1001LAL - Linguistics 1A Definitions


1001LAL 2016
Flashcards by s.chng, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by s.chng about 8 years ago

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Linguistics The scientific study of 'natural language'.
Natural language A system of symbols (spoken or signed) used by humans
Arbitrary No natural or intrinsic relationship between pronunciation and meaning of a word.
Onomatopoeia Words whose pronunciations suggest their meaning
Creativity Ability to combine finite number of linguistic units to produce and understand an infinite range of sentences.
Linguistic competence Knowledge of a language represented by the mental grammar that accounts for speakers' linguistic ability and creativity.
Linguistic performance Use of linguistic competence in the production and comprehension of language.
Grammar The mental representation of a speaker's linguistic competence; what a speaker knows about a language.
Descriptive grammar A linguist's description or model of the mental grammar, including units, structures and rules.
Prescriptive grammar Rules of grammar brought by grammarian's attempts to legislate what grammatical rules for speakers should be, rather than what they are.
Universal grammar (UG) The innate principles and properties that pertain to the grammars of all human languages.
Discreteness Letters and words can be rearranged to form new words and sentences.
Displacement Ability to talk or sign about entities that are not related to the present - but can relate the past, and express the future.
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (SWH) The notion that the semantic structure of the language that a person speaks either determines or limits the way they are able to form conceptions of the world they live in.
Linguistic determinism The strongest form of the SWH, the language we speak establishes how we perceive and think about the world.
Linguistic relativism A weak form of SWH, the different languages encode different categories and that speakers of different languages therefore think about the world in different ways.
Neurolinguistics The study of brain mechanisms that underlie the acquisition and the use of human language.
Corpus callosum A broad band of nerve fibers joining the two hemispheres of the brain.
Lateralisation Cognitive functions localised to one or the other side of the brain.
Contralateral The stimuli that travel between one side of the body and the opposite cerebral hemisphere.
Aphasia Language loss or disorders following brain damage.
Broca's aphasia Agrammatic aphasia Language disorder resulting from damage to Broca's region where the patient has difficulty with certain aspects of syntax, especially functional categories.
Wernicke's aphasia Jargon aphasia The type of aphasia resulting from damage to Wernicke's area where an individual is unable to understand language in its written or spoken form.
Plasticity The ability of the brain to modify its own structure and function following changes within the body or in the external environment.
Hemispherectomy A surgical procedure where a half of the brain is removed or disabled.
Split brain The result of an operation for epilepsy where the corpus callosum is severed, thus separating the brain into its two hemispheres.
Dichotic listening Experimental method for brain research in which subjects hear different auditory signals in the left and right ears.
Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) The electrical signals emitted from different areas of the brain in response to different kinds of stimuli.
Specific Language Impairment (SLI) Difficulty in acquiring language but no other cognitive deficits is present.
Critical age hypothesis The ability to acquire language is biologically linked to age.
Innateness The theory of which some knowledge about language exists in humans at birth.
Content words (Open-class) Words that denote objects, actions, attributes and properties. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs...etc.
Function words (Closed-class) Words that have little or no semantic content. Conjunctions, prepositions, articles, pronouns, etc.
Verbs Refer to actions, events and states. (Kick, go, arrive, love, know)
Adjectives Refer to qualities or properties, describe nouns. (Old, young, tall, short)
Nouns (Common) Refer to a person, place, thing, event, substance, quality, quantity, etc.
Nouns (Proper) Refer to particular individuals. (Kevin, Tony, Marcus, Australia, New Zealand, etc.)
Morphology The study of the structure and content of word forms
Morpheme The smallest grammatical or meaningful unit in a language.
Root Lexical content morpheme that cannot be analyzed into smaller parts.
Stem Root morpheme combined with at least one affix.
Base Any root or stem where an affix is attached.
Affixes Bound morphemes that are attached to base.
Prefixes Precede other morphemes. (Pre-, Un-, In-, Im- etc.)
Suffixes Follows other morphemes (-ly, -ious, -er, -ist etc.)
Infixes Inserted into other morphemes.
Circumfixes Attached to base morphemes both initially and finally.
Cranberry morpheme/Semimorpheme Morpheme that cannot be assigned an independent meaning or grammatical function, but nonetheless serves to distinguish one word from the other.
Agentive morpheme, -er One who does something. (teacher, singer, painter etc.)
Comparative morpheme, -er Indicates the comparative degree of an adjective. (nicer, prettier, smaller etc.)
Deixis Words and phrases, such as “me” or “here”, that cannot be fully understood without additional contextual information.
Person deixis Any expression used to point to a person. (me, you, her, them etc.)
Space deixis Words used to point to a location. (here, there, this, that etc.)
Time deixis Used to point to a time. (now, then, tonight, yesterday)
Specificity Whether or not a specific entity is referred to.
Definiteness Whether or not the reference is to an entity which the speaker thinks their addressee knows about.
Tense Expresses the time when a state or action denoted by a verb occurs.
Aspect A component of the conjugation of a verb, having to do with the internal temporal flow of an event.
Mood A set of morphologically distinctive forms that are used to signal modality.
Modality Attitudes and involvement such as desire, ability, obligation and likelihood.
Polarity The distinction of affirmative and negative.
Reduplication Whole root, or part of the root, is repeated, or duplicated, within the same word.
Lexical gaps Accidental gaps in lexicons, words that are well-formed not non-existing.
Compound Two or more words are joined to make one longer word. The meaning of the compound may be similar to or different from the meanings of its components in isolation.
Back-formation Creation of a new word by analysing a word as a derivation and removing apparent affixes.
Eponyms Words coined from proper names.
Blends Combination of two words with parts of combined words removed.
Clippings Abbreviation of longer words into shorter ones.
Acronyms Words derived from the initials of several words and are pronounced as the spelling indicates.
Alphabetic abbreviations Words derived from the initials of several words and are each element in the string is pronounced separately.
Syntax The set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of sentences in a given language, specifically word order.
Phrase One or more words forming a single unit (‘constituent’) in the syntax of a sentence.
Sentence The largest independent unit in the grammar of a language.
Transitive verbs Takes a Direct Object, the under-goer of the action is described by the verb is expressed in the object.
Intransitive verbs Does not have a Direct Object, only the subject is given.
Ditransitive verbs Verbs that take an Indirect Object and a Direct Object.
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