First lecture

First lecture
Human language: The most powerful means of communication
Lots of challenges: No pauses between words, similar sounds, lexical
ambiguity, relations between words in a sentence, language irregularities.
Linguistic Diversity: More than 3K human languages.
Myth of pure language and myth of linguistic chauvinism.
Characteristics of human language: Duality of patterning, arbitrariness,
structured (rules), openness.
Linguistic knowledge is tacit.
Linguistics is a descriptive discipline.
Competence = What (linguistics)
Performance= How (psychology)
Universal grammar (innate principles defining a human language) vs
Parameters (grammars of particular languages).
Linguistics: Collect data, hypothesize rules, test them against new data.
Psycholinguistic data: RTs, errors, linguistic intuitions, reading times, etc.
Components of language (Phonology, morphology, words, syntax,
Language development: One word, 2-word, more than 2 word stages.
Input to children: Positive evidence, negative evidence, indirect negative
evidence, motherese (and more to come)