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How does language die off?

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philosophy of language

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How does language die off?

When a language is dead its because no one is speaking it

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How does language change over time?

Some people (maybe teenagers or movie stars or politicians) start using a slightly different system, not so different as to prevent understanding- they may introduce sone new vocabulary or pronounce some vowels differently and other people imitate them. After awhile, the people that used the older system either switch ti the new system or they die out. Eventually the result is still a community if people who understand each other. But the system is different from what people fifty years ago used.

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What is mental Grammar?

Our brains have the ability to store finite amounts of information. Unlimited expression is a system of principles that enables speakers to combine and recombine words in unlimited ways, which is called mental grammar.

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How can people with similar mental grammar understand you?

when you have a new thought, you move your tongue, vocal cord and lips and you make a complex sound that your mental grammar associates with thought. People with similar mental grammar can understand you.

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What is a speech community?

Linguists use this term to refer to a collection of people who all code thoughts into sounds similarly enough to be able to understand one another

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Does a system count as a system until its written?

Most languages have never been written, that’s not when it becomes a real language

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what is the ordinary perspective of language

English is a single strutted entity out there in the world that you can use as a tool if you learn how to.

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Cognitive perspective

How language functions in the mind. We all have thinking systems in our head and humans have similar cognitive abilities.

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What is the Neural perspective?

That there is no longer a distinct unit that we call English but rather English is just some subset of chemically and electrically mediated firings scattered among a huge network of neurons.

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What is a sunset question reasoning?

The meanings of a word is partly dependent on the perspective it is embedded in. Jackendoff doesn’t think it is appropriate to understand the meaning of a word but rather most people can understand the meaning of a word, it in the head of competent speakers. The meaning is in your lexicon but its not detailed scientific information

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When does a new word come into a language?

A new word comes into a language because other people use it and they become obsolete when people stop using them

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what is your understanding of speech based off of?

Not just the acoustics but also the meaning

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What does tuning into the accent mean?

As long as you can tune into the accent, we can interpret what people are saying based off of our accent

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What is a homonyms?

Two words that sound the same but aren’t related at all in meaning (bank, bank)

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what are Polysemous words

They have two or more related meanings (smoke #1, smoker #2) and sound

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What plays a role in what sentences mean?

How words are put together plays a role in what sentences mean and meanings are linked to pronunciation

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what makes a word a word?

Is the pairing between a pronounceable piece of sound and a phonetic or phonological structure or meaning

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What is Fregean compositionally from textbook?

The meaning of a compound expression (A phrase or sentence) is a function of the meanings of it’s parts and of the grammatical rules by which they are combined.

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What is referential function?

Meanings have to connect language to the world.

EX. Amy convinced Tom to go to New York for weekend. You can infer that Tom didn’t plan on going to New York for the weekend but now he does

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why can’t meaning be visual images

Although the meaning od words and sentences sometimes evoke visual imagery, they can’t all be visual images- The meanings are hidden

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In the cognitive perspective where is the meaning found

The meaning of a word ir sentence is something that is in the head of a language user

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The ordinary perspective presumes that categories are clear is that true?

Categories are not clear and dictonary definitions basically ignore facts of actual practice which is why jackedoff distrusts anyone who starts a discussion by citing any dictionary because he doesn’t believe that makes controversial terms clear

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In cognitive perspective, the meaning of a word or sentence is something in a speakers head that is linked to pronunciation because it has 3 properties

  1. sentence meanings are built from word meanings.

  2. meanings are preserved in translation.

  3. Meanings serve as a basis for reference and for inference- meanings are hidden

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What is the meaning of a sentence?

The thought that it expresses

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Are thoughts like a language?

No, because they are not linked to a language because a language is a system that links concepts and thoughts with pronunciation. Thoughts functions as part of a language.

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What is language relatively

It doesn’t take difference in language to make radical differences in thought. Difference in culture which may produce differences in language do just fine. (Language influences thought)

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What three components are in conscious thought?

Jackendoff believes that meaning are mostly unconscious and that verbal images aren’t thoughts but they’re connected to thoughts: Components of conscious thought

  1. verbal imagery

  2. feeling of meaningfulness

  3. meaning is attached to pronounciation

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what do we experience verbal images as thoughts?

We experience our verbal images as thoughts because their imaged pronunciation is accompanied by the feeling of meaningfulness

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What is the unconscious meaning hypothesis?

Pronunciation is conscious, its accompanied by a conscious feeling of meaningfulness and its linked to unconscious meaning.

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what’s an example of the unconscious meaning hypothesis

The unconscious meaning hypothesis says that meaning is an unconscious peice of mental structure that in this case happens to have a handle. we know its there because of its effect on inference.

EX. John slept through bell.

John jumped until bell rung- we know he jumped many times (The extra part comes from the part of the meaning that is hidden-no link to pronunciation

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How can I know what I think until I say what I say?

The point being made is that you don’t have a thought until you say it. other words, thought and language are the same

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what happens when you have a name or word on the tip of your tongue?

You’re failing to connect a piece of meaning with pronunciation

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what is natural language?

Human language can be learned as a first language by anyone

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How many words do children know before kindergarten

5000 words

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what can ordinary people learn as there first language?

any language as their first language

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Hoe can children learn languages?

Human beings can learn any language by simply being brought up by speakers of that language

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what was written language devised for?

Accounting

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Why does Chomsky reject behaviourists viewpoint on operant conditioning

Chomsky believes that you can understand a sentence because you have an innate ability not because you are trained.

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Are humans like a computer?

MIT Linguists stated that in someway human brains are like a computer- similar to Siri with computation

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What was Chomsky interested in?

That human beings are similar in their capacity to learn language and that humans have similar cognitive abilities

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Hoe can you prevent a child from learning a language?

By not speaking to them

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when can humans learn multiple languages?

Before 12-13, after that its difficult

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How is the mind like a computer?

People learn to translate, the UN has simultaneous translation which is a high paying job

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What perspective does jackenoff take?

Cognitive perspective and cognition is thinking

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what does cognition involve

a cognitive use of language

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Does someone who thinks in French or English have the same thoughts

yes, because the sentences mean the same thing and the meaning is beneath the words. The meaning is not identical with words- they’re behind

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what does knowing meaning involve?

It deosn’t mean repeating the word in your head, the idea is that meanings are not the same as spoken words but they’re connected

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Are words intelligent?

A question can be asked outlaid and we can answer it intelligently- The words aren’t intelligent but what we think is intelliegent

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Does jackendoff think that thinking is unconscious?

Yes, when writing a good essay the words get written and you’re not conscious of any effort

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How are humans like a computer?

Computers don’t now how it functions and we are similar

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What is the purpose behind “I’m all Olympic out”

Knowing language enables us to understand things that we haven’t been exposed to before and its cognition

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what is the Wilson sperper theory of sarcasm

You need to change tone of voice to make sure sarcasm is understood

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what the point behind the 2 ways to say tomato

Jackenoff point is that by saying it differently it still means the same thing

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What is the purpose of flashcards?

We don’t use flashcards to understand sentences but rather we use them to learn a language. We almost always understand each other even though we didnt receive the sam linguistic training

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Are we always able to explain sentences?

We can understand sentences but its hard to explain certain sentences even though we understand them

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what distinguishes us from other creatures

Our ability to use language

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Do we know how language works?

We know that language works but we do not know how. Kids learn language quickly.

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Token

Distinct spacious temporal location. Oral tokens have distinct spacious temporal locations too.

EX: token, token- Jackendoff said its one word but tokens of the same word

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Type

Set of things that are the same if we ignore irrelevant differences

EX: Chalk can be same type but different token because it was brought into existence at different times

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what is linguistics generally about?

Written language not spoken

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what are people who study sounds?

Phonologists- some languages use sounds that other languages do not use

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what is semantics

the study of meaning, we learn a language by words but words have meaning

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we speak in sentences, what’s in sentences?

Words

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Do deaf people have a hard time learning a language?

Yes, ordinary people have a bunch of sounds they make.

EX. English doesn’t contain HCC but scotish English uses that sound for the words Lochness

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what is the physical aspect of talking involve?

Anyone can learn to talk, we make our tongues do different things and its a physical ability that allows us to talk we are not smarter than other creatures but rather our ability is physiological

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What was Roman Jakabsoh’s approach to linguistics

2 words, stop and top are similar, when English people say stop and top the T is different, there is a different T and nothing infront- slightly different breathing for the 2 words.

Note: Hindi speakers don’t aspirate the T

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In Latin, where does the verb go?

The verb goes on the end of the sentence

(the boy, ball kicked)

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what is the Syntax

Its about word orders different languages perceive it differently

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What does Jackendoff believe that people who speak different languages have in common

Jackedoff believes that people who speak different languages speak about the same things in the common world

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what is Morphology or morpheme

the smallest meaningful unit in a language

baby-simple morphme

babies-complex morpheme

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what is one thing you learn when learning English

How to make different sounds, which isn’t taught in schools children actually learn beforehand

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what do children learn before reading

Children learn rules for pronouncing before they can read

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When do ordinary people learn the rules of language?

Before the age of 5 years old, when learning first language you learn word order rules

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what is a lexicon

Each person has a mental dictionary for language in their heads

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why don’t people have the same vocabulary

They lived in a different part of world, had different upbringing so their lexicon is different

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what does language have to do with categories

language divides words into categories, syntactic categories are whats acceptable order for words. When you learn a language you develop a mental lexicon, not everyone knows the same words and where you live/are involved is the words you know

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What is a language determined by

A language is determined by statistical regularities

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What are the three things in a mental lexicon

List of morphemes:

  1. sound patterns- phonological forms

  2. grammatical categories- determine word order

  3. what it means-semantics

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When learning a language, what do you need morphemes for

we need to be able to use and understand a morpheme when learning a language

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Does everyone speak English the same way?

Not everyone speaks English the same way but even with linguistic differences people understand each other

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what are token reflective words

words that are token reflective require that you know when it was said and in respect to what. The word “I” is token reflective. It is the environment that makes a contribution to what is said.

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what does vagueness have to do with language

Natural language contain vague terms, an example is colours as they do not have exact definitions.

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What was the point of these terms

The sun melted the ice

The ice melted the sun

Jackenoff asked if in the 2 sentences were the words the same?

They’re the same words because they’re related

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How is meaning linked to lexicon

Meaning are linked to pronunciation, the lexicon associates meanings and sounds

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what did jackendoff say meaning are related

That meanings are related to things in the real world

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what is the key to meaning (poodle image)

Visual resemblance is not the key to meaning. The key of the poodle example is that visual similarity is not what determines meaning.

Meanings cannot be visual images in a person’s head

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What is the sprites paradox or heap ofd and

Adding 1 grain of sand can make a difference to a set of contagious grains of sand. The paradox says that if you accept that premise that seems reasonable then you’ll have to say the millions grains of sand next to each other don’t make sense, even though it seems reasonable its wrong.

Jackendoff is not interested in formal/technical language he is interested in first languages and natural languages ar e vague. They contain vague morphemes

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Putnam and Kriple (Philosophers) .

Believe that the meaning of a term is not in someones head-its a matter of the mental contents of anyone head. The example of Gold’s point is that when we want to know if something is real gold, we don’t rely on our own understanding but rather we go to someone to tell us whether its gold or not. They believe that the meaning of natural language terms involve technical/scientific information but jackendoff disagress with them

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The language of mathematics

People started using formal logic/mathematical language and they made the theory of computation possible. The theory of computation makes a difference and it makes. use of a very precise language but they’re not a natural language. No toddler learns computer language at a young age.

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The image of the boxer point

Pictures/visual images are 1 thing, meaning that the meanings are different

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what are adjectives?

A feature of a person, place or ting

ex: Good, long event

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Adj

A characteristic of an act or action

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conjuctions

and, but, or, if and when

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what do words belong to

Words belong to categories and you learn the rules for putting words in the right order and learn what is acceptable and unacceptable

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what does jackenoff believe about categories?

You learn a small set of rules and Chomsky believes that the rules are already in the head, and grammar. Young children learn words but they’re born with the system of classification

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Noun

person, place or thing, or kind of person, place or event

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article

The, a(n)

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verb

Act, action, state

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Auxillaries

verbs that are special

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Are there a lot of categories?

There is a small number of categories but the rules and categories are universal, categories involve verbs, nouns, adjectives etc

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