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What is Linguistics ? Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It endeavors to answer the question--what is language and how is represented in the mind? Linguists focus on describing and explaining language and are not concerned with the prescriptive rules of the language. Linguistics is a social science that shares common ground with other social sciences such as psychology, anthropology, sociology and archaeology. It also may influence other disciplines such as English, communication studies and computer science. Linguistics for the most part though can be considered a cognitive science. Along with psychology, philosophy and computer science AI, linguistics is ultimately concerned with how the human brain functions. The fields of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and language acquisition are considered the core fields of study and a firm knowledge of each is necessary in order to tackle more advanced subjects. · Phonetics · Phonology · Morphology · Syntax · Semantics · Language Acquisition Other Disciplines · Sociolinguistics: Sociolinguistics is the study of interrelationships of language and social structure, linguistic variation, and attitudes toward language. · Neurolinguistics: Neurolinguistics is the study of the brain and how it functions in the production, preception and acquistion of language. · Historical Linguistics: Historical linguistics is the study of language change and the relationships of languages to each other. · Anthropological Linguistics: Anthropological linguistics is the study of language and culture and how they interact. · Pragmatics: Pragmatics studies meaning in context. As mention above linguistics is a very vast field and it cover a lot of latest issues. But I select two issues for my project. Historical Linguistics Animal communication system Language: - Language is a way of communicating our ideas and thoughts to other fellow beings. According to an ancient linguist of India, Patanjali, language is that human expression which is utter out by speech organs. In the Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 13, language is defined as "a system of conventional, spoken or written symbols by means of which human beings, as members of a social group and participants in its culture, communication," Language can also define as 1. A system for representing things, actions, ideas and states 2. A tool people use to communicate their concepts of reality into the minds of others 3. A system of meanings shared among people 4. A code that members of a linguistic community use to mediate between form and meaning 5. A set of utterances that could be understood by a linguistic community Animal communication system Human speech is commonly recognized as the dividing line between ourselves and the rest of the animal world. The reason why the ability to speak is such a sharply defined boundary goes deeper than the mere existence of a method of communication, it is what we have done with language that counts. Language paved the way for all the special human abilities that we so value- self-awareness, higher emotion and personal memories as we search into the origin, variety and composition of human language, it is important to examine our language at its root. As human beings, we share 99% of our genetic make-up with our closest relative, the chimpanzee. Therefore, by studying the communication abilities and development of language in chimps and other great apes, we can learn more about our own language capabilities and ourselves. Research on chimps Lana The first chimp to be taught by this system, called Lana, succeeded in producing strings of Yerkish symbols, such as 'Please Tim give apple' or 'Question you give coke to Lana in cup' . She could also put together new combinations of lexigrams for objects for which there was no word in her vocabulary. When she wanted an orange, for example she produced the signs 'Question Tim give apple which-is orange'. Washoe Also in the early 1970's, a chimpanzee named Washoe was taught to communicate in American Sign Language ASL by Beatrix and Allen Gardner at the University of Nevada in Reno. She was immersed in an environment where she learned to use ASL in daily interactions with her human companions. Washoe learned 132 different words in her time with the Gardners. Washoe even taught her own adopted son to sign without human intervention. Although Washoe has been taught signs that she uses intentionally such as the sign for "orange" when she wants an orange, but she does not put them together according to rules. That is, her communication lacks syntax. That is, she has characteristics of communicate the exact meaning of the word, arbitrariness but she could not use "rules" to form the sentences. Finally, she requires intensive training to learn signs, unlike the way human children learn language and so lacks the inmate ability of expose language without special training. What she has learned is impressive, but it does not meet the criteria we established for human language. Kanzi Still more remarkable is the pigmy chimpanzee called Kanzi. Kanzi's mother was taught Yerkish in the usual way, accompanied by her son, who appeared to take little interest in what was going on. But, when she left the project temporarily, Kanzi suddenly showed that he had picked up Yerkish simply by observing his mother being taught. By the age of five years, he was handling about150 'words'; at six he could respond successfully to around 300 different 'sentences' in natural settings, using a transportable board with Yerkish symbols. One successful routine involved Kanzi naming any one of seventeen locations in the surrounding estate, such as 'tree-house', and then taking the human being there, with 100% accuracy. Clearly Kanzi was able to comprehend certain aspects of communication, although much of his conversation was only concerned with food. Koko In the 1960's and 1970's, Koko, a gorilla, was trained to use American Sign Language and spoken English simultaneously from one year of age; a sentence in ASL was used at the same time as a spoken English equivalent. She was put in an environment where ASL was used for about ten hours a day by a variety of human companions. By the age of 5½, she had mastered 246 signs of ASL, such as 'alligator', 'cake', and 'pour'. More importantly, she had started to put these separate signs together into two-word combinations such as 'Food-more', ', and 'No-gorilla', many of which she could not have received from her human companions. A toy zebra was called a 'white tiger', a cigarette lighter a 'bottle match' and a mask a 'face hat' Sarah Anne and David Premack began in 1966 to work with a chimpanzee named Sarah. Rather than treat the chimp like a human child, David Premack decided to try to find and use the best possible training procedure. The "language" used was also atypical. Instead of ASL, Premack used differently shaped and colour plastic chips. With each chip he arbitrarily associated an English word. Communication between the trainers and Sarah involved placing these chips on the "language board." Sarah was taught how to do one type of "sentence" at a time. Typically, her task was to choose an appropriate chip from a choice of two or to carry out a task indicated on the language board. Premack intended to teach Sarah the names of objects as well as the names of categories of objects. He originally claimed to have taught her 130 signs, including category names such as colour and concepts such as same and different. Nim Chimpsky In the late 1970s, Herbert Terrace began a project similar to that of the Gardners" with a chimpanzee he humorously named Nim Chimpsky hoping that when Nim learned language, the joke would be on Noam chomsky, the noted linguist who claimed such a thing was impossible. Terrace"s concern was to hat a chimp could acquire and display some use of grammar. Terrace believed that evidence of human language capability was the use of grammar and not just the use of signs. By the time Nim was four years old, he had acquired 125 signs, and Terrace felt Nim had indeed acquired human language abilities as well. This project was the first to videotape all interactions between chimp and trainer, however, and it was by reviewing these tapes that Terrace decided he must reverse his initial claim and instead acknowledge that the ape"s use of signs was very different from human language. He noted that there were many dissimilarities between Nim"s and a human child"s acquisition of "language." Nim, for example, almost never initiated signing. Terrace found that only 12% of Nim"s signs were spontaneous and a full 40% were mere repetitions of what the trainer had just signed. The trainer never noticed this subtle interaction at the time. In addition, Nim"s signing was invariably a request for food or social reward; he never made unsolicited statements or asked questions. Quite unlike a human child, he never took turns and was more likely to interrupt his trainer"s signing than not. There was also no evidence that Nim knew any grammar. His combinations had variable word order, and more importantly, Nim rarely went beyond two-word combinations; even when he did, the additional signs added no new information. For example, Nim"s longest utterance was give orange me give eat orange me eat orange give me eat orange give me you Latest research Savage-Rumbaugh has recently started to work with another species of chimpanzee. Pan paniscus, which she claims is more intelligent than Pan troglodytes, which has been used in all other projects. She claims that the new chimp she has been working with, Kanzi, has learned to comprehend spoken English just by being exposed to it and has spontaneously begun to use the keyboard with lexigrams to make requests and comment on his environment. Savage-Rumbaugh reports both anecdotal observations and the results of tests that might substantiate these astonishing claims. Again, these newest claims are difficult to accept without further confirmation and the demonstration of the kind of objective scrutiny and testing that was advocated at the inception of the Sherman and Austin project. Research on honey bees The best-known communication system in another species based on the pioneering work of Karl von Frisch, is the stylized 'dances' of bees. When an exploring bee finds a suitable source of honey, it flies back to the hive and communicates its location to the other bees by dancing in semi-circles to right and to left of a straight axis, hence known as a 'wagging' dance. The other bees join in this dance with the original messenger and then go off to find the honey. Three type of bee dance ; Round dance: indicates that the food is located within 20ft of hive; bee moves around in a circle; quality of food indicated by the number of repetitions and vivacity of dance. Sickle dance: indicates that the food is located 20-60ft of the hive; bee traces out a sickle-shaped figure eight on the wall; location of food is given by the angle made by the direction of the open end of the sickle with the vertical"” corresponds to the same angle as the food source is from the sun; quality of food indicated by the number of repetitions and vivacity of the dance. Tail- wagging dance: indicates that the food is located over 60ft from the hive; for dance pattern; location of food is given by angle of dance with vertical"”corresponds to same angle as food source is from the sun; the number of times per minute that the bee dances a complete pattern indicates the distance of the food source the slower the repetition rate, the longer the distance; quality of food indicated by the vivacity of the dance. The bees have a precise method of conveying information, adaptable to vertical or horizontal dimensions. However, the system depends on the sky being visible so that the bees can orientate themselves by the sun's light. An overcast day makes communication difficult. Nor can the system deal with unusual directions. Bees do not succeed in communicating about honey suspended immediately above them or honey that is put directly in their hive. They have limited sign about the direction. As in an experiment when the food was placed at the top of a tower the worker bees fail to communicate the exact location. The reason was that they have no word for "up" in their language. The bees" dance is an effective system of communication, capable, in principle; of infinitely many different messages, and in this sense the bees" dance is infinitely variable, like human language. But unlike human language, the communication system of the bees is confined to a single subject. It is frozen and inflexible. For example, an experimenter forced a bee to walk to the food source. When the bee returned to the hive, it indicated a distance twenty-five times farther away than the food source actually was. The bee had no way of communicating the special circumstances or taking them into account in its message. This absence of creativity makes the bees" dance qualitatively different from human language. Birds song : structurally complex, and having at least two levels of constituent structure phrases and notes. But variations in songs appear not to be significant. Whale songs "“ It is still a mystery what these very social and intelligent animals really communicate - although very different from the human languages, whale songs can not be easily dismissed as not being complex or expressive enough. Signalling Most animals possess some kind of "signaling" communication system. For example, among the spiders there is a complex system for courtship. The male spider, before he approaches his ladylove, goes through elaborate gestures to inform her he is indeed a spider and not a crumb or a fly to be eaten. These gestures are invariant. One never finds a "creative" spider changing or adding to the particular courtship ritual of his species Gesture A similar kind of "gesture" language is found among the fiddler crabs. There are forty different varieties, and each species uses its own particular "claw waving" movement to signal to another member of its "clan." The timing, movement, and posture of the body never change from one time to another or from one crab to another within the particular species. Whatever the signal means, it is fixed. Only one meaning can be conveyed. There is not an infinite set of fiddler crab "sentences." Nor can the signal be "broken down" into smaller elements, as is possible in any utterance of human language. Songs of birds Projects with birds usually involve parrots or the Indian Hill Mynah. These birds are selected for their ability to mimic human speech. The African Grey Parrot and the Indian Hill Mynah are generally considered to be the birds with the greatest ability to mimic human speech patterns but a number of other species mainly parrots such as the budgerigah can be trained to "speak". Birds song are also a way of communication. Cetaceans Cetaceans, such as whales and dolphins, have been shown to be readily trainable to respond to gestures and sometimes to verbal and other acoustic commands. Also, many species have very complex acoustic communication systems. It has been hypothesized that it may be possible to train them to understand language encoded in either gestures or appropriate acoustic signals. Appropriate acoustic signals are assumed to be sounds that are similar to the natural communicative sounds that these animals produce. Human language is unique Human language is unique. While many species have communication systems, there is no other species which has a communication system with the properties of natural human languages. There are some properties which characterize human languages. These properties, taken together, distinguish human languages from other communication systems. productivity of human language Human languages create or borrow new words for new things whenever they are needed, I have just faxed someone through my modem; fax and modem are new objects with new words that scarcely existed ten years ago. Human language is inherently flexible and adapts to new circumstances and new things to say. Animal languages are inflexible because their stock of 'words' is effectively fixed. Since Chomsky's work of the 1950s, one of the main distinctive features of human language is seen to be its creativity in being able to communicate new messages. For example someone wants to say Twenty five sheep are gazing in the field, the English language rises to the occasion by supplying a grammatical form and vocabulary, despite the fact that nobody has ever wanted to say this sentence before or ever will again. Most of the sentences people produce or hear in the course of a day are new in so far as they have never been said or heard in that precise form before Animal languages seem fixed in a single form; a cat cannot say anything new, only repeat what has been said before. A bee can make new 'sentences', provided they concern the location of honey or hives. Human language is creative in the technical sense that any speaker can make up a sentence no-one has ever heard before; any listener can understand a novel sentence no-one has ever said before. Creativity is not just W. B. Yeats putting words together to create new sentences such as The unpurged images of day recede. All of us have the talent of creating new sentences, even if less effectively. Creativity is a basic fact of human language, not an added extra. Chomsky originally used the notion of creativity to attach associationist theories by arguing that in principle connections of stimulus and response cannot explain totally new sentences. The secret of creativity seems to be the grammatical system through which new sentences can be produced. One of the most crucial things that children have to acquire is the creativity of language. Displacement: The ability to communicate about things that are not present in space or time; we can a person who's not in front of us, about a movie we saw last week or want to see over the weekend, what we did over the break, etc.; no form of animal communication appears to be able to do this: animal calls are stimulus-response driven: animals call when there"s danger or food, when they want to mate, etc.; human use of language is not just a response to external or even internal emotional stimuli; we use language for qualitatively different purpose than animals do. In all animal communication systems the number of signals is fixed , finite; even if some of the signals are complex, there is no mechanism for systematically combining discrete units to create new signals; animals do not combine their calls and gestures in new ways to communicate new ideas; bees cannot come up with new dance patterns to communicate new information like danger, or the type of food available--the absence of creativity makes bee dance qualitatively different from human language Arbitrariness A less definable characteristic of human language is its arbitrariness, which takes several forms. First there is no necessary connection between the object and the word that represents it. A rose could be called a sorp and smell as sweet. Different languages indeed call the same object by different names. English rose may indeed be rose in French but it is bara in Japanese and warda in Arabic. The connection between objects and words is largely arbitrary. Language is also arbitrary in that it relies on combinations of a small set of sounds or shapes that do not have meaning in themselves. The sounds / b / , / ¾ / , / g / have no meaning separately; the question ' What's an /¾ /?' Cannot be answered by explaining what /¾ / means. Only when /¾ / is combined with the other sounds of English to get /b¾ g/ bag or /g¾ b/ gab or blackguard or grabbing does the sound become meaningful. Phonemes and letters do not have meaning but they combine to form words . Animal languages in a sense have a limited list of 'words', like those Konrad Lorenz found in crows. In animal communication, a 'word ' is an entity of its own. Each of the monkeys' cries has a distinctive meaning, 'snake', 'eagle', and so on. They cannot be decomposed into a small set of meaningless components like phonemes. Animals have a dictionary consisting of a limited number of signs but they do not have sound or writing systems. In human languages the set of words is open-ended, formed from a strictly limited set of components, whether phonemes, gestures, or letters. The fact that these symbols are themselves meaningless and arbitrary allows them to generate a vast stock of words. Though Roman alphabets vary slightly from one language to another, their 26 letters can encode, not only all the words in the Oxford English Dictionary, say, but all the words in the dictionaries of French, Italian, Malaysian, etc, as well, with a handful of additional symbols. Arbitrariness of the actual phonemes or letters is a highly useful characteristic that gives language its infinite flexibility, unlike the total rigidity of animal systems Phrase structure. Human languages depend upon a grammatical system that arranges the elements into a structure rather than just putting one sound or element after another. No other species have either this type of phrase structure in general or the specific grammatical configurations. The defenders of apes regard this requirement as an unfair demand; Sue Savage-Rumbaugh does not see why syntax should be 'the linguist's holy grail' and laments that 'the supposed primacy of syntax still held them in its thrall.' Interpersonal Human languages is interpersonal. The use of language involves social interaction. When we use language in conversation, we make assumptions about what our listeners know and believe, and we bring to the conversation attitudes toward our listeners. One's use of language varies depending on a variety of circumstances. Discreteness: Property of having "internal structure": complex messages that are built up out of smaller parts; In human languages: sentences are composed of independent words; the words are composed of individual sounds which can be recombined to form new words which can form new sentences; whereas animal communication systems each message is an indivisible unit. Overall then, while there is considerable uncertainty about many of the details, it seems that human language is indeed the sole property of the human race, if language is defined by the above characteristics. Prevarication: Speakers can intentionally make utterances that are false or meaningless. But it is now well known that many animals use behaviour explicitly designed to deceive or mislead. Signing apes have been observed to use their sign language to send food-competitors away. Cultural transmission:" Language is passed from one language user to the next, consciously or unconsciously. Conclusion Many linguists still believe that apes have no real grasp of human language , but are merely imitating their human companions. They insist that while apes may understand individual symbols or words, they do not understand the concepts of syntax, or how words are put together to form a complete idea. However, evidence is continually proving that the non human primate mind is capable of advanced thought . Some people speak of animal languages, while others argue they are not complex or expressive enough to count as "true" languages. Also, there are some significant differences, which separate human language from the animal languages - even when they are most complex; the underlying principles are not thought to be related. Historical linguistics: - Human language is creative and flexible. It changes with the passage of time. When we study language changes historically it is called historical linguistics. Any of the linguistic rules identified in Linguistics Assumptions and Principles may be changed: phonemes may be changed, added or removed, morphological rules may be added, changed, or lost, and even syntactical rules might be modified. Semantic rules and the lexicon change much more rapidly than the other three. Lexical changes the addition, modification, or removal of words from the general lexicon are perhaps the quickest changes in language. The semantic change of words may change broaden, narrow, or even shift in meaning. History of the English Language Languages change over time. Slowly, to be sure, but they do change. English is measured in three "cataclysmic" changes that generally coincide with historical events that had a profound effect on the language. The first appearance of English, as such, was when the Saxons invaded Britain. This form of English is called Old English and dates from approximately 449 to 1066, when the Normans conquered England, beginning the period of Middle English. It was during this time period 1066-1500 that many of the Latinate words used in English today were introduced into the language, as well as Latinate spellings. Around 1500, there was a great vowel shift, which brought the language into Modern English, which is where it is today. Based on this measure approximately 500 years per shift, we may expect major changes in the language today. The Great Vowel Shift in English changed the seven long tense vowels of Middle English and moved them "up" on the tongue. Fromkin and Rodman posit that the Great Vowel Shift is responsible for many of the spelling "inconsistencies" today. Language change, however, is a highly regular process. Causes of language changes Articulatory simplification vTo make articulation of words more and more simple. People leave certain complicated consonant clusters. People want articulatory simplification so they avoid complex clusters. This is the reason of changing in pronunciation.The simplification of sounds basically states that certain sounds are easier to pronounce than others, so the natural tendency of the speakers is to modify the hard-to-say sounds to easier ones. An example of this would be the proto-Romance word /camera/ "room" changing into early French /camra/. It is hard to say /m/ and /r/ one after another, so it was "simplified" by adding /b/ in between, to /cambra/ . A more recent example is the English word "nuclear", which many people pronounce as "nucular". Natural process Neogrammarians stated that changes are automatic and mechanical, and therefore cannot be observed or controlled by the speakers of the language. They found that what to a human ear is a single "sound" is actually a collection of very similar sounds. They call it "low-level deviation" from an "idealized form". They argue that language change is simply a slow shift of the "idealized form" by small deviations Immigration of speakers The children incorrectly learning the language of their parents, doesn"t work either. Let"s take an extreme case in the form of immigrants. What is observed is that children of immigrants almost always learn the language of their friends at school regardless of the parents" dialect or original language. Children of British immigrants in the United States nearly always speak with one of the many regional American accents. So in this case, the parents" linguistic contribution becomes less important than the social group the child is in. Social and cultural identity At the beginning a small part of a population pronounces certain words that have, for example, the same vowel, differently than the rest of the population. This occurs naturally since humans don"t all reproduce exactly the same sounds. However, at some later point in time, for some reason this difference in pronunciation starts to become a signal for social and cultural identity. Others of the population who wish to be identified with the group either consciously or unknowingly adopt this difference, exaggerate it, and apply it to change the pronunciation of other words. If given enough time, the change ends up affecting all words that possess the same vowel, and so that this becomes a regular linguistic sound change. We can argue that similar phenomena apply to the grammar and to the lexicon of languages. An interesting example is that of computer-related words creeping into standard American language, like "bug", "crash", "net", "email", etc. This would conform to the theory in that these words originally were used by a small group i.e. computer scientists, but with the boom in the Internet everybody wants to become technology-savvy. And so these computer science words start to filter into the mainstream language. We are currently at the exaggeration phase, where people are coining weird terms like "cyberpad" and "dotcom" which not only drive me crazy but also didn"t exist before in computer science. Changes in languages Phonological change There have been many phonological changes between Old English and Modern English as the rules governing flapped and glottal stop variants of t have been added to American English . an important set of extensive sound changes affecting the long tense vowels occurred at the end of the Middle English period.. Lexical change From old English times to the present, new words have continuously been added to the English language. As English has borrowed a lot of words from French language. As, text, prince, judge, prayer, religion, army, navy, enemy, fashion, etc. In this way vocabulary of a language also changed. Changes in morphology Language changes have occurred in shape of words. As suffix are borrowed from French to make new words. People assume that a word has a morphological composition that it didn't originally have root + affix, usually and remove that affix, creating a new word: back formation The assumed model was the class of regular plural nouns ending in -s Another model is agent nouns in "“er , -er usually added to verbs to form an agent noun. Sometimes removed from nouns to form new verbs as letch from lecher. Historically the inflections had caused mutation of the vowel before them o to e from old to eldest Changes in pronunciation Linguistic change occurs over time; for example, the differences in spelling and pronunciation between Middle English niht and Modern English night represent linguistic changes that developed between roughly the fourteenth and the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries. Semantics Changes In old time one word is used for only one specific thing but now we use one word for many things. As in past word "aunt" is used for maternal aunt only but now for any aged relative. When one word change from limited to expending use it is called semantics broadness. One word is very comprehensively used in old time but now that is used for a specific thing. When the meaning of a word become less general than it is called semantics narrowness as we word hound for only hunting dog but in past it was used for every dog, Syntactic changes Rule addition A syntactic rule that has been added to English since the Old English period is the particle Movement .as the sentence pairs of the type " john threw out the fish and John threw out did not occur in Old English. Rule Loss A syntactic rule that has been lost from English is the morpho syntactic rule of Adjective Agreement. At one time adjectives required endings that had to agree with the head noun in case, number, and gender. This rule is no longer found in English, since most of the inflectional endings of English have been lost. Changes of verbs Contemporary English makes a distinction between auxiliary verbs and main verb, a distinction reflected in questions only auxiliary verb fronted in question, as in can you leave ?, negative sentences only auxiliary verb can take the contracted negative n"t, as in you can"t leave and tage questions only auxiliary verb can appear in tag, as in "you can leave, can,t you?. Focusing now only on so-called modal verbs can, must, it is interesting to note that prior to the sixteenth century thes syntactic distinctions between main verb and auxiliary did not exist. at that time it was possible for main to take not, and examples such as the following can be found in Shakespeare's writing. I deny it not. I don"t deny it. Forbid him not. Don't forbid him Conclusion The changes that took place between Old English and Modern English are typical of the kinds of changes that all human language undergo over time, and after enough years have passed the latest language can be very different from its ancestor language. Moreover, language change offers important indirect evidence about the nature of human language namely, that it is rule-governed .we see that major language changes occur in English language during Old English and Middle English period are best viewed as in the sets of rules characterizing.
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What is Linguistics ? Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It endeavors to answer the question--what is language and how is represented in the mind? Linguists focus on describing and explaining language and are not concerned with the prescriptive rules of the language. Linguistics is a social science that shares common ground with other social sciences such as psychology, anthropology, sociology and archaeology. It also may influence other disciplines such as English, communication studies and computer science. Linguistics for the most part though can be considered a cognitive science. Along with psychology, philosophy and computer science AI, linguistics...
I don"t deny it. Forbid him not. Don't forbid him

Conclusion The changes that took place between Old English and Modern English are typical of the kinds of changes that all human language undergo over time, and after enough years have passed the latest language can be very different from its ancestor language. Moreover, language change offers important indirect evidence about the nature of human language namely, that it is rule-governed .we see that major language changes occur in English language during Old English and Middle English period are best viewed as in the sets of rules characterizing.

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Throughout a child's developmental years most...Throughout a child's developmental years most surrounding adults such as parents, teachers and caretakers act as principal models for standard speech and grammar skills. Children learn to interact with others through constant attempts to emulate the various styles and melodies of communication that are demonstrated all around them. At some point during this long process of edification, kids become young adults with a need to cultivate a sense of individualism. Dialogue takes on a whole new style, and peers have more influence than ever on vocabulary development. This paper will explore the development and usage of slang, paying close attention to the key role it plays in the transition from dependence to independence, for it is during this period of growth that language will become an important tool in self-discovery. According to the Web Site The Learning Network, slang is a vernacular vocabulary not generally acceptable in formal usage. It often conveys a cutting, sometimes offensive, no-nonsense attitude and lends itself to poking fun at pretentiousness. Just about every culture and sub-culture set has it's own version of a local vernacular, most of it derived from commonly used words, and sometimes developing into standard speech. According to Judi Sanders, creator of the College Slang Page, the noun form of slang refers to nonstandard terms or the nonstandard usage of standard terms. It is a kind of informal language that generally follows the grammatical patterns of the language from which it stems, but reflects an alternate lexicon with undertones of familiarity. Slang develops in all parts of speech, including verbs, adjectives and complete reference phrases, which give the speaker a broader range of vocabulary to share thoughts, ideas and experiences. It intertwines with standard speech giving it local and personal flavor. The process of "slanging" involves the creation and use of jargon, and may entail both nonverbal and verbal cues. For example, the inflection and tone with which a word or phrase is spoken can transport it from Standard English into the realm of slang. As in any language, slang reflects the experiences, beliefs and values of its speakers Sanders. It rallies people around common attitudes and creates a sense of community for all those drawn in. It is not a dialect all it's own though; slang is an enhancement of language in the native tongue. It adds color, style, and texture, and turns up the volume to ten on the dial. When the feeling or thought is too extreme for simple words, slang offers a way to add a verbal exclamation point that catches the listeners' attention. Some might argue that the proper use of speech is a better marker for maturity, as opposed to using a more informal and trendy vernacular. If knowledge and wisdom are signals of inner growth, how can using such words as "wassup" and "da bomb" indicate the crossing into adulthood? Rather, wouldn't this form of speech reveal a person's immaturity and lack of development? In order to better address these questions, we must look at the context in which transitional slang is generally used. If it is spoken in formal situations such as interviews or meetings with authority figures, it can be a warning sign of a young mind that has not yet developed an ability to judge situations and people. If it is used in less formal situations such as at school or in community settings, then it is appropriate and might be seen as a sign of forward thinking. Throughout a persons childhood there is constant encouragement to model the speech and behaviors of the 'adults in charge'. This is a healthy practice because children will learn volumes of skills from watching and rehearsing over a long period of time. As a child grows into a teenager, though, there is a strong need to stretch and discover who he or she is growing into. In our culture high values are placed on individuality and self-determination; we pride ourselves in being crowned "a nation of rugged individualists." Slang helps us to establish individuality and personality when used in suitable situations. When spoken in school it helps to build confidence, and when used at home it spurs the process of separation that is important when becoming an adult. No longer does the youth have to speak in an uncomfortable borrowed language, for he now owns the vernacular tied to the thoughts and gestures of his newly developed language. Does this mean that ten years from now there will be a generation of young urban professionals slinging around the phrase "You da bomb, dawg!" while sitting in board meetings? Most certainly not. It is highly doubtful that the word "wassup" will even be found in anyone's word bank in the year 2010. What happens, slowly and gradually, is that a transformation takes place in maturity. Once individuality is established in the life of a young man or woman, displays of rebellion are more often found in subtle forms, such as union protests and store boycotting, and phrases like "those damn kids" will somehow creep into everyday discourse. Before any of this happens though, the adult within must be discovered. In the particular population of slang language users that this paper focuses on, the speakers are often young adults aged 14 to 25, and typically in a period of life where the struggle to pull away from the adults on whom they once depended is most evident. On campuses where young minds are seeking to find the quickest path to independence, it is an essential tool in carving out an identity. If self-expression is the suit we wear while crossing the bridge to adulthood, then slang is the belt, shoes and accessories. Most transitional slang-words are clear derivatives of normal speech and do not exclude the average listener, but be warned: there are some expressions that are way out in left field and might leave anyone over the age of 25 thoroughly confused Burke 98. Is this the purpose for alternative language? Did deviant 19-year-old rebels wanting to overthrow "the adult establishment" develop this as a means of encrypted communication? To quote a 20 year-old female student at Sacramento State University, "NOT!" That simply means "no" in proper English. Transitional slang is an essential factor in the aim for growth and independence, and is not necessarily a sign of poor upbringing. In reality it can serve as an indicator of a strong mind with increasing confidence. Language is constantly evolving, stretching and growing to reflect the culture in which it resides; it is fitting that speakers should be stretching and growing as well. In order to gain a better understanding of this unique version of slang, we must first hear it in action. A stroll through any high school or college courtyard during lunchtime will put you at ground zero of the transitional slang phenomenon. You can expect to be hit with words like "wassup" and "da bomb," or quite possibly the locals might invite you back to their "hizou." But there is no need to be frightened. You are not in enemy territory, and the language is usually quite easy to pick up on. Slang terms and words are typically developed in one of three ways. The first way is the transformation of standard vocabulary. This can happen through blending combining two words into one, by way of folk etymology changing a word to make it more understandable or familiar, or occasionally from antonomasia to take a name from a person's name or a place. Sometimes this language alteration comes about as a form of laziness, such as dropping several sounds or syllables called 'clipping' or 'derivation'. For example, on most campuses the phrase or question "all right" has transformed and blended into the single word "ai'ight." Another term that has undergone this type of transition is "www," altered to the single-word "dubdub" for easier pronunciation. Just saying double-u- double-u-double-u is an awkward dance of the speaking organs, therefore alteration is necessary to develop a user-friendly version of the term. Of course, many phrases are developed this same way, by shortening an entire sentence into a simple two or three word phrase, meant as a catch-all for similar circumstances. "It's all good" is a common way of telling someone that "everything is OK, and there's no need to worry." The second trigger in the development of "slanguage" is the incorporation of hidden meaning. This can be a form of a private joke between the users of the language. For instance, calling a girl a "Shasta" is an unflattering term, yet anyone unfamiliar with it would have no clue what the meaning is. In reality, it refers to the cheap quality of the soda brand Shasta, suggesting that a girl is not the highest quality or first pick for a one-night-stand, but due to the lack of more suitable choices, she will have to do. This term is considerably funny, until it refers to you. The third way that slang develops is through transformation of a single word or phrase into a different meaning, changing the meaning rather than the form of the word. Bad has become good; bones are now money; sweet is no longer just a taste or personality type, but has also become an adjective for something fun or great. How these definitions evolve is anyone's guess, but they are easily popularized through TV shows like South Park, and pop-culture personalities, such as Emenem. Over a long period of time Standard English will frequently change from one definition to another as well, reflecting the changes that society makes. Sometimes the change in a slang word's definition will not be totally off base, still resembling the initial meaning to a certain degree. The word "jet" can signify a quick exit, similar to the speed of a jet, and "bumming" something from someone else spare change, for example, is similar to what a "bum" would do on the streets. Slang, particularly transitional slang, is notable for its liveliness, humor, emphasis, brevity, novelty, and exaggeration. However, slang is not just limited to the campus scene. Most slang is faddish and ephemeral, but some words are retained for long periods and eventually become part of the standard language e.g., phony, blizzard, movie Learning Nertwork. Much of our current expressions were unheard of over 100 years ago, and many of the new slang terms circulating on high school and college campuses may some day become common speech. The web site The Learning Network lists the following examples of the words that have evolved into our lingo over the past century: of madness"”loony, nuts, psycho; of crime"”heist, gat, hit, heat, grifter; of women"”babe, chick, squeeze, skirt; of men"”dude, hombre, hunk; of drunkenness"”sloshed, plastered, stewed, looped, trashed, smashed; of drugs"”horse, high, stoned, tripping; of caressing"”neck, fool around, make out; of states of mind"”uptight, wired, mellow, laid back; the verb to go"”scram, split, scoot, tip, jet; miscellaneous phrases"”you push his buttons, get it together, chill, she does her number, he does his thing, what"s her story, I"m not into that. "Slanging" is a practice that is very old, ever changing with the growth of those seeking to understand their own identity. It is a fascinating language to study because it reflects so much of the sociology of those who are using it. Regardless of where a person lives, his or her economic status, upbringing or value system, chances are every vocabulary includes at least a handful of slang terms that occasionally come out in speech for a more dramatic effect. If we take a moment to reflect on the slang of our own generations, we will be able to trace the transition from dependant to independent, and alienation to inclusion in the community. This is a language worth celebrating, first for its ability to empower those seeking to use it, and finally for its amazing capacity for gathering a diverse population into a common goal: self-discovery. As teenagers and young adults explore and develop this unusual language, they make paths for future generations to expand upon and make new additions that reflect their own times. Eventually a person's speech will tone down to better reflect the society he or she has grown into, but always, somewhere deep inside, a sense of identity and individuality will remain strong as long as the language of youth lives on.   

Throughout a child's developmental years most surrounding adults such as parents, teachers and caretakers act as principal models for standard speech and grammar skills. Children learn to interact with others through constant attempts to emulate the various styles and melodies of communication that are demonstrated all around them. At some...

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Ever since God punished the people...Ever since God punished the people who wanted to build the Tower of Babel with the "confusion of tongues" in the time of old testament, people around the world have faced the problem of communication. When giving out a historical overview of second-language teaching in "Second-Language Acquisition in Childhood," McLaughlin stated: As early as the third millennium B.C., in what was probably the world's first great civilization, the Sumerians had scribed devoted exclusively to education. When the country was conquered by the Akkadians in the last quarter of the third millennium, these scribes complied the oldest known bilingual dictionaries. Long continuous passages were translated from Sumerian into Akkadian, line by line. McLaughlin 2 It was since then that people started exploring the arts of language. For years, people have been arguing about the most appropriate methods to teach a second language L2. One question that teachers encounter in the classroom is the use of the learners' native language L1. While a group of people think that teaching of the target language should involve no L1, another group of people consider L1 as a help to L2 teaching. Throughout the years, L2 teachers around the world have been analyzing the data they gathered for years along with their personal experiences to find out which approach of L2 teaching works best for teachers themselves. Those who are in favor of the Grammar-Translation method believe that L1 holds great significance in L2 teaching and learning. They teach grammar rules in the mother tongue of the learners as a basis of instruction. Methods such as the Natural Approach , the Silent Way , Total Physical Response , Audio-Lingual Method , and the Direct Method emphasize different concepts of language teaching and learning but followers of these methods all avoid L1 in the classroom. As the debate goes on, it is crucial for all the L2 teachers to first ponder on the goal of language teaching and then to decide what role they want L1 to play in their L2 classroom. For a L2 learner who lives in an environment where the target language is not used on a daily basis, such as English taught in Taiwan, exposure to L2 helps accomplish the goal of language learning, which is to communicate. The use of L1 in L2 classrooms is primarily based on the Grammar-Translation method which emerged in the nineteenth century. It stresses on the ability to read literature in L2, but to learn grammar rules and vocabulary in L1. In the classroom, teachers have authority while students follow instructions to learn what teachers know. Students learn by translating from one language to the other. Grammar is usually learned deductively on the basis of grammar rules and examples. Students memorize the rules, and then apply them to other examples. L1 provides keys to meanings in L2 and it is also used freely in class. Because of the nature of the grammar-translation method, reading and writing are primary skills but pronunciation and other speaking or listening skills are not emphasized or in many cases disregarded. In Taiwan, English is taught in junior high and senior high schools though some children start taking English classes when they are still in elementary school. In junior high and senior high schools, English is taught in Chinese mainly due to the problems of class management and class time. Teachers seem to always find it more efficient to go through the teaching materials in Chinese. They apply literally the grammar-translation method in class with the hope that the students will get good grades to enter a high school or a university. Students learn to read and write through the translation between Chinese and English. However, most of the parents and students often complain that such a teaching method leads them to become test machines who know only how to answer grammar questions or translation exercises on the test sheet but not to use English as a language. Another potential crisis facing these students is that too much stress on vocabulary, translation and the whole grammar structure blurs the most important part of language which is the idea it carries. Students depend so much on the translation of each single word, the structure of each sentence, and the formation of the language that they neglect the communicative message brought by the language. Language grows into a subject to learn, to be analyzed. It loses its function to be the bridge for people to convey their thoughts and feelings. Some of the L2 teachers who are not native speakers of the target language might find it easier to deal with the use of L1 than that of L2. That is, they are more comfortable with L1 than L2 so they choose to use L1 in their L2 classroom. It was an easy method for the teacher to use. Classes could be taught in the students' native language with little teaching skill or foreign-language speaking skill needed by the instructor. Objectives were limited and attainable. Vocabulary lists, printed grammar rules, and sample sentences to translate, followed by reading selections, provided maximum control for teachers and students. Bowen 20 The teachers might even project the idea of being comfortable with L1 to their students. Because they feel that it is more comfortable using L1 in the L2 classroom, they think that it is also more comfortable for the students to learn L2 in L1. Anthea Tillyer, a teacher at City University of New York stated that the notion of making students comfortable by using L1 may be a case of "comfort now, pay later." She pointed out that to learn a new language, one has to face "a few moments of discomfort" but "the skilled teacher will use L2 to make students feel comfortable and not simply assume that the only way to reduce stress is to use L1." Tillyer Another English teacher at the University of Macau, Dick Tibbetts, also mentioned that: EFL students often have no exposure to English outside the classroom. No street conversation, no TV, no newspapers or magazines. This makes the exposure to English time in class that much more important. You just cannot spend too much of this valuable teaching time using L1. You also need to show that English is a real language, not a textbook subject, by giving classroom instructions in English. Tibbetts Marianna Scheffer, a teacher in Hawaii learned from her experience that: ""¦only the most minimal use of L1 can be justified in teaching L2. It would be easy to cater to students by providing them with the pleasing and understandable input of their own language, but it does not do them a favor"¦Students will not learn L2 until they actually commit to using it as a living language." Scheffer Teachers simply cannot use what they consider the effortless way in an L2 classroom. They are responsible for giving L2 students opportunities to understand that like learning any other thing, learning a language entails hard work and pain. However, they learn it faster and more efficiently only when they become comfortable with the target language. A lot of L2 teaching methods have their different foci but all of them ask for the use of L2 in the classroom. Take the Direct Method for example, all four skills, reading, writing, speaking, listening, are worked on from the beginning but pronunciation is stressed especially. Followers of the Direct Method believe that sounds are basic and carry the melody of the language and that speech, not writing, is the basis of language. Translation is not used at all. L1 is considered a resource because of the overlap that is bound to exist between the two languages. Teachers might have some knowledge of the students' L1 as an aid to the instructions but L1 is not used in class. With the Audio-Lingual Method, students learn through imitation and repetition and teachers provide good models. It emphasizes everyday speech. Such methods exercised with the use of L2 take care of the concept of communication we are looking for. David Nunan who has been doing research on language teaching methodology and learning strategies draws attention to one of the types of classroom action, which is teacher talk. "In language classrooms it is particularly important because the medium is the message. The modifications which teachers make to their language, the questions they ask, the feedback they provide and the types of instructions and explanations they provide can all have an important bearing, not only on the effective management of the classroom, but also on the acquisition by learners of the target language" Nunan 7. Students need to process the "input" they receive before they can produce "output." If what they hear from the teachers is L1 most of the time, they are not getting enough "input" of L2 to be processed. Thus the expectation teachers have for the students' "output" of L2 will be hard to be fulfilled. Though students in Taiwan are required to study English from junior high school, a lot of parents take their children to English classes when they are still in elementary school. As mentioned previously, parents are not satisfied with the English education their children are receiving at school. They find that cram schools with native speakers of English are a better environment for children to learn L2. One famous professor in the filed of TESOL field, Lily Fillmore, found that "children who are successful in acquiring English interact directly and frequently with people who know the language well." qtd. In Bredekamp Such a situation results in the prosperity of the English cram schools with native speakers of English as instructors in Taiwan. Despite the expensive tuition, the parents are still willing to send their children to these cram schools because no matter how much progress their children have made, they all seem to be able to use English as a medium of communication, rather than a tool to get good grades. During the past few years, going to a place where the target language is used for a short period of time has become popular among the English learners in Taiwan. Students, as young as ten years old or even younger, are sent to the States by their parents to learn English during summer vacation or winter vacation. Myriam Met, a teacher at Montgomery County public school points out the function of a foreign language immersion program: "Total immersion is the most effective way of developing foreign language proficiency. The intensity of the immersion experience coupled with the amount of exposure to the foreign language assures that students have the necessary language skills to deal with the curriculum in the upper elementary grades." Met Bill Snyder, a graduate student of TEFL program at Bilkent University in Turkey also pointes out one crucial advantage of an immersion: ""¦no language is a direct translation of any other, and if you really want to get the feel of the target language, you have to learn the target language in the target language. An immersion atmosphere usually shows that is possible to use the target language as a vehicle of communication with all its frustrations rather than an object of study." Snyder Looking at the learning path of English I have traveled on, I had an experience of a six-week immersion in English that totally changed my life. I started taking English lessons at the age of nine. In class, I did not speak much because I thought I spoke really terrible English. I still remember being embarrassed when being asked to read a passage or a sentence or two. I did not like English much at that time and I was always reluctant to go to the classes. At the age of about eleven, I went to a different English class. Because of the previous classes I had, and because I knew vocabulary such as "blackboard" or "classroom," I could probably surpass everyone in class when it comes to grammar and spelling. But still, I did not speak much English. In fact, I even had problems pronouncing my own English name, "Catherine." In the summer of 1992, some time before my elementary school graduation, my mother knew from one of the teachers at school that a professor from the States was visiting the Teachers' College in my hometown. He was arranging a homestay program, hoping to bring back some students to the States to spend the summer in Kokomo, Indiana. My mother signed me up and sent me onto the flight along with 12 kids to Indiana to spend the summer. Each of us was assigned an American family to stay with. From about 8 A.M to noon, we had classes at a church and learned vocabulary and grammar. Since the teachers were Americans and they did not speak any Chinese, the only way to communicate with them was to speak English though a lot of body language was used. In the afternoon, we were taken to the town to visit the library, the city hall, the fire department, the supermarket, and to use the vocabulary we learned in the morning. Even though I did not speak much English during the six-week period, when I came back from the States to attend junior high school, to my surprise, I found that not only did I have more confidence in using English to convey my thoughts and feelings, but also my accent had changed. Moreover, I have ever since then realized that English is a living language. During the six-week program, I seem to have undergone a process of language acquisition. For some of the linguists, we acquire L1 but we learn L2. However, Stephen Krashen, who is a very famous professor at the University of Southern California believes that L2 can be acquired. According to Krashen, there are two independent systems of second language performance: "the acquired system" and "the learned system." The "acquired system" or "acquisition" is the product of a subconscious process very similar to the process children undergo when they acquire their first language. It requires meaningful interaction in the target language - natural communication - in which speakers are concentrated not in the form of their utterances, but in the communicative act. The "learned system" or "learning" is the product of formal instruction and it comprises a conscious process which results in conscious knowledge "about" the language, for example knowledge of grammar rules. According to Krashen "learning" is less important than "acquisition." Schütz The concept of second language acquisition can be supported by other linguists such as Chomsky, who suggested that "children had an innate Language Acquisition Device LAD" Lyon 14. Krashen once said: "Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language - natural communication - in which speakers are concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the messages they are conveying and understanding." qtd. In Schütz Holzman in his The Language of Children raises a notion of "whole language for second-language acquisition." He noted that "it is called whole language because listening, talking, reading, and writing are undertaken as they are naturally needed to address the students' goals. All aspects of language are viewed as acquired rather than as separate skills" Holzman 224. Second language acquisition is possible only under the circumstances when L2 is instructed naturally like the way we acquire L1. When we acquire L1, we do not use another language as the medium. By the same token, to create a natural environment of L2 learning, we do not necessarily need L1 to be the medium. One possible perspective to approach the problem of whether to use L1 or L2 is to look at the ultimate goal of learning and teaching a second language. Are students learning a second language to pass exams, to get good grades, or to be able to communicate with people who speak the language they are learning? Are teachers teaching a second language to accumulate fortune, to complete the work they are assigned, or to introduce a concept of communication to the students? Even though it is a fact that most of the junior high and senior high school students in Taiwan are under a great deal of pressure to earn good grades, it is still crucial for the teachers to stress a healthier attitude towards language learning. A language is not only a subject like mathematics or science, it is a form of art with which people with different tongues convey their thoughts, feelings, cultures, and their life styles. As some scholars in the field of cultural studies might say that "word is the death of real," sometimes a language does not seem to be so dependable as it appears. That is, the language that we receive or produce does not always promise the function we wish. This explains why people encounter misunderstandings through languages and why there are so many unexplainable aspects in each language. However, it is yet the magic that we use to break down the barriers between people of different life styles and cultures. With this purpose, the learning of languages does stand out to be distinct from all other studying we do at school. While teachers might have to run through a certain amount of teaching materials within a short period of time, using L1 helps complete the activities at a rapid rate. Nevertheless, it does not cater to the ultimate goal of language learning; the most significant part of language learning, which is the concept of communicative competence is thus erased. Keeping the notion in mind, the teachers should be asking themselves a question: "What am I going to accomplish in the language classroom?" To be done with the teaching materials within a period of time appointed? Or to help students achieve the goal of language learning? Being said that it is worth trying to use L2 in a L2 classroom, however, L1 does hold its value under the following circumstances. Just like a doctor treats his or her patients, or like most of the other vocations, a teaching job requires not only technical skills and professional knowledge, it also requires that teachers be aware of the students' emotional needs. As we go through a process of therapy conducted by an experienced doctor, he or she should be taking our feelings into consideration along with our physical condition to facilitate the treatment. A doctor who knows only how to treat disease, to prescribe medicine is but an artisan. A doctor who knows also how to console patients with soft words counts a real doctor. This concept also applies to a teacher. As we learn something, we inevitably have to encounter some degree of emotional frustration. For example, a student might be coming to the class with a stomachache and the pain irritates him so much that he is not able to concentrate in class. Another student might be coming to the class with a depressed mood because of some kind of family problem happened the night before. Still another student might be coming to the class with a special personality that makes him too shy to try anything in class. A language teacher will need to take heed of the feelings of his or her students throughout the learning process. In this kind of case, L1 might be needed to comfort the students since everyone seems to be more comfortable to describe their sickness or frustrations in their mother tongue. Piaget explored the development of children's language learning and he said: "language was a reflection of thought and not a shaper of thoughts." Piaget He believed that "language is a series of assimilations which accelerates the proofs of cognitive development." It would be unreasonable for us to treat language learning as learning of any other subjects. We are not producing translation machines of a second language. The ultimate goal for us to achieve is to use the language as a real language, to use it to exchange thoughts, feelings with others. Taking reality and ideal both into consideration, no one should go to extremes in the debate of the use of L1 or L2. However, if we clarify the goal we want to reach in the L2 classroom, the decision should not be too hard to make. Since school-aged students usually cannot choose what to learn or how they would like to be taught at school, no matter how tough a reality they need to deal with, the teachers should always keep the ultimate goal of teaching and learning in mind so that the students will not be deprived of the opportunity to true learning. They should always know by hearts that when they are with the students in the classroom, they are introducing a concept of communication to the students; they are focusing on the communicative competence of the students. Moreover, they also bear the responsibility to acquaint their students with a healthier learning attitude towards language learning, which is to be able to communicate with people who speak the language they are learning. If all of these notions come first in language teaching and learning, the teachers will realize that it is worth trying to use L2 in their L2 classrooms to fulfill the goal.  

Ever since God punished the people who wanted to build the Tower of Babel with the "confusion of tongues" in the time of old testament, people around the world have faced the problem of communication. When giving out a historical overview of second-language teaching in "Second-Language Acquisition in Childhood," McLaughlin...

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