Externalism (Leonard Bloomfield):
⬩ Primary phenomena: Actual utterances as produced by language users
⬩ Primary subject matter: Language use; structural properties of expressions and languages
⬩ Aim: To describe attested expression structure and interrelations, and predicting properties of unattested expressions
⬩ Linguistic structure: A system of patterns, inferrable from generally accessible, objective features of language use
⬩ Values: Accurate modeling of linguistic form that accords with empirical data and permits prediction concerning unconsidered cases
⬩ Children's language: A nascent form of language, very different from adult linguistic competence
⬩ What is acquired: A grasp of the distributional properties of the constituents of expressions of a language
Emergentism (Edward Sapir)
⬩ Primary phenomena: Facts of social cognition, interaction, and communication
⬩ Primary subject matter: Linguistic communication, cognition, variation, and change
⬩ Aim: To explain structural properties of languages in terms of general cognitive mechanisms and communicative functions
⬩ Linguistic structure: A system of constructions that range from fixed idiomatic phrases to highly abstract productive types
⬩ Values: Cognitive, cultural, historical, and evolutionary explanations of phenomena found in linguistic communication systems
⬩ Children's language: A series of stages in an ontogenetic process of developing adult communicative competence
⬩ What is acquired: A mainly conventional and culturally transmitted system for linguistic communication
Essentialism (Noam Chomsky)
⬩ Primary phenomena: Intuitions of grammaticality and literal meaning
⬩ Primary subject matter: Abstract universal principles that explain the properties of specific languages
⬩ Aim: To articulate universal principles and providing explanations for deep and cross-linguistically constant linguistic properties
⬩ Linguistic structure: A system of abstract conditions that may not be evident from the experience of typical language users
⬩ Values: Highly abstract, covering-law explanations for properties of language as inferred from linguistic intuitions
⬩ Children's language: Very similar to adult linguistic competence though obscured by cognitive, articulatory, and lexical limits
⬩ What is acquired: An internalized generative device that characterizes an infinite set of expressions
Individual: strictly a property of individual human beings, not groups or communities.
Internal: meaning is internal and a language is a state your mind/brain is in.
Intensional: a language is a specific procedure, generating infinitely many expressions of that language.
Extensional: research-based on attested utterances or extensionally definable objects.
External: view that conceives of a language as a public, intersubjectively accessible system used by a community of people.
➝ Competence: what knowing a language confers, a grasp of all sentences
➝ Performance: real-time use of a language
- Corpus Collection: gathering a body of naturally occurring utterances.
- Controlled Experimentation: testing informants in some way that directly gauges their linguistic capacities.
- Informal Elicitation: asking an informant for a metalinguistic judgment on an expression ➝ most widely used and criticized.
Ordinal scale: a partial ordering equivalence in acceptability or ranking in degree of unacceptability.
Interval scale: a measure of distance between ordinal positions.
• Labov’s Principles: the consensus principle, the experimenter principle, the clear case principle
• Corpus collection: gathering a body of naturally occurring utterances
• Whorfianism: one's language determines one's conception of the world
➝ phenotype vs. cryptotype: overt and covert grammatical categories
➝ weak vs. strong hypothesis: language determines OR influences thought
• language acquisition: all three approaches agree that some unlearned capacities are necessary to learn language.
➝ general vs. linguistic nativists: languages are acquired mainly through inductive methods versus language cannot be acquired by defeasible inductive methods, its structural principles must to a very large degree be unlearned
• Structuralism: the shift from diachronic (historical) to synchronic (non-historical) analysis, studies of associations
• De Saussure: father of modern linguistics
• Laryngeal theory: system including number of phonemes, usually called laryngeals, of which the various IE dialects other than the Anatolian languages show no direct reflexes
• Object of linguistics: the language (Saussure’s ‘langue’) as an abstract system
Langage: universal system which has an underlying, fundamental, structure so that linguistic communication can work.
Langue: the actual language spoken, e.g. French, German or English.
Parole: the individual speech act.
Signified: the concept part
Signifier: the sound-image part
Sign: designates this whole relationship
The principle of arbitrariness: there is no direct connection between the sound-image and the concept;
Signification: concerns the (vertical) relation between a signifier and its signified;
Value: concerns the (horizontal) relation between signifieds & signifiers
Syntagmatic relations: relations between elements that are combined within one larger system; these relations define the possible combinations of elements (their distribution) at various levels (word, sentence); “The syntagmatic relation is in praesentia.”
Associative relations: relations between elements that have a common association (to teach, teacher, pupil etc.); terms in an associative family; “the associative relation unites term in absentia”.
• Prague School ➝ inauguration of phonology; Linguistic Circle of Copenhagen ➝ glossematics; American structuralism ➝ start from scratch
Generativism: languages are systems with limited sets of linguistics item out of which we can generate endless number of sentences (Chomsky)
Structural linguistics: method of synchronic linguistic analysis employing structuralism, especially in contrasting those formal structures, such as phonemes or sentences, that make up systems, such as phonology or syntax. (Saussure)
Descriptive linguistics: the study of the description of the internal phonological, grammatical, and semantic structures of languages at given points in time without reference to their histories or to one another
Universal grammar: the ability to learn grammar is hard-wired into the brain.
A string of words is grammatical if it follows the principles of grammar of a language, ungrammatical if it does not. According to Chomsky, grammatical sentences should be judged as appropriate sentences of a language by native speakers of the language.