ANTHRO 4 / THE NATURE OF HUMAN LANGUAGE:
1. What do you know (whether consciously or not) when you know the sound system of a language?
2. What do slips of the tongue illustrate?
3. What is the difference between phonetics and phonemics?
4. Which subsystem of language refers to the sound‑meaning correspondence?
5. What kind of grammar did Bishop Robert Lowth write? And Panini?
.6. Can you briefly explain what the term arbitrariness means as it is used to describe a property of human language?
7. Can you give a synonym for arbitrary? and for iconic?
8. Which subsystem of language relates to grammar?
9. What is meant by semantic competence?
10. Can you name three language universals?
11. What is meant by signifier? and by signified?
12. What are onomatopoeia? Can you give three examples? What are phonesthemes?
13. Children learning their native language are especially active in forming phrases or sentences, which they have never heard before. What are the names for this property of human language?
14. Which term is used to describe the ability of human language‑users to discuss topics, which are remote in space and time?
15. What is the property, which relates to the fact that a language must be acquired (learned) by each new generation?
16. Can you think of a property of human language that is not unique to it but also found in animal systems of communication?
17. What is the name of the property referring to the fact that language is organized at two levels simultaneously? What are these two levels?
18. Beyond the ability to produce grammatical sentences, a speaker must have communicative competence. What is meant by that phrase?
19. Give two examples of prescriptions in English. Are these universal?
20. The following sentence is ambiguous:
Susan and Suzanne have different stress patterns.
Which subsystem of language must you know to understand its two possible meanings?
Charles Hockett (1963) proposed that prevarication (deception or misinforming) could be treated as a property of human language. In discussing this property, he pointed out that "linguistic messages can be false" and tnat "lying seems extremely rare among animals.'' Can you give reasons for (or against) including prevarication among the properties of human language?