"Language / Linguistics" Essays

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Semantic Feature in the English Research Paper

Research Paper  |  8 pages (2,156 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 9


" ((Ibragimov, 2006, p.1) Homonyms are abundant and connected intimately with the phonetic unit of word and stem or otherwise stated the "predominance of forms among the most frequent roots. It is very obvious that the frequency of words stands in some inverse relationship to length, the monosyllabic words will be the most frequent moreover, as the most frequent words are also highly polysemantic, It is only natural that they develop meanings, which in the course of time may deviate very far from the central one. When the inter-mediate links fall out, some of these new meanings lose all with the rest of the structure and start a separate existence. Phenomenon is known as disintegration or split of polysemy,

VII. Different Causes for Homonymy

Different causes by which homonymy may be brought about subdivided into two main groups:

1) Homonymy through convergent sound development, when or three words of different origin accidentally coincide in sound;

2) Homonymy developed from polysemy through divergent development. Both may be combined with loss of endings and other morphological processes. ((Ibragimov, 2006, p.1)

It is important to understand that a polysemantic word may be long to several synonymic groups in the various meanings for example: E.g. fresh -- 1. A fresh metaphor: original, novel, striking; 2. fresh air: pure, invigorating 3. To be fresh with smb.: impertinent, rude. Synonymous differences may include the following:

(1) Stylistic difference: insane and loony are synonymous, but the former is formal and the latter is informal; salt and sodium chloride are synonymous, but the former is everyday and the latter is technical.

(2) Collocational difference: rancid and rotten are synonymous, but the former is used only for butter or bacon and the latter for low-fat or vegetarian food products; kingly, royal, and regal are synonymous, but the mail has to be royal in the UK.

(3) Difference of emotional coloring or connotation: youth and youngster are synonymous, but youths are less pleasant than youngsters.

(4) Difference in distribution: luxurious (about human luxury e.g. luxurious tastes, habits, food, mansions) and luxuriant (characterizing abundance of smth.) E.g. luxuriant hair, leaves, flowers); economic (dealing with economics e.g. economic situation, agreement) and economical (associated with economy e.g. economical stove, bulbs, method)."

Stated as the primary etymological sources of current English synonyms are those of native English or (Anglo-Saxon) words, borrower French words, and borrowed Latin (or Greek) words of terminological character which are reported to, in combination: "make up the so-called stylistically conditioned triple "keyboard." (Cabinillas, nd)

Figure 2 - Triple Keyboard (Stylistically Conditioned)

Native English words

Words borrowed from French

Words borrowed from Latin/Greek

To ask to question to interrogate


stomach abdomen

To gather to assemble to collect

Source: Cabinillas (nd)


It is clear that homonyms are often classified as Homophones however, the polysemantic synonym effect upon the homonym lexical meaning is such that derives from the same origins as the polysemantic synonym including stylistic differences, collocational differences, difference of color of emotion or connotation; and the difference in distribution.… [read more]

Linguistic Analysis of Word Order in Zulu Applied Linguistics Essay

Essay  |  16 pages (5,041 words)
Bibliography Sources: 16


Linguistic Analysis of Word Order in Zulu Language

Linguistics in most cases deals with the scientific studies relating to languages. Most of the undergraduates are not conversant with linguistics because it is hardly taught in high schools. Most of those who discover about linguistics do it in their college levels. This paper, however, focuses on the linguistic analysis of word… [read more]

Elt in the Expanding Circle and/or Outer Essay

Essay  |  12 pages (4,023 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


ELT in the Expanding Circle and/or Outer Circle

The 2001 maven conference bore testimony to the growth of interest in EW L' over the past few decades.

In the years between ? The first major academic gathering on this subject, the seminal conference on cross-cultural communication held at the University of Illinois in 1978 (Kachru 1992), and MAVEN 2001, much… [read more]

Linguistics, Language Acquisition, &amp Pronoun Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,221 words)
Style: Harvard  |  Bibliography Sources: 8


In other words, overextension is pushing oneself beyond one's bounds. Consider the example of overextending the range of flexibility in a joint or a muscle as an analogy. Language is a muscle; the use of language exercises a muscle -- the brain. Language exercises very specific areas of the brain. Thus, just as in muscle growth in other areas of… [read more]

Korean Linguistics the Korean Language Term Paper

Term Paper  |  12 pages (3,222 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 7


Korean Linguistics

The Korean Language and Linguistics

The Korean language, a member of the Altaic family of languages, is spoken as a native language by peoples of Korean ethnic derivation living in the Korean peninsula, southern and eastern Manchuria, the Russian Far East (eastern Siberia), Kazakhstan, Japan, North America, and in other communities scattered throughout the world. The total number… [read more]

Inquiry of George Orwell's Politics and the English Language Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,090 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … Language Political or Historically Based?

In George Orwell's essay, "All Art is Propaganda" he tells us the English language is intrinsically politically manipulative. 'The English language, " says Orwell, " Is in a bad way" and he goes on to demonstrate how this is so. There are many words and phrases that he uses to make his point.

According to Orwell, and this is where all linguistics agree, language is a natural outgrowth of one's culture. It echoes the way we think and objectives our socialization and transmitted values. Language is a semantic instrument fashioned by a specific culture and the values and principles of that specific culture are sewn into the fabrics of the words that make up that specific language. In other words, "language is a natural outgrowth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes" (Orwell, 270). Language is as much a social construct as is race or class.

As per example, Orwell points to 'dying metaphors', 'pretentious diction', and 'meaningless words'. All of these are used as tools to assert a certain implied superiority over a class of people that one sees as illiterate, uncouth, and uneducated. Leveraging oneself above that class with seemingly sophisticated and unintelligible language is a way of belligerently asserting one's authority. In other words, a certain class of academics and influential people assert their authority and dominance via inflated semantics. As Orwell sees it, "there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims. One turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink" (282).

Writing is a delicate piece of work. One has to know expressly what to say and ensure that one reaches the mind and attention of the other without boring him and deceiving him in long-winded ambiguous and rambling network of meaningless semantics. To that end, Orwell recommends that the write focus on simplicity, constantly asking him whether he may not have phrased the words in a simpler, more direct manner.

Orwell compares the craft of writing with that of painting where both require precision, clarity, effort, and care. "Thought corrupts language and language corrupts thought" (282). To produce clear and effective writing therefore one has to have clear and effective thought. Users of the English language have to be aware of the possible corrupting influences of the language and evaluate those carefully, scrupulously assessing what they want to say in order to present their ideas in the most accurate, effective manner.

Orwell is not the only one to point to the social construct of semantics. Foucault, for one, points to political exploitation of semantics where certain terms such as 'normal' are used to exploit and dominate a demeaned and under-privileged other. The difference between social constructionists such as Foucault and Wittgenstein is that they point to specific constructs of the English language that represent unintentional perceptions of viewing individuals or objects in a certain manner (such as social constructionist of 'normal' or… [read more]

Relationship Between Language in Threatening Communications and the Threatener's Potential Risk for Violence Literature Review Chapter

Literature Review Chapter  |  2 pages (674 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


Threatening Language

Threats and Worse

Legal systems such as those used in the United States and Europe make a clear distinction in criminal law between what people say and what people do. This is not to say that legal systems are positing that words cannot do harm, but rather that there is a distinction in the harm that is caused by words and other actions. However, while this is a legitimate legal distinction, within linguistics and related fields such as psychology, the distinction is much less clear (or useful): There is no equivalent bright line outside of the legal field. Rather, there is a continuum from threats to other kinds of violence.

Individuals who work in situations in which there are commonly overt threats to harm either self or others become skilled at ascertaining the ways in which threats can slide into physical violence. This thus provides a rich field of potential data for linguists, and one that does not seem to have been used to its full capacity. For example, first responders and medical staff who work in emergency rooms have to be able to make accurate assessments of whether an individual's verbal threats are likely to become anything more than that. Their own lives or lives of others may depend upon this. Novak & Hubbell (2002), for example, note that there is generally not a linear progression from verbal threat to physical assault.

Rather, there is a highly typical pattern of assault that follows this pattern: Trigger, Escalation, Assault, Recovery, Post-Crisis (p. 98). Being able to assess where an individual is in this cycle is key in being able to understand how threats and physical violence are connected to each other. There tends to be a cycling back and forth between physical and verbal escalations, so that verbal threats are mixed in with increasingly threatening body language, then this is added to another layer of verbal threats, which then feeds into increasingly physical threats, etc.

Thus when considering a linguistic analysis of threats and their…… [read more]

Second Language Learning Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (888 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Language Acquisition

First and second language acquisition: Unnecessary differences and encouraging similarities

Language acquisition is a complex process that is still not entirely understood. The speed and apparent method by which infants acquire their native language continues to baffle researchers in linguistics, psychology, and neurology; no entirely valid explanation has been put forth that sufficiently explains the phenomenon given what is known about language acquisition later in life (Galasso 2003). This fact alone, though, has led to some interesting hypotheses and research regarding second language acquisition in both children and adults, with increasing evidence that the specific subconscious mechanisms of language acquisition -- whatever they may be, as they are still not fully understood -- can be used to help second-language learners later in life (Freeman & Freeman 2004; Wilson 2000). The human brain seems to have an innate ability to pick up on the rules of grammar, and this fact can be utilized in language learning and instruction to gain fluency faster and more completely (Wilson 2000).

The primary external difference between first language acquisition and second language acquisition is that the first occurs completely subconsciously, whereas the second is almost always the result of a conscious effort (Freeman & Freeman 2004). That is, second language acquisition in most instances of traditional learning is known to follow established cognitive problem solving mechanisms of thinking and reasoning (Galasso 2003). But attempts to integrate the innate knowledge of grammar that the human brain is capable of and that seems to facilitate first language acquisition with traditional and developing methods of learning a second language show very optimistic results for improving second language acquisition (Freeman & Freeman 2004).

There are several essential factors in both first and second language acquisition. Psychological, physical, and social factors all contribute to both children's and adults' acquisition of language. The psychological factors surrounding first language acquisition are still a large part of the mystery surrounding how a native language is absorbed; grammar is understood to be something that human brains innately grasp, but the how of this grasping has yet to be explained (Freeman & Freeman 2004; Wilson 2000). The psychology of second language acquisition is somewhat better understood but still quite complex; using the first language as a monitor for the second almost always happens and can lead to difficulties in the learning process (Galasso 2003). Social immersion in a language -- or isolation from it -- also has a huge effect on both first and second language acquisition, and the physical movements of the mouth and tongue that are used to produce the phonemes in one language can assist or make difficult the physical creation of sounds during…… [read more]

Language Acquisition Theories Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (602 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3



Language and Culture: An Important Intersection

While language acquisition has been a popular theory since Noam Chomsky's emergence into the field of linguistics, understanding the exact ways in which language acquisition occurs is still explored. While the connection between language and culture has long been explored, true believers in language acquisition might dismiss the fact that the two are related. Still, in their article "The Symbolic World of the Bilingual Child: Digressions on Language Acquisition and Process of Thinking," Nowak-Fabrykowski and Shkandrij suggest that culture and language acquisition share an important bond that cannot be broken. Through an explanation of their theories, as well as an application to classroom learning, a better understanding of language acquisition and its facets can be grasped.

First, the authors suggest that teachers should use a student's own culture and worldview to help them learn new languages. For instance, ELL students can be taught English not necessarily by immersion into American or British culture, but instead through applying their cultures to the English language and vice versa. The article calls on previous pedagogical study that has remarked upon scaffolding as an important technique in teaching. Applying scaffolding to the teaching of English as a second language might be similarly successful, as the authors' argue making a connection between what a student is familiar with and new tasks is one way to encourage learning.

Second, the authors argue that previously held concepts of alienation might actually be hindering a student's ability to learn a second language. They argue that students who are separated from their own cultures and forced to learn new ones are also forced to drop parts of their own language and culture, making them unsure of themselves and their position in society. Because this can not only cause problems with academic learning, but…… [read more]

Linguistics Ebonics Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,415 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10


Ebonics may borrow or take on words from Standard American English, but there are grammatical dissimilarities. In fact, there is substantiation suggesting that African-American speech has roots similar to that of Niger-Congo Africans. Ebonics shares African morphology and lacks certain phonemes. These phonemes play an important role in the syntax and comprehension of Standard American English. However since Ebonics lacks… [read more]

Extinct Languages Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,398 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Extinct Languages

There are two definitions of an extinct language, according to a science forum. The first definition relates to a language that is extinct due to the fact that no more people speak it, even if some may be able to read and even write it. Such examples include Old English and Ancient Chinese. Furthermore, in this group, one can also find scholarly or biblical languages such as Sanskrit and Slavonic, which can be recited, but which have no basis for correct pronunciation or fluency.

The second definition relates to a second group. This "stricter" definition of such a language is one that has left so few traces that it cannot even be reconstructed. This is truly an extinct or dead language, as it cannot even give an idea of the most rudimentary of dialogues. These can include many Bronze Age languages, and even some Indo-European languages.

A sad fact is that according to this definition, many other languages will be extinct by the year 2100. For instance, recently, it was found that as recently as February of last year, the last speaker of a tribal language, Bo, died in the Andaman Islands. The article mentioned that the death of this member of the tribe broke the 65,000-year-old link to one of the world's oldest cultures.

The article adds,

"Boa Sr., who lived through the 2004 tsunami, the Japanese occupation and diseases brought by British settlers, was the last native of the island chain who was fluent in Bo. Taking its name from a now-extinct tribe, Bo is one of the 10 Great Andamanese languages, which are thought to date back to pre-Neolithic human settlement of Southeast Asia. Though the language has been closely studied by researchers of linguistic history, Boa Sr. spent the last few years of her life unable to converse with anyone in her mother tongue."

The article goes on to say that the language that Boa Sr. was speaking was so extensive, yet so far extinct that nobody else was able to understand her, so she could only communicate to her family and friends in Hindi and another local language. Despite the fact that this language was so obscure, it is important to note just how many other languages like it have gone extinct.

In fact, according to some research, languages are becoming extinct more quickly than animals and plants. This further states that "…of the estimated 7,000 unique languages spoken in the world today, nearly half are likely to disappear this century, with an average of one lost every two weeks…[and] losing a language often means losing the knowledge and history of an entire culture, especially when there is no written record available."

According to the National Geographic Society and the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages, 80% of the total global population speaks only one perfect of its languages. Furthermore, endangered languages, though documented by identifying "hot spots," can still be in danger of extinction. The five regions most in danger of extinction,… [read more]

Second Language Oral Production in High School Within the Context of CLIL Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  30 pages (10,651 words)
Bibliography Sources: 40



This study is motivated by theoretical and pedagogical interests: to inform instructional design intended to integrate language and content and to explore how form and meaning intersect in SLA (second language acquisition). Both interests draw on an extensive body of research that encompasses theory and practice underlying… [read more]

Memory and Language Semantic Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,018 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


The primary motor cortex send this message to these muscles and the response is articulated (Poeppel & Hickok, 2004). While the Wernicke -- Geschwind model has been popular for many years, with the advent of neuroimaging it is been discovered that multiple areas of the brain are activated during language production and not just the areas in this particular model. Moreover, patients with certain types of aphasia can have variable damage in the brain not specifically in these language production and language reception areas identified by the model (Poeppel & Hickok, 2004). Nonetheless, this model of language comprehension and language expression remains popular.

One interesting proposition regarding the Wernicke-Geschwind model is the notion of mentalese. Psycholinguists have proposed that some form of mentalese, a mental representation system different from language but that is translated into linguistic form in the brain, exists. However, there is little evidence or agreement as to the properties of this form of pre-linguistic mental representation (Dudai, 2007; Poeppel & Hickok, 2004).

Certainly some form of neural representation for language must exist. The stages of language production are similar to the serial method theories of the acquisition of declarative memories (especially semantic memory). Because semantic memories must somehow be represented in some formal neural code and since semantic memories are a form of declarative memory (e.g., they can be explicitly stated with language), it would follow that semantic memories are stored in the brain similar to linguistic codes and language representations. According to Dudai (2007) the serial model for semantic memory begins with paying attention to some to -- be -- remembered information (this model also received initial support via the study of patients with bran damage). After attending to it one must encode the information (this is typically considered to be a function of the hippocampus in the left temporal lobe). Consolidation and encoding are often achieved by some form of rehearsal. Following sufficient encoding the information is stored in areas of association cortex in some form of neural code. When one wishes to recall the memory it must be retrieved from its storage site in the brain and then translated into language code. The encoding -- storage/consolidation -- retrieval model parallels the Wernicke -- Geschwind model of language production. Just what the neural code is and how this is represented in the brain remains a mystery.


Bock, J.K. & Levelt, W.J.M. (1994.) Language production: Grammatical encoding. In Gernsbacher, M.A. (ed.) Handbook of psycholinguistics (pp. 945 -- 84). New York:

Academic Press.

Dudai, Y. (2007) Memory: It's all about representations. In: Roediger, H.L., Dudai, Y. & Fitzpatrick S.M., (eds.) Science of memory: Concepts (pp 13-16). New York: Oxford

Jakobson, R. (1963). Implications of language universals for linguistics. In Greenberg, J. (ed.)

Universals of language (pp. 208-219). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Poeppel, D. & Hickok, G. (2004). Towards a new functional anatomy of language. Cognition,

92, 1 -- 12.

Tulving, E. (1972). Episodic and semantic memory. In Tulving, E & Donaldson, M (eds.)

Organization of memory… [read more]

Modern Language Associations of America Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (963 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


So in order to maintain the synergy of academic and the language and linguistics followed and observed in the conformity of international standards cannot be subjugated. In the similar context if there were no standards followed than the cultural invasion in understanding the work done by researcher in part of the world may sound useless and amid to the researcher ion the other part of the world. Hence the historical development and deployment of the Modern Language Association cannot be denied and the historical perspectives also serve the key roles and responsibilities (Sparks, Javorsky, and Ganschow).

Reasons of its Development

The fact cannot be denied that learning languages and maintaining the dynamics of linguistics throughout the world is not a simple task; it has been for this reason English being an international language has to be sustained and maintained in a standard format. The Modern Language Association incepted the MLA writing format to ensure the sustenance of the language and literature along with all the specifications and requirements. The fact cannot be denied that the similar languages being spoken across the world differs from the local dialects' bounded by culture and the preferences, so in order to eliminate the infusion of various cultures in the English language the academic professional established this standard of writing and expressing the language in the standard format. Another important reason for the development and successful deployment of the Modern Language Association throughout the world is the fact that the researches conducted in any discipline across the world are to be shared with the fellow researches in the other parts of the world, so if an established standard ground misses than it cannot be assured that the research of one researches is perceived accurately by the other researcher. The importance of accurate understanding of the work cannot be denied because the academic or research work unless properly understood by all the researches cannot be expanded and replicated or reproduces. So in order to maintain the synergy of academic and the language and linguistics followed and observed in the conformity of international standards cannot be subjugated. In the similar context if there were no standards followed than the cultural invasion in understanding the work done by researcher in part of the world may sound useless and amid to the researcher ion the other part of the world. Hence in order to sustain the memento and synergy of academic and linguistics across the world the importance of the development and due deployment of Modern Language Association cannot be denied (Wilkerson)

Work Cited

Sharman, Gundula M. "Literature in the Modern Language Syllabus." Academic Exchange Quarterly 6.4 (2002): 98+.

Sparks, Richard L., James Javorsky, and Leonore Ganschow. "Should the Modern Language Aptitude Test Be Used to Determine Course Substitutions for and Waivers of the Foreign Language Requirement?" Foreign Language Annals 38.2 (2005): 201+.

Wilkerson, Carol. "Instructors' Use of English…… [read more]

Linguistics Critique of Cross-Cultural Culture Article Critique

Article Critique  |  4 pages (1,206 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 0


Multilingual or bilingual children speak English as one of their two or more languages that they speak, and mostly one language has a higher status than the other, depending on education, power or wealth. United States majorly speak English, since its recognition in a larger area than the ethnic languages present in various regions. This lowers the status of actual language spoken in different regions, with English dominating all fields involving people with same or different ethnical language. The less spoken language and of lower status associated with low income earners, or people who do not access better education or people who are poor.

The pro-efficiency of speaking proper English in America depend on the parents, especially mothers, or guardians, with formal spoken English associated with parents who have achieved higher levels of education. The exposure of a child to certain language also determines the pro-efficiency of the child in knowing the language over the other. Caretakers of the children to play a significant role in determining the language of the child, mainly being the family members, as proven in Hong Kong by Chinese children, who spoke English efficiently than Chinese because of their English speaking caretakers. English is dominant over other languages in the U.S., be it Chinese, Spanish or any other language in State, which covers the efficiency of other ethnic languages.

The mode of study in various schools, in the State, affects the language spoken by the child. Analysis proves that Chinese and Malay, as compared to Tamil language, is taught more, though English dominates it all. This mode of study encourages English proficiency of the children and somehow put aside their ethnic language, with Chinese and Malay taught as one subject and less of Tamil taught. Technology also plays a crucial role in determining the language Singaporean children speak. Television English Programs encourage the speaking of English, majorly associated with high SES children, with Chinese children equally speaking two languages efficiently with high in English, Malay showing likeliness of high proficiency in both languages or high in English with Tamil being at the risk of low proficiency in both language. Low SES status, poverty; low education levels and parents have low income due to their low levels of education is associated with the Tamil language of the Singaporean group

Exposure to language also determines the proficiency of language of children, with socioeconomic status and level of parent education playing a major role too. Children raised under low SES families are in the risk of having low proficiency in language, so do children whose parents, especially mothers, and guardians have a low level of education with low income. Education programs also play a key role and include more programs for ethnic classes will increase the proficiency of children in speaking ethnic language too. English has proven to dominate the other ethnic groups, lowering the proficiency of speaking such languages and increases baseness in the Singaporean speaking group.

The author focuses on one group, the Singaporeans of United… [read more]

Real-Time Language Change "The Moral Essay

Essay  |  7 pages (2,729 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 7


Using the past to understand the future becomes a key element of what real-time assessments have to offer (Turell, 2003:7).

In many ways, this approach is favored because it mirrors many of the techniques that quality social sciences expect to have value. Returning to groups or places many years later and looking at what they did is one way to… [read more]

Threatening Language &amp Freedom of Speech Discussion and Results Chapter

Discussion and Results Chapter  |  3 pages (963 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … threatening language and its link to actual acts of violence has helped us reach some conclusions which will be discussed in this section as results of our study. Our extensive literature review shows that threatening language, unless proven to cause harm to someone, is protected by first amendment under freedom of speech clause. However once threatening language leads to psychological or physical harm, it can be sued and seen as a criminal act. Our initial question was about what composes threatening language and later we studied levels of escalation and how it leads to violent actions. We shall now present a brief review of what we have found and see how it relates to some of the theories of linguistics we mentioned earlier in the paper.

Threatening language is difficult to ascertain because it can range from shouting at someone in a regular fashion in a regular setting or it can be very detailed and graphic saying what a person would do in case the target doesn't comply with their order. Usually it is not easy even for the law enforcement to pin point what actually is threatening language and what kind of threatening language would lead to violent actions. Courts in the U.S. have thus established their own definitions of what constitutes threatening language but there is no standard definition. However they use the reasonability test which means if a reasonable person sees a certain communication as violent or threatening then it is considered to be a threat.

During the course of threatening communication, there are some levels achieved and it is important to see how the communication is escalating or de-escalating. In case of de-escalation, it means there is a milder tone with each new message or communication and aggressor is turning favorable towards the target or due to some factor has decided not to threaten anymore. However it is escalation which is more important to study because this is what can lead to violent actions. Within threatening communication are clear signs of escalation for someone who is looking for them. First comes the point where a threat in made and is called posturing. This is for example when a person says, "if you report this action, I will come and get you." This sounds threatening but is the first step where aggressor is showing intent. The next step is when it gets more graphic like when the same aggressor says, "you didn't listen to me, did you. I will wait for you outside your workplace and beat the hell out of you." This leads to the actual act of violence. These are the levels of escalation within threatening communication.

In order to be able to determine levels of escalation, we need to study the language carefully to see which level has been achieved with latest communication. Some theories of linguistics may help a person determine if…… [read more]

Theory of Second Language Acquisition Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (604 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Second Language Acquisition

Theory of Second Language Acquisition

Steven Krashen's (1997) Theory of Second Language Acquisition is made up of five main hypotheses: the Acquisition-Learning hypothesis; the Monitor hypothesis; the Natural Order hypothesis; the Input hypothesis; and the Affective Filter hypothesis (1997). The Acquisition-Learning distinction is the most basic of all the aforementioned hypotheses and the most widespread among linguistics and other professionals of language studies. After using this method in a classroom with high school students, the acquisition-learning theory is quite significant when it comes to acquiring a second language.

Acquisition and Learning are, according to Kashen (1997), two distinct systems when it comes to learning a second language. The "acquired" system is the product of a subconscious process that Kashen describes as similar to what happens when a child is learning their first language. "It requires meaningful interaction in the target language -- natural communication -- in which speakers are concentrated not in the form of their utterances, but in the communicative act" (1997). This is one of the reasons that it is so effective to have a classroom where natural communication is allowed. Considering how we learn a first language, by picking up words from our parents and from others, mimicking, and remembering words and phrases, the acquisition theory is obvious. The "learned" system, on the other hand, is the product of formal teaching and it is consists of a "conscious process which results in conscious knowledge 'about' the language, for example, knowledge of grammar rules" (1997). This is important as well, but in order to learn rules there has to be some grasp of the language already. We don't learn grammar rules until we are already in school and have been speaking for a few years already.

The Monitor hypothesis can be used to examine the link between…… [read more]

Language Acquisition Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (2,179 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Language Acquisition

The procedure of production, perception and use of words among human beings to understand each other and communicate is what is referred to as Language acquisition. The language could be the vocalized language like in speech or by sign language. Both involve the imbibing of the phonetics and phonology, syntax, vocabulary and their meaning. However, language acquisition more… [read more]

Linguistic History of the Insular Celtic Language Family and Proto Thesis

Thesis  |  9 pages (2,523 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 6


Linguistic History Of the Insular Celtic Family and Proto-Celtic

The Celts were ancient people in Europe who spoke the Celtic languages forming a branch of the European languages including other languages which are unknown but which have been associated with Celtic cultural traits in archaeological evidence. Celtic is used in contemporary times to describe the languages and cultures of Ireland,… [read more]

Semantic Memory and Language Production Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,251 words)
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Semantic Memory and Language Production

Introduction and overview of semantic memory

Semantic memory is referred to as an aspect or part of long-term memory which is "…concerned with ideas, meanings, and concepts which are not related to personal experiences" ( What is Semantic Memory?) In other words, semantic memory is that form of memory that deal with concepts and ideas about things and the way that the meaning of objects and things in the external world are recognized and responded to correctly. Because of the way that semantic memory provides access to shared and common concepts and ideas in a society or culture it is an essential component of language production and necessary for the normal functioning of the individual in society.

A distinction however should be made between semantic memory and episodic memory. An example of the difference between these two types of memory also helps to shed light on the nature of semantic memory and the way that it relates to language. If two people are in a discussion about a cat, the word cat is recognized by both people in the conversation because of its semantic definition. The semantic definition of the concept or idea of a cat is learnt and shared by the two people in the process of language production. Each person may have a specific episodic memory of a cat that is derived from personal experience but this would not allow them to communicate and to develop interactive language skills if there was no shared semantic memory of the cat (What is Semantic Memory?).

Both semantic and episodic memory constitutes what is known as declarative memory. Long-term memory also includes what is known as procedural memory; which is essentially the knowledge that has been associated in memory about how to accomplish certain tasks. These three different kinds of long-term memory "…all interact with each other to allow people to do everything from reading a book to flying a space shuttle." (What is Semantic Memory?).

In essence semantic memory is the collation of all knowledge that an individual experiences -- and this includes language facilities such as vocabulary. In summary, the relationship between semantic memory and forms of language production and creation are fairly simple to discern. As one pundit states, …it is semantic memory which remembers what the different letters mean, and how they link together into words. Semantic memory also allows a reader to understand written communications in multiple fonts, since the brain understands the concept of a letter, rather than a specific example of a letter

(What is Semantic Memory?).

It is the difference between personal and general conceptual knowledge and ideas that can be shared which indicates the importance of this form of memory in language production.

2. The nature and functions of language.

In order to discuss the relationship between language production and semantic memory one first has to have some understanding of the meaning of language or what language is. The discussion of this subject takes place in terms… [read more]

Language (Cognitive Psychology) Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,095 words)
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Language (Cognitive Psychology)

Language is considered to be an exclusively human mode of communication although other animals make use of quite sophisticated communicative systems, sometimes casually referred to as animal language, none of these are known to make use of all of the properties that linguists use to define language but when discussed more technically as a general phenomenon, "language" always entails a very particular way of human thinking which can be present even when communication is not the result, and this way of thinking is also sometimes treated as indistinguishable from language itself (Language, n. d.).

Definition of Language and Lexicon

Language is defined in Wikipedia (Language, n. d.) as a form of symbolic communication in which elements are combined to represent something other than themselves; and the term "language" also refers to particular systems of communal communication (Language, n. d.).

The Online Etymology Dictionary (2001) stated that the word "Lexicon" came from Greek word, "lexicon" (biblion or book) from the words: "lexikos," means as words and "lexis" came from "legein," which means say or to lecture; lexicon was originally used in Greek, Syrian, Hebrew and Arabic dictionaries because these languages were usually in Latin. In linguistics, the lexicon of a language is its vocabulary, including its words and expressions; and the lexicon includes the lexemes used to actualize words (Lexicon, n. d.).

The Key Features of Language

Language is a set of generally accepted signs -- indices, icons or symbols, is only one feature of language; for all languages must identify the structural relationships between these signs in a system of grammar, the context wherein the signs are used -- pragmatics and be dependent on their context or its meaning (Language, n. d.).

The grammar rules are one of the features at times supposed to differentiate language from other type of communication. They allow a limited set of signs to be influenced to make a possible limitless number of grammatical utterances and another property of language is that its symbols are subjective that whichever concept or grammatical rule can be mapped onto a symbol -- the majority of languages utilizes sound, except the arrangements of sounds employed do not have any essential and inherent meaning - they are just an agreed-upon rule to symbolize a particular thing by users of that language (Language, n. d.).

The Four Levels of Language Structure and Processing

The four levels of language are made up of the following: (1) phonetics or sound, (2) semantics or words, (3) grammar or sentences, and (4) pragmatics or the uses of the language.

Phonetics came from the Greek word, "phone," which means "sound, voice;" it is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech and it is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds (phones), and the processes of their physiological production, auditory reception, and neurophysiological perception (Phonetics, n. d.).

Semantics is the study of meaning in communication which is derived from the Greek word "semantikos," meaning significant, and… [read more]

English as a Global Language Essay

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Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 6


English as the Global Language

As the world moves towards becoming a global community, communities within the global community will have to address the problem of language communication. This is actually a sensitive issue, because it goes to the heart cultural identity and heredity. Most everyone is proud of their ethnic origins, the country of their birth, and that is… [read more]

Human Language Series Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (679 words)
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¶ … Human Language Series, Part 1:

Is language innate?

All day long, from when we get up in the morning to when we go to bed, even when we dream, our minds are producing language in some way or another. We are linguistic beings, whether we are in dialogue with ourselves, listening and speaking with others, or even receiving electronic or print media. But given that most of us cannot remember a time when our consciousness was not organized by language, how can we determine if the ability and/or need to use language is innate to the human brain? Starting in 1957, Noam Chomsky reframed the traditional study of language in his book Syntactic Structures, which shifted the focus of linguistics away from language as it existed to the question of why it exists. Chomsky believed the biologically-wired nature of the human mind enabled humans to produce language under the correct environmental (learning and cultural) conditions. Key to language is the production of new meanings within a sent of governed 'rules' or acceptable grammatical structures and sounds.

Different languages have different rules for word production, calling somewhat into question the idea that all languages are infinitely flexible in their creativity. For example, languages may have words with meanings not shared by other languages. In other words, English and Eskimo may not just have different words for 'snow,' but will have words not present in the other linguistic system. There is a single Eskimo word that means "Don't you want to go window shopping with me" with no corresponding single word in English. Thus although all languages may be uniquely creative, and in English we daily create sentences that have never existed before, but grammatically and conceptually all languages are not all creative in the same way.

At the core of language is the notion of syntax, or linking sounds to meaning. In language, words can occur in any order (boy, kick, ball) but to make meaning, the words must occur within a particular order within a particular fashion…… [read more]

Foreign Language Teaching Methods Term Paper

Term Paper  |  9 pages (2,812 words)
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Foreign Language Teaching Methods

Globalization and the concept of the "global village," has brought about interesting developments in language teaching. It is currently recognized, for example, that contact with one or more natives from foreign countries during an average lifetime is more likely than not. Furthermore, the information age entails that knowledge from across the globe is integrated in the… [read more]

Love Languages: Applications to Counseling and Life Book Report

Book Report  |  7 pages (2,019 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … Love Languages: Applications to Counseling and Life

Communication has a major impact on all aspects of a relationship. Without such, a relationship has no chance of lasting past its prime. Talking things over with one's spouse is the easiest and most efficient way to keep a long lasting, healthy relationship. However, even though communication is the foundation, unless… [read more]

Interwined With Other Writers Language and Class Essay

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Bibliography Sources: 0


Interwined With Other Writers

Language and Class

Upon initial examination, there are a variety of similarities to be found within the text of James Baldwin's "If Black Language Isn't a Language, Then Tell What Is?" And Gloria Arizaldua's "How To Tame A Wild Tongue." Both of these essays largely demonstrate the necessity for the creation of a language that is not indigenous to a respective pair of ethnic groups, one of which is African-American, the other of which is Latinos and Latinas living within the United States. The social isolation of both of these groups of people inherently influences the language (or in some cases, the languages) which they speak, and more importantly, how they speak that language. The relationship between these essays and Jean Anyon's "Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work" is decidedly more equivocal, for the simple fact that Anyon is primarily addressing the disparities in the ways in which children of different socio-economic backgrounds are taught at the fifth grade level, as well as the ways in which these differentiated modes of instruction are aligned with the preparation for varying jobs at different classifications of laborers (from executives all the way to blue-collared employees). Yet if one is able to take into account the ethnic make-up of the different socio-economic classes that Anyon studies, as well as to consider the implications inherent in the ways that various lessons are presented to examples from the student population group, a number of analogous situations can be found within the all three texts.

Liberty is one concept that is central to all of the author's written works, and can be found most clearly in Anyon's detailing of the method for teaching fifth graders who belong to the ultra elite, executive school system -- students who parents routinely earn over $100,000 by heading up major corporations. The following quotation indicates the degree of liberty which the students have in their education. "While strict attention to the lesson at hand is required, the teachers make relatively little attempt to regulate the movement of the children at other times." Such liberty of movement is not to be found in Anyon's discussion of the school life of the working class students, nearly a third of which come from families that hover around the poverty line and which have their every move -- in school -- regulated into a series of precise steps. What is crucial about this concept is that in describing the executive elite school students, Anyon references the fact that there are "no minority children in the school." Subsequently, there is a huge dearth of freedom noted in Anzaldua's essay, particularly in the beginning of the essay when the author is reminiscing about a childhood visit to the dentist where her personal liberty to move was decidedly restricted by an authoritarian dentists, as the following quote evinces. "We're going to have to do something about your tongue," I hear the anger rising in his voice. My tongue keeps pushing out… [read more]

Applying Language Universal Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (872 words)
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They can endeavor to practice in real life, or in mock skits amongst each other. They can extend written invitations to one another or to other individuals. Teacher and students can criticize scenarios of real life situations where speech acts are preformed and analyze how students can imitate them and/or correct them.

Speech acts may be difficult fro ESL students due to the fact that idiomatic expressions and mannerisms differ from one culture to another and which is appropriate in one may be inappropriate in another. One of the best recommendations, therefore, is to closely watch, analyze and model.

Applying registers in the ESL format 'Register' is where a person talks differently to different people. There are, for instances, differences in speech between formal and informal situations.

ESL students can be taught differences by playing games around diverse situations identifying, for instance, the differences between a 'formal' and an 'informal' context.

The teacher, too, can employ media in this context selecting different TV programs where she can help students analyze the different speech acts and mannerisms performed in the various disparate situations. Students can compare and see how many differences they can come up with.

As with all situations, students can also practice their learning in both mock and real-life applications.

Applying dialects to ESL teaching

Teacher can explain to students that many different dialects occur in the English langue. She can contrast it to their own, so that they understand. To further teach the point, teacher can have students listen to recording of the same sentence uttered in different dialects or to English spoken, for instance in America and the same language spoken in England. Teacher can point out the main distinctions.

Applying Corpus linguistics to ESL teaching

A corpus consists of a databank of texts that are compiled from writing and/or transcription of recorded speech. The prime focus of corpus linguistics is to discover patterns of language usage thoguh analysis of the actual usage. Corpus analysis (i.e. analysis of the different texts) shows that language is used differently in various contexts, e.g. In poetry, fiction, non-fiction, newspaper articles, academic articles etc. The teacher can go with the student through each text and together they can analyze the different patterns and rules. This can be done in various ways: via themes organized according to each lesson; via students doing their own research and teacher acting as research facilitator; or via students using a concordancing program and selected corpus to make their own discoveries.… [read more]

Language-In-Use Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,785 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


" The article has an official air, as the information is supported by verified facts: the weddings were cancelled, according to a statement belonging to Clijsters, published on her official website. Furthermore, the story is not intended to create more public pressure on the two sportspersons, who intend to keep "distance ... from the malicious gossip which inevitably surfaces in… [read more]

Test Taking Strategies and Language Test Validity Peer Reviewed Journal

Peer Reviewed Journal  |  3 pages (886 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10


Test Taking Strategies and Language Test Validity

One of the many effects of globalization is the increasing need for workers in all countries and at all levels of the socioeconomic scale to become multilingual, and English is still far and away the preferred language of international business throughout the developed and developing worlds (Cheng, 2008). English proficiency is thus a highly desired trait in many non-English-speaking countries, and performance on language tests can often determine occupational opportunities an, prior to that, educational opportunities that could truly determine the course of an individual's life (Cheng, 2008; Mohamaddi & Abidin, 2012). Language test validity has thus become a topic of intense scrutiny in research and in practice, as determining the ability of these tests to truly measure language proficiency is a question not only of extreme practical importance given the employment demands of the modern world, but also of extreme ethical importance given the tests' impact on people's lives. Test taking strategies present barriers to language test validity, and thus these must also be examined to derive truly valid and meaningful results from such testing.

Defining test taking strategies can be more difficult than it might initially seem, given the number of parameters involved in these strategies. Different theoretical constructs have been applied to the identification and definition of test taking strategies by different researchers and in different perspectives. While these different frameworks are not necessarily mutually exclusive they do present radically different means of assessing and analyzing test taking strategies (Cohen, 2006; Amer, 2007; Mohamaddi & Abidin, 2012).

These different approaches can make the implications of test taking strategies on the validity of language tests also quite varied and difficult to measure. The pressures to achieve, as noted, are quite high, and instructors can also contribute to the knowledge and use by students of test taking strategies which also affects not only the rate of test taking strategy use but also the effectiveness and the degree to which it can tamper with language test validity (Amer, 2007; Cheng, 2008; Lee, 2011). Some general test-taking strategies, such as skipping over more difficult answers and completing easier answers first and taking the time to review answers to ensure they are correct, can actually be seen in some ways as increasing test validity in that this leads to more accurate assessments of actual knowledge held by the test taker (Amer, 2007; Mohamaddi & Abidin, 2012). Other types of test taking strategies, however, undermine test validity and ultimately test the student's ability to strategize and manipulate the design and circumstances of the test rather than more comprehensively and accurately measuring language proficiency (Cohen, 2006; Lee, 2011; Mohamaddi &…… [read more]

Approaches to Second Language Classroom Interaction Term Paper

Term Paper  |  18 pages (5,181 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


SLA Second Language Aquisition

As the world has become increasingly more global, interests in second language acquisition has also increased. More specifically second language acquisition as it pertains to the second language classroom has become a focal point. The following research will examine three methods that are utilized in Second Language research including conversation analysis, stimulated recall and the Think… [read more]

Role Does Language and Language Diversity Play Term Paper

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Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … role does language and language diversity play in the critical thinking process?

Language and language diversity play very significant roles in critical thinking processes, of speakers and listeners alike (and also of writers and readers alike). This is because language and language diversity are never separate from the meanings, intended and unintended, driving those very critical thinking processes of both the speaker/writer and hearer/reader. Also, the relative ease or difficulty of way(s) in which language is expressed by, say, someone speaking English who is (or is not) a native speaker of the language, will influence both that individual's critical thinking process (es) and the way the communication is received and/r understood by hearer or reader. That in turn inevitably influences the hearer or reader's critical thinking process as well.

Additionally, even when a speaker or writer is fluent across languages or language systems, nothing ever translates exactly as intended, or is received just as it was intended, in any language, either between two native speakers; a native and a non-native speaker; two non-native speakers, or even in a circumstance like hearing a question in one language (say English) and then answering it in another (say Spanish) in order (for example) for the language not to be understood by someone overhearing one end of a telephone conversation. This also goes for language systems like sign language, which must be rendered physically, instead of verbally or in writing, thus bringing into play a unique issue of speed of translation as well as accuracy of translation.

Another factor that influences roles of language and language diversity is stereotypic attitudes about various languages, accents, and diversities of linguistic expression within various contexts, even before they are uttered by a speaker. Here, I also mean social attitudes and relationships of power, where identities and roles of speakers and/or listeners play important roles, depending on environment and circumstance.

For example, accurately or not, an American high school teacher in Nebraska is in general more likely (initially at least) to give more credit, for good critical thinking skills, to a student in her class speaking aristocratic-sounding British English (whatever the true content of the expression), say, a foreign exchange student from upper-crust England than a Mexican-born student in that same class who speaks labored, broken, heavily accented American English. Arguably, this bias would have to do with both embedded stereotypes about the British upper class vs. The Mexican poor (e.g., that the privileged British are brighter, better educated, more cultured, etc., than are poor Mexicans) and with the teacher's own relative ease or difficulty of understanding the respective students' words and meanings in the first place.

Further, in such a circumstance, the teacher would also most likely expect for the British student's thoughts and words, to be more intelligent, thoughtful, accurate, etc., than the Mexican student's thoughts and words. However, in order to test the accuracy of this, the teacher's own critical thinking skills would next come into play: then, issues of how much (or… [read more]

Childhood Second Language Learning Term Paper

Term Paper  |  13 pages (3,371 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


One criticism of Polinsky's 1995 research is that for some of his groups of speakers, only a few members participated. Then there were other groups that consisted of 20 members, such as the Russian speakers, and in the Reduced Lithuanian Group, there were only 4 speakers. A future research study could even out the numbers of speakers, unless this would… [read more]

Nordic Languages Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (986 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Nordic Languages

Today, most countries have more than one spoken language within its borders, both as a result of immigration and new communication technology. Indeed, the world is no longer simple in terms of nation or language. As a case in point, the United States has such a wide diversity of citizens that not all states have English as their official language. Countries like South Africa have 11 official languages. Currently, Norway has two official languages, Bokmal and Nynorsk. Many other examples can be quoted, including European and Asian countries, where more than one language enjoys official status. Indeed, there are few countries today with only one language as its official mode of speech. In the case of Norway, it is therefore less than easy to argue for the use of any one language to use as its official tongue. However, if the choices were to include Nynorsk and Bokmal, the latter might be chosen as the more viable option, since it is more commonly spoken among the Norwegian people and the former is mainly used as administrative language.

Bokmal is the most commonly used language among the Norwegian people. Indeed, when political parties attempted to find a linguistic basis for alliance with the urban working class, it was found that this group did not speak a Nynorsk-based dialect. Hence, compromises were needed to form such an alliance. If Bokmal had been the only official language in Norway, this problem would not have existed. Political parties would have been on an equal footing, since most citizens are able to speak and understand Bokmal. Since most citizens speak this language, nation building and identity would also have been easier to achieve, with fewer language-related conflicts. It would also be easier to invest time and funding into instruction efforts for citizens who do not speak the language, since they are in the minority. Schools would also have more time to focus on targeted training rather than artificially creating bilingual skills in their students. Indeed, one proposal suggested that Nynorsk be removed from Norwegian schools as obligatory alternative form of instruction, since most students needed more attention to reading and writing in the Bokmal standard. It therefore makes more sense to make the more commonly spoken, used, and taught Bokmal the singular official language in the country.

Some may argue, however, that Nynorsk is the most important language in official circles. Indeed, many workplaces require a proficiency in this language. This, in turn, is why it is required as alternative norm of instruction for schools. Making Bokmal the official standard, on the other hand, will remove difficulties associated with having to function in two languages. A single official language will create a more solid platform for creating language excellence in children and in general citizens. Indeed, using Bokmal for both social and administrative purposes will also create a more unified sense of nationality among the Norwegian people. Hence, both administrative, business, and social communication can improve…… [read more]

Fingerspelling as Children Learn New Peer Reviewed Journal

Peer Reviewed Journal  |  6 pages (1,838 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Average improvement rates did vary among both conditions however. Children were more likely to improve and build upon skills already learned through the control method. They were able to recognize more written words by using both fingerspelling and the control method. However, when it came to actual learning, fingerspelling was an easier method to learn for the first time (Haptonstall-Nykaza & Schick, 2007). Children knew how to communicate in American Sign Language previously, therefore the control method basically expanded on principles that were already learned and mastered. On the other hand, children did not have a profound understanding of fingerspelling, but they were able to pick it up quickly enough to produce significant results and demonstrate improvement.

Research in linguistics suggests that fingerspelling is an easier way for children to be able to establish a connection between the English language and American Sign Language. Difficulty lies in teaching deaf children how to read because of the inability of a direct connection to exist. Children who learn to read for the first time do so because of their ability to sound words out and to hear what they see. However, the task is much more difficult in deaf children whom are unable to make those same connections. Haptonstall-Nykaza and Schick (2007) designed an experiment around this concept and proved that the ability of fingerspelling in providing a link to printed language is effective.


Chamberlain, C., Morford, J.P., & Mayberry, R.I. (2000). Language acquisition by eye. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 131-140

Erting, C., Thumann-Prezioso, C., & Sonnenstrahl-Benedict, B. (2000). Bilingualism in deaf families: Fingerspelling in early childhood. In P. Spencer, C. Erting, & M. Marschark (Eds.), The deaf child in the family and at school (pp. 41 -- 54). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Haptonstall-Nykaza, T.S., & Schick, B. (2007). The transition from fingerspelling to english print: Facilitating english decoding. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 12(2), 172-183.

Valli, C., Lucas, C.,…… [read more]

Language/Identity Language Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (904 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


The story of the SS Windrush was that it docked in Jammaica when on a home bound journey from Australia. The year was 1947, and there was a glut of low paying jobs that the English could not fill due to the losses experienced in WWII. Many Jamaicans were taken over to fill these vacancies and the SS Windrush was the original conveyance (Turnham Primary School). Bennett-Coverly demonstrated how the people may have left Jamaica, but they did not leave their roots behind.

"Wat a joyful news, Miss Mattie

I feel like me heart gwine burs

Jamaica people colonizin

Englan in reverse.

By de hundred, by de tousan

From country and from town,

By de ship-load, by de plane-load

Jamaica is Englan boun.

The people were easily identified by their language and they wrapped their identity in it as much as people gave it to them.

Many people have the same experience whether they are from a region that has a distinctive sound or a dialect shapes a particular people's voice. Many of these have been lost over time as the people they represented have passed, or modern technology has made the language more bland. Many are trying to preserve the heritage of the language whether they were a member of the particular group or not. One of these, from the islands, is Dr. Mervyn Morris who published an essay called "On Reading Miss Lou Seriously" about his experiences reading the works of Louise Bennett-Coverly (Morris). In the essay he discusses his reaction to the writings of the poet and how they made him realize the impact that language can have on a people. The fact the Bennett-Coverly was able to produce so accurately a portrait of the people of Jamaica is one reason why she was so loved. Morris was able to edit a book of her works for publication that is used in schools to further help students identify with their heritage.

No matter what the roots of the population, their language binds them together like nothing else can except maybe religion. But, it is true that religion, in the present, is more less a function of culture than language. The people of a region may have different means of worshipping, but they will likely share a common language. As far as culture is concerned, this is the single greatest identifier there is.

Works Cited

Bennett-Coverly, Louise. "Colonization in Reverse." 1966. Web.

Dance, Daryl Cumber. Fifty Caribbean Writers: A Bio-Bibliographic-Critical Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., 1986. Print.

Morris, Mervyn. "On Reading Miss Lou Seriously." Caribbean Quarterly 28.1/2 (1982): 44-56.

Narain, Denise DeCaires. Contemporary Caribbean women's Poetry: Making Style. London: Routledge, 2002. Print.

Turnham Primary School. "The…… [read more]

Language and Sexuality Research Paper

Research Paper  |  4 pages (991 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Knutson, A. (1905). The gender of words denoting living beings in English, and the different ways of expressing difference is sex. Hakan Ohlsson Publishers.

This volume is useful for backward-mapping to the origins and changes of language associated with sexuality with over 100 years perspective.

Kulick, C. (2006). The Language and Sexuality Reader. Taylor & Francis.

A collection of contemporary and historical works that spans many academic disciplines is brought together in this resource. The commonality of the works -- which include psychology, anthropology, linguistics, communication studies, and medicine -- is an exploration of human sexuality and the use of language to communicate about sexuality.

Morrish, L., Morrish, E., and Sauntson, H. (2007, November 15). New perspectives on language and sexual identity. Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Publishing.

This work focuses on the ways that lesbians and gay men use language to create a situated identity. Actual linguistic data is analyzed using textual, spoken language, and corpus linguistic approaches. Analyses are related to contemporary sociolinguistic theories.

Motschenbacher, H. ( 2011, November 11). Language, gender, and sexual identity: Poststructuralist perspectives. John Benjamins Publishing.

The authors focus on the relatively new field of Queer Linguistics. Using a poststructuralist frame, a deconstructionist perspective, and a linguistic point-of-view, the authors address the manner and outcomes of discursive construction of heteronormativity and gender binarism. Experts in linguistics can appreciate the scientific analyses, while students and those new to the field will find the basic topics appealing. Especially salient is the treatment of the damaging potential of some gendered linquistic forms may have in particular contexts.

Sauntson, H. And Kyratzis, S. (Eds.) (2007). Language, sexualities, & desires: Cross-cultural perspectives. Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Macmillan.

This collection of works addresses the nexus between culture and sexuality by illustrating the basis and theories for the different ways in which sexualities are constructed, perceived, and represented in societies, in cultures, and in language. The ways in which linguistic features are used to construct and signal sexual identities, sexual relationships, lifestyle choices, and identification and membership in particular social groups.

References 10

Bieswanger, M. And Motschenbacher, H. (2010). Language in its socio-cultural context: New explorations in gendered, global, and media uses. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publisher.

Bucholtz, M. And Hall, K. (2004). Theorizing identity in language and sexuality research. Language in Society, 33, 469-515. DOI: 10.10170S004740450044021

Cameron, D. And Kulick, R. (2003). Lanuage and Sexuality. Cambridge University Press.

Cameron, D. (2005, December). Language, gender, and sexuality: Current issues and new directions. Applied Linguistics, 26(4), 482-502. doi: 10.1093/applin/ami027

Canakis, C., Kantsa, V., and Yannakopoulos (Eds.). (2010). Language and Sexuality (through and) beyond gender. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Knutson, A. (1905). The gender of words denoting living beings in English, and the different ways of expressing difference is sex. Hakan Ohlsson Publishers.

Kulick, C. (2006). The Language and Sexuality Reader. Taylor & Francis.

Morrish, L., Morrish, E., and Sauntson, H. (2007, November 15). New perspectives on language and sexual identity. Palgrave…… [read more]

Language Defines Identity, and Creates Creative Writing

Creative Writing  |  3 pages (942 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Language can be used to keep others out of the group: as when people will speak in the tongue that is not understandable by the outsider. Or, language can be used as a means of inclusion, as by adapting tongues to welcome newcomers.

Language has been shown to have direct impacts on the construction of reality -- and not just socio-cultural reality. For example, Hudson points out that different cultures have different "linguistic strategies" for describing spatial and temporal realities (94). For example, different cultural-linguistic groups have different means of conceptualizing direction. "Some people consistently used a left/right approach, and others consistently used compass-points; very few people mixed the two," (Hudson 94). The difference seems mundane and inconsequential, but it can highlight core ways language shapes not just identity, but reality itself. Language can shape one's physical orientation in space, in the here-and-now. Thus, language may also be able to shape one's psychic orientation and worldview.

Research in social cognition is ripe with evidence that language impacts intercultural communication; and that translations are inherently problematic because of that fact. Idioms and poetic phrases are easily mistranslated, because there will be no cultural reference points outside of the original. Similarly, something may be "lost" in the translation. What is lost might be simply a matter of lack of experience: such as a person from the Arctic never having seen a palm tree and thus having no word for the fronds or the trunk. However, what is lost in translation can be more impactful in terms of human relationships. Emotions that are considered standard because they have been given a "voice" are legitimized via language. If those emotions are not codified in language, then it would be impossible to translate those concepts. Problems related to historical texts testify as to how important sociolinguistic theory is in shaping reality. Social policy is a product of sociolinguistic theory.

As Sapir states, "language has a setting," (221). Language can never be separated from that setting without it losing something -- or gaining something -- or at least changing in some meaningful way. English is a language that has evolved and grown to accommodate for its cultural intersections. Colonization, globalization, and trade have all morphed English into a great hybrid tongue that borrows from Arabic, French, old Dutch and German. A study of a living language can highlight the ways that language represents a specific culture in a specific historical epoch.

Works Cited

Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands: The New Mestiza -- La Frontera. Aunt Lute, 1999.

Chomsky, Noam. Language and Mind. Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Hudson, Richard A. Sociolinguistics. Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Sapir, Edward. Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech.…… [read more]

Charting Sociolinguistic Variations Linguistics Assessment

Assessment  |  2 pages (935 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


The American did not intend this incident to occur; it occurred naturally. The American did not know about how to change language to be more British. The lack of knowledge also did not impede the change to occur. Now let us consider the second half of the statement: it's who you know. People are very valuable resources when it comes to sociolinguistic variation. Certainly, for the study of ancient languages and linguistics, texts are more valuable as most people do not speak ancient languages, though many modern and prolific languages such as English are heavily based on ancient languages such as Latin. Knowledge in applied sociolinguistics comes from knowing people; that knowledge comes from engaging people. The "who you know" adds to the "what you know," so it matters not if one knows nothing (relatively).

4. Sociolinguistic research typically relies on categorisations of speakers based on age, social class, and gender. Briefly discuss how useful these categories are.

Categorisations of speakers in sociolinguistics based on age, social, class, and gender are relatively useful. They are not useless, but those categories may not be specific enough or wide ranging enough to yield as candid or precise information about speakers as other categories. Categories are fundamental to survival; thus, the categorisations are useful on a basic level. Age is certainly a strong indicator in the study of sociolinguistics. Levels and patterns of speech in children reflect the rate and level of development socially, cognitively, physically, and otherwise. Teenagers and adolescents speak in very distinctive linguistic patterns and would provide useful data regarding patterns of speech within this group. Class may not be so simple. There are impoverished people who still find ways to thoroughly and effectively educate themselves or find sources of education despite the lack of material wealth. There are those who are materially wealthy and lack considerable education or are so lazy that they do not endeavor to advance their education as far as the wealth permits. Therefore, categorising speakers sociolinguistically based on class requires further modification and specification. With the advent of the Internet, many marketing firms and media outlets have found it exceptionally challenging to accurately identify consumers by gender. This is why marketers changed their perspective and market more so now by choice in products rather than guessing (incorrectly) the gender of a consumer and marketing products to them in which they have no interest. The same can be said for sociolinguistics, especially if taking or providing a study online. It is not so easy to readily identify speakers by gender because of digital technology, so this must be accounted for when categorising speakers in sociolinguistics in speakers.


Blommaert, J. (2003) Commentary: A sociolinguistics of globalization. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 7(4), 607 -- 623.

Bucholtz, M. (2003) Sociolinguistic nostalgia and the authentication…… [read more]

Language American English Is Incredible Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,606 words)
Bibliography Sources: 8


Add to that the multiple dialects spoken in the UK and Australia, and English becomes one of the most colorful languages in the world. English words can be traced as often to Old French, Arabic, and Greek as they can to Old English. The language has always been dynamic and will continue to be so. The grammar Nazis are wrong. The point of grammar is to encourage clarity of expression, and not to enforce social hierarchies. Descriptive grammar teaches ground rules: necessary to know how to best get a point across so that an audience member will listen. Effective rhetoric demands a keen attention to audience demographics, anyway: which means that the speaker's language should ebb and flow depending on who is being addressed. There is no need to always talk one way, or to denigrate the speech of others because it differs from the familiar.


Baron, D. (n.d.). Language and society. PBS. Retrieved online: http://www.pbs.org/speak/words/sezwho/socialsetting/

Cutler, C. (n.d.). Crossing over. PBS. Retrieved online: http://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/prestige/crossing/

Deresiewicz, W. (2005). You talkin' to me? The New York Times. Jan 9, 2005. Retrieved online: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/09/books/review/09DERESIE.html?_r=2&pagewanted=print&position=

Finegan, E. (n.d.). State of American. PBS. Retrieved online: http://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/correct/prescriptivism/

Fought, C. (n.d.). Are dialects fading? PBS. Retrieved online: http://www.pbs.org/speak/ahead/mediapower/dialect/

Fought, J. (n.d.). Gatekeeping. PBS. Retrieved online: http://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/correct/gatekeeping/

Nunberg, G. (1983). The decline of grammar. Reproduced on PBS.org. Retrieved online: http://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/correct/decline/

"The Prescriptive Tradition." Retrieved online: http://www.uni-due.de/SHE/HE_Grammar_Prescriptivism.htm… [read more]

Linguistics of Arabic and English Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (1,753 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6



In conclusion, a contrastive morphology of English and Arabic languages indicates that there are far more meaningful similarities than differences in the grammatical elements of the two languages. The script and directionality differences between the two languages create the appearance of a much greater degree of contrast than really is evident through a morphological analysis. Number, tense, specificity of reference and place are all communicated through prefixes and suffixes in the language. While Arabic is a more gender-dependent language than English, this is a trait shared by many other European/Romance languages. The way in which roots are built upon to conjugate and create subject-verb agreement are fundamentally similar, even if the subject-verb-object ordering is often different. Considering the phylogenic and cultural differences between the two languages, the morphological elements of Arabic and English indicate a great deal of commonality when Arabic is viewed in transliteration into the alphabet used in contemporary English.


Carter, Ronald; McCarthy, Michael (2006). Cambridge Grammar of English: A Comprehensive Guide. Cambridge University Press.

El-Shiek, SM. (1970). A Linguistic Analysis of Some Syntactic and Semantic Problems of English-Arabic Translastion. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, SOAS, London.

Lass, Roger (2006). "Phonology and morphology." A history of the English language. Cambridge University Press. p. 70.

Shunnaq, Abdullah Talal, (1993), 'Patterns of Repetition in Arabic Forced by Morphology with Reference to Arabic-English Translation', Papers and Studies in Contrastive Linguistics, 28 89-98

Stetkevych, J. (1970). The Modern Arabic Literary Language; Lexical and Stylistic Developments. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago…… [read more]

Bilingualism: First and Second Language Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (658 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


These results can be regarded as single dimensional presentation of the findings.

View of bilingualism:

The view of bilingualism is changed after the review of literature. I always thought it is the environment of a person that leads to bilingualism. Either there is a compressing need to learn a second language or one has extensively lived with the community from different language speakers. It is also noted that learning a second language has other factors also influencing the desire for learning as well as the process of learning a second language. The bilingual speakers are also required to follow learning process that is presented by Chomsky or Cummins.

Experience as a bilingual person:

The personal experience as a bilingual person is quite different as I inherited certain environmental factors that influenced my learning. The community that I lived in was Spanish and my mother and father were native Mexicans. Therefore I learnt English in school and Spanish in the community while interacting with neighboring children. The bilingual advantages and positives can be counted in numbers. The increased globalization and in order to understand the dynamics of a different culture it is essential to be acquainted with different languages.


The bilingualism or multilingualism is an advantage in the global age. The individuals with certain inhabited environmental factors tend to learn more than one language however it is not necessary. The future concerns that should be addressed in order to have a clear understanding of the languages learning process I suppose Chomsky should be followed and his work should be understood to cater the needs of a learning process for multilingualism.


Baker, C. (2011). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism (Vol. 79). USA: Multilingual matters.

Bhatia, T.K., & Ritchie, W.C. (Eds.). (2012). The handbook of bilingualism and multilingualism. USA: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Saville-Troike, M. (2012). Introducing second language acquisition. USA: Cambridge University Press.… [read more]

Traditional Methods of Language Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (1,884 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


In this learning approach teachers arrange and directly pass on the information to students and reinforce the transmission through repetition and positive reinforcement, or rewards. Then the students gets the complete and thorough information, while teachers than use objective tests to determine the success students have learned from the information and whether they are ready to move forward to the next set of skills.

This approach is widely practiced. Complex skills such as reading are broken down to simple skills and are presented, taught and learned through repetition (ALTA Language Services).

Functional-Notional Approach

Verbal behavior is analyzed into two components:

1. The performance of language functions such as the people emphasize, question, command, reprove, convince, make an apology etc.

2. The expression of, or reference to, notions such as in performing functions, people manage particular notions. For example, they may say sorry for being late.

However, the concepts of notions include such as, frequency, location, time, motion, quantity etc. The functional-notional approach had a formative influence on the communicative approach to language teaching (Center for Applied Linguistics).

The task-based approach

This approach provides its learners with wisely graded activities or tasks to develop their communicative competence. However, if the tasks become more complicated, the students require a more developed set of communicative skills. According to this approach, a communicative syllabus should be developed according to the problems of the tasks required of the learner at different stages in a course (Kitao).


Benstein, Patricia. Explaining concepts behind the Silent Way. Wanadoo Communiquer. www.wanadoo.fr

Communicative language teaching. Sil International.

A www.sil.org

Capes - History of Language Teaching 2. Club Internet.

A www.perso.club-internet.fr

Grammar-Translation Method. Selected Lesson Plans.

A www.members.cts.com

Kitao, S. Kathleen. The History of English Teaching Methodology. Lamel Home page. www.ling.lancs.ac.uk

Language Teaching Methodology. Center for Applied Linguistics.

A www.cal.org

Language Training Methods. ALTA Language Services.

A www.altalang.com.

The Audio-Lingual Method. Welcome to ELT Net. www.eltnet.com.tw

TEFL Methodologies Recent Past. HET Team; Sim.

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The Natural Approach Web Site - A comprehension-based approach to language teaching and learning. MAX Pages Website. www.maxpages.com

Methods of Language Teaching… [read more]

Saussure on Language and Thought Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (312 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


It would seem in the light of Saussure's ideas about language as individual structures -- each language a separate structure -- that there would be no point to comparing the two words.

3) Certain meanings tend to be associated with similar phonological forms in a wide variety of languages. For example, ma means mother in English and (with the proper tone) Chinese. Do you think this a problem for Saussure's notion of arbitrariness? Why or why not?

3) No. By Saussure's various explanations and theories of language and langue, whatever the word, sound, parole is for mother or anything else is only significant within the framework of whatever language is being discussed. Because the same sound happens to re-occur in different languages and happens to mean the same thing in all of them would be outside the technicalities of…… [read more]

Language Is Arbitrary Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (667 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


The ability to learn language is hard-wired into the cognitive structure of the human brain, as notes Steven Pinker, a psycholinguist whose book The Language Instinct suggests that language is an instinct, an evolutionary adaptation as well as something learned. Communal verbal exchanges may have evolutionary roots, but the structures exchanges these take, so they can be understood and generated socially, are specific rather general to the human animal. Even the deaf uneducated in sign language strive to communicate, within their linguistic parameters and ability to understand through the sensory data they do possess, of the body and hand.

Language is an instinct to acquire, but an art to perfect, says Pinker. Its morphological structure and the syntactic meaning of different words are arbitrary. There is no inherent reason, other than common cultural exposure, for instance, that Japanese takes some of its sound and sensory data used to communicate from China rather than from the Indo-European structures of writing and semantic meanings attached to words. But this does not mean that the data, although arbitrary, arose from the human mind in an arbitrary fashion. There was an evolutionary selection process that favored certain acquisition processes in certain areas, and individuals whom were better able to communicate with one another were better able to survive.

Both Pinker and Frompkin's more introductory text on linguistics have a social component as well. Neither judge different types of language, from slang to more formal kinds of English, because such arbitrary judgments of 'correct' use of structure are dependant upon social norms -- there is no natural overall form of a language, merely a moment in time in that language's history where certain forms, as understood in a relational structure are deemed to be correct or not. This method of understanding language means that English and indeed all languages, are living and expansive entities, rather than closed modalities of understanding.

Works Cited

Frompkin, Victoria. (2002) Introduction to Language. Heinle: Seventh edition.

Pinker, Steven. (2000) The Language Instinct.…… [read more]

Manifestation of Speech and Language Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (985 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


It was they who set the number of subjects and they to whom a group of children with SLI were compared. The children with HI had their receptive language skills tested with the Reynell Development Language Scales I, their vocabulary tested with the "Aktiver Wortchatztest 3-6," grammar with the Ravensburger Dysgrammatiker Prufmaterial, and phonology by means of the Neuer Mainzer Laustatus picture-naming test. As a comparison to the results generated by testing the children with HI, the paired children with SLI were tested identically. As the study was done in Germany, all language tests were performed in German by a clinical psychologist "with experience in working with deaf children and those with severe language impairment…." (Keilmann, 2011, p.13) Finally the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to perform statistical analysis of the data.

By performing this study the authors determined that children with HI and those with SLI both express impairment of their receptive language skills; and this is linked to the impairment of the child's phonological short-term memory. However, the impairment of the short-term memory seems to come from different causes. Children with SLI have an intrinsic impairment while those with HI seem to overload their memory due to their hearing deficiencies. Finally the authors conclude that SLI language deficiencies affect the expressive language skills of children more than their receptive ones, the opposite is true in children with HI. Because of their hearing impairment, the receptive language skills of children with HI are much more affected by their deficiency than their expressive ones.

When it comes to an application in a clinical setting for the results of this study, it lay in the introduction of the study itself. The children selected for this study were chosen from a group of 242 children enrolled in an "intensive speech, language, and perception training course…," (Keilmann, 2011, p.12) and this is where the results can be applied. In the past children with language deficiencies, regardless of their causes, were categorized together as a single group with a focus on the affect of their deficiency and not the cause. This study provided the first comparison between two groups of children with language deficiencies, but caused by different reasons. As a result of this study, children with hearing loss can be treated in a different manner than those with specific language impairment. For example, they may both be suffering from deficiencies in their phonological short-term memory, but a child with HI can be treated with a more effective hearing aid, or some other means to cease overloading their phonological short-memory. On the other hand, a child with SLI can be treated better with psychological, or mental-based, treatments rather than technological ones. Therefore, this study will help better classify children with language disorders and tailor their treatments to their specific deficiencies.


Keilmann, Annerose, Patrick Kluesener, Christina Freude, and Bianka Schramm. (2011).

"Manifestation of speech and language disorders in children with hearing…… [read more]

Chinese Culture and Language Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (2,586 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


"Chinese is not only the only civilization whose history goes back five thousand years, but it is the longest surviving and continuing literary tradition in the world." (Gu, 2011, p. 7)

It would be safe to say that China has managed to preserve its culture due to its ability to appreciate ideas related to a monarchy, with Mao's governing being… [read more]

Which Do You Think Is the Most Important Key Feature of Language and Why? Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (841 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Certain learning techniques can also enhance retention, however, such as access to native speakers and immersion in the second language (Factors that influence the acquisition of a second language, 2014. ESL). Having a program tailored to the learner's unique learning style (such as emphasizing visual vs. auditory components of the language, or using immersion vs. grammatical drills) can influence acquisition regardless of the age of the learner.

Q4. Does the child brain process second language learning differently from the adult brain?

It is often assumed that although children may have less emotional discipline than adults when learning a language, they still possess an innate advantage in terms of acquiring fluency. "Any small child will acquire native fluency in any language if exposed to it on a consistent basis in a social setting. A child will naturally acquire native fluency in more than one language under these circumstances. In the overwhelming majority of individuals, however, this natural ability to acquire spoken language without deliberate effort begins to diminish sharply at about the age of puberty" (Language learning by adults, 2013, Linguistics 201). The reasons for this change are not clearly understood, but it does seem as though there is a critical window of language learning and that after that window closes language learning takes on a much more technical, less natural aspect that is not associated with true native comfort and fluency. Still, although adult-based learning methods tend to have a greater emphasis on grammar, there is also a movement to incorporate more natural and childlike ways of learning the language into adult language programs. A "natural approach -- (since the 60's) tries to approximate the environment that language would be learned as a child. Use of target language in class as much as possible, use of realia and play acting, attempt to make the learner feel at ease and not under pressure to perform, de-emphasizes direct correction" (Language learning by adults, 2013, Linguistics 201).


Factors that influence the acquisition of a second language. (2014). ESL. Retrieved from:


Language learning by adults. (2013). Linguistics 201. Retrieved from: http://pandora.cii.wwu.edu/vajda/ling201/test4materials/secondlangacquisition.htm

What is grammar? (2014). English Club. Retrieved from: http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/grammar-what.htm… [read more]

Evolution of Language Reaction Paper

Reaction Paper  |  2 pages (662 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Evolution of Language

Mirror Neurons: A Reaction to the Tower of Babel: The Evolution of Language

Ramachandran's implicit theory for the evolution of language revolves around the presence of mirror neurons, which were discovered in the frontal lobes of monkeys in the latter half of the 20th century by Giacomo Rizzolatti. Certain characteristics of these neurons, which have been confirmed to exist within humans as well, help to elucidate a number of questions about the development of language in humans that have plagued psychological, evolutionary, and linguistic theorists since the time of Charles Darwin, and help to disprove Noam Chomsky's view that language is a barrier to the theory of evolution since it stems from an alleged "language organ" in humans, and not in primates. Mirror neurons provide a scientific basis for the function of mimicry which is an innate element of the propagation of language, which Ramachandran posits as a likely explanation for its evolution.

The neurologist's viewpoint borrows heavily from Darwin, who popularized the notion that voice modulation, which eventually led to language, initially began as a way to project emotional and musical sounds as part of a primitive courtship ritual. The mirror neuron point-of-view bolsters this theorem by applying Rizzolatti's finding that certain cells fire in monkeys when they are performing an action or observing another perform that same action. According to Ramachandran, these mirror neurons may have propagate the development of language in humans (which possess a more sophisticated set of vocal paraphernalia and a correspondingly advanced language area in the brain than primates) by allowing people to mimic the physical motions and sounds of others until words, sentences, and the complexities of language itself was existent.

In order to confirm the presence of mirror neurons in humans, Ramachandran performed two separate studies which provided the basis for his explanation of language's development. The first came from a series of observations of patients afflicted with anosognosia, a syndrome in which patients deny facts that are known to…… [read more]

Linguistics Theories and Discourse Analysis Essay

Essay  |  7 pages (1,863 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10


Linguistic Theories and Discourse Analysis

Linguistics is the scientific study of human language, which, it turns out, is a highly complex system. Linguists come up with theories to represent and account for the structure and the functioning of human language (Akmajian, Demers, Farmer & Harnish 2010, 3). How then does linguistic theories relate to discourse? Discourse is an institutionalized way… [read more]

Saussure on Language: Ferdinand De Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (687 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Saussure on Language:

Ferdinand de Saussure, who is widely considered as the most significant linguistic theorist of the 20th Century, mainly concentrated on the foundational system that permits daily speech practices. As compared to other linguists, Saussure is credited for transforming the study of language because of his focus was beyond surface utterances. In his work, Saussure differentiated language system and speech practices usually known as langue and parole respectively. According to him, utterances basically function as carriers of ideas or names when a complete language system is disguised in each speech ("Structuralism & Poststructuralism" par, 2). In fact, Saussure uses to illustrations to prove this point with the first being the example of a leaf exposes the whole invisible structure when transversally cut. Secondly, he compares language to a game of chess where every move is governed by the regulations of the game.

One of the major reasons why Saussure is considered as one of the most important linguistic theorist is because of his creative argument that language are symbols that consist of:

Obvious Sound Image (Signifier):

The fundamental linguistic unit consist of two parts which are sound image and concept with sound image referring to the mental imprint of the sound (or the thoughts it creates) rather than the physical sound itself. For example, when an individual is talking to him/herself, he/she does not necessarily make a physical sound but rather possesses an impression of what he/she is saying (Klages par, 10). While every signifier or the obvious sound image has value, different languages allocate different values to signifiers with the value being determined by the relation between various signifiers. Consequently, each signifier operates within the language system and the set of relations between diversely linked terms for it to be of value. The value of a signifier is its ability to function as the indicator of a certain thing or grammatical operation.

Mental Concept (Signified):

In explaining the mental concept of language, Saussure uses the example of a tree where the sound image of a tree routinely invoke the concept…… [read more]

English Language Acquisition Among Latino Immigrants Literature Review Chapter

Literature Review Chapter  |  12 pages (4,201 words)
Bibliography Sources: 35


¶ … Connected Immigrant Communities

Chaney (2010) reports that there has been a large influx of Hispanic immigrants to Nashville, Tennessee over the last two decades. This large number of immigrants to the area has led to the establishment of an ethnic enclave in the community. The proliferation of Hispanic organizations, churches, and other community elements is the evidence for… [read more]

Oakland School Board Ebonics Resolution and the Controversy Term Paper

Term Paper  |  9 pages (3,330 words)
Bibliography Sources: 20


Ebonics Resolution Ebonics Controversy


"For optimal development and learning of all children, educators must accept the legitimacy of children's home language, respect (hold in high regard) and value (esteem, appreciate) the home cul-ture, and promote and encourage the active involvement and sup-port of all families, including extended and nontraditional family units"

National Association for the Education… [read more]

Argue That Language Is Not Innate Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (705 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Language Is Not Innate and That Is Innate

Argue That Language Is/Not Innate

It is apparent that language is an innate behavior to human species. Debate does arise, when one attempts to scrutinize the degree of genetic influence on human behavior. Many of human being abilities and limitations are innate in nature. Moreover a number of human being abilities are gained through human being's relations with the nature. This particular argument has been persisting on for many years, and popular attitudes have differed very much during this time. It is believed that the minds of newborn babies are vacant slates which will be distinguished and changed simply through sensory familiarity. Contemporary biological determinism symbolizes the other extreme. In its stringent form, this belief implies that behaviors are natural and innate. Furthermore it argues that behaviors emanate from the expression of genes (Gardner, 89). A good number academics devote to a view someplace between these two extremes. Those who think that language is gained through scholarly processes general to all knowledge acquiring processes and those who do not think in an inherent language faculty expounds the proof presented above in a different way. In accordance with the advocators of the nurture hypothesis, human beings are further complex in comparison with other creatures since they are capable of using language, rather than the other way around. (Chomsky, 4) do deem that language is an innate faculty. He also believes in worldwide aspects of language and of language acquirement in human beings. The mind is an organ whose principle function is to control the behavior of the body in surrounding to attain continued existence. This is truthful of all the kinds' of species from the snail to the human being. It has been revealed through experimentation that learning takes place in the links between neurons. Language moreover executes a double role. Not simply should language be capable of bringing about changes in the environment. It should also be capable of fitting the scholarly abilities which human beings possess. Thus, language as a tool would not be supportive if it insisted more of our…… [read more]

Language and Literacy Development in Young Children Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (785 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Language and Literacy Development

There are a number of factors that affect the readiness for an individual's acquisition and development of written communication skills. Both muscular and cognitive development must progress to a certain point in order to facilitate the ability to make meaningful communications through a written medium. For most children, the muscular development occurs first, with the ability to grasp a writing implement such as a crayon progressing to the drawing of scribbles, and to eventually to more purposefully formed though still awkward shapes. After this, the cognitive recognition of letters and the knowledge of their shapes and sounds are necessary for the progression of written communication skills. Such knowledge coupled with the motor abilities enabling the "drawing" of specific and intentional letter-shapes is what, by definition, constitutes writing.

Theorist and researcher Jean Piaget suggested that the reflexive knowledge all species appear to be born with leads, in humans, to the construction of certain adapted schemes of understanding and manipulating the environment. The continuing adaptation and adjustment of these constructed schemes make up the stages of cognitive development, according to Piaget's theory. The sensorimotor stage takes place during infancy, and is marked by purely physical and non-symbolic interaction with the world; the pre-operational stage, exhibited by toddlers and those in early childhood, language use develops and becomes more refined. The concrete operational stage is when logic can be used to understand manipulations of real-world environmental factors, and the formal operational stage reached in late childhood allows for abstract thinking.

At this early stage, it would be premature (and thus largely frustrating and futile) to try and spark concrete signs of language development -- neither the necessary muscle control for the mouth, voice box, and other physical structures involved in the production of language nor the cognitive development of the vast majority of six-month-old infants will be up to the task of producing language. Simply talking to the infant, naming objects and people as the infant views them or comes into physical contact with them (with the latter being preferable, as this is how infants process the majority of the information they receive at this stage of their cognitive development) can promote the development of the cognitive skills necessary for language development. Again, however, it is unlikely that evidence of such progress will emerge at such a young age or this…… [read more]

Difference Between Language and Culture Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,068 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … Deborah Fallow's Dreaming in Chinese and how the Chinese language influences the Chinese worldview

Language and culture article review: Deborah Fallow's Dreaming in Chinese and how the Chinese language influences the Chinese worldview

When Deborah Fallows traveled to China, as chronicled in her 2010 book Dreaming in Chinese, she was a specialist in linguistics, and spoke several languages. Yet although Fallows had studied Chinese on an academic level, she found expressing herself within the confines of the grammatical structure of the Chinese language almost impossible. Mandarin Chinese is a language that is entirely context-dependent. Chinese society is famously 'high context' in the sense that the speaker's relationship with the listener influences the vocabulary, honorifics, and phrasing of the speaker. A word said in one context can mean something completely different if it is said to a different person, in a different situation. According to Fallows, while this is true of almost all languages of the Far East, Mandarin Chinese takes context-dependency to a new level.

"Chinese only has 400 unique syllables -- that's 1/10th of the number of the unique syllables in the English language. That means a lot of Chinese words sound alike to the untrained ear" said Fallows in an interview with National Public Radio. Homonyms, words that mean entirely different things but sound alike (like a 'seal of a letter' versus a 'circus seal'), run rampant, meaning the language tends to 'favor' the native-born and exclude foreigners from understanding its nuances. Of course, English contains homonyms, but they are relatively rare and can be memorized. In Chinese, homonyms are built into the very structure and culture of the language and society. This is why during the Chinese New Year, many special foods are eaten, not because of the way they taste, but because they sound like words that augur good fortune. Such a tradition would only be possible in a language where homonyms are epidemic. Because there are too many to be memorized, an individual must instead be attentive to the speaker's likely meaning. For a foreigner, this can be a very difficult challenge. Fallows found that she was constantly pointing and using body language (which was also often misinterpreted) to be understood during simple tasks like ordering food from a fast food restaurant. "The English language clusters consonants together, which results in a variety of complex syllables…Chinese syllables don't combine that way, so the only way to tell the difference between two otherwise identical syllables is by listening to the tone and the context" (Fallows 2010). Some Chinese tongue-twisters, like "The Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den" contain a variety of characters on the page, but when spoken all of the sounds are virtually identical.

Another surprise for Fallows in her linguistic encounters as a foreigner in China was the relative lack of honorifics between intimates such as children and their parents. Fallows had assumed that because of Confucian piety and her experiences in Japan, which has a highly formalized language system, that there… [read more]

T Chart Second Language Acquisition A2 Coursework

A2 Coursework  |  2 pages (710 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … Second Language T-Chart

Help vs. hinder: Factors promoting and inhibiting second language acquisition

Low level of linguistic distance (learning a Romantic language like Portuguese is relatively easy for a native Spanish speaker) versus a high level of linguistic difference (learning a tonal language like Chinese is a greater challenge for native non-tonal language speakers)

Knowing the standard dialect of one's native language vs. A non-standard dialect

Strong academic preparation in languages and other academic subjects vs. little preparation for the rigors of an academic environment. (Additionally, a high informal level of exposure to the new language vs. none at all is a factor in facilitating learning).

High level of personal motivation vs. little personal motivation to learn the new language

High support level at home and amongst the student's peers vs. hostility at home or amongst the student's peers

Contextual factors can have a great deal of influence upon a child's ability to acquire a second language. The relative linguistic distance between the child's native and second language, both in sound and appearance on the page can both be factors in ease of acquisition. Learning a new alphabet for a Russian speaker, or a new writing system for a Chinese or Japanese speaker, are additional challenges when coping with an English language environment, versus learning English for a French or German speaker. For an English speaker learning a new language: "the basic intensive language course, which brings a student to an intermediate level, can be as short as 24 weeks for languages such as Dutch or Spanish, which are Indo-European languages and use the same writing system as English, or as long as 65 weeks for languages such as Arabic, Korean, or Vietnamese, which are members of other language families and use different writing systems" (Walqui 2000). Also, the child's own language may itself be a dialect, with highly idiosyncratic sounds and constructions. This can make learning the rules of Standard English grammar more difficult than for a child who was brought up learning his or her language in a more conventional academic environment.

Tied to this notion of standardization is also the…… [read more]

Mexican Sign Language Article Review

Article Review  |  2 pages (678 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … American Sign Language (ASL) & Mexican Sign Language (LSM). The purpose of this review is to look at another language outside of ASL. Faurot, Dellinger, Eatough, & Parkhurst reported in this article that according to informal Deaf history, both languages came from Old French Sign Language and were brought over to the United States and Mexico within roughly 50 years of each other: to the U.S.A. In 1816 and to Mexico about 1869. However, as the sign systems were brought over from France, they were adapted to the situations that existed in each country. Both countries already had deaf people who used sign. These signs were incorporated into the new language and supplemented heavily by the French Sign system. It appears that the "founders" of the languages had different ideas as to how the new language should be structured. Mexican sign appears to be very strongly influenced by Spanish in its vocabulary.

Throughout the reading comparisons are made between ASL and LSM, it is actually concluded that the two a very dissimilar and this is believed to be due to the strong Spanish influences that exist in LSM. However, it is also discussed that though this strong influence exists there too are marked differences between Spanish and LSM. The first section of the writing discusses the comparisons that were done in order to access the similarities in the words of ASL & LSM. During this review the researchers looked at 100 words, 16 were identical while 13 were similar. It was determined that there was only a 23% lexical similarity. This data confirmed the idea that a sign in one language often means something else in another. There appear to be very different attitudes regarding initialization. ASL showed only 12% of the 100 signs to be initialized. LSM showed 37% initialization. In the U.S.A., initialized signs are often viewed as "hearing" signs. Initialized signs are commonly used in schools to help teach children to speak or spell English. The systems, which make the strongest use of initialization…… [read more]

Nheengatu: A Not-So Dead Language Thesis

Thesis  |  7 pages (2,055 words)
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Nheengatu: A Not-So dead language

There has been a recent drive to preserve so-called dead languages. A dead language "is a language which is no longer learned as a native language," which means that it is a language that has usually become static and fixed, and incorporates no new vocabulary from the modern world (What is, 2009, Wise Geek). There… [read more]

English Idioms Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  13 pages (4,304 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5



English Idioms

An idiom is a phrase that when the words are taken together they have a different meaning from the dictionary definitions of the individual words. This is what makes idioms hard for ESL students and other learners to master (English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions, 2009). English idioms are often fun and useful, but they are sometimes very… [read more]

Country for Study of Language Use Canada Thesis

Thesis  |  8 pages (2,232 words)
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Canadian Languages

An Examination of Canadian Official Bilingual Policy and Other Multi-Lingual Factors at Work in Canada

Historical and Current Linguistic Factors

Canada is a large country in terms of geographic area, and its history and society incorporate many diverse people and different languages. The country occupies over nine-million square miles of land -- almost seven percent of the Earth's… [read more]

Language and Comprehension Thesis

Thesis  |  6 pages (1,763 words)
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Language and Comprehension are both skills that are essential for learning. Without these two entities, society would not have the capacity to function. A great deal of research has been conducted concerning the importance of these two elements, specifically as it pertains to education and classroom practices.

Pinell (1975) and Ketch (2005), both have views on the importance of language… [read more]

English as 2nd Language Learning New Languages Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  1 pages (309 words)
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English as 2nd Language

Learning new languages are fun and interesting but they can be difficult as well. Through language, we can also get a glimpse of a society's culture and structure. English, as a language, eases our communication process and bridges global barriers. These are some of the importance of learning English.

For those who are not native speakers of this language, there are certain difficulties and areas of ease that can be encountered.

In my case, one of my strengths in writing in English as my second language is my thorough understanding of the grammatical structure or syntax of this language. I find my lessons in grammatical structure very interesting which makes it easier to understand. Subsequently, writing with correct grammatical structure can be met with ease.

However, there are certain areas which I found difficult with the English language. Firstly, the vastness of the English vocabulary makes it difficult for me…… [read more]

Memory and Language Essay

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Language and Memory Issues

The Nature and Function of Semantic Memory:

According to a widely accepted theory of memory, the two principle components of long-term memory are episodic memory and semantic memory (Robinson-Riegler, 207). Whereas episodic memory pertains to knowledge based on first-hand personal experiences, semantic memory describes memory or knowledge of events and circumstances acquired indirectly such as through communication through academic learning or information communicated through narrative processes (Robinson-Riegler, 207).

Typically, semantic memory is devoid of the contextual elements such as the specific circumstances under which those memories were formed. Ordinarily, the contextual elements of episodic memories are inseparable from the informational content of the memories; by contrast, semantic memory of the same events are usually not associated with the specific circumstances surrounding their formation (Robinson-Riegler, 207).

For example, the episodic memory of witnessing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in person is inseparable from the circumstances prevailing at the moment of memory formation and most individuals who witnessed that tragic event cannot discuss that event without vividly recalling their emotional reaction at the time that memory was established. However, individuals who learned of the same event from history books and televised documentaries generally do not associate the knowledge of the event with any of the specific circumstances of the moment when their factual memory of the event was formed. By definition, semantic memory allows the individual to remember a much broader range of information than that which is experienced personally.

The Basic Functions of Language:

In general, language is crucial to most animal species because it enables individuals to communicate important information for survival (Robinson-Riegler, 429). That information includes expressions of aggressive and non-aggressive intention, warnings about environmental threats, displays of dominance or submission, the location of food and other resources, as well as mating solicitations and their acceptance or rejection (Robinson-Riegler, 429-430).

In humans, communication is much more precise than it is among most non-human species. Primarily because it is significantly less rigid than the languages established by non-human animals. Whereas the languages used by animal species can communicate basic circumstances directly such as the presence of a threat, they are not capable of communicated more subtle concepts such as describing a threat experienced yesterday or concerns over a threat that might materialize tomorrow (Robinson-Riegler, 429).

Many evolutionary biologists and anthropologists believe that human language was the principle reason that Homo sapiens evolved a much more complex brain and more dynamic societies than other animal species. Specifically, the elements of recursion, phonology, morphology, grammatical structure, and word association in human language (Robinson-Riegler, 434) helped select for increasingly intelligent individuals. In the same respect, it was likely the capacity of complex human language that enabled multi-generational learning that was essential for technological progress and the accumulation of relevant knowledge that is either totally unique…… [read more]

Linguistics Web Field Trip Thesis

Thesis  |  1 pages (322 words)
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Linguistic Field Trip

In Robeson County, North Carolina, a situation that is of interest to many linguists exists. An ethnically diverse community made up of primarily African-Americans, Native Americans, and Anglo-Americans, the community has remained relatively segregated since its founding. Linguists are interested in this situation because it allows them to study how the English of a Native American community compared with the English of surroundings.

The dialect of Oracoke Island, North Carolina was shaped by those who migrated from different locations in England. According to the North Carolina Language and Life Project, most of those who settled in the South in the United States were actually from the South of England as well, although some from the East of England also settled in this area. Because the current dialect of the area is based on Middle English, it is true that these different varieties of Middle English influenced the development of the linguistic situation in the area. The Scots-Irish dialect…… [read more]

Student Language Production Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (696 words)
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¶ … Student Language Production

Difficulties with English for native French speakers

Compared with other foreign languages, English and French share some notable similarities. French is an Indo-European language and part of the Romance family, along with Spanish and Italian, and English has borrowed liberally from all of the Romance languages. "The English language was strongly influenced by the introduction of French at the time of the Norman invasion of Britain in the 11th century. As a result the two languages share many grammatical features and contain many cognates," as well as share the same a 26 letter alphabet (Vu 2008). Many English words are derived from French and unofficial French slang has incorporated many American English idoyms, like le Big Mac.

However, in terms of phonology, "there are some notable differences in the sound systems of the two languages that can cause French learners problems of comprehension and speech production," such as sounds that do not exist in French but exist in English (Vu 2008). "The tip of the tongue is not used in speaking French, so "learners often have problems with words containing the letters th (/? / / o/), such as then, think and clothes" (Vu 2008). The / h / sound does not exist in French, so French speakers may often forget to make the sound, as in the example "Ave you 'eard about 'arry? Or they may overcompensate by pronouncing the / h / in words like hour (Vu 2008). More generalized errors that occur amongst ESL speakers are spelling errors due to the "frequent lack of correspondence between the pronunciation of English words and their spelling" and unpredictable stress patterns of English words. French word stress is regular, in contrast to French. English also has more vowel reduction or swallowing of word syllables, which can give a distinct sound to English spoken by a native French speaker (Vu 2008). When speaking, the French place their stress at end of each rhythmic group while English is much more irregular in stress patterns. In English there is a stressed syllable in each word, stressed…… [read more]

Foreign Language Competence a Strategic Issue for Business in Libya Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  2 pages (637 words)
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Foreign Language Competence: A Strategic Issue for Business in Libya

The nation of Libya has transformed itself from an international pariah by renouncing terrorism to an increasingly willing partner in the international community in recent years, and it is becoming apparent that things are changing in substantive ways in the country today (Libya, 2009). In this environment, identifying opportunities for improving the ability of the Libyan business community to compete in a globalized marketplace has assumed new relevance and importance, which represents the major focus of the proposed study which is discussed further below.

The major aim of the proposed study is to identify appropriate avenues by which the nation's youth can gain increased competence in the lingua franca of the international business community, whether it is French, English or Chinese. This major aim will be achieved by accomplishing the certain objectives, which are represented by the research questions listed below:

A. What is the current state of affairs as it pertains to the delivery of foreign language instruction in Libyan schools?

B. What foreign languages are currently available for instruction?

C. Are there best practices available from other similar situated countries that can be used to good effect in Libya today?

D. How can foreign language competence in general and competence in the lingua franca of the international business community be improved in particular?

3. Methodology:

review of the available research methodologies suggests that a mixed methodology would be most appropriate to achieve the above-stated research aims and objectives. The first part of the research methodology will consist of a critical review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature concerning Libya, and the importance of foreign language competence today. The first part of the mixed methodology is highly congruent with numerous social researchers who emphasize the need to review what is known as well as to identify existing gaps in the literature (Neuman, 2003). In this regard,…… [read more]

Language Learning One of the Major Debates Thesis

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Language Learning

One of the major debates in psychology today concerns the human ability to develop and utilize language skills, the feature of humanity that has long been thought to separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom. On one side of the argument are the neurobiologists and other scientists and researchers who study the brain, many of whom believe that language is a skill we are innately born to; that is, they believe that human beings are hard-wired for language, and that it is something that would develop in an individual regardless of their cognitive or learning circumstances. The other side of te argument s, as might be expected, that language is a learned trait just like most other aspects pf human behavior and skill, and that the basic rules and processes which govern cognitive growth and ability are just as applicable to language as the are to anything else. The likelihood is that this argument will never be settled; the ethical and medical barriers to performing a controlled experiment concerning the development of language in pre-language infants renders this option simply unviable. A careful study of the current research and literature, however, can reveal many insights into this issue. The conclusion most soundly verified by current research is that while humans do have an innate predisposition to the learning, adaptation, and use of language, this is not sufficient for the actual adoption of language by an individual, and learning behaviors must also be present for the innate language potential to be met.

Some very powerful, if convoluted, arguments for the cognitive basis of language can be made by examining other mental phenomena that seem isolated to human beings. For instance, Michael Corballis (2009) reviewed an overwhelming amount of literature regarding the human capacity for episodic memory -- the ability to remember past events and mentally imagine and project future events and outcomes -- and one of his conclusions was that this had and has a large impact on the development of language (Corballis 2009). Corballis goes on to suggest that episodic memory, which he entertainingly dubs "mental time travel," must have evolved in tandem with language abilities, and that both most likely appeared and grew as the human brain grew larger (Corballis 2009). This suggests both the innate wiring for language and the cognitive need for learning it -- the human brain has the capacity for episodic memory and language, but Corballis never suggests that these things sprang fully-formed from the human brain, but rather that they developed slowly as the capacity fro thought and the need for expression coincided. It is this latter need that drives the cognitive processes, not simply the larger brain.

Morten Christiansen and Nick Chater (2008) would agree strongly with this sentiment. Their examination of what is known as the Universal Grammar or UG led them to the conclusion that "biologically determined UG is not evolutionarily viable. Instead, the original motivation for UG - the mesh between learners and languages - arises… [read more]

Language Instinct Essay

Essay  |  6 pages (1,647 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … Language Instinct

How are the Esthetic Systems of Music and Dance Related to the Language Instinct?

Steven Pinker asserts that all languages have a grammar, or a set of rules for word placement that affects not only the esthetic quality, but also the meaning of the communication. Words, sounds and signs can be arranged in an infinite number… [read more]

Hamlet's Language Hamlet Is a Very Complex Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  1 pages (410 words)
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Hamlet's Language

Hamlet is a very complex play with many layers. The tile character often speaks his mind to the audience, but a lot about his character can be gleaned simply from the language he speaks, without even going to the collective meaning of the words he says. Throughout the play, Hamlet's language is negative and hesitant, much like the brooding and indecisive Prince of Denmark himself.

It doesn't take long for this fact to make itself evident. In Act I, scene 2, Hamlet's first with the King and his mother the Queen, his first speech of any length contains nine "nay's, "no's, "not's, and "nor's (I, ii, 76-81). His tone here is anything but uncertain as he describes himself; he seems very certain, but always in the negative, defining always what he is not instead of what he is. This habit of thinking in the negative is further emphasized later in the scene during Hamlet's first soliloquy: "O that this too solid flesh would melt, / Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!" (I, ii, 129-30). Hamlet goes on to wish for many things to have not happened, and prays that other things will not happen -- but he does not wish for any…… [read more]

Language as it Relates to Cognition Term Paper

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Language as it Relates to Cognition

What comes first, language or the concepts that generate a language? This question has divided and perplexed linguists for decades. However, recent advances in the field of cognitive science have been able to illuminate this debate, although it provides no final answers -- in fact, it may make the question even more complex. What… [read more]

Linguistic Big Bang Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (303 words)
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Nicaraguan Sign Language, Idioma de Signos Nicaraguense (ISN) proves that human beings are born with at least some innate capacity to construct language. The sign language evolved when Nicaragua first started offering specialized public education to the country's deaf children. The children were not told to develop a language and nor did they have any cues as to how to develop syntax and grammar but those core elements of language did develop nonetheless. Moreover, the teachers at the deaf school had no formal educational training and thus could not and did not impose onto the students the rules or the vocabulary of Spanish.

Linguists are especially fascinated with ISN because the sign language offers the unique opportunity to study the genesis of language from a number of disciplinary perspectives including neuroscience. Complex nuances of language like subject-verb agreement, evolved in ISN out of nowhere, illustrating a previously unproven instinctual aspect…… [read more]

Extinct and Endangered Languages Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,038 words)
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Threatened Languages

The, major languages of the world are spoken by millions of people, but there're languages with far fewer speakers, languages that may go extinct within the next few years as the number of speakers dwindle and as other forces change the language until it is unrecognizable. The process of the extinction of language has been ongoing for centuries, and many languages once spoken widely in a given area are no longer understood by anyone today. A recent report suggests that more than half the languages now in use could disappear by the end of this century.

It is estimated that there have been more than 130,000 languages over the last 100,000 years. The peak of diversity was reached 10,000-year ago when there were 12,000 languages in use. There are about 6,700 languages in use today, and more than half of these languages are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people. These are the most endangered languages, and many are found in the Americas and in Australia, where 337 languages are spoken only by a few elderly people. These languages probably will not last beyond 2050 (Furniss, 2007, p. 53).

In the Americas, numerous Native American languages are endangered today, and one of the major ways these languages die out is that the last speaker dies and takes the knowledge with him. An obituary in 1996 noted the death of the last speaker of Catawba, his ancestral tongue. He had been unable to find anyone interested in learning it when he was alive. A reporter found Sangama, the last living speaker of Chamicuro, one of the 500 languages that once were common in the Peruvian Amazon:

According to linguists who track such things, at least half of the world's 6,000 languages will probably die out in the next century. Modern communications, migration and population growth have brought about a loss in cultural diversity that parallels the loss in biological diversity as wilderness areas have been cleared. Missionaries have also played a major role. In the school she attended as a child, Sangama remembers, missionaries used to make her kneel on corn if she spoke Chamicuro (Taylor, 2000, 1276).

Most of the languages that disappear are spoken languages only, so there is also no written record to be examined. Linguists note that only about five percent of existing languages can be considered safe, and these are languages that are spoken by at least a million people and that also have state backing. Hundreds of other languages are spoken only by a few elderly speakers, and these are likely to become extinct (Taylor, 2000, 1276).

Threatened languages can be found all over the world. Mayton (2006) notes the threat to Coptic, a language long thought virtually extinct and today existing only in the liturgical language of the Coptic Church in Egypt:

Coptic is a combination of the ancient Egyptian languages Demotic, Hieroglyphic and Hieratic. It was the language used by the Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt following the spread of Greek culture throughout… [read more]

Language Growth How Does Language Growth Affect Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (320 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Language Growth

How does language growth affect student's reading development?

Contrary to popular wisdom, a child's development as a reader does not begin the first time he or she picks up a book. The child's development as a future reader begins at birth, the first time he or she hears spoken language. A child's future reading skill is based upon a child's awareness and facility in spoken language, which teaches the child such important concepts as the fact that words are separate units of spoken language and that words are made up of units called letters that divided into separate sounds (Cartwright, 1994).

This awareness of spoken language is especially important to learn a language based upon a written alphabet like English. An alphabet is a symbolic system of communication. Children must learn to connect spoken sounds with abstract written symbols called letters to be able to read the printed word. Playing language games, singing, as well as being read…… [read more]

ELL Language Acquisition in English Language Learners Term Paper

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Language Acquisition in English Language Learners


Language Acquisition in English Language Learners

The United States is a country of immigrants, and has been since its inception. However, until relatively recently, immigration did not pose a significant problem for the United States educational system or for many Americans because of the rigid cultural and social expectations for immigrants. New… [read more]

Second Language Acquisition Term Paper

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Second Language Acquisition

The objective of this work is to examine how children acquire a second language through social interaction and environment through supporting Vygotsky's theory in second language acquisition with a focus on school age children seven years of age and older.

Vygotsky viewed language as a "critical bridge between the sociocultural world and individual mental functioning" (Berk & Winsler, 1995; paraphrased; as cited in Clark, nd) and held that the acquisition of language is the most important achievement in the cognitive development of children. If language is what forms a "critical bridge" between the individual's mental functioning and the sociocultural world then this must be true in the initiative of second language acquisition as well.


The work of James P. Lantolf entitled: "Sociocultural Source of Thinking and Its Relevance for Second Language Acquisition" states that: "Second language acquisition research is coming to recognize the influence of the sociocultural environment in the L2 learning." (2007) Lantolf relates that "beginning with the early work of Frawley and Lantolf (1985), a group of researchers have been exploring the implications of L.S. Vygotsky's (1978, 1986) sociocultural theory of mind for the learning and teaching of languages beyond the first." (2007) the work of Steven L. Thorne entitled: "Second Language Acquisition and the Truth(s) about Relativity" states that in the study of second language acquisition several themes arise which are those as follows: (1) the interdependences between language and conceptual development, (2) language as the principal sign system carrying socio-historical-cultural presence into the moment, (3) language as a primary resource through which people interactively construct social reality, and (4) the reproduction of individual and community practices due in part to the inertia of language constructed social worlds. (2000; paraphrased) the work of Vygotsky posits that the "mind is socially constructed 'through mediation via semiotic systems, notably language, that are themselves expressions of socio=historical processes' (Cazden, 1993; as cited in Thorne, 2000) Thorne states that sociocultural approaches to learning "have gained some currency in SLA theorists' and researchers' recent work, but often as an add-on to otherwise epistemologically divergent approach to SLA. Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), for exampled is a popularized and onstensibility accessible dimension of Vygotsky's work that has been widely discussed since the mid-80s." (Thorne, 2000)


Virginia P. Collier presents in the work entitled: "Acquiring a Second Language for School" a conceptual model that has arisen from research in second language acquisition and states that this model has four major components which are those of: (1) sociocultural; (2) linguistic; (3) academic; and (4) cognitive components. Collier states that these processes are "inter-dependent and complex." (1995) the following figure illustrates the model proposed by Collier.

Language Acquisition for School

Source: Collier (1995)

Collier states that central in this figure is the "individual going through the process of acquiring a second language in school." (1995) the social and cultural processes in the students' every day life are central… [read more]

Phonological Rules in Language Phonology Term Paper

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Phonological Rules in Language

Phonology is essentially the linguistic subfield in which examines and dissects the system of sound, including the semantic relationship between different sounds (Schramm, 2001). Phonological rules function in language acquisition to aid in the development of characteristics that are integral to correct pronunciation of words. The understanding of phonological rules is of the utmost importance for language teachers because a grasp of these rules results in pronunciations that are more native-like in nature (Schramm, 2001). Phonological systems are complex and always involve more than one rule, and rules are considered either to be transparent, or with a context that is visible, or opaque, with a context that is not visible (Johnson).

There are four main types of phonological rules in language. These categories are assimilation, dissimilation, insertion and deletion (Scramm, 2001). The phonological rule of assimilation refers to the process of a sound becoming more similar to a neighboring sound (Scramm, 2001). A key example of this rule is nasalization, in which a vowel preceding a nasal consonant assimilates, or becomes more similar by taking on a nasal-like quality. The phonological rule of assimilation is prevalent in all languages (Scramm, 2001).

On the other hand, dissimilation is a phonological rule that functions opposite to assimilation. With dissimilation, two neighboring sounds become less similar to each other (Scramm, 2001). Fricative dissimilation is an example of this phonological rule. This is where it is necessary to pronounce two fricatives next to each other, such in the numbers "fifth" and "sixth." Non-native speakers of English often find it challenging to master these types of sound sequences (Scramm, 2001). Language instructors may ease the acquisition of these pronunciations by clearly outlining the processes involved in these dissimilar sounds.

Another type of…… [read more]

Language Is Fundamentally a Verbal Communication Code Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,224 words)
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Language is fundamentally a verbal communication code. Although animals do not develop the complex lexicons humans do, many species do engage in some form of linguistic discourse. Human beings are by far the most linguistically rich species on Earth, and we use language systematically and regularly. No culture on the planet is devoid of language and therefore language is integral to the human experience. Language is far more than a canon of lexicons and system of grammatical rules, however. Language conveys culture, emotional state, point-of-view, and demographics. in-group and out-group exclusion can be accomplished through the use of language. Colloquialism and the implementation of informal languages convey hidden or subtle meanings that the words themselves do not. Similarly, formal systems of grammar and vocabulary often denote social class or social status. Language is therefore a labyrinthine set of variables governing the communication process.

No one formal theory of language is comprehensive enough to address the multiple pathways of communication and expression. Some theories focus squarely on the biological, neurological, or evolutionary aspects of language. Its development over time, its increasing complexity, its relationship to brain structures, and other issues characterize the physiological or biological theories of language. Language and speech abnormalities stemming from brain injury, stroke, or communication-related disorders like autism provide continual challenges for formulating comprehensive neurological or biological theories.

Psychological variables give way to numerous theories of how language imparts emotion and how changes in language can induce changes in affect or behavior. New Age or pop psychology theories like neurolinguistic programming are examples of how psychological theories have creatively explored the role and function of language. Saying affirmations has been a common use of language to redirect negative emotions or to alter psychological states.

Some of the most robust theories of language explore primarily the social functions of language and how verbal communication serves social needs. Language conveys direct meanings, such as "I want food," or "You are beautiful." However, language is also used as an art form, a means of creative self-expression like painting, dance, or music. Poetry and literature, even powerful works of nonfiction, all prove that language can become a plaything, a tool to manipulate meaning. Language also denotes culture and age. Obviously, different languages imply different cultural backgrounds. Dialects and regional differences within parent languages illustrate the complex way languages serve social functions and demarcates group solidarity. Age or generation is a highly relevant use of language: a young person uses a whole set of different words and grammars than a grandparent. Oxford-style English is different from Bronx English; Canadian French differs from French spoken in Europe, and so on.

Similarly, anthropologists delve into the different uses of language in different cultures, exploring not only differential lexicons and grammatical rules but also the various ways verbal and non-verbal communication intersect. Anthropologists might also explore how language conveys religious meaning, gender, age, or social status. Some cultures have words for concepts or items that do not exist in other cultures too, proving that translation… [read more]

Free Word Order Scrambling Term Paper

Term Paper  |  20 pages (5,343 words)
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Linguistics Free Word Order, Scrambling

Linguistics: Free Word Order, Scrambling

This work conducts a review of historical and recent literature related to 'free word order' languages, or those, which use 'scrambling' in sentence structure placement of nouns and verbs. The social theory of language acquisition is reviewed as well as cultural influences on language acquisition and specifically related to 'free… [read more]

Computer Assisted Writing Learning: Applied Linguistics Term Paper

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Computer Assisted Writing Learning: Applied Linguistics

In the work entitled: "Introduction to Computational Linguistics: Computer-Assisted Language Learning" it is related that there are "variables such as the learner's proficiency level and goals, whether the language is being learned in a foreign-language or second-language setting; aspects of the language that are often taught with the assistance of books; and books are… [read more]

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