linguistics 1 at Universität Marburg

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The Complement

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Defining features

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Word formation processes
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The adverb (Adv)

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Studying meaning

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How words are related

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Formalism / Generativism
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Vowels

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The noun (N)

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Phonology

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Reduced relative clauses
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Lexical semantics - Bringing it all together (example)

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linguistics 1

The Complement
oSubject complement: she is a student (students don’t like linguistics – ist das kein object?)
Describes, characterizes and/or identifies the subject
Wide range of formal realizations
Immediately follows the verb
If it’s an NP -> in number concord with the subject
oObject complement: she called him an idiot
Describes, characterizes and/or identifies the direct object
Wide range of formal realizations
Immediately follows the direct object
If an NP, in number concord with the direct object

linguistics 1

Defining features
-Bird – defining features e.g. has skin, has feathers, has wings, lays eggs, breathes air

linguistics 1

Word formation processes
o may change word class
oDerivation: adding an affix to create new word, e.g. un- happy
oCompounding: combining existing word forms to create new words, e.g. black bird, science fiction
oComplex derivation: what is the correct order? (unkindness) which process is the right way? Un- is normally attached to an adjective and not a noun whereas –ness is attached to adjectives
oOther types
-->Blending: non-morphemic parts of words, e.g. smog, brunch, motel
-->Clipping: shortening existing words, e.g. prof, lab, ad
-->Back-formations: editor > edit, baby-sitter > baby-sit
-->Initialism – alphabetism: EU, USA, CD
-->Initialism - acronyms: NASA, DACA, AIDS (pronounced as 1 word)
-->Coinange: hobbit, muggle, google
-Conversion: new word (class) without formal change
oSmell – to smell, change - to change

linguistics 1

The adverb (Adv)
-Meaning (usually quality, e.g. happily, quickly)
-Form – mainly derivation: loudly, strongly, westwards
-Distribution
oModifies the verb, e.g. she sings beautifully
oModifies the adjective, e.g. extremely talented
oModifies the adverb, e.g. very beautifully

linguistics 1

Studying meaning
3 different disciplines:
-Semiotic: scientific study of sign systems in general (like thumbs up, yawning, smoke signs)
-Semantics: decontextualized meaning communicated through language
oContext doesn’t play any role
oLooks at meaning of words and sentences in isolation (w/o context)
oLexical semantics: word meaning
oSentence semantics: sentence meaning
o“It’s warm in here” would be analyzed about whether it’s true or not, under which circumstances it is or not
-Pragmatics: contextualized meaning communicated through language
o“It’s warm in here” can mean a lot -> sitting in a room next to an open window, it could be interpreted as a request to close the window
oThe meaning we get when we look at the context

linguistics 1

How words are related
-Words aren’t isolated, they are linked in our head (like a network)
-If one word is activated, others are activated too
oSee “white, white white, the cow drinks milk” experiment

linguistics 1

Formalism / Generativism
•Noam Chomsky
•set (finite or infinite) of sentences, each finite in length and constructed out of finite set of elements
•generative grammar (formalistic way of describing language)
oif there is a system to generate all possible sentences, you can fully describe a language
oS -> NP + VP
oNP -> Det + (Adj) + Noun
oVP -> Verb + (NP)
•opposing Behaviorism (stimulus - response)
•competence vs. performance
ocompetence = abstract knowledge of language that ideal native speaker has
oPerformance = application of the competence
oas language teachers we are more interested in competence than performance
•Universal Grammar
oLanguage acquisition is surprising
oPoverty of stimulus (infants don't get enough input) -> acquire Universal Grammar (astonishing)
oPrinciples and parameters: modifier and modified words: e.g. the red coat, der rote Mantel, le manteau rouge

linguistics 1

Vowels
-No obstruction of airstream
-English vowels typically voiced
-Quality: 3 criteria
oOpen – close (mouth)
oFront – Back: Where is the tongue?
oLip rounding: rounded – unrounded
-Quantity: long or short
-Monophthongs (no change in quality)
-Diphthongs (change in quality)
Types of diphthongs
-Closing diphthongs: first vowel more open than second
-Centring diphthongs (moving from extreme positions to centre)

linguistics 1

The noun (N)
-Meaning
operson, e.g. woman, boy
oobject, e.g. chair, pen
oplace, e.g. home, USA
oabstract entity, e.g. anxiety, love
-Form
oInflection (plural –s, possession -’s)
oDerivation (happiness, neighbourhood, embodiment – indicatives of noun)
-Distribution
oMay follow a determiner, e.g. my house
oMay be modified by an adjective, e.g. my pink house
oNoun phrase is often subject / object of a clause

linguistics 1

Phonology
The scientific study of the sound system of a specific language
-Funtion and organization of sounds in a language system
-Phonemes (abstract ideas of sound) - //
-Segmental phonology
-Suprasegmental phonology

linguistics 1

Reduced relative clauses
-The dog died
-The dog the cat chased died
-The dog the cat the rat bit chased died. > The dog that the cat chased that the rat bit died.

linguistics 1

Lexical semantics - Bringing it all together (example)
-(Taboo) Why is Bush easier to exlain than the Richter Scale?
oWord form bush has 4 different meanings (= it has 4 lexical units): plant, area of land, 41st and 43rd PotUS
In 1 word there are 4 words hidden and all of them have different connections to other words
oBush has defining features, meaning relations, collocations and encyclopedic meaning
oRichter scale: there aren’t any well known meaning relations, collocations or encyclopedic knowledge, only has defining features which are already on taboo card and only 1 lexical unit

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