Lesson 1 meaning and discourse module 2 A. Areas of language

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A. Areas of language

Bilingualism Cognitive linguistics Discourse Analysis 1st Language Acquisition

Language change Lexical Semantics Lexicography Morphology

Phonology Psycholinguistics 2nd Language Learning Sociolinguistics Syntax
B. Definitions

Match the definitions below with the language areas:

  1. the study of word meaning

  2. how you learn your mother tongue

  3. the study of language sounds

  4. how language is processed in the brain

  5. how dictionaries are made

  6. how people learn another language

  7. language and the mind

  8. how languages vary over time and place

  9. the study of language and society

  10. possession of two languages

  11. the system of rules governing language use

  12. the study of written and spoken language

  13. how words are formed

C. True or false?

    1. Nobody speaks standard English

    2. “Ice cream” has the same sound as “I scream”

    3. English does not have a future tense

    4. The difference between a “terrorist” and a “freedom fighter” depends on your point of view

    5. The expression “Cake?” is a sentence

    6. Over 70% of the world’ population uses more than one language

    7. xt xs pxssxblx tx xndxrstxnd whxt I xm wrxtxng xvxn xf x rxplxcx xll thx vxwxls wxth xn x

    8. If there were no people in the world, there would be no meanings

    9. White House is two words and greenhouse is one word

    10. The primary meaning of the word to run is “to move fast on foot”

    11. it is correct for a football supporter to sing “Liverpool are magic”

    12. Some 5 year old English children say “I wented” not “I went”

    13. Learning to ride a bicycle and learning a foreign language involve different processes

    14. Italian has been corrupted by English

    15. You cannot divide up the sound of the word dog into /d/ + /o/ + /g/

    16. Internet chat is a form of speech and not a form of writing

D. Complete the table





J – possession of two languages

6 – “over 70%…

Cognitive linguistics

Discourse analysis

1st language acquisition

Language change

Lexical semantics





2nd language learning



E. Types of meaning

Can you explain the difference in the sense of the word “mean” in the following expressions:

I didn’t mean to hurt you “Dog” means “cane” Those black clouds mean rain

Which of these is semantics concerned with?

F. The meaning of words

1. Defining words

How would you answer a child who asked :

what does “dog” mean? what does “unicorn” mean?
2. Can we separate units of meaning?

blackbird and black bird - how many words? how many concepts?

boys like to play – how many words? how many concepts?
good morning = good + morning (a morning which is good???)

good singer = good + singer (a singer who is good???)

heavy smoker = heavy + smoker (a smoker who is heavy???)

criminal lawyer = criminal + lawyer (a lawyer who is criminal???)

G. Transparent and opaque words

Which is the odd one out?

a. cranberry strawberry gooseberry blackberry

b. greenfinch bullfinch chaffinch
c. Which is easier to understand for an English speaker: chopper/axe


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