Leading Questions

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Leading Questions
CEN 6102, First Session
 1.
What is LANGUAGE?
 2. How is it originated?
 3. What is LINGUISTICS?
 4. Who are LINGUISTS?
 1.
What are the
suprasegmental aspects of
Sounds?
 2.
What are important
features of acoustic
phonetics?
Session II: Sounds of Language
 There
is no direct evidence of the
origins of human languages.
Jespersen (1921) has speculated
that human language originated
while humans were actually
enjoyed themselves. Yule (2003)
has developed the speculation
for the origins of human speech
in six different sources.
The origins of Language


In most religions, there appears to be a
divine source who provides humans with
language. There were attempts to carry
out a few experiments on the hypothesis
but derived only conflicting results.
Around 600 BC, Psammetichus, an
Egyptian Pharaoh, made an experiment
with two new born infants and claimed
that Phrygian must be the original
language but several commentators
have pointed out that this language is
similar to the goat’s sound.
The divine source
 Around
AD 1500, King James
of Scotland
 conducted the similar
experiment on Hebrew and
found no evidence to support
the divine origin hypothesis.
A divine source (continued)

Another speculation of the origin of
the human language is the naturesound source, or as called as the
Bow-Wow theory and the Yo-HeaveHo theory. Primitive words could
have been the imitations of the
nature sounds which early men and
women heard around them. Such
words as “cuckoo” was named after
the bird’s sound, and other English
words as splash, boom, rattle, buzz,
hiss which are called “onomatopoeic”
are all echoing natural sounds.
The nature-sound source
The connection between physical and
oral gestures can develop a means of
communication, for example, the
movement of the tongue, lips, and so
on can connect to the waving of the
hand or arm. The expressing of
“Good-bye” performed by the
movement of tongue as “oral
gesture” is a good example of
connection of the message to the
waving of the hand or arm as
 “physical gesture”

The oral-gesture source
 This
term focuses mainly on the
biological basis of the formation
and development of human
language. Some of the human
physical aspects are not shared
with any other creatures, for
example, man can produce and
manipulate the sound through
some organ such as “uvelar” in
the larynx or the “voice box”,
while animals do not have.
Glossogenetics
 The
lack of physical adaptation
in animals prevents them to
utter speeches like human’s.
The human brain is lateralized
which has specialized functions
in each of the two hemispheres.
The left hemisphere of most
human brain performs as a tool
to produce language.
Physiological adaptation

Humans can use language to interact
with each other socially or emotionally.
This ability indicates such behavior as
friendliness or pleasure, hostility and cooperation. However, humans can use
language to perform transactions to
communicate and transfer knowledge,
skills and information. Such modern
transactions as in doing business has
derived from human’s ability in using the
transitional function of language.
Interactions and transactions
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