the chicken on the left is my definition and the chicken on the right may be another person's definition of it.
-Why is this?
There are actually two reasons:
World Knowledge
-a person's individual autobiographical and experiential understanding and memory of certain events.
Word Knowledge
-consists of word and symbol definitions, primarily verbal, and it forms each individual's mental dictionary/thesaurus.
They're connected to each other...but how?
Word knowledge is based partly on world knowledge and world knowledge is a combined concept of many particular events.
-This explains why my idea of
chicken
differs from another person's idea.
-I use my world knowledge like my memories of going to a farm when I was a child as I fed chickens and my word knowledge of pictures from books and understanding that a chicken clucks.
*All of these events and memories combine to make up my definition of the word
chicken
.
Pragmatics
studying language in context and focusing on language as a communication tool, which is used to achieve social ends.
-Put more simply, it emphasizes how language is used to communicate instead of how it is structured.
*There are many ways to say many statements, but what matters is delivering the appropriate message effectively!
But how do we know that we are communicating effectively? There are many situations to consider.
We must first consider who we are speaking with and remember that they are an individual with their own unique culture.
-It would not be appropriate for me to speak to my father in the same way that I speak to my cat.
Me: Do you want some tuna fish, kitty-cat?
My father: What's wrong with you?
-Obviously this conversation went terribly wrong because I did not consider who I was speaking with.
Next we must consider who is speaking and what they are saying.
*If a complete stranger were to say to me that I was out of milk at my house, I would most likely be scared. It would not have the same effect if my mom were to inform me of this.
Another situation would be when I tell my older brother that he should get married, already.
*Me saying this does not make it true.
All participants must cooperate with one another in a conversation.
This includes four areas:
Quantity
Quality
Retention
Manner
*All summed up, these four qualifications are defined as the "cooperation principle."
Quantity
-no participant should provide too little or too much information
*Suppose I said to you, Bring me something." You wouldn't know what to do.
*I could also say to you, "Bring me a chocolate, white-iced brownie at three in the afternoon." This would probably sound odd to you, too.
Quality
-Each participant's contribution should depend on truthfulness and sufficient evidence
*What if I said to you, "Rainbow birds live in my room."
-Needless to say, you'd probably think I was crazy and our conversation would not get very far.
Relation
-What each person states should be relevant to the topic of conversation
*It would not make sense if you and I were talking about going to Walmart and I said, "I think penguins are cute."
Manner
-Each person should be reasonable, direct and avoid vagueness, ambiguity, and wordiness
*I could force every fancy word from the dictionary in one sentence, but if no one understands me, there's no point.
So...How do they all fit together?
All five of these components are intertwined to make up language as we know it.
*Language is usually thought of as being heavily influenced by context, so pragmatics is the organizing principle of it.
-Very often the words we say are influenced by the situations that we are in.
*However sometimes components of language affect one another.
-The syntax of a sentence may alter the tense of another word, which in turn would change the phonetics.
With language the possibilities are endless and you can never stop learning about the different ways you can communicate. So my take on all of it is this:
HAVE FUN!
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