Language features

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Information about Language features

Published on February 17, 2014

Author: dollytam


 These help understand the essential element of human language  Lg is complex thus it is difficult to see the similarities among them  Lg is a system of signs and every sign is a menaningful unit

 A phrase coined in the 1960s by the American linguist Charles Hockett.  Hockett isolated 16 features (originally13) that characterize human language and which distinguish it from other communication systems.  the final 4 features (Displacement, productivity, cultural transmission, and duality) are reserved for humans.

Born January 17, 1916 Columbus , Ohio, EEUU  Died November 3, 2000(2000-11-03) (aged 84)   Known for contributions to structural language Charles Francis Hockett


 Total Feedback - Individuals are able to hear and internalize a message they have sent. › Monitor › Not from animals & traffic signals  Semanticity- Speech sounds can be linked to specific meanings. › EX: sal/salt/sel(French). It is recognizable in these lgs

 Arbitrariness- There is no direct connection between the signal and its meaning. › = in animal sounds (dogs)  Discreteness - Each unit of communication can be separated and unmistakable. parts (sounds, letters) › =P&B

 Specialization- Speech is produced for communication, not chiefly for some other function, such as echolocation. › Special sounds › Human organs › Not for animals  Displacement- The ability to talk about things that are not physically present. › Tenses › Don’t exist › Not present

 Traditional Transmission - The learning of language occurs in social groups. › Probably LAD › transmission is necessary  Duality of Patterning – It is the ability to recombine small units. (sounds/ words)Similar to productivity (new sentences)

 Prevarication- The ability to make false statements (to lie).  Productivity - The ability to create new messages by combining already-existing signs. › Human are creative › Example: 3 sentences any › (proficient speaker) can understand

 Interchangeability the speaker can both receive and broadcast the same signal. stickle fish Rapid fading:  A language signal does not persist over time. Speech waveforms fade rapidly and cannot be heard after they fade.

 Reflexiveness - Language can be used to refer to itself. (metalanguage)  Blending - was not considered one of the design features, however it is a phenomenon of language. Blending occurs when two words are mixed together to form a new one.   Learnability- Speakers of one language can learn to speak another.

 Vocal-auditory channel : human language occurs as a vocal (making sounds with the mouth)  Broadcast transmission and directional reception : language signal is sent out in all directions, , while it is perceived in a limited direction.

    cture/hockett1.htm df tml's_d esign_features

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