Melissa Vervinck

ISBN-13: 978-1-935987-52-9

# pages: 125


Suggested Retail: $41.95



What do you use every day without thinking about it? Language!

• Are the words language and communication synonymous?

• What do we lose when the last known speaker of a language dies?

• What is the relationship between hypernyms, hyponyms, and

the Internet?

• Which word do you say when requesting a carbonated beverage—

pop or soda?

• Does the language you speak affect your perception of the world

around you?

When responding to questions about language, rarely do we put pen to paper

and write down our beliefs—not only after we have reached a conclusion, but

as we are in the process of doing so. The entire process it takes to proceed

from Point A to Point B, while getting distracted by the attractions along the

way, is lost and forgotten. Capturing these thoughts in regard to questions

about language as one meanders from one point to the next and, finally, to the

last point of the trek is the essence of Thought Trails.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction 1

Example Thought Trail 3

Let’s Get Started 5

Who Are You? 6

Language 7

Language and Thought 8

Modes of Communication 9

Writing and Speech 10

Animals—Language, Communication, or Both? 11

Communication from Me to You 12

Prescriptive versus Descriptive Grammar 14

Can You Define This Word? 15

Affixes 16

Morphemes 17

The Stroop Effect 18

Syntactic Categories 19

Word Association 20

More Practice 21

Likes and Dislikes 22

What Is a Word? 23

Analysis 24

Reverse Word Trees 25

More Simple Trees 26

Phonotactic Constraints 27

An Unstructured Conversation 28

Antonyms and Synonyms 29

Written, Created, or Scripted? 30

What Would You Say If . . . ? 31

Tweets, Posts, Messages, and More 33

Where in the USA? 34

Language as a Sign of Intelligence 35

I Say 36

Esperanto 37

Children and Language 38

Language Acquisition 39

Critical Period for Language Acquisition 40

Watson 41

Hypernyms and Hyponyms 43

Thoughts on Bilingualism 44

Are You Listening? 45

Conversation on Conversing with Others 46

Speak Up! 47

Sh! 48

Grice’s Maxims 49

Violations 50

Really? You Say That? 51

More Words 52

Find a Friend! 53

Which of the Following Would You Say? 54

Over Halfway There! 55

Family or Peers? 56

Bilingualism 57

Applying What You Know 58

And the Story Continues . . . 59

Slips of the Tongue 60

Thoughts on Thoughts 61

One Important Person in the Field of Linguistics 62

Well? 63

Writing or Speaking? 64

Language Learning 65

Did You? 66

What Is Necessary? 67

Word History 68

Knowledge of Linguistic Terminology 69

Word Play 70

Word Order 71

Classroom Discussion Observation 72

Informal Conversations 74

Wrong Facts 76

Idioms and Slang 77

Learning English 79

Importance of Words and Books 81

The Words We Use Today 82

What Is It? 83

Same or Different? 85

Hello? Hello? 87

Dead Languages 88

IPA Symbols and Example Words for Consonant Sounds in English 89

IPA Symbols and Example Words for Vowel Sounds in English 91

Minimal Pairs 92

More on Writing . . . 93

Reflection: Cursive Writing 94

Words 95

One Language for All! 97

English Only? 99

Language Colors Our Reality? 101

Do We? 103

Linguistics as a Career! 105

Earth! 106

Congratulations! 107

Thinking and Linguistics 108

Time to Read and Reflect Once More 109

Language in the News 110

What Questions Do You Have? 112

Bibliography 113

About the Author(s): Melissa Vervinck

Melissa Vervinck is currently a special lecturer at Oakland University, where she first began as an ESL graduate assistant in 2008. She holds an MA in linguistics from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and a BA in elementary education from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Prior to coming to OU, Melissa gained experience in the field of education as a teacher in preschool, elementary, college and adult education programs as well as a director of a preschool and afterschool program. In addition, Melissa enjoys creating new programs and courses and has done so many times throughout her teaching career, including summer camp programs, many new courses for English as a Second Language (ESL) students, online courses, and more. Currently she teaches courses in applied linguistics and ESL and supervises student teachers who are completing certification in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).

An important aspect of her life is family—her husband, four children (two girls and two boys), and a dog. She has embraced technology and enjoys surfing the Internet and reading books on her e-reader when she is not enjoying time with her family and cheering them on in their own pursuits (bowling, marching band, longboarding, drawing, playing soccer, and whatever else their current passions happen to be).

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