Speakin Write, Act One An Introduction to Linguistics

Where animals can only communicate, humans have language. We are capable of differentiating tenses, use grammatical structures, and can discuss complex thoughts. Read through this BBC article for more information.

Suprasegmentals are ways that you can change the meaning of a word or words without changing the word. The most common types of suprasegmentals are tone, pitch, volume, stress, and intonation.

Kinesics are non-verbal communications, typically through body language and facial expressions like crossing your arms or raising an eyebrow.

Haptics is communication through touch. Think about actions such as tapping someone on the shoulder, or putting your hand on their face.

We know not to put our hands on each other's faces right? That's because we have social competency. There is also linguistic competency. Linguistic competency is when a native speaker of a certain language has internalize all of th rules (like grammar) that go along with the language. It's basically what you, that you don't really know how you know. Strepticious isn't a real word in English, but it sure sounds like it is to us native English speakers! "Strep" throat is an illness, and "icious" is the same ending as in "delicious." Here is more information on how competency works.

Linguistic performance is how you use what you know from your competence. What words do you use? What tone? What's your meaning? Do you use slang? Do miss spelling things on purpose (e.g. text speak)? Do you use any acronyms? Speak in sentence fragments?

This video highlights some of those rules that are considered important to competence...but, be honest, how many of these crimes do you still commit? What are the implications of these "crimes"? Does the word "crimes" really fit here? Can you still understand what someone is saying even if they don't use all the rules?

American English isn't the only kind of English spoken. Here's a quick video to show the differences between American English and British English.

Now, it's your turn! Give me...

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Katherine Todd
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