August 25, 2019 1

Mod-01 Lec-04 Design Features of Language-3

Mod-01 Lec-04 Design  Features of Language-3


Good morning once again please I want a very
enthusiastic good morning from you good morning I write lovely I let us come to our next class
continuing talking about design features of natural languages what is there in natural
languages that makes them unique that makes them such a versatile medium of communication
for the entire mankind for the entire world and we have already seen some of their features
you may recall. We spoke about features like they are common
to all mankind we says they are species uniform every human being has got language they are
common only to mankind only human beings have this kind of language okay can you tell me
what are the features we spoke about human languages these languages have to be learned
acquired even though we are biologically gifted okay they have to be a part or culturally
transmitted. Anything else sorry you are right all only
human all human beings and it anything else yeah it varies across time across region okay
right let us look at one or two more today in tomorrow and then we will start talking
about the structure of language and we may begin with we will begin with sounds then
we will go on to organization of sounds organization of words an organization of sentences right. You may take notes if you like but all of
these PPTs and other things are going to be on there I will mail them to the class representative
I will mail them to Mahesh and they are also going to be on the net later you also have
books which describe these things in great detail and I will also try and send you links
to the websites which talk about some of these things please do look them up as well right
the feature we will be talking today about is its locality. You know that language it you know natural
languages can be spoken man made languages in that sense it may or may not be spoken
but natural languages are designed to be spoken you know nature or God has given us the ability
has given a special organs whose main function is to help us speak we have can you put your
finger here on your glottis on your throat inside there is a diaphragm we will talk about
it next week in quite some detail inside. There is a diaphragm you know which vibrates
as you and I talk keep your finger here and say okay now do not say our now just say
again please see do you feel something vibrates here when you say these are special gifts
of nature for us if this diaphragm did not vibrate my voice will not reach you if it
did not vibrate in your throat when you spoke your voice would not reach me God has the
nature has given us special ability. Of course you know at times once in a while
you come across people who cannot speak but these are the aberrations of nature by enlarge
99.99 can account as many as you like except for a very rare exception all human beings
are designed to speak they have been given tongue they have been given pharynx they have
been given other organs we will talk about organs of articulation you know beginning. Next week and we will see that human beings
have been specially gifted they have been designed to speak no matter who you are you
may be a poet or you may be quote and unquote. A fool everyone is designed to speak okay
everyone has that natural ability we actually you know the psychology today the current
belief is that we are born talking you know parents get terribly worried when the child
does not cry after birth okay doctors get into action patient you know all kinds of
worries happen but when the child cries that is the first test that its throat its vocal
chords work the child is able to communicate. Of course the child cries under the pressure
of atmospheric pressure outside the child’s lungs take time to cope with the pressure
of air plus other kinds of things which we only inadequately understand even today we
do not know exactly an entirely why a newborn baby cries the way it cries but it does cry
and that cry is audible because the child the baby has the apparatus which makes its
cry audible the child you know we are designed to we are born actually. You can look you can think of you know there
are Greek philosophers even as in India we have always believed that human beings are
born talking it is a later belief you know weak-willed on this course perhaps we may
not talk about it but if you are interested you can look up books which get into this
debate whether language is learned our language is naturally acquired there that there has
been a group of psychologists a group of philosophers. Particularly in the last hundred two hundred
and fifty two hundred years at the most who have believed that language is part of nurture
only taught okay but for a for a long time you know we have believed including in the
West even Greek philosophers have said that our Indian philosophers have also said that
actually you might remember. The story of abhimanu does anyone remember
the story of a character in the Mahabharata somebody called a abimanu you know what is
that a story who can stand up and tell us who would not mind being caught by the camera
please you may not know the entire story it does not matter do try it will give you the
ability to speak in public these things are skills they are acquired only through practice
who will stand up and speak slowly and begin. Again can you introduce yourself you alright please go does not matter right okay you know
the Mahabharata has an anecdote which says that prince of abhimanu you learned how to
organize a particular formation or how to break that formation even before he was born
it so happened that one night while he was still unborn while he was still inside his
mother’s womb his father happened to be telling the story to his mother. His mother a woman news mother do you know
named Subhadra okay so Vadra asked her husband Arjuna how do you get inside a chakraviuga
a formation which is like a circle which is a circle with blade you know a dancing circle
how do you get inside that kind of formation and Arjuna seems to have described that in
some detail and inside the mother’s womb the child was hearing but before the story goes. Arjuna could complete that story the mother
fell asleep and then Arjuna is stop telling the story had Arjuna realized that his son
was listening to the story inside he possibly could have continued but it is one of those
tragedies of mankind which keep happening because they are designed to happen right
so you know we have always believed that children learn till you know they begin talking or
they begin learning language even before they were born. Some Greek philosophers also said that let
me see if the link works tell one of you our right to have money see
this Greek philosopher can anyone please read it aloud somebody else this side please can
you stand up and read it aloud okay last winter right please pick up because you seem to be
hesitant in volunteering Socrates he was please sit down thank you
very much what’s her name karthick was a classmate of Plato and they all believed. Greek philosophers believed just as Indian
philosophers believed that God has created God has given mankind special ability to speak
special ability for language there is there is a lot of recent medical evidence as well
which suggests that human beings begin learning language even before they are born if you
are interested there are and you can find some of these books. You can make a note and you know I will send
you the link through Mahesh okay look at this book is available for free download one of
the best books I have read in recent years on the subject called the brain you know people
many people today say that we know only as much about brain today as we did about the
solar system in the time of Galileo you know which means hardly much hardly enough we have
very limited knowledge of brain. We actually do not know what is the difference
between brain and mind we do not know how brain works we do not know which part of the
brain has language ability or does do all parts of the entire brain is involved in doing
anything there are lots and lots of questions we know something about their structure of
human brain we know that it has billion plus neurons we know that it has interconnections
but we do not know how those interconnections act together you know we are we have done
a lot of work in artificial intelligence neural network. But we have not even touched the surface of
the ocean I will strongly encourage you to read this book you see for you know we somehow
we do not have a big culture of reading for pleasure reading in free hours but if you
cultivate that you not only acquire good language you acquire some very precious knowledge some
questions which otherwise do not come to you okay so when you read a book like this you
will have questions. Coming to your mind who taught me this how
did I get this when somebody sings and if you have the wrong rhythm how do you know
the rhythm is wrong did someone tell you about the raga did someone tell you about the melodies
about the cadence how do you know that this is not their proper raga this is not the proper
rhythm how does your mind or brain remember even the tune let alone words let alone voice
okay. How do you remember that is there any connection
between grammar of language and the tune of the song okay there are a whole lot of questions
and the wonderful thing about this book is it has not been written by linguists okay
it has been written by neurosurgeons three of them one Egyptian neurosurgeon doctor and
two of his colleagues together extremely well-written book anyone who begins reading it cannot keep
it aside until you finish. It I will I will encourage you to buy it but
if you do not have enough money or you do not want to buy at least read it on the net
and you will see the point that I am coming back to his you know after selling this book
trying to sell this book to you I hope some of you will read this book that you know there
is a lot of evidence people have taken photographs of children born at or the fetus at various
ages inside the mother’s womb and they have found. That neural network starts getting denser
and denser as the child progresses 20th week 24th week 30th week a child born after thirtieth
week maybe a premature baby but it is fully formed if you are interested in some of these
areas please visit the pediatric ward of your hospital talk to doctors and you will see
in nature the wonders of nature okay that it is possible that a child may be born in
seven months it is possible that a child may be born event. In six and a half months but the child is
fully formed and if God willing the child survives the child grows up to be as normal
a human being as anyone you and I know okay so one feature of language is it is a biological
feature the feature is we have the ability to talk we have the ability to speak and this
ability starts getting formed even before we are born there is much recent medical evidence
that proves this there. Is also anthropological evidence okay there
are many communities which even today have language but do not have script their language
is not a written language do you know any language of that kind anybody if you actually
you see once again. Just as I told you we do not have the culture
of reading for pleasure we do not have the culture of our we had but you know only old
people did that when they traveled went on pilgrimage but sometimes you should find to
travel to on exotic places also within the country India is a vast country there is nothing
in the world which is not there in India you want permanent snow clad places go to Ladak
leh higher reaches. We want desert go to Rajasthan you want rains
every day go to Northeast Shillong similarly you know there are there is a region in central
India chuttanakpur you know Jharkhand Chhattisgarh parts of Bengal parts of hills in Maharashtra
Andhra Tamil Nadu you know where what we call people tribal people you know it is a misleading
name you and I are also tribal’s you know we all live like tribes okay. But we are quote and unquote what we call
shield tribes live you know arouse mundari Santals Torre’s Nagas angames you also have
some students from those places here try and find them talk to them and you will see that
they have as much a language as you and I have okay they also have literature they also
have epics they also have jokes they also have vulgar jokes they also have wonderful
jokes but their languages are not written actually many language is not just one I can
you know I have mentioned only three you know I have mentioned even today company is written
in three different scripts. In Goa it is written in Devanagari or English
in Karnataka Konkani is written in Kannada script in Kerala it is written in Malayalam
script some thali is written in three or four different scripts senthil is written in Devanagari
script Santhal is written in Bengali script santolli is written in Roman script and in
something else that does not make santolli a lesser language. Do you get my point you know there are over
thousand languages in the world spoken even today and the eye itself claims sorry there
are over death in India itself claims nearly 1700 languages sorry if the world has not
just ten thousand assorted thousand it has many more I am not sure of the exact not more
than a few hundred of them have their own script that does not make them any the lesser
language. They have all the literature if you look at
Sanskrit okay Sanskrit was not a written language until about 2500 years ago until about the
time of Buddha Ashoka because the technology of writing itself is in new technology okay
if you are interested look at this book and maybe you can also find I have not checked
but possibly you can find copies on the net as well . This is the history of writing okay we have
a copy in the central library writing itself is relatively recent about 3,000 years ago
Phoenician traders in the North Africa West Asia in that pocket what is called Egypt Libya
Iraq Iran you know in that area some traders invented the art of writing and then technology
was invented initially we wrote on hard surfaces stone slabs okay you had hammer and chisel. And you know you struck the chisel with the
hammer and then you wrote your name a long time it took you one hour to write my age
one and a half hours to write series one and a half hours to write anything else there
were specialists like there are carpenters like there are you know electricians or plumbers
today there were people who wrote you know eventually gradually then the paper was found
by the Chinese ink was invented. Then writing became more widespread more people
began learning writing finally when printing was invented sometime in the 15th century
more and more books came today with computers once again literacy seems to be disappearing
okay not many people right they only print on computers but you know writing is a man-made
thing it is a technology it is a combination of different kinds of Sciences and arts to
make it a particular kind of technology. Some people that just as today everyone every
human being does not know how to type on computers do you know anyone who does not know how to
type on computers yes or no do you know people who do not know how to type on computers yes
or no I know many people I come from the village where few people know and they do not live
in the village those that know how to type on computers live in either noida or guru
Gong or Bangalore or Chennai or some other places. They are migrated ok so just as computer literacy
today writing was a specialized skill writing was or writing is a specialized skill okay
it requires a technology it requires hardware and software you have to have pen you have
to have ink you have to a paper or you have to have computer has to have a printer has
to have a cartridge you need paper or you have virtual writing you need a screen a whole
lot of artifact actually literacy is an artificially acquired you know I am not saying literacy
is not important. I am saying it is acquired it is artificially
acquired it is a it is created by human beings and acquired by human beings in a deliberate
manner it is not acquired by anyone just as spoken languages a spoken language you and
I hear and we acquire is that so with the written language you flash a page before the
child and the child after flash a page every day before the child and the child learns
writing yes or no everybody please are you with me are you in the class yes sir okay
do you think if we flash the page before the child every day. The child will learn writing on the child
would not because it is a man-made skill the child will have to first hold the pen you
know do you know how many muscles work when you write it’s a particular kind of skill
you will have to hold the muscle on your forearm the muscle on your upper arm some muscles
on the if you are a right-handed person then some muscles on the right part of your back
if you are a left-handed person then some muscles on the left hand left part of your
back then some neural movements in your brain drive the pin before you write a or before
you write aim or before you write any other letter. Okay plus technology so writing is not natural
in that sense quote unquote natural but speaking is everybody can speak in all our lives spoken
language has come first written language has come next do you know anybody who not learnt
writing before he or she learnt is speaking anyone even if he or she is in beat it from
IIT or from anywhere it does not happen so we will agree do you agree that language is
vocal please write the next feature. Languages primarily mainly vocal okay we are
all designed to speak. We are speaking animals whatever else you
see writing or typing or chiseling or painting whatever else we do or calligraphy you know
all of this came later. Language is also open-ended please write. What do I mean I mean that it keeps gaining
and losing words sounds sentences features it is in a constant flux both its ends are
open it constantly gains no matter what you think there have been movements for purity
you know you must speak only in Hindi no English word there do not call it airport call it
Vimana Pradhan. Okay do not call it book call it rustic or
Kebab okay whatever man– made efforts language always loses elements language always gains
elements or sounds words kinds of sentences if you compare your language with your ancestors
language your grandfather your great-grandfather actually we say that in five generations it
becomes a new language a great grandson in other words my grandson would not understand
the language is spoken by my grandfather if there. Were to be at any place together I will have
to interpret one to the other you know it’s open-ended why what do you mean by open-ended
it keeps losing and gaining words and sounds different classes of words you know in English
today you have no distinction of gender okay except in some pronouns you say he and she
sometimes also in adjectives but there was a time when English had distinction of gender
even in articles there was one kind of be the for boys another kind of the girls okay
today in many languages in Marathi in Bengali. I do not know about maybe other language increasingly
in Punjabi and in Hindi you do not distinguish between plus honor and – honor okay you just
say a better term battle you don’t say up bat here tone bat here we do not ask up guessing
up cassia who in Marathi desai cassava in Bengali in Punjabi in many other languages
features keep changing new features come old features go away is a constant flux and different
kinds of words it is not just that nouns and adjectives change I will give you examples
in a minute okay also prepositions also articles also pronouns keep disappearing pronunciation
keeps changing new kinds of pronunciation when person came to this country some new
sounds came old sounds disappeared okay. In our in the writing system of in Indian
languages we have three kinds of we have S we have SH and we have another kind of SH
okay if they will agree we write sure right do you have similar letter in the script of
your mother tongue in Telugu yes or no please yeah but we do not pronounce it has either
we gong call or it has become sure it is no longer that it used to be okay it’s hardly
pronounced anywhere X profanity scions now. So sounds words features entire lot of things
keep changing they are open-ended somebody has said that language is like a patient on
the table on a surgical table you know it keeps bleeding constantly blood going out
and it is on transfusion constantly new blood coming in if you stopped the new blood or
if you stopped bleeding the patient will die so similarly you know a lot of people try
engineering do not let a new word come in to do not let foreign word come in to that
language. Look at what has happened to Sanskrit or classical
Latin or classical Greek or classical portion they are no longer spoken they became library
language only in books so all natural languages are open-ended they take and lose new words
okay they lose old words they gain new words how does it happen why do we gain new words
why do we lose old words we do not know exactly much that happens in nature is not very well
known to us but we have one or two guesses one is when technology changes the way we
do things or when culture changes the way we believe the way we interact with other
human beings. Whenever there are the changes so for example
when there was monarchy we had one set of vocabulary we had Kings we had Palace we as
princess we had Kings bodyguards we are generals we had everything was connected so we have
Rajkumar a Raj put reservoir Raj would Raj mark in the highway excreta but today we have
Jonathan peoples Road okay today we have result interpreting media somehow looks of our edges
of our evidence of a goon doggies of a chalky Java you know we have the entire vocabulary
changes and those other words start going similarly when technology changes the way
we traveled the way we cooked the way we wrote okay look at some examples. Can you recognize have you seen a cooking
facility of this kind how many people raise your hands please? Okay do you remember the word for it in your
mother tongue please write on your notebook what is it called in your mother tongue that
in Hindi we call it Chula okay write in Telugu what do you call it lovely and the word for
the firewood that you burn here Malayalam speakers family speakers Hindi speakers
you see in your language it is already dead. You do not know there is no Indian language
which does not have word for all of these things okay which does not have all of the
word for all of these things what is the word for firewood when it becomes ash lovely there
are a special word from there okay look at the next slide look at this. Okay you might see that the vessel the pot
is resting on three of four protruding structures right what is their name for them they have
a special name in Telugu as well as in Hindi in any language you know it is the same technology
do you remember the me is dead in your language because the heart it is hardly in use in your
families now you use gas stove or you use electric stove or you use solar stove or actually
many families do not cook they go to Pizza Hut they go to Dominos what are the other
things McDonalds or Sullivan oven more than Italy right. So you know but everything here has a name
can you look at the little glass structure which has a flame in the picture what is it
called in your mother tongue that is right okay so you see your child your grandchild
actually you know tell him that I asked you this question God willing you have 10 grandchildren
each you know I do not believe in the bagi of population overpopulation world has enough
a space for lot more people. Okay we need people right maybe your grandchild
will see it in a museum but until about or even today when I go to my village I live
in this kind of thing you know because we do not have electricity there and electricity
such as it is such a highly ecology destroying damaging kind of technologies such an eco
unfriendly kind of technology that is another matter but as technology changes words change
can you tell me the name of the pan on which this already is cooking in which this already
is cooking in Telugu Tamil Tommy Malayalam anybody who speaks about RT here could say
will live with myself thank you god bless you. Okay there is no language which does not have
work you know but now increasingly the word pots and pans and you know are coming non-stick
pans nonstick pots are coming in there is another you know flat kind of pan behind that
vessel what is it called what is it called in Telugu what is it called in Marathi okay
check with your I am feeling that it may have a different you know for everything all the
utensils etcetera. Do you see there is a water pot with some
water there what is it called Jammu right no okay all of these you know this was an
entire technology it is changing you know another view of the same kitchen lot of things
what is that earthen pot behind this young lady or okay and it came in it came in different
kinds different varieties and the each of these different varieties different sizes
had names there was Gera there was sera there was X there was Y a whole lot of different
things. Okay many of these things. You can please make a note okay find words
for these things in your mother tongue in my mother tongue what is called is trove in
English it Chula what is firewood is Aaron okay what has door protruding structures in
my mother tongue they call it Gaudi the pan the deep pan is called logia the flat pan
is called tawa those gladly small ladle there are cultural saline which can a whole lot
of thing what is the word for the water that came out of boiled rice without and more kanji
yes you know all of these things can you translate it into English difficult because Englishmen
do not have that thing that can you translate the word cake into Telugu difficult. Because we do not have that culture we do
not have that yeah we do not eat that dish the point I am making ladies and gentlemen
the language changes as technology changes I have seen on this campus the days when there
was you know computers were limited to three departments electrical computer science and
applied mechanics okay then slowly each departments of his got one computer and we had to queue
up then you know email internet mail came here in the 1990s all mails were received
in one lab network lab in the computer science and engineering department in BSV. And every departments Clerk went there as
a designated hour brought the printout distributed like post entire department had only one email
id the email ID of my department was I am gt1 because Industrial Management was there
and those people had colonized us okay but gradually now you know everyone routinely
says what is your email ID who could send it on the mail mailed the word mail has meaning
has changed it does not mean a railway train it does not mean postal service okay so things
change they also change when culture changes look at some modern kitchen. New words what is that flat hanging thing
called what is this thing called what is this called the lid of the cooker here is the lid
of the cooker what is this thing called tap what is this thing called where does it go
to come on you go to the diesel you see our water dispenser okay water dispenser lots
of Indian entire kitchen had changed compared this kitchen please compare this kitchen with
this kitchen. Except that human beings are the same everything
else has changed that kitchen the new kitchen is energy intensive for everything. You need electricity or some other form of
energy whereas for this other thing it is so far simpler of course you know you can
say the cooking today is better I think the best cooking happened in some of these kitchens
ok but the entire technology has changed the vessels have changed the utensils have changed
the tools have changed. Look at these kitchens. Okay the way we travelled. What is the word for the Bullock our driver
in your mother tongue what is the word ring what the word is for elephant driver in your
mother tongue? What is the word for horse driver in your
mother tongue? A horse minder those who speak Hindi? please raise your hands those who speak Hindi
what is the word for the person who looks after the horses I am sure Telugu has them
I am sure Tamil Malayalam all of us you know. But because this is change every part of this
contraption has a word what is the name for the rope which crosses through the nose of
the Bullock what a cruel way their nose had to be pierced for the Rope to be put through
what is it called that rope next time you go home please find in Hindi got not okay
what is this rope called the rope with which the that Bullock car driver controlled the
boat everything. What is this wooden structure called what
is this wooden structure called it is in Hindi it is called juahh yoke you all of these things
you know today we travel by train. And Indian Railway trains are as crowded as
this is a train from out of my village everyone trying to go to Delhi or to Bombay to Calcutta
Madras village is getting this village is getting deserted and you know we have an entire
in all our languages we have no words like train Express reservation late railway station
500 words from the technology of Railway trains alone railway line crossing tracks XY a whole
lot of things you can make an entire list of things. Where we have got words from. Language is arbitrary can I have you for another
three minutes okay language is arbitrary the meaning and meaning and word have no connection
you can have any word meaning anything okay the word I have taken some examples here the
first line you know chuma in Tamil it is an adverb in Hindi it is a verb in Hindi it means
kiss okay mothers kiss their babies but in Tamil it is an adverb why are you doing it
chuma for no particular reason okay. Or bibi in or do it can mean wife in Punjabi
it can mean mother or daai it can mean in my mother tongue it can mean aunt but in Hindi
it is a maidservant. Okay aaii in Marathi his mother but in Hindi
it is past tense of come for a girl a lad icky aaii okay or boy in the Hindi spoken
in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh it can mean a dancing girl a dancing woman but in Madhya Pradesh
in Chhattisgarh in Rajasthan it can mean a mother a grandmother or a respectable woman
few words and meaning pronunciation in meaning do not seem to I do not know it is true do
not seem to have a logical connection it is arbitrary. Language is
anything can be made to mean anything can be made to mean anything yeah I am sure you
are aware of them in the hostel language okay some people say words with GL mean good things
so you have glad glamour gleam but glisten but and glow but you also have things like
gloom which means sadness see it is not necessarily true words can have one meaning one day another
meaning another day madam used to be a respectable lady in some slang madam today means the head
of a brothel the woman who runs a prostitution den gay earlier was the description of a B
Tech boy handsome rich intelligent assured of a job. Today gay means someone who has a particular
kind of sexual preference okay similarly with silly thrilled earlier woman was known as
wife man in Old English today she’s woman so benign and pronunciation and words do not
have a logical connection we will meet tomorrow again and continue this discussion thank you
have a good day.

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