Prototypical language

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Prototypical language

Postby Richard » 19 Jan 2021 06:03

If you were asked to create a sentence which best illustrates what language is and how it works, what sentence would you choose and why?
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Re: Prototypical language

Postby stevelouw » 23 Jan 2021 06:46

I would choose "I love you".

From a form perspective it's nice and simple and shows the SVO form that English takes really clearly. We can easily substitute other words (hate/like) to change the meaning, and we can switch pronouns to show relationships between the speaker and listener.

It also displays the communicative focus of language, and how it is used to build relationships. A sentence that doesn't demonstrate in some way the importance of language as a tool for human interaction would miss the point. An expression of love, perhaps, is a nice example of language at work in this way.
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Re: Prototypical language

Postby Amme Bantawan » 23 Jan 2021 11:22

"This is my neighbouring cat that chased the rat that killed the bird that climbed the wall that stole my goldfish."

I would like to create this sentence to express my past experience. In terms of the recursion characteristic, the sentences could be produced with other sentences inside them.
From this sentence, the relative clause can be use repeatedly in the sentence. The number of sentences can be understand and produce in itself. It is also generate an infinite number of meaningful sentences using a set of rules. It could be seen that human language is productive and creative at the same time.
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Re: Prototypical language

Postby Jatupon P. » 26 Jan 2021 07:10

I would choose the sentence “sit down please!” often said to my students when I wanted them to sit nicely in the classroom
Based on this sentence, language could be firstly illustrated as a set of words that are grouped together to make a complete meaning. Secondly, language is action. In this situation, the sentence is performing the action of “command”. Third, as the teacher is the commander and the students are the commanded, language is thus social in the way that can reflect power distance between the interlocutors (students and teacher). Fourth, language is functional to save the face of others. In the sentence proposed, the marker “please” entails politeness function.
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