Spoken language is a complex sequence of sounds. When we know the language. Wehave no difficulty in distinguishing consonants from vowels and in separating the soundsinto individual words. When we hear a language that we do not know, it is more difficultto distinguish single words.
The human voice is capable of making a very large number of sounds, but the soundsystem of each language restricts the number of acceptable sounds to a relatively smallnumber. The sound stream of a language consists of separate, ordered parts: syllables,words, phrases, clauses, and sentences. Understanding and learning language comesnaturally to us because the structure of language is so logical, Language has Syntax, whichmeans that syllables and words are organized into meaningful constructions. Syntax is acondition of all human languages. It controls the flow of information and expressesrelationships. Linguistic syntax is most obvious at the phrase, clause, and sentence levels.
One of the most interesting aspects of language is how it changes over time. There canbe changes in a languages sound system, such as a change in the pronunciation of a vowelSuch a change affects the “color” of the speech but has no effect on the meaning of a word. Change can also come in the creation of new words. Inventions, discoveries, and newcontexts generate new words to describe them. Words also disappear as their relevantcontexts disappear.
The vocabulary of a language has a great capacity to expand. The adoption of foreignwords is part of the natural growth of almost any language. When language communitiesare forced together through political alliance or conquest, linguistic competition arises astwo peoples try to converse. Often this results in a pidgin language, a mixing of wordsand expressions from the two languages.
Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they are similar specific points made in the reading passage.