What is language?
A simple definition: A system of symbols and rules that enable us to communicate.
Symbols: stand for other things (i.e. words).
Rules: specify how words are ordered to form sentences.
Properties of language
Structured at multiple levels
What makes up language?
Phoneme: is the basic unit of spoken language
Example: the sounds /p/ /t/ and /a/ are all phonemes.
English has about 40 phonemes.
s and c can both produce /s/ sound
Phonology- Sound system of language; rules of how different phonemes can be arranged.
/s/ and c are one phoneme.
The written form of the language
Morpheme: is the basic unit of meaning
contains 4 morphemes re-, -act, -ive, -ate and ed
Morphology- is the study of morphemes
Lexicon: entire set of morphemes
An average English speaker has a lexicon of ~80,000 morphemes.
Each of these segments has a specific meaning. For instance re- indicates a repeated action. And ed signifies past tense.
Syntax: Refers to the grammatical rules that govern how we organize words into sentences.
English: Dog chased cat (SVO)
Turkish: Dog cat chased (SOV)
In English, we follow
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