Week 1

Human language differs with animal communication in

  • Discrete Infinity: discrete set but infinite set of language
  • Displacement: in temporality, in space, in notion
  • Joint attention: language is cooperative

Human language:

  • native speakers
  • one can speak about everything
  • recognized by a group as their language

Sign language is also a language

  • a system for it
  • just like spoken language
  • variation lies, too
  • same functionality with spoken language
  • native speakers

People who don’t speak a language:

  • wolf children
  • physical and psychological impediment: Genie (the girl)
  • aphasia: loss of language due to brain damage

Language Origin and Evolution

  • Continuity theory: based on animal communications
  • Discontinuity: something special had happens

It’s possible every language has a same origin but at that time it’s in air and not written. Liguistics do not make language, maybe.

Q: How many Languages are there in the world? A: According to ethnology, 6000~7000

Why languages are similar to each other?

  • contact with each other
  • physical reasons like human have the same body structure

Sign Language: various parameters, facial expr, palm, finger, movement, space etc.

  • embody strategy (popular in East Africa)
  • outline strategy (popular in Europe)