Introduction to Modern Linguistics

IIT Madras Course , Prof. Rajesh Kumar

Lecture 1: Introduction

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Lecture Details :

Introduction to Modern Linguistics by Prof.Shreesh Chaudhary & Prof. Rajesh Kumar,Department of Humanities and Social Sciences,IIT Madras.For more details on NPTEL visit

Course Description :

Objectives of the course - Design Features of Language - Air Stream Mechanism, Organs of Articulation, Function of Vocal Chords, Sound Waves Fundamental and Formant Frequencies; Intonation, Voiced and Voiceless Sounds, Vowels and Consonants - Sounds in Context, Phonemes, Allophones, Di-phones, Syllables - Word formation, Root, Affix, Constraint on Affixation - Language Acquisition(Language Acquisition Device; Universal Grammar; Principles and Parameters) - Sentence: an Introduction (Structure and components of a sentence; Order of words: Subject-Object-Verb) - X-bar Theory (Specifiers vs. complements, arguments vs. adjuncts, similarities between nominal and sentential structure)

Case Theory(Abstract, inherent, and morphological case; Exceptional Case Marking, Nominative-accusative vs. Ergative-absolutive patterns) - Binding Theory(Conditions A, B, and C, the role of structural relationships such as c-command, the role of locality, binding domains) - A-movement(Raising movement; Distinction between raising and control (PRO and pro); Movement in Passives; Case as motivation for movement) - A-bar-movement(Wh-movement; Constraints on A-bar movements; Subjacency and the Empty Category Principles; Argument-adjunct asymmetries) - Head-movement(English auxiliary system (English vs. French); Nature of constraints on movement) - Pragmatics Language variation, Speech Community, Dialects, Sociolects, Discourse

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