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These suggestions have resulted in: I hope these revisions will make the book easier to read and generally more userfriendly. To the student In The Study of Language I have tried to present a comprehensive survey of what is known about language and also of the methods used by linguists in arriving at that knowledge.
So, as you read the following chapters, take a critical view of the effectiveness of the descriptions, the analyses, and the generalizations by measuring them against your own intuitions about how your language works.
By the end of the book, you should then feel that you do know quite a lot about both the internal structure of language its form and the varied uses of language in xvi Preface human life its functionand also that you are ready to ask the kinds of questions that professional linguists ask when they conduct their research.
This revised edition is designed to make your learning task easier and more interesting: They should be answered without too much difficulty, but to support you a set of suggested answers is available in the Study Guide online.
The online Study Guide again supports your learning with analysis, suggested answers and resources for all these tasks. The Discussion Topics and Projects found at the end of each topic provide an opportunity for you to consider some of the larger issues in the study of language, to think about some of the controversies that arise with certain topics and to try to focus your own opinions on different languagerelated issues.
Origins of this book This book can be traced back to introductory courses on language taught at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Minnesota and Louisiana State University, and to the suggestions and criticisms of hundreds of students who forced me to present what I had to say in a way they could understand.
An early version of the written material was developed for Independent Study students at the University of Minnesota. Later versions have had the benefit of expert advice from a lot of teachers working with diverse groups in different situations.
I am particularly indebted to Professor Hugh Buckingham, Louisiana State University, for sharing his expertise and enthusiasm over many years as a colleague and friend. In creating this new edition, I have also benefited from reader surveys conducted by Sarah Wightman and Andrew Winnard, as well as the work of many others in the excellent production team at Cambridge University Press.
For my own introductory course, I remain indebted to Willie and Annie Yule, and, for my continuing enlightenment, to Maryann Overstreet. It remains, however, a speculation. We do know that the ability to produce sound and simple vocal patterning a hum versus a grunt, for example appears to be in an ancient part of the brain that we share with all vertebrates, including fish, frogs, birds and other mammals.
We suspect that some type of spoken language must have developed betweenand 50, years ago, well before written language about 5, years ago.
Yet, among the traces of earlier periods of life on earth, we never find any direct evidence or artifacts relating to the speech of our distant ancestors that might tell us how language was back in the early stages. Perhaps because of this absence of direct physical evidence, there has been no shortage of speculation about the origins of human speech.
In most religions, there appears to be a divine source who provides humans with language. In an attempt to rediscover this original divine language, a few experiments have been carried out, with rather conflicting results.
The basic hypothesis seems to have been that, if human infants were allowed to grow up without hearing any language around them, then they would spontaneously begin using the original God-given language.
The Greek writer Herodotus reported the story of an Egyptian pharaoh named Psammetichus or Psamtik who tried the experiment with two newborn babies more than 2, years ago. That seems very unlikely. First remove the -kos ending, which was added in the Greek version of the story, then pronounce beas you would the English word bed without -d at the end.
Can you hear a goat? It is unfortunate that all other cases of children who have been discovered living in isolation, without coming into contact with human speech, tend not to confirm the results of these types of divine-source experiments.
Very young children living without access to human language in their early years grow up with no language at all. We will consider the case of one such child later in Chapter The natural sound source A quite different view of the beginnings of language is based on the concept of natural sounds.
The basic idea is that primitive words could have been imitations of the The origins of language natural sounds which early men and women heard around them. When an object flew by, making a CAW-CAW sound, the early human tried to imitate the sound and used it to refer to the thing associated with the sound.
And when another flying creature made a COO-COO sound, that natural sound was adopted to refer to that kind of object. The fact that all modern languages have some words with pronunciations that seem to echo naturally occurring sounds could be used to support this theory.
In English, in addition to cuckoo, we have splash, bang, boom, rattle, buzz, hiss, screech, and forms such as bow-wow. Words that sound similar to the noises they describe are examples of onomatopeia.
While it is true that a number of words in any language are onomatopoeic, it is hard to see how most of the soundless things as well as abstract concepts in our world could have been referred to in a language that simply echoed natural sounds. It has also been suggested that the original sounds of language may have come from natural cries of emotion such as pain, anger and joy.
By this route, presumably, Ouch! We normally produce spoken language on exhaled breath. Basically, the expressive noises people make in emotional reactions contain sounds that are not otherwise used in speech production and consequently would seem to be rather unlikely candidates as source sounds for language.
The idea is that the sounds of a person involved in physical effort could be the source of our language, especially when that physical effort involved several people and the interaction had to be coordinated.is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her.
This paper reports results on the acquisition of the English /p/–/b/ contrast by native speakers of Arabic. This contrast does not exist in the participants’ native language (NL).
is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her. Sharaf’s entry into the discourse of “world” literature is also hindered by Ibrahim’s habit of writing in Arabic, unlike more prominent Third World authors who write in English or in other metropolitan languages that, compared to Arabic, translate relatively easily into English.
is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her. is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her.