Further Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know
(because they aren’t actually true)
gathered at great personal risk of
psycholinguistic harm from actual student papers
by Madalena Cruz-Ferreira
This ninth collection of students’ pearls of wisdom, laboriously digitised from hand-written papers, demonstrates once again how students new to the study of language speculate about grammar after having imperfectly absorbed what their teachers think they have taught them.
On language contact and language variation
- Contacts will result in modification of the language while others were frequently borrowed to increase its lexicon.
- The Scandinavians also left their influence and so were the Danes in modern Scottish dialect. The result is that people pronouns a word differently.
- Another effect of colonisation on language is the development of English pidgins and creoles that are spoken by countries.
- The invention of creole allows communication between close black and white friends, but encouraging uses of English develops a sense of loyalty and pride in it.
- The Bible was translated into English, which was an important focussing agency on English.
- English is also used in contexts which involve co-worker.
- The use of different speaking styles by monolinguists makes it less easier for a person to distinguish between these variants. For example, a disc jockey would use a more colloquial variety than a minister making a speech in Parliament so that he can reach his audience and thus create a more relaxed atmosphere.
- The acceptance of the nature of informal talk at the level of language is reflective of the cultural and social factors.
- Language is an ‘ongoing process’ and ‘an ideological struggle’. Such a definition can be applied to the term Standard English of the written word.
- Language shapes language at the level of language and conversation management. What gives meaning to a conversation is not the words but what Malinowski calls ‘phallic communion’ or ‘small talk’. As a result, this situation does have a lot of potential to becoming a topic of conversation.
On word meanings and figurative language
- The meaning of words can definitely be misleading, sometimes to the point of being artistic.
- It is incredible just to marvel at the fact that just about all words can be strung together to create new words.
- The use of metaphors sets an analogy on a fixed topic in question. It also gives a less monotonous feel in the reader.
- The use of the metaphor gives a metaphorical meaning.
- Metaphors can’t be taken literally as their meanings are rather extract.
- This newspaper headline, for example, is a metamorphical use: ‘The haze blankets the city’. It means that there is fog in the society.
- With metaphors, a non-speaker of the language would find them puzzling.
- When asked ‘are you a regular’ in a boutique, we know that person is asking about the size of our apparels.
- The use of the word ‘bet’ is also unpredictable. The common use of this word would be with an ‘I’ in front of it, for e.g. ‘I bet John is sick’. However, pronouns can also put placed in front of ‘bet’ like ‘You bet’.
- One element that can make the meaning of words unpredictable is idiomic expressions.
- Some meanings of English are unpredictable as they are ill-formed through shoddy manner. For example, ‘foot’ has two different meanings of almost a similar sense.
- Given the unpredictability of the meanings of the words, we cannot predict them.
More to come...