The Parts of Language

  • Lord Syntax and Simple Sentences

    Lord Syntax and his friend Nemesis sit a club to eat dinner. Lord Syntax notices that the piano player is playing the same tune all evening with a small variation. In the case of the piano player, different keys, chords, and tempos are used to create variation. In the case of sentences, small variations exist also. The four variations on…

    Read More »
  • Steven Pinker – The Stuff of Thought

    Please note: This video contains strong language. Pinker sits with an interviewer in a park to discuss topics from his 2007 book The Stuff of Thought. Some potentially offensive content follows. Pinker discusses the etiology of taboo and profane words and their emotional impact despite meaning and syntax. Why do sexual terms and profanity exist in our culture? Why does…

    Read More »
  • Phonemes Experiment

    This clip is made up of individual English phonemes and edited together. Phonemes are differences in sound that make a contribution to meaning. By cutting together these different sounds, the author of this clip is able to create an approximation of a pretty famous quote. Without visiting the YouTube page or the home page for the video can you make…

    Read More »
  • Garden Path Sentences – Going to Sound Ridiculous

    Garden path sentences are sentences that give the subjective impression that one is following a garden path to a predictable destination until it is obvious that you are mistaken. This is a clip from the Micallef Program, a sketch comedy show from Australia; the man explains that what he is about to say sounds ridiculous. Is there an example of…

    Read More »
  • Homophones

    On the show Between the Lions, Brian McKnight and Cleo the Lion sing a duet about a special love they share homophones. Homophones are two words that that mean something different but are pronounced the same. Of the examples they give, which are function words and which are content words? How do homophones affect our processing of language?

    Read More »
  • George Lakoff: Conceptual Metaphor Theory

    This video features George Lakoff explaining how he decided to start his work on conceptual metaphor theory. According to the conceptual metaphor theory, metaphors and other forms of figurative language are not necessarily creative expressions we use metaphor to make sense of our experiences. How many examples of conceptual metaphor does Lakoff give? Are these figures of speech more helpful…

    Read More »
  • Paramore – Misery Business

    Figurative language is language that means one thing literally but is taken to mean something different. Two types that have been examined extensively by psycholinguistic research are indirect speech acts and metaphor. This song features several different types of figures of speech can you identify them all?

    Read More »
Close