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1

Languages are sets of s____. ____ combine an e_____ (a sequence of letters or sounds) with a meaning. G______ are ways to generate ____ from more basic ____. ____ combine a form and a meaning, and they are identical with neither their ______ nor with their meaning.

Languages are sets of signs. Signs combine an exponent (a sequence of letters or sounds) with a meaning. Grammars are ways to generate signs from more basic signs. Signs combine a form and a meaning, and they are identical with neither their exponent nor with their meaning.

2

What is an "exponent"

A sequence of letters or sounds.

3

What is a "sign"

A combination of an exponent with a meaning. Or more formally A sign is a quadruple 〈π, µ, λ, σ〉 where π is its exponent (or phonological structure), µ its morphological structure, λ its syntactic structure and σ its meaning (or semantic structure).

4

In terms of signs, exponents and meaning what is a "signifier" and what is the "signified"?

Signs give exponents meanings The signifier is the exponent and the signified is its meaning.

5

What four branches are language signs constituted of

phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Semantics

6

What is semantics?

Semantics deals with the meanings (what is signified)

7

What is special about semantics when compared to the other constituents of language?

Semantics is the only one that deals with the signified, all the others deal with the signifier (the exponent)

8

What is syntax?

The part of linguistics that deals with how words are put together into sentences is called syntax

9

What are morphemes? Give examples.

The minimal parts of speech that bear meaning are called morphemes. The word "dogs" in English can be broken down into two morphemes, /dog/ and /s/

Formally: A morpheme is an indecomposable sign. If we have only •, then S is a morpheme and there are no S' and S'' such that S = S' • S''.

10

What are idioms? Give examples

Idioms are chunks of words that when put together they have a meaning that is not necessarily related to the words combined to form them. syntactically they often behave as if they are made from words. /kick the bucket/, /keep taps on someone/ "idioms are intransparent as far as their meaning is concerned (if you die you do not literally kick a bucket), syntactically they often behave as if they are made from words"

11

What is phonology?

The branch of linguistics that deals with the sound structure of signifiers.

12

What is the strata of a sign?

A word such as ‘dogs’ has four manifestations: its meaning, its sound structure, its morphological structure and its syntactic structure. The levels of manifestation are also called strata. (Some use the term level of representation.)

13

What does merge (symbolised as • ) do?

It takes two signs and forms a new sign. • operates on each of the strata (or levels of manifestation) independently.

14

What is a grammar?

Grammars are ways to generate signs from more basic signs

More formally: a grammar consists of a set of signs (called lexicon) together with a finite set of functions that each operate on signs.

15

What is a language?

A set of signs generated by a grammar

16

What is a lexicon?

A set of signs belonging to a grammar.

17

The process of a grammar generating a language.

1) Each member of the lexicon is in L 2) if S and S' are in L then so is S • S' 3) Nothing else is in L

18

The operation of syntactic merge:

let us look again at ‘this year’. The second part, ‘year’ is a noun, the first a determiner. The entire complex has the category of a determiner phrase (DP). Both are singular. Hence, we have that in syntax:

 

 

19

What is a phone and what is a phoneme?

A phone is a sound, a phoneme is a set of sounds

20

What are allomorphs?

A morpheme is a set of morphs. For example, the plural morpheme contains a number of morphs. One of them consists in of letter /s/, another of the letters /en/ (which are appended, as in /ox/:/oxen/), a third is zero (/fish/:/fish/). And some more. The morphs of a morpheme are called allomorphs of each other.