"Language / Linguistics" Essays

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Teaching Foreign Language to Infants Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (2,828 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Teaching Foreign Language to Infants

Consider the following facts and/or statistics (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Bilingual,2004):

Most populace in the regions of southern China, are usually Cantonese-Chinese speaking and Mandarin- Chinese speaking

In ex-Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact countries, many people are fluently speaking Russian, especially in Slavic countries

Brussels is the bilingual capital of Belgium with a total percentage of 15% Dutch-speaking population… [read more]

Process and Goal of Second Language Acquisition Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,357 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


¶ … Goal of Second Language Acquisition

Ellis (142) defines two positions of linguistic knowledge. The first, which draws on the work of Chomsky claims that linguistic competence consists of a biological capacity for acquiring languages, commonly referred to as Universal Grammar (UG). Lightbown and Spada (35) explain that "the innate knowledge of the principles of UG permits all children to acquire the language of their environment during a crucial period of their development" and that there is evidence that language learners learn more about the second language than they have exposure to. This suggests that the knowledge of UG has a similar effect on second language acquisition as it does with first language acquisition.

The second position, presented by Ellis (142) is based on the connectionist theories of language learning as advanced by cognitive psychologists and does not view language learning as cognitively different from other forms of learning. It draws on a general mental capacity for registering and storing phonological, lexical, and grammatical sequences in accordance with their distributional properties in input. Linguistic knowledge emerges gradually as learners acquire new sequences, restructure their representation of old sequences, and, over time, extract underlying patterns that resemble rules. Ellis (143) asserts that both positions acknowledge that linguistic competence comprises implicit knowledge.

Lightbown and Spada (82) assert that second language learners progress through sequences of development in a similar manner as first language learners. This development occurs in the area of grammatical morphemes, negation, questions, possessive determiners, relative clauses, and reference to past. Lightbown and Spada (83) report that the developmental sequence of second language learners in learning grammatical morphemes is similar to that of first language learners. For example, students learn plurals more quickly than possessives and verbs ending in -- ing more quickly that regular past tense verbs.

Lightbown and Spada (85) add that the developmental sequence for negative sentences of second language learners is nearly identical to that of first language learners. They present the following stages:

Stage 1 -- The negative element is placed before the verb.

For example: No bicycle. I no like it. Not my friend.

Stage 2 -- 'No' and 'not' may alternate with 'don't,' but 'don't' may not follow correct form.

For example: He don't like it. I don't can sing.

Stage 3 -- Learners begin to place negative elements after auxiliary verbs, but may still use 'don't' incorrectly.

For example: You can not go there. He was not happy. She don't like rice.

Stage 4 -- Learners typically use the correct tense, person, and number with 'do;' however, mistakes may still occur.

For example: It doesn't work. We didn't have supper. I didn't went there. (Lightbown and Spada, 85-86).

According to Lightbown and Spada (86) the developmental sequence for asking questions is similar for both first and second language learners. Again the development is presented in stages:

Stage 1 -- Single words, formulae, or sentence fragments.

For example: Dog? Four children?

Stage 2 -- Declarative word order, no inversion or fronting.

For… [read more]

Theory Behind Second Language Socialisation (Sls) Essay

Essay  |  10 pages (2,820 words)
Bibliography Sources: 12


Theory behind Second Language Socialisation (SLS) and Some of Its Applications in ESOL Research

As English continues to become the lingua franca of choice in the business world, educators are faced with some challenges as well as opportunities to deliver more effective educational services that are tied to the needs of second-language learners in an increasingly multicultural society. Using language… [read more]

Language Development Research Paper

Research Paper  |  4 pages (988 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


¶ … Language Acquisition" (2004), the authors have put together an array of information on the development and origination of language in infants. Two of the most over bearing theories in language development is whether language is in fact due to nature or due to nurture. The debate is whether language is preprogrammed in the brain and works like an on and off switch when certain parts are triggered, or whether it is learned through proper teaching and a literacy upbringing. In the first six months of life, infants are exposed to so many different sounds and they see so many different mouthed movements that they capture all that into their system.

When disorders are found in language, it makes it interesting to analyze because it's a way for psychologists to determine how much influence the brain or certain areas of the brain has on language development. In the article titled, "Language Disorder, Developmental" (2009), this is exactly what the authors tries to emphasize. Dysphasia and Aphasia are both language disorders which encompasses the loss of ability to understand or express speech, caused by brain damage. This gives analysts a unique opportunity to determine exactly where language is controlled in the brain.

Various methods are used to measure hearing and speech in the article, "Speech and Hearing Measures" (2004). Just as the amount of power given off by speakers in sound waves is measured, the same is done for speech and audio released from it by humans. Scientists offer a unique look into the dimensions of speech and give physiologists a unique opportunity to measure language by its parts, and break it down. Unlike a therapist who would teach someone how to speak and how to develop their language by teaching them syntax, phonics, and other kindred speech, these tools would teach them how to measure the sound that comes out from the speech. Clinical assessments are also used as tools to measure how each individual interprets language. Not everyone thinks, learns, nor speaks the same way, so these tools try to take all that into consideration to develop a well rounded way and incorporate everyones different style. But in the end, it should all measure how language is developing within that person.

The article, "Psycholinguistics" (2003) explains the correlation between "linguistic behavior and the psychological processes thought to underlie that behavior. For example, what the effects of language have on how things are perceived or how things are memorized. Psychologists in this area want to determine what the role in speech and how speech is perceived effects everything else that a person does or is involved in. The way an infant learns the language is something that is also of interest to these types of psychologists because it gives them an underlying understanding of how language development is acquired.

Overall, language is a very complex subject. How an infant learns how to speak is something that seems to be innate and learned by…… [read more]

Language and Arts Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (625 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … home sign systems challenge the idea that language input is necessary for language acquisition?

Home sign systems do not challenge the idea that language input is necessary for language acquisition. Home sign systems are a substitute for verbal language that rely on alternate mechanisms precisely because language input is required for linguistic development. In infancy, human beings possess a so-called "window of opportunity" to develop the cognitive elements of linguistic speech (Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2009). During that time, the infant has the capacity to absorb and learn all of the sounds in all of the languages in human societies. Infants watch their parents, listen to the sounds that they make in communication, and perpetually mimic those sounds. That is part of the cognitive development process in which the neural pathways associated with producing those sounds are formed, reused, and thereby strengthened (Brownlee, 1998; Dennet, 2001).

Initially, the infant can learn all of the different sounds that the human mouth is capable of producing; however, if the infant is not exposed to certain sounds during this critical period, the capacity to produce sounds not heard repeatedly is lost. Thereafter, we may still learn how to speak foreign languages but with greater difficulty and a foreign accent characteristic of our natural language (Brownlee, 1998; Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2009). When infants engage in the behavior we refer to as babbling, the linguistic content of the sounds they make include all of the sounds in all human languages, including those to which the infant will not learn. At that stage, the content of infant babble is identical everywhere in the world (Brownlee, 1998; Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2009).

More importantly, there is also a critical window during which we must be exposed to verbal language after which it may no longer be possible to establish the same neural pathways necessary for verbal speech (Brownlee, 1998;…… [read more]

Individual to Develop the First Language Research Paper

Research Paper  |  7 pages (1,922 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … individual to develop the first language and roughly before reaching the puberty, and if development of first language does not occur when an individual has reached the puberty, it is unlikely that the development of first language will occur. There is a little doubt that young children have inherent ability to learn language quickly, and there is a… [read more]

English Language Usage and the Respective Merits Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (687 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … English language usage and the respective merits of the positions of linguistic "Prescriptivists" and "Descriptivists" in connection with what should be considered proper English grammar and usage. On one hand, the author acknowledges the fundamental tenet of the Descriptivists that language always evolves and changes to reflect the ways that it is, in fact, used by the population. On the other hand, he absolutely rejects the descriptivist argument that this evolution can be quantified scientifically. Meanwhile, he also acknowledges the value of maintaining standard written English (SWE) and of resisting changes to English language usage that reflect ignorance and a lack of education rather than genuine social trends as reflected in language usage.

Main Thesis and Methodology

Wallace's main thesis seems to be that neither the strict Prescriptivist approach nor the infinitely lax descriptivist approach is necessarily the best solution to the dilemma of maintaining those aspects of proper English grammar and usage that are important while incorporating gradual changes that truly reflect the evolution rather than the devolution of the English language. The author's principal methodology seems to be to develop a common ground by unpacking the respective underlying sources of both positions and identifying potential problems associated with adhering to either one too strictly while ignoring the objective merits of the other.

More specifically, Wallace suggests that certain aspects of the Prescriptivist position are merely functions of the arbitrary fact that English originated from Latin, such as in connection with the technical prohibition against split infinitives. However, Wallace acknowledges that there are absolute limits to what types of (or how much) change is acceptable under the concept of linguistic evolution as function of popular use. Specifically, he illustrates that an overly board permissiveness in that regard would allow words such as "brung" and "feeled."

Analysis of Important Passage

In the following passage, Wallace explains the central thesis of the Descriptivist position by breaking it down into five rules that, according to that view, allow a scientific analysis and application of rules of linguistic evolution.

"The Descriptivist revolution takes a…… [read more]

Properties of Human Language (Displacement Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (680 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Human language can also be subtle, as in poetry, and have dual and even multiple levels and significances of meaning. It can also be transmitted after the fact of the speaker's demise, as a reader can read about the joy of someone who is fictional and imagined, by an author died a long time ago.

Question 2: (Chapter 17) How does the process of acquiring a native language and the process of learning a foreign language differ?

Acquiring a language naturally from one's loved ones is done in a non-structured fashion, and in dialogue usually with a caregivers. Rather than stressing tenses, which children often misuse, communication of nouns and simple ideas rather than grammatical structure is stressed. (184) Because one usually learns one's first, native language a child, there is also an initial tendency to learn this language in a less distinctive fashion, referring to flowers rather than a rose, for example. (186) This may reflect, although it is a cross-cultural phenomena, the way that adults speak to children, although some scholars have also suggested it reflects the biological state of the human mind in early stages of development, and also is one reason why it is easier to acquire a language earlier in life. Children are also apt to call a bow-wow a dog, and to overextend their first animal names to other animals. (185)

Thus, learning a non-primary language in school depends greater specificity. Later in life, one better understands the importance, when communicating, of using more specific nouns and communicating the sense of tense, of when an action was completed. Learning a second language often stresses the distinct differences of sentence order and structure, something that young children are apt to eschew when they are first learning their native, primary language.

Work Cited

Yule, George. "The Study of…… [read more]

Language and Communication the Power Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (523 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


As a speaker of my native language, I am able to identify myself strongly to my heritage and Asian identity. Practicing and speaking my native language even in a foreign land allows me to reiterate my personality of being a member of Asian culture, yet able to assimilate with American culture. Through the Taiwanese language, I can express my thoughts without expressing them explicitly; this characteristic of my native language allows me to state things and communicate without being too direct, expressing my thoughts and ideas with a deeper meaning that must be thought upon carefully with the individual I am communicating with.

As a speaker of English, I am able to understand the way English-speakers perceive and interpret their world through their language. In English, I learn to be more direct and explicit in communicating my ideas, thoughts, and feelings with other people. It is evident that my perspective has changed when I speak in the English language, and this change had clashed with my values and attitudes as a Taiwanese native speaker. However, I am slowly able to reconcile these contrasting natures of Taiwanese and American culture, making me more flexible and able to adapt to their social environment. Indeed, the power of language in communication, as in my case, has been limitless, certainly full of benefits than detriments, keeping within me an open-minded attitude in understanding and acknowledging the differences among people in human society.… [read more]

"If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What It? Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,017 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?"

This paper will look at the argument presented by James Baldwin in his essay called "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?." This paper will discuss the logical soundness of the author's case by examining his line of reasoning and his use of evidence. Paying attention to writing style, structure of the argument, evidence provided and what is inferred by his use of tone; this paper will examine Baldwin's message.

The Author's Argument

James Baldwin makes the argument language itself is not the issue but the role of language and its relationship to people in society. Basically his argument is that language is born out people's use. He writes, "Language incontestably, reveals the speaker. Language, also, for more dubiously, is meant to define the other" (par. 1). He defines "other" as someone "refusing to be defined by a language that has never been able to recognize him" (Baldwin, par.1). Does this mean that language applies to people in different ways? That one person using a certain language can totally reject it and invent a new one out of the old? Baldwin seems to think so and continues this stance by offering a solid example. He elaborates that people from different French speaking countries use French differently to a point the French being used has a different context for the setting. "A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly and crucially different language from that of the man living in Marseilles" (Baldwin, par. 2). He uses this element of context to back up his argument about English acting the same way. How does he do this effectively? Could this argument prove the element of context applies not only to nationality but also race?

He believes language acts a universal tool for humanity despite the issue of context. He notes, "What joins all languages, and all men, is the necessity to confront life, in order, not inconceivably, to outwit death" (Baldwin, par. 3). In this regard, he believes with knowledge of language comes power and it can be used a political tool. He reflects that there is a time and place for its use, "reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity" (Baldwin, par. 3). He explains because language is powerful, using it correctly is important and could mean life or death in certain situations.

Still the individual speaking brings to language their style of articulation. He explains his argument also applies to English. The variations found are less to do with physical surroundings but more to do with class, race and the relationship between the two. He comments that he does not "know what white Americans would sound like if there had never been any black people in the United States, but they would not sound the way they sound" (Baldwin, par. 4). This only solidifies the idea that one language can feed off the… [read more]

Language and Language Diversity Play Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (532 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Though language is generally empowering, it also presents limitations, especially with the wide variety of languages that have developed through time. Differences in language use results to different worldviews, or the perspective in which the individual tries to analyze and understand his/her reality. Instead of promoting unity and understanding among humans in general, language diversity creates sub-human cultures and creates misunderstanding because of the non-universality of each of these languages. In effect, though language and the capability to communicate is deemed as vital to human society, diversity and differences in terms of language (i.e., codes or symbols) limit people from their respective cultures, and cannot establish universal understanding and unity.

3. In the process of critical thinking, one is able to process information that she or he receives. This means that in the critical thinking process, there is an active transfer of message into the brain, wherein it assigns to a particular category in which this information is appropriately assigned. Once this information has been processed in the brain, the individual is now able to ascertain whether the information should be retained in his/her brain (memory, specifically) or not.

Thus, in the act of persuading a person, it is essential that the individual receiving the information determine whether this information is worth keeping or not. Furthermore, the individual also determines whether knowledge about the information should also constitute into action. In effect, critical thinking allows one to make systematic steps in identifying whether the thinking self should be persuaded by the information-giver or not.… [read more]

Is it Possible to Say That Men and Women Use Language Differently? Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,885 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … men and women is a continually debated issue, which has significant personal, professional, political and social ramifications. Naturally, males and females do differ biologically. Less clear, however, are other possible differences. For example, the psychological variations between men and women are in a grey area and difficult to delineate. One of the areas that social scientists, especially sociolinguistics,… [read more]

Language and Literacy Every Workplace Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,463 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


More often than not, the only contact that I have with members of the executive board is through written communications and word-of-mouth.

Language and literacy inevitably brings up issues related to ethnic and linguistic diversity as well as issues related to gender. Members of various ethnic groups communicate differently nonverbally, and nonverbal literacy is one of the most essential components… [read more]

Language Is the Perfect Instrument of Empire Term Paper

Term Paper  |  14 pages (4,854 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Language Is the Perfect Instrument of Empire:

Case for Teaching English Globally

Though the British empire over half a century ago, the mark it left on the world remains. The many countries colonized by Britain continue to use English colloquially to this day. There's really no surprise in that; English hegemony in matters of politics and economics was accompanied by… [read more]

Secret Languages Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (380 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Secret Languages

One of the most common "secret" languages is Pig Latin. Although many people can converse in Pig Latin, the language is still uncommon enough that it can be used to cloak sensitive conversations. Pig Latin is a playful variant of English, and has nothing at all to do with Latin. In Pig Latin, which is mainly a spoken as opposed to written language, the speaker removes the first consonant sound of every word, adds the vowel sound "Ay" and moves the resulting syllable to the end of the word. For example, the word "secret" becomes "ecretsay," the word "pen" becomes "enpay," the word "toilet" becomes "oilettay," the word "magazine" becomes "agazinemay," and the word "toast" becomes "oasttay." Consonant groups that form one single sound are treated as the same consonant and are moved together. For example, the word "glue" becomes "ueglay," not "lueglay." The word "school" becomes "oolschay," which sounds like "oolskay." Similarly, the word "scissors" would become "issorsscay," because the "sc" sound remains a soft "s." Pig Latin is therefore more of a verbal than a written language but can be used effectively in writing.

If a…… [read more]

Baby Acquire Language Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (375 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Language Acquisition

It is unclear exactly how babies and young children acquire language. In humans, language acquisition seems to be instinctual and innate: babies begin making nonsense noises very soon after birth and before long are imitating the sounds they hear in the environment. Because babies can vocalize sounds and syllables, it would seem that language acquisition is at least in part instinctual and innate. On the other hand, learning the complexities of grammar, structure, and usage require memorization and rote skills. Very much like many other things children learn, language involves part innate nature, part environmental nurture.

When children learn basic sensory-motor skills, from manipulating their eating utensils to walking to throwing a ball, they also rely on learning tools such as imitation and means of correction such as punishment and reward systems. Like Pavlov training his dogs, parents and older siblings often use very basic means to teach young children how to perform simple activities. Some activities, like riding a bicycle, take practice, trial and error. Although many of the basic sensory-motor skills used by human beings are hard-wired, some of the more graceful activities…… [read more]

Language Facilitates Criticism and Understanding? Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,015 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


(Sutton, 1993, p. 426)

However, even researchers striving for unbiased and hard data do not always have the recourse of objective, hard factual data. Consider a forensic investigation that involves querying bystanders about the same accident. The individual testimonies of the different people, all of whom saw the same little old lady slip on the sidewalk, will surely differ to some extent as to what happened and who was at fault. The investigator must interpret the validity of the different person's testimony and credibility from the language that the individuals use, just as much as when, in a much less frantic situation, one might compare the different responses of friends who all saw the same film. On some level, qualitative language analysis is part of life -- part of the critical skills of discrimination all individuals must deploy in life.

Also, even the apparently pre-existing categories that exist in data-based analysis are part of qualitative language. When one attempts to analyze different 'gendered' responses, and divides test subjects into men and women, one is engaged in a distinction that is located in language and culture in a qualitative fashion -- of if one fails to break down responses into different demographic groups, there is also a certain qualitative statement being made, that cultural or gender distinctions are not important to the data being reported or recorded. Furthermore, being mindful of qualitative biases as researchers and readers not only enable one to analyze reports more effectively, but also to be more reflectively and rigorously self-critical about one's own biases when setting up a study, reading a document, reflecting upon the results gleaned from a personal or professional investigation.

The subjective is thus inescapable -- it influences how we break elements of a text or study group down, how we express ourselves in language, as well as influences what we to expect to learn. Language influences how we 'see' categories at all, even the distinction between the quantitative and the qualitative itself. Of course, this does not mean that one needs to sink into relativism -- rather that through knowledge of how qualitative language is deployed and use, one can make one's own use of it more self-critical and reasonable.

Works Cited

Custer, R.L. (1996). Qualitative research methodologies. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 34, 3-6. Retrieved 13 May 2005 from Qualitative Research Database at ttp://www2.gsu.edu/~mstswh/courses/it7000/papers/qualitat.htm

Hoepfl, M.C. (1997, Fall). Choosing qualitative research: A primer for technology education researchers. Journal of Technology, 9, 12-39. Retrieved 13 May 2005 from Qualitative Research Database at ttp://www2.gsu.edu/~mstswh/courses/it7000/papers/qualitat.htm

Sutton, B. (1993). The rationale for qualitative research: A review of principles and theoretical foundations. Library Quarterly, 63, 411-430. Retrieved 13 May 2005 from Qualitative Research Database at ttp://www2.gsu.edu/~mstswh/courses/it7000/papers/qualitat.htm… [read more]

Communicative Language Teaching Communicative Competence Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,124 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Communicative Language Teaching

Communicative Competence

In the past few years, the area of study termed "communicative competence" has received widespread attention as an alternative and successful method of teaching foreign language students. The desired outcome of the language learning process is the ability to communicate competently, not the ability to use the language exactly as a native speaker does (NCLRC,… [read more]

Language of Geoffrey Chaucer Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (622 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


" ( ibid)

Furthermore, in this regard Schlauch also refers to the fact that Chaucer's writing and use of language often differed from the accepted form of London English, For example,

....it can be established that Chaucer inclined to some slight archaisms in usage, perhaps for aesthetic reasons such as the requirements of metre, as compared with the current speech of London in his time. It is likely, for instance, that the typical unaccented final -e ? Of Middle English was more frequently suppressed in ordinary conversation than is the case in Chaucer's verse, where scansion indicates that it was normally (though not universally) retained except before a word beginning with a vowel.

( ibid)

Notwithstanding the above view, most critics and studies leave little doubt as to the impact and significance of Chaucer in the development of the English language and literature. Possibly one of the most important aspects is that he increased the prestige of English in terms of its perception as a literary language. He was also responsible for "extending the range of its poetic vocabulary and meters." (Chaucer, Geoffrey 1340-400)

He was also the first poet in English to use iambic pentameter. He was extremely influential with regard to the works and language of later writers and poets. There is little doubt that "For the Renaissance, he was the English Homer." (ibid) John Dryden, who was to modernize the Canterbury tales, called Chaucer " ... The father of English poetry." ( ibid)


Baugh, Albert C. A History of the English Language. 2nd ed. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1959.

Chaucer, Geoffrey 1340-400) August 15, 2005.


English Language. Encarta. August 16, 2005. http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761564210_2/English_Language.html

Emerson, Oliver Farrar. The History of the English Language. New York: Macmillan, 1894.

Schlauch, Margaret. The English Language in Modern Times, since 1400.…… [read more]

Dialects Language -- the Social Mirror Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,074 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+



Language -- the Social Mirror in a California Classroom

The more diverse the classrooms of the state of California become in the future, the greater the diversity of dialects, languages, and vocabulary will come from the mouths of students. In her study of sociolinguistics, Elaine O. Chaika notes how different regional and city dialects, the presence of two languages in a child's life as well as cultural differences can impact that child's expression in different settings and amongst different groups of people, including in the context of the classroom. For example a student may speak Spanish at home, English in the classroom and a combination 'Spanglish' on the playground with peers.

Thus, bilingualism and diversity is a reality in the United States, and this is true, perhaps even more so, in California. Bilingualism alone produces not simply many languages but many dialects. Spanish is one of the most common languages other than English spoken in the United States. (Chaika, 1994, p.35) Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Dominican-American children may make up a teacher's classroom, and depending if these bilingual students are first, second or third generation, may speak with a different level of English and Spanish fluency. Between even their own forms of Spanish, however, there will many regional differences in dialect and vocabulary. Thus, teacher cannot even assume a natural cohesion between all Spanish speakers in the classroom, but approach every child from his or her own unique cultural and familial context.

Similarly, there may be Asian students with similar difficulties, if from first-generation homes, grappling with the often-considerable differences between Indo-European languages such as English and their own native tongues, spoken at homes. Again, the teacher must be mindful that simply because students come from the same region does not mean that they have a natural cultural cohesion, as their languages and dialects will be different. Also, often students from particular Asian backgrounds may have parents who operate their own businesses, where the students work after school, limiting their exposure to social, spoken English outside of the classroom. As with bilingual Spanish speakers, in a mixed classroom of native English speakers and individuals who speak English as a second language, students may be more reticent, not because of lack of intelligence or natural shyness (although culture may have an influence in inhibiting Latina girls or Asian students) but because of a lack of confidence speaking formal English.

Where a student lives in the city, regardless of his or her native language or may also limit his or her exposure to English, or to Standard English. Certain ethnic neighborhoods may not be primarily English speaking. In the case of English-speakers, such as African-Americans, students may feel more comfortable speaking their city-specific dialect. A teacher must remember only the so-called "correct English myth holds that there is one real English, Standard English, and that deviations from it are impoverished and unworthy." (Adger, 1997) The myth of the single correct dialect or way of speaking is one of the issues Chaika… [read more]

Language and Communication Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (832 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … world's small languages be saved" appeared in the August, 2000 issue of Harper's Magazine. In this beautiful piece of writing, Shorris talks about the extinction of small languages and partly holds globalization responsible for it. He also argues that inability to give higher education in indigenous languages is also the reason why weaker cultures are now at the brink of extinction.

Language is a very vital part of the whole cultural scheme. With the language being shunned by the people, it is only natural that culture would follow the death route too. "The weak must speak to the strong in the language of the strong.... The Darwinian way of the world bears some responsibility, globalization does the rest: movies, television, Reeboks, and the Internet." (p. 38) Shorris is basically concerned about the threat that small languages are facing.

Shorris argues that languages on the whole are losing words, even the stronger ones like English but what is really disturbing about this is that if such a thing can happen to a very strong language; imagine what would happen to smaller languages. "English, as it is generally spoken, appears to be losing more words than it gains. You only need to look at the thin thesaurus that comes with your word-processing programs to see how the English language is losing its internal diversity." Citing the linguist Michael Krauss, Shorris writes that about 3,000 small languages in the world contribute around 50% of the known words and they are all sadly facing possible extinction.

The writer goes to explain why any language, strong or weak, big or small, minor or major is important. "It is not merely a writer's conceit to think that the human world is made of words and to remember that no two words in all the world's languages are alike. Of all the arts and sciences made by man, none equals a language, for only a language in its living entirety can describe a unique and irreplaceable world." (p. 43) He describes an experience where he realized that indigenous languages are far more colorful and expressive than the well-known widely spoken ones. Shorris comes to see why the existence of small languages is important and realizes that the extinction of these languages would be a huge loss to articulation and expression.

I saw this once, in the forest of southern Mexico, when a butterfly settled beside me. The color of it was a blue unlike any I had ever seen, hue and…… [read more]

Language Development Among the Very Young Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (2,004 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Language Acquisition

The ways in which young people go about learning how to talk have been the subject of an increasing amount of research in recent years. The research to date suggests that there are some commonalities involved that can help better understand how language acquisition operates and what educators and parents can do to facilitate the process. The purpose… [read more]

Second Language Acquisition Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (3,175 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Second Language Acquisition

There is a very close relationship between second language acquisition and other areas of enquiry, and the fact that there are numerous ways in which to examine this issue means that the study of second language acquisition has its own goals. In addition, the study of the topic means that there must be presents its very own… [read more]

How Language Affects People Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (369 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … Language Affects People -- the Power of Language

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. However, despite the fact that visual images are powerful, and the modern era is a very visual place, given the predominance of television, movies, and the Internet in terms of how people receive information and communicate with one another, language is still one of the most powerful interpersonal mediums of communication in existence today.

There are over 6,800 known languages spoken in the 200 countries of the world. ("Language Dictionary," 2006, yourdictionary.com) All languages, within their own frameworks, have words with imaginative associations that can affect the listener in profound ways. Although images may be powerful, words can create an image for the listener or the reader that is more evocative than a photograph or a painting. A picture of an apple may make the fruit merely seem flat and shiny, but only an evocative description such as a "crisp, crimson apple," by using alliteration, can suggest to another person what it feels like and sounds like when a hungry individual bites…… [read more]

Linguistics Syntax Minimalist Theory Term Paper

Term Paper  |  14 pages (4,504 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


EPP and "There" construction in English

The question of how humans develop language capabilities has been a question that researchers have grappled with for many years. The question has divided theorist into two ideologically different camps of thought. The first hold that feature movement in sentences is controlled by separate morphological processes. The second holds that the processes are unified… [read more]

Communicative Language Teaching Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,450 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Communicative Language Teaching Results Summary

Unfortunately in Libya, there are issues where there are little resources to provide sufficient training in regards to the CLT Approach. In order to better understand the current context, a mixed methods approach was taken and this current research examined 24 Libyan EFL teachers to evaluate their understanding and capabilities within the use of CLT.… [read more]

Second Language Acquisition Essay

Essay  |  10 pages (3,079 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Second Language

Lightbown and Spada Chapter 1 and 2: Language Learning in Early Childhood

This chapter was a bit surprising because it did not address learning a second language but instead focused on how children learn their first language. It was also surprising to read about children since those reading this textbook are obviously no longer children. However, perhaps the… [read more]

Vocabulary Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (998 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


For example, for centuries, children were seen as property of their parents and expected to engage in productive hours of work each day: "Often it was the most dangerous, dirty, and menial jobs that were left to the children. In England, a five-year-old might be expected to work a 16-hour day and to receive a beating the process if he wasn't working hard enough" (Levine & Munsch, 2010). While a short-sighted person might dismiss these facts as merely the behavior of primitive people, a more thoughtful person would be able to imagine the differences of the time. A more well-rounded person would be able to imagine that hundreds of years ago, the needs and values of people were so incredibly different due to the demands of mere survival that certain differences in behavior and treatment occurred. This demonstrates an ability of the mind to imagine -- a type of understanding and knowledge that can occur without vocabulary's tendency to shape.

Regarding vocabulary and knowledge of the human and natural sciences, a more narrow-minded person might argue that a limited vocabulary simply limits all that one can understand in these more advanced fields. However, the reality is that more often than not, in the sciences vocabulary is used to be exclusive and to exclude areas of knowledge. In many cases, it appears that vocabulary shapes what one can know -- but often this is simply because others have determined that to be the case. For example, some of the most complex processes in the sciences can be explained and understood using the simplest vocabulary. However, the vocabulary chosen instead is that of the elite, allowing much of the concepts, processes and phenomena of science to be understood only by a select few when that absolutely doesn't have to be the case. In this case vocabulary isn't shaping what we can know -- people are shaping vocabulary so it appears to be shaping all that we can know.

Thus, the sentiment that vocabulary communicates our knowledge is indeed a sound one. However, it's too easy to forget that vocabulary is not the only tool which can be used to shape our knowledge. Humankind has the resources of creativity through the arts to aid in our expression of thought and to communicate the incommunicable. Yet, words far too often become the primary means in society for expression. The notion that vocabulary shapes our knowledge is a deceptive one. Vocabulary can indeed limit our amount of communication in certain respects but there is much that human beings can understand intuitively and instinctually.


Eliot, T. (1971). The Waste Land: A Facsimile and Transcript of the Original Drafts. New York: Harcourt Books.

Levine, L., & Munsch, J. (2010). Child Development: An Active Learning Approach. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishers.

Pinker, S. (2008, January 13). The Moral Instinct. Retrieved from cuny.edu: http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/SocialSciences/ppecorino/INTRO_TEXT/Chapter%208%20Ethics/Reading-The%20Moral-Instinct.htm… [read more]

Relationship Between Translation and Linguistics Seminar Paper

Seminar Paper  |  4 pages (1,211 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Translation Linguistic

The Challenges of Arabic to English Translation

The need for effective Arabic-to-English translation has never been greater. With the barriers to international business being reduced all the time, the need for improved cross-cultural understanding growing greater all the time and the call for well-conceived educational resources increasing all the time, it is important to resolve some of the challenges that have prevented effective translation. Better linguistic translation is an important building block toward better Western-Arabic relations. Still, achieving this is an uphill climb because in spite of the demand for translation between the two languages, they originate from two entirely distinct linguistic traditions. Certainly, an immediate sign of the challenge in translation is that the two languages also originate from entirely distinct alphabet systems. As a result of these critical differences, there are distinct grammatical, semantic and syntactic differences in how English and Arabic are constructed. This presents a challenge to translators, which is addressed in the discussion here below.


The source at Slideshare.net provides an instructive point of entry into the discussion, indicating that there are some inherent obstacles to translation that derive from differences in grammar. According to the source, "experience shows that one of the primary mistakes committed by the student of translation is their presupposition that English grammar and Arabic grammar can translate each other in a straightforward way." (Academic Supervisor, p. 1)

This presents a particular challenge where the translation of non-technical texts is concerned. Poetic verse and prose offer great difficulty to a linguistic tradition which, according to the article by Enani (2006), did not author its own plays until the 20th century. This was also the first time that translations were made of Shakespearean works. The result would be translations that were either far too literal and largely missed the charm, humor, wordplay and subtlety of the original texts or, in the case of the definitive Arabic MacBeth translation, versions that were too liberal in their interpretations to capture the true intention of the source texts. Indeed, according to the article by Enani (2006), "The earliest extant Shakespearean translation dates as far back as 1900, namely Mohamed Iffat's free -- perhaps too free -- translation of Macbeth."

The Iffat translation attempts to recreate the original English verse in Arabic and finds limited success carrying forward the same dramatic intonations that make the source material so important to the traditions both of literature and theatre. A substantial challenge here is not only in bridging the gap of linguistic purpose by finding a way to convey the sentiments couched in the source language but also of finding ways to utilize the target language that may themselves be somewhat outmoded. As Enani points out, one of the great uphill challenges for the MacBeth translation is that its language is that of the kings and courtiers of Europe's middle ages. Thus, the same challenge is incumbent upon the Arabic translation. As Enani indicates, "reading or listening to the lines of a king, a military… [read more]

Linguistic Differences Between Men and Women Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,612 words)
Style: Harvard  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Genders and Linguistics

Many studies have been conducted on the different ways that men and women use language (Westin 2013, Westin 2013). These works have come up with two main theories. The first says that men use language to dominate while women use it in a complementary way, that is, to confirm that subordination. The second says that the language… [read more]

Nature of the Linguistic Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,188 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


The extent to which reality is a factor to language is also brought about in the case where language truly is perceived as the determinant of experiences and reality as stipulated by structuralist theory. Further, the role, of spoken word in determining reality is disregarded by some theories claiming that it only severs to bring out language, which is an element already instilled among individuals. The complete disregard for speech here seems to be confusing since one could wonder whether language can possible exist and function independently and without the incorporation of speech.

Some theorists on contradicting the ideas advanced by poststructuralist's theory stipulate that self or ego is and ought to be the main determinant of experience and reality as opposed to the idea of language being responsible for that. The question that begs here is, where then does the role of language fall as regarding life experiences and the development of reality. Moreover, what is the degree by which ego determines reality? Does ego work with other elements; say language in enabling the process of experiencing life and formation of reality? The theorists who refute the suggestions of structuralists theory also indicate that experience is a factor of historical events and language therefore not fully considered as closely related with reality. The historical nature of language is however, pointed out at some point. How then can reality not relate or be based on the element of language?

Complications between the Notions of Thinking and Authorship

Language is considered as an aspect independent of writing or authorship and as such, the mental processes, mostly associates with language do not depend on writing. As opposed to the belief that authorship helps in the preservation of ideas, this tends not to be the actual case. Writing is basically the graphic form of ideas and has been considered by many as stable and more suited than sound in creating an account for the unity of language since history. This is however considered as purely fictitious. This is because; the oily true element that creates some bond is sound and not written words. Further, the shaper and more lasting nature of written material has been considered as responsible for the massive attention directed towards them. This makes the writtencontents force themselves into the mind of individuals instead of sound which ought to be the main elements of focus (Bally & Sechehaye 24-25).

Also to be noted is that fact that, Conflicts between language and authorship are occurrences which have been witnessed in a number of instances. Settlements of these disputes have always proved complicated and only solvable with the intervention of linguists. Because of this however, writing has always earned unwarranted significance with the outcome of such interventions. This is majorly because of the fact that the record sit provides gives it an upper hand in winning whenever disagreements occur.


Finding meaning in life and surviving in the society requires various forms of adaptation among individuals. One of the most important factors… [read more]

Cruickshank, K. ). Arabic-English Bilingualism Article Critique

Article Critique  |  4 pages (1,267 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1


Generally, however, the article was an informative piece on Arabic language teaching in NSW with historical depth.


Cruickshank, K. (2008). Arabic-English bilingualism in Australia. In J. Cummins and N.H. Hornberger (eds), Encyclopedia of Language and Education, 2nd Ed., Vol. 5: Bilingual Education, 281 -- 291. Springer Science & Business Media LLC.

Haitham, Mohamed. (2012). Attitudes of Foreign Learners of Arabic towards Learning Ammya and Fusha. Abstract for Middle East Studies association. Arizona State University.

Sayahi, L. (2011). Code-switching and language change in Tunisia. International Journal Of The Sociology Of Language, 2011(211), 113-133.

Sayahi (2011) analyzes the data from interviews with 12 Tunisians who speak Arabic and French, to identify the code-switching characteristics unique to the Tunisian context, to determine the social factors that lead to code-switching, and to identify aspects of Tunisian Arabic language change that might stem from code-switching.

Sayahi draws upon several strands of research in his study. First, he establishes the co- existence of French and English in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco (i.e., in the Maghreb) (Bentahila and Davies 1983, 1995; Nait M'Barek and Sankoff 1988; Heath 1989; Belazi 1992; Belazi et al. 1994; Boumens and Caubet 2000; Davies and Bentahila 2008; 114). Second, drawing upon Myers- Scotton (1992), Thomason (2001), and Winford (2003), Sayahi points out that code-switching is "the initial stage for contact-induced language change" and a mechanism that offers "the greatest opportunity to intensify the contact and accelerate the change" (114). Sayahi notes that his study fills a gap in the literature by providing a look into "the implicaitons of code-switching" between "the languages in contact" within Tunisia (115). The research on code-switching between Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and French in North Africa is scant, one of the early works being Heath (1989), who provides "a long list of lexical items entering Moroccan Arabic from French, Modern Standard Arabic" (115). Sayahi has argued elsewhere (2007) that "code-switching between Tunisian Arabic and French... has led to intensive lexical borrowing" (115).

Sayahi's method was to collect 15-minute segments from 12 interviews from Tunisians between the ages of 20 and 42 "selected from a larger corpus collected by the author over the last few years in Tunis" (118). The author analyzed the data for the "type and frequency of code-switching and use of French borrowings" demonstrated by the informants (113-14). Sayahi found that a higher "frequency of code-switching" occurred in speech by the university-educated informants; that "the direction of the switch is almost always from Arabic to French," and that the grammatical categories most to be switched were "single nouns and noun phrases" (114, 131).

In a broader reflection on the possibility of language change, the author points out that it would be impossible for French to replace Arabic, given the "type of code-switching observed" and because of the fact that "Tunisian Arabic is the base language" which "allows for intense lexical borrowing from French but without the possibility for restructuring, relexification or shift as Tunisians remain dominant in Arabic"; yet, contact-induced change was shown to… [read more]

Language Both Malcolm X Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (657 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2



Language conveys social status, for both Rodriguez and Malcolm X "In the street, I had been the most articulate hustler out there -- I had commanded attention when I said something. But now, trying to write simple English, I not only wasn't articulate, I wasn't even functional." Malcolm X could write in slang but not in the way befitting someone of a higher social standing who would be taken seriously. For Rodriguez, broken English was a sure sign of low social status; gringo English was a sign of high social status. "But by being so firm and so clear, the sound of his voice said that he was a gringo; he belonged in public society… my parents' voices were softer than those of gringos we'd meet." Moreover, Rodriguez remembers feeling like his parents acted and were treated as second-class citizens when they were in public, which was a far cry from their attitudes in the home or with Spanish-speaking friends and family. "Hearing them, I'd grow nervous, my clutching trust in their protection and power weakened."

Both Malcolm X and Richard Rodriguez agree that young people need to understand and command of language to have knowledge and power. "Every book I picked up had few sentences which didn't contain anywhere from one to nearly all of the words that might as well have been in Chinese," Malcolm X states. He needed to have a command of English in order to empower himself. Rodriguez also needed to master English for self-empowerment and for community empowerment. The author notes, "What I needed to learn in school was that I had the right -- and the obligation -- to speak the public language of los gringos."


Malcolm X (1965). Coming to an awareness of language. Excerpt online: http://www.blesok.com.mk/tekst_print.asp?lang=eng&tekst=351

Rodriguez, R. (2004). Hunger of memory. Random House. Retrieved online: http://www.randomhouse.com/acmart/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780553382518&view=excerpt… [read more]

English Language Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,510 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an argument at all, that language merely reflects existing, social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development by any direct tinkering with words and constructions. So far as the general tone or spirit of a language goes, this may be true, but it is not true in detail." (Orwell, Page 283)

There is an interesting moment within his writing, in the midst of his linguistic rant, that Orwell acknowledges that he has engaged in some of the behaviors and practices he admonishes against in the writing itself. It is less notable that he breaks his own rules and more notable that he has the self-awareness as a writer to know when he has committed the same practices. He admits his humanity and in doing so admits the humanity of bad writers, too. Orwell writes in the hopes that the reader will continue asking questions or maybe even be able to answer a few. This writer writes for the sake of writing, reading, and discussing, as a means to robust communication, whether in regard to problems or solutions.


Orwell, George. All Art is…… [read more]

Finite and Non-Finite English Verbs Research Paper

Research Paper  |  4 pages (1,563 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Notice that the use of ne . . not does not follow the usual pattern of historical change. The curve for the use of ne . .

not is not S-shaped. The ne . . not form is used frequently even in the first time period, but it is never fully established as the sole form of sentential negation. In addition, the ne data are odd, as the rate of use of ne is apparently level around 65%

in stable variation with ne . . mt in early Middle English and then falls to disuse. In the next section, I explain these oddities by showing that ne is the only sentential negator in early Middle English, and that it is categorically replaced by not by the end of the Middle English period. The early use of not is as an emphatic sentential adverb, an optional intensifier for ne and not as a sentential negator. Structurally, the early use of not is an adjunct of INFL'. Only later does not act as a negator and occupy a position within NEGP.

There is a major complication in the analysis of ne as a negator. In addition to being used with not, ne also appears in negative concord constructions with other negative elements. For example, ne is used with never (12a), with negative quanti-fiers like nofhing (12b) and with negated NPs (12~).

(12) a. he ne mizhte neure finde man of so grete chastete.

he ne might never find man of so great chastity 'he might never find a man of such great chastity.' (St.…… [read more]

Iraqi Students the Literature Review Literature Review Chapter

Literature Review Chapter  |  15 pages (5,228 words)
Bibliography Sources: 15


What skills are required to communicate?

It is not necessary to have acquired all the communicative skills in order to communicate. For example, an infant can communicate in a general sense the fact that he or she is dissatisfied with the present state of affairs simply by letting out a good bit of yelling. Such an act may not inform… [read more]

Morphology a Large Range Term Paper

Term Paper  |  23 pages (7,828 words)
Bibliography Sources: 20


where an indication is adequate to designate the whole. For instance; exam (ination), math (ematics), and lab (oratory) invented in school jargon; spec (ulation) and tick (et = credit) in stock-exchange jargon; and vet (eran) and cap (tain) in army jargon. Whilst truncation, the words that are used by some influential groups are also included in the Standard English language… [read more]

Linguistics Translation Assessment

Assessment  |  4 pages (1,295 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


The first attempts at trying to use technology as the mechanism for language translation was in the mid-20th century. Scientists who were trying to develop automated translation processes had to be in touch with the concerns of linguists. Without a human directly involved in the process of translation, syntactic ambiguity was difficult to overcome. The machine could not always tell the difference between the subject or the object of the sentence. A sentence like "The turkey is ready to eat," could be interpreted as if the turkey is ready to eat its meal or the turkey is ready to be eaten by the humans. The machine was unable to venture beneath the surface structure of the language to the "internalized set of rules that speakers have about their language," Anderman writes (48). This is where the translator puts his or her knowledge about the linguistics of a particular language into use. Not only can a human translator integrate linguistic knowledge into a translation, they can also use what a machine can't -- intuition about meaning. Regardless of how many rules a linguist develops about how a language works, the translator must bring his or her own sense of meaning to the work of translation.

Even the search for meaning can become complicated when one considers the Sapir/Whorf hypothesis that a disparity between world views between speakers of vastly different languages "makes translation a near impossibility." In a weaker interpretation of the hypothesis, however, Anderman points out that languages "differ not so much with respect to what it is possible to say in them as to the degree of difficulty with which it can be said" (47). Other schools chose to focus on the rules and structure of languages. Anderman also touches on the work of Noam Chomsky, whose theories were revolutionary, but in his own view had uncertain implications for translation.

As Anderman points out throughout the article, the relationship between linguistics and translation can either express itself as an attempt to formulate a linguistic theory of translation, or it can be "less" ambitious and merely be an ongoing interaction between the two, "each drawing on the findings of the other whenever this is mutually beneficial" (54). Anderman goes on to explain some of the theories of linguistics that did have an effect on translation, including the approach of the Prague School, which developed the approach that syntax was multileveled: grammatical, semantic and sentence organization. Translators can put the work of the Prague school to practical use in their work by realizing that while they are translating, they are working on many different levels.

As a comprehensive article in the evolution of linguistics and its effects on translation, "Linguistics and Translation" does an excellent job. Anderman traces the disciplines from the very beginning of their intertwining and matches the various schools of each with their respective influences. At times it does become difficult to follow the actual timelone of the relationship between linguistic development and the corresponding development of the… [read more]

Linguistics the Phones Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (784 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


i) the morphological process which manifests in the list is infliction in the form of affixes.

ii) The root word is seen to modify when I. prefix is added. II. suffix is added. III. infix is added

iii) allomorphs are seen within the words, yet the word takes on a different meaning. this is seen with the adding of affixes

19. a. Infliction

b. Infliction

c. Lexeme

d. Lexeme

e. Stress

f. Lexeme

g. Lexeme

h. Infliction

i. Lexeme

j. abbreviation

k. allomorph

l. Lexeme

m. Abbreviation

n. abbreviation

o. Lexeme

p. abbreviation

q. abbreviation

r. acronym

5. a.) Leave

Guests Should


b. Ate

Maria Never

A brownie

c. Fall

Shelf will that

d. Broke



e. Lost

The Student

The debate

f. Offer

My Manager may

A raise

g. Jails

Judge Often


h. Organized

The teacher Often

A discussion

i. Speak to A psychic-this group

j. Fond of Marianne could become


9. a. Said

The Reporter an accident


A woman

b. Think

The fishermen polluted

The company The bay

c. Reported

Bill asked

Student the eclipse would occur


Deep structure

Surface structure

a. Will Hilary be hired by the boss?

Will the boss hire Hilary

b. Can the Frisbee be caught by the dog?

Can the dog catch the Frisbee

c. Should the incident be reported by the student?

Should the student report the incident?

d. Must the musicians play the sonata?

Must the sonata be played by the musicians?

e. Might that player leave the team?

That player might leave the team?

11. a. Call

The director who should

b. Call

Who should The director

d. Eat

What can joanne

e. Bake

Terry Might


f. Bring

Anne Could

What Gathering

g. Hit

the Lightning

What did

1. a. synonym

b. antonym

c. antonym

d. antonym

e. antonym

f. synonym

g. synonym

h. antonym

2. a. polysemy

b. polysemy

c. A polysemy

d. homophony

e. homophony

f. polysemy

g. polysemy

3. a. paraphrase

b. entailment

c. paraphrase

5. cat, kitten: feline, animal. Dog, puppy: canine, animal.

ii. man-boy, woman-girl are separated by gender iii. shape. The problem encountered is that they are not similar objects and they are…… [read more]

Psycholinguistics Gives Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,661 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


She had been isolated from almost all human contact, held in a baby crib most of her life, and had never been spoken to. She was physically immature, and could not walk or talk, and had no ability to speak. Psychologists spent years attempting to teach Genie to speak. While she did eventually learn to communication, Genie's ability to speak never moved much past beyond the extent of that of a chimpanzee. She never learned to manipulate grammar, or use suffixes or prefixes. Genie eventually stopped using language later in her life and was committed to a mental institution (Kolb and Whishaw).

Psycholinguistics has also been invaluable in elucidating many of the mechanisms behind the human ability to discern written language. Psycholinguistic theories like Chomsky's move easily to written language, which follows similar developmental patterns. Further, there also appears to be a genetic basis to the development of syntax and grammar in written language, across languages and cultures (Taylor).

Further, psycholinguistics has helped to develop useful models for teaching children to read. For example, Psycholinguists have determined that humans look for subject/verb patterns in written language, and then move onto the next pattern. As such, individual words are "chunked" into meaningful bits (Taylor).

In conclusion, psycholinguistics has played an invaluable role in determining the underlying basis of language development. Psycholinguistics offers a comprehensive and viable understanding of language development. As such, psycholinguistic approach to teaching children to read, write, and speak is likely to be the most effective and appropriate tool for educators.

Works Cited

Kess, Joseph F. (1992) Psycholinguistics: psychology, linguistics, and the study of natural language. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Kolb, Bryan and Whishaw, I.Q. (1985).

Fundamentals of human neuropsychology, 2nd ed. New York: Freeman.

McConnell, James V. Understanding Human Behavior, 6th ed. Fort Worth: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.

McGroarty, Mary E. (2001). Language and psychology. Publication info: Port Chester, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Taylor, Insup. (1990).

Psycholinguistics: learning and using language.

Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

Weaver, Constance. (1988).

Reading process and practice: from socio-psycholinguistics to whole language. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann.

Xrefer. Psycholinguistics. 05 November 2002. http://www.xrefer.com/entry/443536… [read more]

Language Controversy the Art Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,231 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Naylor uses personal details about her own family, friends and experiences to expalsin how the word "nigger," which is basically taboo in our society, can have a positive meaning. She also uses languages to persuade the reader to understand both sides of the argument.

In Ward Churchill's Crimes Against Humanity (1991), the author compares the use of politically incorrect language with the tragedy that occurred during World War II. Churchill reveals how the Nazis labeled the Jews using language that carried negative connotations. Churchill shows how powerful language really is, as it convinced an entire nation that the Jewish population was worthless and should be executed.

In addition, Churchill attacks the use of politically incorrect language in sports teams. According to Churchill, being labeled as savages in sports dehumanizes Native Americans. To make his point, Churchill adds some fictional sports teams, including "the St. Louis 'Sluts,' Boston 'Bimbos,' Detroit 'Dykes,' and the Fresno 'Fags.'" Churchill's use of language hits home for his readers, and he also appeals to their feelings of sympathy by showing how language can dehumanize people.

By using such explicit names, he is able to make a very poignant point. Churchill uses language to appeal directly to the reader's feelings of sympathy. He does this with his references to World War II and the dehumanizing names of sports teams, causing his argument to be very strong in its appeal to the emotion.

Rosalie Maggio, in Bias-Free Language: Some Guidelines (Goshgarian, 2001), uses concrete examples and situations to explain the power of language and get her point across. Maggio shows how the generic association of masculine pronouns with the Presidency makes it hard for people to imagine a woman in office.

Maggio also points out that when one racial group becomes so accustomed to using derogatory language to label other groups, it becomes easier for them to justify inflicting harm upon these groups.

Maggio makes an important point, saying that specific language leads to dramatic actions and choices. She is basically saying that language shapes our perceptions and ultimately influences our beliefs and values. Maggio stresses that when things and people are labeled or named, they are dentified through this language.

These different examples of gender and cultural texts show why and how certain research and argumentation strategies are important to illustrate different topics. Many individuals, groups and writers have attempted to transform language in an effort to discourage racism and violence. However, changing the language would rob us of more direct and colorful words, in many cases.

It is important to understand that discussions of language and its negative effect on society often arise because different groups experience discrimination on a daily basis and are denied many basic rights and opportunities because of it. Many of the words that are used to label people have the power and are often used to justify oppression.

As the articles discussed in this paper clearly show, our choice of language is extremely important. Using politically correct terminology provides groups with… [read more]

Bilingual First Language Acquisition Term Paper

Term Paper  |  30 pages (8,477 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Infants use multiple cues to determine word boundaries between the ages of six months to 24 months. As early as 7.5 months of age, infants can detect stress patterns in speech and later, phonotactic nuances (i.e., acceptable consonant clusters at the beginning of a word).

Oller's research was aimed at providing empirical research in an effort to support parents who… [read more]

Politics and English Language Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,219 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


He cites various examples from everyday modern phrases, which are used commonly but can certainly complicate the writing. The following passage from David Lodge's Small World might give you some idea about what is meant by unclear modern writing. "Language is a code. But every decoding is another encoding.... It is the terpsichorean equivalent of the hermeneutic fallacy of recoupable meaning, which claims that if we remove the clothing of its rhetoric from a literary text we discover the bare facts it is trying to communicate.... To read is to surrender oneself to an endless displacement of curiosity and desire from one sentence to another. The text unveils itself before us, but never allows itself to be possessed; and instead of striving to possess it we should take pleasure in its teasing."

According to Orwell, the third common mistake is the use of passive voice instead of active. The author feels that when writers replace active sentences with passive, they make simple language more complicated, which adds to the vagueness of the writing. For clearer and more precise writing it is better to use active voice, which conveys the message directly instead of in a roundabout manner.

The fourth mistake pointed out by Orwell is the use of pretentious and meaningless words. Orwell maintains modern writers find it important to use foreign words or pretentious phrases which are not well understood by the readers and only give rise to the risk of possible misinterpretation. This is a very common mistake that is often regarded as a sign of knowledge and vast vocabulary by the writers but tends to leave readers more confused. For this reason, instead of trying to decode the writing, they would much rather switch to some other writer with more meaningful and less obscure views. But if we thought that only few modern writers make these errors, then we are certainly grossly mistaken. This is because some of the best institutions in the country that are known for their quality education are found guilty of these common mistakes in writing. For example, the following passage is extracted from an anthropology course description at Stanford University and this is by far the most unclear piece of writing I have come across.

This course attempts to sort out the significance and mobilization potential of a new jumble of cultural practices located in the terrain that calls for, yet paradoxically refuses, boundaries. This terrain is situated in the borderzone between identity-as-essence and identity-as-conjecture, and its practices challenge the ludic play with essence and conjuncture as yet another set of postmodernist binarisms. Much work on resistance has been response-oriented, reacting to the Eurocenter by occupying either the essence pole or the hybrid pole. The course stakes out this new terrain, where opposition is not only responsive, but creative. It is a guerrilla warfare of the interstices, where minorities rupture categories of race, gender, sexuality, and class in the center as well as on the margins, and where such rupture intersect with… [read more]

Politics and the English Language Term Paper

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Bibliography Sources: 1+


' Although the use of such phrase truly created a strong effect to the audiences, Lincoln's speech is vague. This may prompt other observers to note whether Lincoln's words are expressed with truth or for dramatic flair and effect only.

The next lines of the speech shifts to a more concrete and clearer explanation and description of the 'great Civil War,' as Lincoln describes the current civil strife. However, the other half of the speech's second paragraph shifts back again to vagueness as Lincoln acknowledges the bravery and patriotism of the American people who have 'sacrificed' their lives for the nation's liberty and cause. The passage, "We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this," where audiences hearing this passage may not be able to discern in concrete terms the President's meaning. The dramatic phrase, "dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place," is an indirect way of telling the people that the speaker intends to mark the battlefield as a place where people have died for the country. The use of imagery and symbolism is apparent in this passage; however, the passage lacks clarity as a result of the succeeding lines that follow after this thought has been expressed.

Lastly, the inspirational speech that moved and stirred patriotism among the citizens of America contains the use of meaningless words and verbal false limbs. The third paragraph of the speech contains a lengthy description that only expresses thoughts on bravery, freedom, and patriotism. These words are not used in the speech; rather, meaningless words and phrases are used to replace the clearer equivalent of thoughts and concepts of "freedom," "bravery," and "patriotism." The passage, "... that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth," shows America's invincibility in the face of a social strife, an implication of America's powerful legacy of freedom and patriotism, obtained through the display of bravery. These are only implied meanings, since Lincoln states in vague terms America's triumph in the midst of a war. Thus, Lincoln's speech is only meaningful for those who are able to relate to the experience he is talking about, which are the people of the American society during that period. Put in another time period, Lincoln's speech is vague and meaningless, giving the audience no idea what he pertains to when addressing or talking about a particular thought.

This example shows how Orwell uses language in analyzing the social and political implications the writer/speakers use to elucidate their feelings and/or thoughts. Orwell's objective study of modern English prose writing and composition shows how he treats political sentiments and beliefs in a neutral, unbiased manner, basing his analysis on the quality of vagueness or insincerity the text… [read more]

Noam Chomsky's Language Term Paper

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By giving the dolphins a waterproof keyboard with a set of symbols, Herman also found that the dolphins could produce language as well as understand it. The dolphins learned that pushing certain key symbols with their snouts generated specific whistling sounds. In effect, they were "writing" sentences while they were speaking. Through this technique, the researchers further concluded that dolphins were capable of understanding language, could use abstract concepts and can think in terms of the past and future (Hume).

These are all cognitive abilities that were previously solely as human abilities. In addition, the use of a specific set of whistles and the ability to understand and express the differences between "bring the ball to the basket" and "bring the basket to the ball" demonstrate both Chomsky's creative aspect of language and the various human uses of language as thought expression and communication.

However, most researchers also believed that only dolphins in captivity demonstrated this ability. Researchers like Herman and Norris believed that while dolphins had the ability to use language, they had not evolved to a point where language use came naturally.

In the wild

In 2000, marine biologist Vincent M. Janik of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts challenged this prevailing belief. Janik recorded and analyzed more than 1,700 whistle signals between bottle-nosed dolphins swimming along the Moray Firth coast of Scotland. He concluded that the dolphins responded to each other in matching signals, echoing identical whistles ("Dolphin Whistles Offer Signs of Language Ability").

Furthermore, Janik believes that dolphin already have this differential whistling ability at birth, in keeping with Chomsky's theory that the ability for language is inborn in every human. Within its first year, he proposed that each dolphin calf develops its unique personal sound signal, which is composed of a pattern of rising and falling tones. This sound is similar to the "whistle" of the calf's parents, allowing dolphins to communicate to which pod they belong. However, the sound is also significantly differentiated enough to be recognized as the calf's own "acoustic signature" (Suplee).

Janik proposes that another dolphin may imitate the signature whistle of another in order to address the individual (Tyack). It is similar to a human's ability to recognize a friend's voice over the telephone. The dolphin's ability for "vocal labeling," in alliance with its demonstrated ability to understand and manipulate human syntax and grammar, may provide the basis for social communication among dolphins.


In conclusion, dolphins share similar traits with humans, lending credence to the belief that dolphins can use language. They have both fairly large brains in relation to their bodies and are both highly social beings.

In addition, dolphins have demonstrated an ability to develop, recognize, imitate and manipulate a system of sounds to create various meanings. Their ability to string together agreed-upon symbols to form new sentences is in keeping with Chomsky's writings on the "creative aspect" of language. Based on these qualities, researchers have thus concluded that dolphins and other cetacean mammals have all… [read more]

Language Determines Thought: The Creation Term Paper

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People exposed to one culture, which may characteristically have a different language, may interpret their realities differently from another culture. That is, people of A language may have a different way of interpreting, solving conflicts, and relating with other people vis-a-vis people from another, which speaks a different language B.

To illustrate the power of language in affecting thinking, particularly ways in which people relate with others and perceive social realities, a comparative analysis of two culturally-different societies are analyzed. Filipino vs. American language are characteristically different with each other: the former is characterized as a highly collective society, while the latter as individualist. Filipino as the language of the Philippines, have numerous terms for actions and adjectives that are value-laden, with emphasis on Filipino values of cooperation, collectivism, respect, and hospitality. Filipinos, furthermore, is especially characterized as respectful people, with the words "po" and "opo" used when speaking with an older person or an individual with a high status in the society or an organization. The Filipino (language) example show how language affects critical thinking of its people: regard for hierarchical statuses and discrimination in terms of age and/or socioeconomic and political status is apparent with the utilization of the terms "opo" and "po." This observation is essential in critical thinking, since people are better able to understand the social realities of people in the Filipino society as expressed implicitly in their use of their language.


Adler, R. (1998). Interplay: Process of Interpersonal Communication. NY: Harcourt Brace & Co.

Santrock, J. (2001). Psychology. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Book Co.… [read more]

Foreign Language Education in High Term Paper

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So even on a personal basis, more knowledge means more choices, and that alone would seem to be a cogent reason for foreign language study for any student, college-bound, tech-school bound, or workplace bound. It is worthwhile to note that plumbers generally earn more than elementary school teachers, and could actually better afford foreign travel if they had been enculturated… [read more]

Harnessing of Unstructured Data in Radiology Term Paper

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, 2011).

The theory behind this type of software for the mining of radiology reports is that a great deal of information is lost in the pictures and images themselves (Chapman, et al., 2011). When a report is "read" through the use of a computer that is mining data from it, the software program reads the language in the report… [read more]

Socio-Cultural Influences in English Language Learning Research Paper

Research Paper  |  8 pages (2,556 words)
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This can be used to help structure language and cultural learning while the student is at home, even if his or her parents do not speak English at all. Watching television in English or listening to English song lyrics can help expose the language to the learner, while also teaching valuable lessons about mainstream American culture as well. This intrinsic… [read more]

Language Kuhl Et Al. ) Article Review

Article Review  |  1 pages (396 words)
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¶ … Language

Kuhl et al. (1992) presented some very compelling evidence in their research into childhood linguistics and language understanding. The purpose of their article was to reveal their findings of their investigation into the importance of age and its correlation to phonetic recognition and linguistic experience. The research is premised on the idea that linguistic experience definitely affects phonetic perception, but the study attempted to find out at what age this process may begin.

The study's hypothesis is that this phonetic perception begins in infants at the age of 6 months. The authors wrote " we show here that by 6 months of age, well before the acquisition of language infants' phonetic perception has been altered by exposure to a specific language." The authors addressed the issue of non-specific language recognition as being an issue, as a result the study was created to eliminate this bias and select two different languages to interpret their investigation.

In their study, 64-6-month-old infants were tested, 32 in the United States and 32 in Sweden. The study then applied certain linguistic criteria to evaluate the infants ability to phonetically recognize, language specific sounds. The infants were judged on their ability…… [read more]

Impact of Second Culture Acquisition for ESL Learners in Acquiring a Second Language Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (2,064 words)
Bibliography Sources: 15


¶ … acquisition of language is a difficult endeavor that can be greatly affected by cultural differences (May). Cultural differences can be a significant impediment to the ability of individuals to learn a second language. At the same time once knowledge about the culture is acquired learning the language can become simpler. The purpose of this discussion is to Impact… [read more]

Thai Culture and TESOL Essay

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English in Thailand

Teaching English as a foreign language is a difficult task in any culture. The nation of Thailand has a long history of attempting to guarantee that its citizens can speak English. There are many factors that influence the likelihood that individuals will learn English. In Thailand culture and language have greatly affected the ability of the education… [read more]

Teaching Common Idiomatic Expressions Through Intensive Reading for Young Adult Pre-Intermediate ESL Students Research Paper

Research Paper  |  8 pages (2,328 words)
Bibliography Sources: 11


Teaching Idiomatic Expressions

An idiom is an expression, word, or even phrase that has a unique of figurative meaning that is understood colloquially but that is often unrelated to the literal meaning of the word or phrase. American English, for instance, is rich with idiomatic expressions, with about 25,000 terms or words in common usage. Idioms are unique in that… [read more]

Momaday's Theory of the Importance of Language and the Imagination as it Is Expressed Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,192 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … Man

Scott Momaday, in both his poetry and in his criticism, shows an incisive knowledge of humanity and of the functions and nature of language. Especially evident in much of his writing, and made explicit in his commentary and criticism at several points, is the connection that exists between language and humanity, and the manner in which language is truly the only vehicle by which a sense of humanity can be achieved or expressed -- and vice versa, one might argue. The imagination also plays an important role in Momaday's writing and his philosophy of man, and is strongly linked to language; it is the ability to associate elements of the world with elements of thought -- that is, expressible thought, which is language almost by definition -- in a free and unhindered manner that is the essence of humanity, and this is imagination. It is what allows man to perceive himself and the world around him in a meaningful and communicable way. This assertion makes its presence known in a variety of ways and with wide implications throughout Momaday's works.

In an essay titled, "The Man Made of Words," (1970), Momaday writes, "the state of human being is an idea, an idea which man has of himself. Only when he is embodied in an idea, and the idea is realized in language, can man take possession of himself" (88). That is, it is only when man can imagine himself in a way that is expressible to others -- and more importantly, to himself -- in a concise and repeatable manner that he has truly achieved the status and being of "man." An idea, after all, is a concise and repeatable expression of some naturally occurring complexity, meaning it has been framed in a conscious way, and man is the creature of consciousness.

According to Momaday, it is precisely the gift of language that allows for this framing, and is the automatic hallmark of consciousness in the human sense. This is made perhaps more clear by the story of the arrowmaker, with which Momaday opens "The Man Made with Words." Spotting an intruder outside his teepee, the arrowmaker converses in his wife in normal tones, yet he is actually asking the stranger outside to identify himself if he understands the language being spoken. Receiving no response, the arrowmaker shoots and kills his enemy. According to Momaday, this story, "centers upon [the] procession of words to meaning. It seems in fact to turn upon the very idea that language involves the elements of risk and responsibility" (11). When language is the creative and identifying force, it necessarily and automatically carries the weight of the world and all of survival on its shoulders.

In his memoir The Names (1996), which the author himself considers both autobiographical and a work of the imagination, language and imagination are again both seen as the essential creative force both in terms of thought and in terms of reality. That is, it is through the… [read more]

Psycholinguistics and Threat Prediction Discussion and Results Chapter

Discussion and Results Chapter  |  4 pages (1,160 words)
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Psycholinguistics and Threat Prediction: Analyzing the Words That Hurt

The purpose of the study is to conduct research into actual language and see what constitutes a presage of violence and what does not. The applications are valuable and obvious in the field of psycholinguistics. Within the study, several approaches including game theory, threat simulation theory, options theory, lexical features, phonological features and finally syntactic features in order to answer the following questions.

What is threatening language?

Are there specific levels of escalation within threatening language?

How can these levels of escalation be determined through the language used?

How does escalation of language lead to an actual violent act?

Within the scope of the research, there is especially a huge amount of work to be carried out in the area of game and options theory where both epistemic and frequentistic methodology has been applied to the prediction of human behavior (Jaeger, 2008, pp. 407-408). While previously game theory has provided more insightful than quantitative results for psycholinguistics, impressive results from the gambling industry where human behavior has been accurately and profitably predicted based upon the work of Harrah's CEO and former Harvard associate Dr. Gary Loveman. In Dr. Loveman's work, the Harrah's hotel and casino chain scientifically gauges and accurately predicts a specific variable in human behavior: the willingness to spend money (Metters, et. al., 2008, pp. 162-163).

While the Metters article centers more on the specific statistical aspects of Loveman's approach, a practical example can be shown of the effect that the research has upon the functioning of the Harrah's Casino chain on a customer service level. While not a law enforcement example, the revolutionary implications can easily be carried over into the threat arena. For instance, Loveman quotes an example of a casino customer that most of the industry would not consider a typical prospect. However, by using game theory to predict the customer's behavior, they are able specifically tailor the staff's service to match this predicted behavior and keep her coming back many more times to game and to enjoy the hotel's amenities. In this effort, they use an extensive data base that tracks customer purchases and spending in the casino, as well as gaming habits and preferances. By mining this data and using statistical analysis to process it, they have being able to accurately anticipate the customer's behavior. Harrah's can offer attractive options packages based upon that will impress the patron and attract their business (Loveman, 2003, p. 1). If one can use game theory to predict one type of human behavior such as spending and behavior in games of chance, one should be able to predict violent behavior of potential and active perpetrators. Dr. Loveman and his company is not just a scientific, but also a financial success.

It is the opinion of this author that it would be profitable to apply this approach of analysis to provide more accuracy to the field of linguistics and to not just profile, but accurately predict the behavior of… [read more]

Pragmatic Models in the Analysis Term Paper

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While making absolute use of these presumptions, a speaker can utter one thing and still manage to mean something else from it, as with the utterance "Nature abhors a vacuum. The listener depends on these presumptions in order to make a contextually driven conclusion from what the speaker utters to what she actually means.

The strength and weaknesses of the pragmatics models

The pragmatic model that we have studied both represent the way the human language can be effective. However there are certain merits and demerits associated with their representation and usage. The very first and evident strength that the model bears is the fact that they allow for a more general and simplified way of understanding the human interaction process my means of very direct and succinct methods. This therefore helps in the faster understanding of the human correlation mechanism by means of easy to understand models.

The weaknesses of the implicature model however is that it is never specific and therefore can bring about problems associated with ambiguity. This problem is also eminent in the speech act theory. Speech act theory makes use of certain set of conventions that are pre-set. Because the basic center of the theory is surrounded by the notion that words, when put together do not always bring out a fixed meaning.


Bach, K. (1987a). On communicative intentions: A reply to Recanati. Mind & Language, 2, 141-154.

Bach, K. (1999a). The semantics-pragmatics distinction: What it is and why it matters. In K. Turner (Ed). The semantics-pragmatics interface from different points-of-view (pp. 65-84). Oxford: Elsevier.

Bach, K. & R.M. Harnish (1979). Linguistic communication and speech acts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Carston, R. (1988). Implicature, explicature, and truth-theoretic semantics. In Ruth Kempson (Ed). Mental Representations: The Interface between Language and Reality

Davis, S. (Ed). (1991). Pragmatics: A reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fraser, H.B. (1975). Hedged performatives. In P. Cole & J. Morgan (Eds). Syntax and Grice, H.P. (1957). Meaning. Philosophical Review, 66, 377

Grice, H.P. (1961). The causal theory of perception. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supp. Vol. 35, 121-152.

Grice, H.P. (1989). Studies in the way of words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Levinson, S.C. (2000). Presumptive meanings: The theory of generalized conversational implicature.

Recanati, F. (1987). On defining communicative intentions. Mind & Language, 1

Recanati, F. (1989). The pragmatics of what is said. Mind & Language, 4, 295-329.

Schelling, T. (1960). The strategy of conflict. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Schiffer, S. (1972). Meaning.…… [read more]

English Language Learners Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  5 pages (1,558 words)
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Elsa is an eager learner, described by her teachers as someone with great academic and social potential. She performs well in class and shows no behavioral problems. Elsa appears to enjoy reading, as the teacher describes Elsa reading by herself on cue. When Elsa reads aloud directly from the text, the specific strengths and weaknesses in her literacy development… [read more]

Russian Language as a Second Official Language in Ukraine Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,364 words)
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Ukraine: Walking the Linguistic Tightrope Between Ukraine and Russian

After the demise of the Soviet Union, many of the newly independent former republics changed their official national languages from Russian to that of the national 'ethnic' language. This was done for patriotic and practical reasons in most instances. In many of the outer-lying republics of the U.S.S.R., such as the Baltic republics and the Muslim and East Asian republics, Russian had never been the predominant conversational language of the populace. Russian was a language imposed upon the citizens by the leaders of the U.S.S.R. In a show of Soviet tyranny. However, in other republics, with a closer relationship with Russia such as the Ukraine, the relationship with the Russian language was more tenuous.

Today, Ukraine's official language is Ukrainian, but most residents of the Ukraine are bilingual. When the Ukraine severed from Russia in 1996 and created its own constitution, Ukrainian was declared the official state language (Reid 101). This may have been admirable as a political rallying cry of independence: however, as a practical policy in a nation where Russian is the predominant language of nearly 50% of the population in some areas, the wisdom of doing so is questionable (Ukrainian language, Try Ukraine, 2009). A more reasonable solution would be to establish Russian as the second official language of the Ukraine. This would show greater respect to the linguistic diversity of the nation, and also make the Ukraine more competitive on the international stage, given the relatively limited use of Ukrainian elsewhere in the world.

Ukrainian and Russian are both Slavic languages, which makes the country's bilingualism fairly easy to support: "Both use the Cyrillic alphabet and about a third of the words are similar" between Russian and Ukrainian (Ukrainian language, Try Ukraine, 2009). While overall, the populations of Ukrainian and Russian speakers within the city is about equal, "the preferred spoken language in most cities of southern, eastern, and northern Ukraine is Russian," thus to deny the influence of Russian upon the lives of many Ukrainian citizens to alienate large portions of the nation (Ukrainian language, Try Ukraine, 2009). Many people on a colloquial level merge the two languages: "Large segments of the population -- for example, street vendors, laborers, farmers, and many others -- speak a mixture of the two languages that leans either towards Russian or Ukrainian. This mix is commonly called 'Surzhyk' or 'Surzhik'" (Ukrainian language, Try Ukraine, 2009). This hybridization further supports the idea that both languages be taught in the schools, to ensure that good standard Russian and Ukrainian grammar is understood by a wide segment of the population.

"It would be naive to think that after a generation or two of 'Ukrainization' Russian will disappear or play a marginal role in Ukrainian society. People very rarely change their mother tongue and are almost always successful in passing it on to their children, regardless of the language of instruction in schools. The proportion of Ukrainians who consider Ukrainian or Russian their mother… [read more]

Discourse Analysis Politics Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  18 pages (5,584 words)
Bibliography Sources: 15


Linguistic Politics and the Reinforcement of Social Power Hierarchies

Discussion of language and how it functions socially. This section is meant to stimulate the readers interest and will raise the critical questions which my paper addresses.

Language has the potential to be a deeply powerful instrument when wielded to political, social or hierarchical interests. Distinct power structures are implicated in… [read more]

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell Thesis

Thesis  |  3 pages (774 words)
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Politics and English

Politics and the English Language

The deterioration of language is tied to the deterioration of culture and tehre's nothing that can be done about either.

Foolish thoughts lead to ugly and inaccurate language, which in turn leads to an increase in the rate and degree of foolish thoughts.

"Staleness of imagery;" that is, the language is dry and/or cliched.

"Lack of precision:" the authors seem unclear about or indifferent to the meaning of their words.

A dying metaphor is a cliche phrase that is nt truly secure enough in its vividness of meaning to stand the test of time, and which destroys any sense of vividness and originality when used. Modern examples include "dragging his/her feet," "outside of the box," and arguably "show me the money" (when used in a symbolic context; the phrase is over-used regardless, but is not always metaphoric).


A verbal false limb is a verb phrase that could be more efficiently and effectively replaced with a single active verb. They are filler; useless except for watering down an argument to diluted drivel.


Pretentious diction can be used to add impartial-seeming scientific fact to an argument, to stir up emotion, and to simply seem more sophisticated. What distinguishes pretentious diction from varied, creative, erudite word choice is both the lack of true innovation and imaginativeness on the part of the scribe, as well as an obfuscation of cognitive comprehension in the interpretive capabilities of the reader.


Modern meaningless words, or those on their way there, are "liberal" and "conservative," "scientific" and "intellectual," and arguably "economics" and "economy," depending o one's level of cynicism.


The construction of the sentence is needlessly complicated, and deliberately avoids a standard subject-predicate-object delivery. There was more thought in the use of language than in the meaning of the phrase.


There is not a single concrete element in the entire sentence; it is vague and does not reference any actual or even hypothetical events, but instead generalizes both nouns and verbs with complex phrases.


The main problem Orwell points out is that people choose the easy route of selecting previously strung-together words for their thoughts rather than selecting their own words for their particular meanings. The ix questions that should be asked about every sentence are: What am I trying to…… [read more]

Non-Modular and Modular Views of Language Essay

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Non-Modular and Modular Views of Language

Whether language is modular is a debate for a lot of people. The two schools of thought say that (a) language is modular in that it is separate from other cognitive processes, and (b) language is non-modular in that it is a product of various cognitive processes (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson, Riegler, 2008). It cannot really be both, however, so determining which one it is seems to be very important. Unfortunately for the people who want the issue resolved, there is no definitive test or experiment that can be done to clear the matter up. It remains opinion. Personally, I think that the modular opinion is the most accurate, although I'm not sure that either option is 100% correct. The experiments that were done with music, though, showed that there were two different issues appearing when it came to whether people noticed a wrong word, a wrong note, or both (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson, Riegler, 2008). Because two different indicators appeared when there was both a wrong note and a wrong word, it would be difficult to say that there was nothing…… [read more]

Linguistics American Dialects Interactive Feature Thesis

Thesis  |  2 pages (638 words)
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American Dialects

Geography in Linguistic Variation

Examining the dialects of the inland North and the South reveals many key differences, most notably having to do with vowels, but also touching on consonants and the syntactic usage of language. Whether these differences occurred as a result of change instituted through migration, isolation, etc. is a question of interest after this examination. Clearly, the dialect in the south would be expected to have been heavily influenced by the large number of slaves that once dwelled in the area and their native African languages. Other influences on the South may have been immigrants from areas of Europe that found the climate and economic opportunities more acceptable than in the North, which was, originally, populated with native English citizens during the colonial days. A discussion of the differences among vowel, consonant, and syntactic uses of language in the South and inland North, the dialect that I am most familiar with, begs these questions.

Vowel sounds in the southern part of the United States are noticeably longer in than in the Inland North. For instance, in speaking the sample sentence given to the participants, a Caucasian female from Alabama pronounces the words "white" and "air" much differently than I would, as an inland North dialect speaker. While I would use the [e] sound for the vowel in these words, pronouncing them with the "I" sound as in sky when pronouncing the word "white," the speaker pronounces them with the [a] sound as in father. The southern speaker uses a rounded, lower vowel in the pronunciation of the word, while I use a tense, closed, high vowel. The vowel length is different between my pronunciation and the southern dialect speakers when it comes to the word "air" as well. While I would use a shortened, vowel sound in pronouncing the word "air," the southern speaker almost creates a diphthong, using a hard "a" sound as…… [read more]

Marge Made Dinner for Homer and Bart Thesis

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¶ … Marge made dinner for Homer and Bart watched television, "Homer and Bart" forms a constituent.

a) True

b) False (

The works of Ferdinand de Saussure were instrumental in founding Traditional Grammar.

a) True (

b) False

What syntactic function do the words the and never both perform in the following sentence, in terms of the X-bar schema?

"The President never agrees with Congress."

The words the and never are both constituent modifiers.

Draw a tree for the following sentence. Do not use triangles. You will need to create the tree in your word processing program, or with phpSyntaxTree.

"The evil scientist invented a new kind of virus."



The evil scientist




a new kind of virus [Note: You need to draw a line by hand connecting a to NP, S to VP, NP to "evil scientist," VP to V, VP to NP, V to "invented" and NP to "a new kind of virus" then delete this note.]

Infants can discriminate between sounds that are phonemic in other languages as well as those in their native language. For instance, Japanese infants can easily distinguish between [r] and [l] while their parents have difficulty doing so.

a) True (

b) False

6) Research into child language acquisition has established that children primarily acquire language by means of:

a) imitation (

b) analogy

c) motherese

d) reinforcement

e) none of the above

7) A child producing sentences like I no drink milk is at the telegraphic stage of language development.

a) True (

b) False

8) Explain the significance of the critical period to modern theories of language acquisition. Include examples in your answer.

In certain animals (especially birds such as finches), infants must be exposed to adult language (such as birdsongs) in order to be able to produce full songs themselves…… [read more]

Sociolinguistic Perspectives Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,536 words)
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¶ … Sll

Variability in Second Language Acquisition -- Contrasting Explanations and Universal Implications

A field born out of the merging of two sciences, sociolinguistics is concerned with neither phonemics nor phonology but instead with how these more technical aspects of language function in society. For Holmes (2001), language change, the variations in language patterns, and the association between language… [read more]

Children Acquiring Syntax Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  3 pages (870 words)
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Acquisition of Syntax by Children

Innateness and Environment in Child Acquisition of Syntax

Understanding how children acquire language has monumental implications for a variety of studies, including psychology, education, and linguistics. When scientists can prove, definitively, how children acquire language, education programs can be designed in order to build off of that initial acquisition. The psychology of the brain and its development will be better understood, allowing scientists to design treatments for those who have developmental and psychological problems. Finally, linguists who understand how children acquire languages will be able to apply that knowledge to other areas of linguistic study, including second-language learning, one of the most practical applications for linguistics outside of the humanities field. It is perhaps the acquisition of syntax that has the most practical application in this field. As children learn to put sentences together, they form internal grammars that can allow linguists to comprehend how this might be done when one is learning a foreign language, as learning individual vocabulary words of a foreign language is not as difficult as putting sentences together. Thus, a study of children's acquisition of syntax not only allows further insight into the mind of the linguistically developing child, but also into the difficult and controversial subject of second language learning and whether or not it is ever possible to learn a second language to the degree of fluency that is attained by native speakers. For this reason, a study of children's acquisition of syntax is not only important, but it is also crucial to the understanding of both child development and second-language learning. This research will discuss the issue of children's acquisition of language from both a linguistic view, questioning the role of both Noam Chomsky's innateness hypothesis and environment or the caregiver in children's acquisition of Syntax.

I. Background

The conflict of nature vs. nurture affects nearly every discipline. Scientists of all varieties question how much of a person's functions, abilities, and conditions are a result of nature, or biology, and how much is a result of nurture, or environment. In the field of linguistics, this conflict is more appropriately named innateness, or universal grammar vs. environment. The former was proposed by noted linguist Noam Chomsky, who suggested the "innateness hypothesis," which argued that "children are equipped with an innate template or blueprint for language," a concept dubbed universal grammar (Fromkin et al., 2007, p. 319). Chomsky's theory was a reaction to earlier behaviorist principals that suggested language was learned through three principal methods -- imitation, reinforcement, and analogy (Fromkin et al., 2007, p. 314-318). Based on the fact that observations had proved…… [read more]

Specific Language Impairment Preschool Aged Children Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  2 pages (604 words)
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¶ … Language Impairment Disorder

Specific language impairment (SLI) is a disorder with long-term impacts. it's characterized by difficulty with language that is not caused by known neurological, sensory, intellectual, or emotional deficit. It can affect the development of vocabulary, grammar, and discourse skills, with evidence that certain elements of speech may be especially difficult to acquire (including past tense, third person singular, etc.). Children with SLI may be intelligent and healthy in all regards except in the difficulty they have with language. They may in fact be extraordinarily bright and have high nonverbal IQs (Ervin).

Children with SLI usually learn to talk late. It is not unusual to first encounter a child with SLI at age 3 or 4 years, with limited vocabulary and short expressions. Later on they are likely to be the kinds of kids who are told by well-meaning parents and teachers that they are smart but unmotivated and that they just need to try harder (Ervin).


Estimates of true SLI vary according to the age of identification. Some experts argue that as many as 10% of two-year-olds may have specific language impairment, but by age three or four, that percentage drops considerably, presumably because some difficulties resolve themselves. The incidence in the general population is estimated at about one percent. SLI is more common in boys than girls (Davidson, De Villers and Gale).


SLI is diagnosed when a child's language development is deficient for no obvious reason. For many years, there was a tendency to assume that SLI was caused by factors such as poor parenting, subtle brain damage around the time of birth, or transient hearing loss. Subsequently it became clear that these factors were far less important than genes in determining risk for SLI. A quest to find "the gene for SLI" was…… [read more]

History Evolution of the English Language Thesis

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English by Time

To borrow from Robert McCrum, co-author of "The Story of English," English, which embodies a set of principles, has had a great influence on the world: "In a very real sense it contains, encoded within it, an innate declaration of independence. www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5013771159" ("Spreading the Word; Restore" A19)

Language is an ever changing, evolving and organic element of… [read more]

Specific Language Impairment Thesis

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¶ … Language Impairment

Phonological Memory Deficits in Language Disordered Children: Is There a Causal Connection?

Working memory plays an important role in the ability to learn new tasks and may be connected to the ability to read and learn language in children (Gathercole & Baddeley, 1990). The central problem of this research study is to identify the role that… [read more]

History of English Thesis

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History Of English

Language Bias and the Development of the English Language

Implications for Past and Future

Language is a remarkably complicated but simple matter. Each language system -- French, Japanese, African languages, etc. -- has its own set of sounds or hand gestures that people who speak or use their hands to communicate other languages would find difficult to produce. In the United States, children learn English via the parts of speech. They learn that verbs are action words, nouns are people, places, things, or ideas, and adjectives are descriptors. Students taking English classes in the United States may feel that only English speakers must struggle through these lessons, they are wrong. In fact, language universals appear in each language. This means that while every language has different words, sounds, and meanings, all share similar parts of speech, a concept that allows a great deal of insight into the human mind (Fromkin, Rodman, and Hyams (17). In fact, while children in English language classrooms are taught the standard features of their language, they do not need formal education in order to understand the language. Instead, children begin to speak simply by hearing their parents and others in their environment speak. The language that they, learn, therefore, is solely dependant on the language that they hear around them (Fromkin, Rodman, and Hyams 4). Interestingly, no matter whether a child learns English or a rare Native American tongue, the connection of sound and meaning, or sign and meaning, would be arbitrary. That is, any series of sound could have, theoretically, been assigned to any meaning, so the sounds or signs that make up the word are not inherently connected to the meaning. The English language is further criticized for its arbitrary nature because of its use of spelling. While the goal of spelling is generally to mimic the sounds represented, English often uses different spellings to represent the same sound ("A History of the English Language" 12). The fact that language is arbitrary, however, also reinforces the theory of descriptive grammar, or that no language or dialect is better than another as each has rules that allow it to operate logically (Fromkin, Rodman, Hyams 14). Despite this fact, English's evolution has long placed importance on the correct or proper way of speaking, associating this with class, status, and other socioeconomic factors. By studying the emphasis on "correct" usage as English evolved as compared to it emphasis today, one can understand the somewhat controversial importance of "correct" spoken English in the history of the language.

Although its linguistic importance can be gleaned from the preceding paragraph, an understanding of the history of the English language is also a cultural affair ("A History of the English Language" 1). English has its beginnings in both classical Rome and the Germanic invasions of Britain. While the Roman Empire had the privilege of introducing the first language, Latin, to the island, the invading Germanic tribes, as well as the Vikings with their Norse language, brought Old… [read more]

History of English Thesis

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¶ … History of the English Language

The English language is one of the most interesting aspects of human history because it offers us a look into ourselves and our culture. We are not a people happy staying still in any generation. Instead, we would rather move, grow, and change and nothing demonstrates this more than the English language. One common understanding is that the English is a conglomeration of many other languages including Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. Language was what Charles Champneys describes as "inflectual" (Champneys 52) in that it "marked the relation of words to each other" (52). Oliver Emerson agrees, noting that the English language is far from an "isolated language in any sense" (Emerson 1) and it is best to consider it as Indo-European when considering its heritage. This perspective allows us to see the English language as a vessel of change that represents who we are as a people.

The English language has a varied history and growth chart. This growth, because of its various influence, is difficult to trace. However, most critics agree that the Teutonic language is one that is "nearer to our own tongue" (Champneys 65). Champneys points out that English and German grammar have much in common as well as proverbs and idioms. He claims that English, German and Latin "all belong to the same great family of languages, but that English and German are members of the same brand of it" (66). Oliver Emerson notes that American English has had several influences, which are from within in with out. Many American English words have retained meanings which are no longer used in Great Britain and the has also been a "retention of an older pronunciation" (Emerson 72) than we find in England. This only adds to the complexity of the nature of language, for it seems to grow outside its limits in one regard but yet it seems to linger in the past in another regard and there seems to be no logical pattern for this behavior.

However, we must never look at the English language as something that is stagnant because it is not. With a society that is based upon a continuity of many factors, language becomes a victim, if you will of many of the things that we encounter in our daily lives. Language is best seen as a tool that evolves with man and the emergence of the technological age is just one example of how this occurs. Albert Baugh notes that the English language is "subject to growth and decay which characterize all forms of life" (Baugh 2). While it may be true that classical Latin is a dead language that cannot be said of English because it is alive and how we know this is through a simple observation of humanity. Baugh notes that language is important because it is connected to humanity in such a way that they "can scarcely be thought of apart" (3). In fact, he observes that a language lives… [read more]

English Grammar Essay

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English Grammar as Reveled by an English Textbook Used by the Pupils in Hong Kong

Globalization is the buzz word of the twenty first century and this can be simply explained through the numerous effects it has had upon the international community. Emerged from the economic context, the globalizing forces expanded to the cultural domain as well, leading to a… [read more]

Biological Basis for Language Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (685 words)
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Biological Basis for Language

Language has long been considered the thing that separates man from the animals. It is our ability to communicate and coordinate that has enabled our species to spread to and control so many diverse climates and situations. Recent research however, as well as a rich history of anecdotal evidence, suggests that the ability to produce something at least approximating speech might not be so unique, after all. Dolphins and whales have been found to communicate using the sounds they produce, though it is unlikely that this could ever be considered language. On the opposite end of the spectrum, animals as diverse as parrots and chinchillas are able to produce sounds using much the same physical mechanisms as human beings. Parrots are even believed to be able understand many of the words they speak. Other research, such as training primates in the use of sign language, proves that we are not the only species capable of acquiring basic language skills. The question remains, however, whether or not there is a unique biological basis for linguistic speech in humans. The answer to this question, given the current state of research both into the neurology and physiology of other species and research conducted on human speech and the speech centers in the brain, the answer to this question is most reasonably a "yes." In addition, even the auditory communication found in other species could not really be considered language; no other species is known to be capable of the abstractions that human language can recall.

It is true that almost no part of the human physiology or anatomy can be said to be solely devoted to producing speech. The mouth and the multitude of articulators it contains -- the teeth, tongue, hard and soft palates, and lips -- are used for the more basic functions of eating and, to a degree, breathing, which certainly cannot be seen as uniquely human phenomena. Other apparatuses involved in speech production, such as vocal chords, appear in many other animals, from other primates to dogs,…… [read more]

Language Comparison Essay

Essay  |  6 pages (1,703 words)
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¶ … Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" and George Orwell's

Politics and the English Language"

Language is more than words. Language is a tool that can be used in a variety of ways to achieve a variety of purposes. In his essay, "Politics and the English Language," George Orwell focuses on the function of language, emphasizing that it is a… [read more]

Translating the Iliad Into More Contemporary Language Term Paper

Term Paper  |  20 pages (6,546 words)
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Translating the Iliad into more contemporary language, with a dramatic change in setting presents many challenges. The first is to decide the degree to which the work needs to be translated.

This alone consists of multiple different concepts that must be integrated. For example, there is the issue of substitution. With an entirely different setting, certain things must be substituted,… [read more]

Origin of the F Word Fuck Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,583 words)
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¶ … F' WORD

The objective of this work is to examine the origin of the 'F' word and how the word came to be and how it is used today in American culture.

There are various legends and claims regarding the origin of the 'F' word. While some claim that the word was derived from the language of the… [read more]

Strategies on Morphology Syntax and Semantics Term Paper

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Second Language Acquisition Through Child's Play

Every child learns the morphology, syntax, and semantics of their native language through strategies geared towards their developing mind. These lessons, in the form of songs and games, are then internalized and can be remembered later in life as fond childhood memories. Using these fun strategies with second language learners does make a difference in how the second language is internalized. The rhythm and methodology of semantics can be broken down from boring exercises into fun activities of breaking down the syntax and semantics of songs written in the second language. Another entertaining way to incorporate childhood memories into learning a second language is the implementation of games to help pump u student enthusiasm and increase student activity and thinking in the teaching of new languages.

Learning a second language can be tough, especially if students dive into translating complex sentences and big chunks of text with intricate syntax which may seem confusing. Learning songs or children's rhymes is a better way to introduce students into new languages. These songs and stories have a clear rhythm which is both easy to understand and pleasing to say out loud. A good source of children's material which is rich in lessons of morphology, syntax, and semantics are the stories of Dr. Seuss. Despite the lack of long and complex words, his rhymes are clear and concise but yet use words in unique ways which would also help build vocabulary and grammar structures in the minds of new English learners. The repetition of his rhymes also helps solidify grammar and semantics principles within the mindset of ESL students. These stories may be simple in their appearance, but they are a rich source of fun methods of teaching basic grammar and vocabulary. Through reading these stories out loud, ESL students can also practice their pronunciation and understanding of the rhythm and…… [read more]

Deborah Tannen and Amy Tan Use Language Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (396 words)
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¶ … Deborah Tannen and Amy Tan use language as a springboard to discuss gender. In "Marked Women, Unmarked Men," Tannen shows how the English language reflects a patriarchal culture. In "Mother Tongue," Tan demonstrates how her mother's limited English belies her power, strength, and intelligence. Tan is more concerned with ethnicity than Tannen. However, Tannen also understands how "geographical region, ethnicity, class, age and gender" interact. Therefore, Tannen and Tan appreciate the impact of language on gender and the impact of gender on language even while Tan frames her argument in terms of her ethnic identity.

Language and linguistics play an important role in Tan's and Tannen's analyses of gender. Tannen deeply delves into the ways women are more "marked" than men, borrowing her metaphor from the field of linguistics. Whereas the men at the table wore relatively nondescript clothing and hairstyles, each of the women had carefully cultivated her own style. Women are expected, Tannen argues, to mark themselves. Another way women mark themselves is by choosing whether or not to keep their surname after getting married. Amy Tan desists from using the linguistic terms that Tannen uses. However, Tan does note that while linguists point…… [read more]

Alaskan Native Languages Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,523 words)
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Alaskan Language Project

The continuance and historical understanding of the remaining approximate 200 tribal languages in Alaska (Krauss, 1996) is a significant cultural and educational concern for the American Indian and Alaska Native societies. Recently, the tribes and educators have spent considerable resources to ensure they capture the present languages and allow for their survival. Richard Littlebear relates the emergency… [read more]

Whorfian Hypothesis Term Paper

Term Paper  |  12 pages (4,032 words)
Bibliography Sources: 12


Whorfian Hypothesis

Tis nature's work that man should utter words

But whether thus or thus, 'tis left to you

To do as seems most pleasing" (9)

Dante's Paradiso

How relevant is the Whorfian Hypothesis (WH) - also referred to as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis - to language learning, in particular for the person who learned (or is learning) English as a… [read more]

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