Students : Master’s Program Students of English Language Pedagogy of
Fakultas Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan of UniversitasTanjungpura
This course is intended to provide deep overviews on the history of modern linguistic theories and to introduce methods of conducting linguistic analysis.
SCOPE OF THE COURSE
Overview of Linguistic Theories
Theory and Praxis
The Nature of Language
Origin of Language
Linguistics vs. Traditional Grammar
An Outline of the History of Linguistics
Overview of Modern Linguistics Theories
Phonetics and Phonology
INTRODUCTION TO LINGUISTIC CONCEPTS
Overview of Linguistic Theories
Linguistics is scientific study of language
Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied, or realised. "Praxis" may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas.
The Nature of Language
"Language is the expression of ideas by means of speech-sounds combined into words. Words are combined into sentences, this combination answering to that of ideas into thoughts."
(Henry Sweet, an English phonetician and language scholar)
"A language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols by means of which a social group cooperates."
(The U.S. linguists Bernard Bloch and George L. Trager).
Language is “a system of communication by sound, i.e., through the organs of speech and hearing, among human beings of certain group or community, using vocal symbols possessing arbitrary conventional meaning”.
(Mario Pei and Frank Gaynor. 1975. Dictionary of Linguistics. Littlefield, U.S.A.: Adams & Co.. p. 119)
“Language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols which permits all people in a given culture, or other people who have learned the system of that culture, to communicate or to interact.”
(Mary Finnochiaro. 1974. English as a Second Language From Theory to Practice. New York: Regents Publishing Company, Inc.. p. 3.)
Language is “a system of arbitrary vocal symbols used for human communication”.
(Ronald Wardaugh. 1972. Introduction to Linguistics. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.. p. 3.)
How features of language are related to the human beings
No notational convention
E. An Outline of the History of Linguistics
Arabic and Hebrew Tradition
Middle Ages in Europe
F. The History of Modern Linguistics
The Prague School
Contemporary Approaches to Linguistics
Scope of Modern Linguistics
1. The Beginnings of Modern Linguistics
Phonetics and phonology were dominant
The International Phonetic Association was established in 1886 by a group of European phonetician
British phonetician Henry Sweet (1845-1912): a leading figure
Cours de linguistique générale by Ferdinand de Saussure was published posthumously by his students (1916)
a. European Structuralism: Main tenets
Language has a structure; Language is a system of signs; Language operates at two levels: langue and parole
b. Ferdinand de Saussure: Structuralism
Swiss linguist: 26 Nov. 1857 – 22 Feb. 1913 (English: /sɔ:’sʊr/ or /soʊ’sʊr/; French: [fɛʁdinɑ̃ də sosyʁ])
Sign: signifier – signified (form and substance)
Langue – Parole
Synchronic – Diachronic
Language is the form not the substance
Langue is a repertoire of linguistic signs
Sign: association of acoustic image and concept
c. Some of Saussure’s Ideas
His book Cours de linguistique générale or Course in General Linguistics (1916) –was published posthumously by former students
The Course became one of the seminal linguistics works of the 20th century, not primarily for the content but rather for the innovative approach that Saussure applied in discussing linguistic phenomena.
Content (Fr. contenu) consist of value and signification
Value (Fr. valeur) (Ind. valensi or nilai)
Relation: a sign and the other signs
(sintagmatic and paradigmatic)
Definition (Fr. signification)
Relation: sound – concept
We just talked on the board yesterday
I couldn’t screw in the bulb.
Nitrate; Night rate
Semiotics: Sign (in Cours)
d. Roy Harris summarized Saussure’s contribution
Language is no longer regarded as peripheral to our grasp of the world we live in, but as central to it.
Words are not mere vocal labels or communicational adjuncts superimposed upon an already given order of things. They are collective products of social interaction, essential instruments through which human beings constitute and articulate their world.
This typically twentieth-century view of language has profoundly influenced developments throughout the whole range of human sciences.
It is particularly marked in linguistics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and anthropology.
e. Language as “Social Facts”
Influenced by David Émile Durkheim (French: [emildyʁkɛm] or [dyʁkajm] (1858-1917): “social fact” and “collective consciousness”.
Dichotomy: langue and parole
Langue:socially shared system (language system)
Parole: speech or the language of the individual (language behavior)
Ogden and Richards (1923)
a. The Prague School
The Prague school, or Prague linguistic circle, is a tradition of linguistic thought that is associated with a group of Czech and other linguist who formed a the Linguistic School of Prague, established in 1926.
The group held a regular meetings and published a journal Travaux du cercle linguistique de Prague (launched in 1929).
Primary interest: phonology (Nicholai Trubtzkoy 1890-1838 in Vienna) Grundzüge der Phonologie [Principles of Phonology]
Example (First Principle):Two sounds of a given language are merely optional phonetic variants of a single phoneme if they occur in exactly same environment and are interchangable without a change in a lexical meaning of words.
Most famous: Roman Jacobson (1896-1982); emigrated to USA in 1942 and subsequently had a significant impact on the development of phonological theory there.
The aim of historical linguistics is the study not of isolated changes within a language but of systematic change
3) Theme – Rheme
Another interest: the relation between word order and discourse
theme/topic and rheme/comment) AND
given information and new information.
THE PRAGUE SCHOOL was an influentialgroup of literary critics and linguistics in Prague. Its proponents developed methods of structuralist literary analysis during the years 1928–1939. It has had significant continuing influence on linguistics and semiotics.
Following the Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948, the circle was disbanded in 1952, but the Prague School continued as a major force in linguistic functionalism (distinct from the Copenhagen school or English Firthian — later Hallidean — linguistics).
American scholar Dell Hymes cites his 1962 paper, "The Ethnography of Speaking," as the formal introduction of Prague functionalism to American linguistic anthropology.
b. British Structuralism
1) Daniel Jones (1881-1967):
He took up and extended Henry’s work in phonetics. Jones’ books:
An Outline of English Phonetics (1914)
English Pronouncing dictionary
The Standard IPA Vowel Trapezium
(an application of Jones's work)
2) J.R. Firth
General linguistics in Britain really began with the work of J.R. Firth (1890-1960), who held the first chair in Linguistics, in the University of London (1944-1956) – London School.
Firth’s theory of prosodic analysis focused on phonetics elements larger than individual sounds. Firth was also deeply concerned with meaning and developed a contextual theory of meaning that accorded a crucial role to use in context.
Firth’s student, Michael A.K. Halliday (1925--), developed coherent theory of language and systematic functional grammar.
The Copenhagen School was headed by Louis Hjelmslev.
Hjelmslev (1899-1965) and Hans Ulldal (1907-1957) developed glossematics.
His father was a mathematician
Hjelmslev (1899-1965) and Hans Ulldal (1907-1957) developed glossematics. It is an approach that focuses on the relations between units in the language system, in accordance with Saussurean thought which held that it is the relation between the linguistic entities rather that the entities themselves that is significant.
Hjemslev introduction to the theory:
Omkring sprogteoriens grundlægese (1943)
Revised and annotated English translation Prolegomena of a theory of language (appeared a decade later)
Highly abstract ‘algebraic theory’ to his father’s influence
d. American Structuralism
Franz Boas (1858-1942)
Edward Sapir (1884-1939)
Benjamin Lee Whorf (1987-1941)
Leonard Bloomfield (1887-1949)
North American Structuralism: Intro
Beginning: a group of anthropologists describing fast-disappearing American-Indian tribes.
They found that there was no methodology for them to follow in order to describe these languages.
A new step in the American Structuralism: NA Structuralism centers in what people actually say (Leonard Bloomfield 1887-1949)
North American Structuralism: Main tenets
Linguistics is a descriptive science: Describe what people say, not what people should say.
The primary form of language is the spoken one
Not every language has a written form.
Everybody learns an oral language.
The spoken form comes first than the written one.
Every language is a system on its own right: Language should not be described in terms of another language, but rather, it should be described on its own terms.
Language is a system in which smaller units arrange systematically to form larger ones: These linguists proposed a procedure in which they began analyzing the smallest units and classifying them, and describing the patterns into which they combined to form larger units.
Meaning should not be part of linguistic analysis: Bloomfield and many other structuralism followers consider meaning as abstract and unobservable, therefore, unscientific.
The procedures to determine the units in language should be objective and rigorous: NA Structuralism rejected traditional definitions of, for example, a noun as “the word that refers to persons, animals or things” (definition based on meaning).
Language is observable speech, not knowledge.
In this respect, they provide two observable criteria for defying the items of language: Form and Distribution.
Langue and parole were rejected as unscientific abstractions. The main objective would be to make a taxonomy of language based on observable samples of speech (corpus/corpora)
General term for variously developed branches of structuralism pioneered above all by E. Sapir (1884 - 1939)and L. Bloomfield (1887 - 1949).
Two general phases
Although the various schools cannot be clearly distinguished from one another, a distinction is made between two general phases: the so-called ‘Bloomfield Era’, and distributionalism, with Z. Harris as chief representative.
Two analytical steps
1) Franz Boas (1858–1942)
The founder of American linguistics and American anthropology.
Obtained information on Native American languages and cultures
Examples: Lower Chinook, Cathlamet, Chemakum, Pentlach, Pochutec, and Tsetsaut.
His method became the basis of American structuralism, a dominant force in twentieth-century linguistics.
Handbook of North American Indian Languages (1911) as a morphological classification of American Indian languages (morphological classification and psychological characterization).
Boas used Humboldt’ s concept of “inner form” to deal with the diversity of American Indian languages, seeing languages as conditioning the world view of their speakers.
An approach to acquiring knowledge that emphasizes repeatable observations through the physical senses
School of psychology which seeks to explain animal and human behavior entirely in terms of observable and measurable responses to environmental stimuli. Behaviorism was introduced (1913) by the American psychologist John B. Watson, who insisted that behavior is a physiological reaction to environmental stimuli.
Tabula Rasa (The mind comes as a blank slate)
The conditioned-reflex experiments of the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov and the American psychologist Edward Thorndike were central to the development of behaviorism. The American behaviorist B. F. Skinner contended that all but a few emotions were conditioned by habit.
John Watson (1878-1958)
John Broadus Watson founded the behaviorist movement in American psychology. His view that only observable events, and not mental states, are the substance of psychology provided the behavioristic flavor that still characterizes much of psychology today.
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936), a Russian physiologist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904 for his work on the physiology of gastric secretion.
Famous for studies on reflexes and for laying the foundations of the field of behavioural psychology.
American psychologist, leading exponent of the school of psychology known as behaviorism, which explains the behavior of humans and other animals in terms of the physiological responses of the organism to external stimuli.
Skinner maintained that learning occurred as a result of the organism responding to, or operating on, its environment.
The stimulus (S) led someone to speak (R) and the response (R) was resulted from the speech (s). Bloomfield argues that we can tell what the meaning of r….s must just by observing the event that accompanied it.
S → r ……….. s → R
S: the girl feels hungry
r: the girl asks the boy to pick an apple
s: the boy hears the girl’s request
R: the boy picks an apple and gives it to the girl
…. sound waves
3) Post-Bloomfieldian linguistics
Characteristics of American structuralist
Almost complete negligence of semantics
attempt to formulate a set of "discovery procedures"
To sum up
Structuralism is based on the assumption that grammatical categories should be defined not in terms of meaning but in terms of distribution, and that the structure of each language should be described without reference to the alleged universality of such categories as tense, mood and parts of speech.
Firstly, structural grammar describes everything that is found in a language instead of laying down rules;
Secondly, structural grammar is empirical, aiming at objectivity in the sense that all definitions and statements should be verifiable or refutable.
Let us discus these questions together:
How Structuralism, Functionalism and Generativism have contribute to our present understanding of language?
Why haven’t the questions what is language and how does language work haven’t been completely answered?
In which aspects European and North American Structuralism meet and differ?
Bloch, Bernard and George L. Trager. 1942. Outline of Linguistic Analysis. Baltimore: Linguistic Society of America/Waverly Press. p. 5).
Chomsky, Noam. 1957. Syntactic Structures. The Hague: Mouton.
de Saussure, Ferdinand. 1973. Cours de Linguistique Générale. Paris: Payot (First publication 1916). Trans. By Rahayu S. Hidayat. Ed. Harimurti Kridalaksana 1988. Pengantar Linguistik Umum. Yogyakarta: Gajah Mada University Press.
Finocchiaro, Mary. 1974. English as a Second Language From Theory to Practice. New York: Regents Publishing Company, Inc.
Geertz, Clifford Geertz. 1973. The interpretation of Culture. New York: basic Books.
Goodenough, Ward H. 1971. Culture, Language, and Society. Addison-Wesley Modular Publication. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Inc.
Johnson, dora. 2006. “Linguistics”.ERIC/CLL Resource Guides Online. Available at www.cal.org/ericcll/faqs/rgos/linguistics.html. Accessed on July 5th, 2006.
Littlejohn, Stephen W. 1992. Theories of Human Communication. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
Lyons, John. 1981. Language and Linguistics: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lyons, John. 1968. An Introduction to theoretical Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
M.A.K. Halliday. 1985. An Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Edward Arnold.
Montagu, Ashley. 1959. The Cultured Man. New York. P. 129.
Pei, Mario and Frank Gaynor. 1975. Dictionary of Linguistics. Littlefield, U.S.A.: Adams & Co.
R.A. Hall, R.A. 1968. An Essay on Language. Philadelphia & New York: Chilton Books.
Sapir, Edward. 1921. Language. New York: Harcourt Brace.
Wardaugh, Ronald. 1972. Introduction to Linguistics. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.