duality principle

We have given these figures to show what an enormous economy is achieved by having in human language this "duality principle," as it has been called: first an encoding into morphemes, and then a separate encoding of morphemes into oneormorephonemes each.

There is, however, a very bad flaw in our figures: We have assumed that it is possible for phonemes to occur in any mathematically possible sequence, such as (for English) /ppppp/, /fstgk/, etc. But English of course does not do this; like every language, it places very strict limitations on possible sequences of phonemes. Nevertheless, even with the strictest sorts of limits, the duality principle permits every language to form far more morpheme shapes than it will ever use.

language used only one phoneme

This device of encoding morphemes into oneormorephonemes each is an extraordinarily powerful one, and in terms of sheer economy it is hard to overestimate its importance. If a language used only one phoneme per morpheme, it could have only as many morphemes as it has phonemes. But if a language uses from one to five phonemes per morpheme (as in the above English examples), the number of possible morpheme shapes soon becomes astronomical.
For a stock of twenty phonemes the figure is 3,368,420; for thirty phonemes it is 25,137,930; and for forty phonemes (English has between thirty and forty, depending on just how you figure them) it reaches the fantastic total of 105,025,640 possible morpheme shapes.

accomplished by encoding

3.PhonologicalEncoding.When J grammatical encoding has been completed, the message enters the phonological component of the codeasa string of morphemes, and these must now be encoded for sound. This is accomplished by encoding each morpheme into one or more basic phono­logical units or phonemes (from Greek phone "sound"). The morpheme -s ofbitesis converted to the phoneme /s/,chec\to /cek/,stone to /stdn/, thrift to /0rift/, etc.
(Written symbols for phonemes are customarily placed between slant lines to distinguish them from the letters of regular spelling and from the symbols used in phonetic transcription. Just what symbols are used for phonemes is unimportant; one must merely have a different symbol for each phoneme in the language.)

Still more elegant is transformation

How does our grammar provide for this enormous variety and flexi­bility? If we merely want to reach infinity quickly, we need only allow ourselves to use the word and over and over again. There are, however, two far more elegant devices. One is that of embedding: putting a construction inside a construction, etc., like a Chinese puzzle. A classic example is the,

Still more elegant is transformation, whereby a basic sentence type may be transformed into a large variety of derived constructions. Thus the dog bites the man can be transformed into: the dog bit (has bitten, had bitten, isbiting,was biting, has been biting, can bite, etc.) the man; the man is bitten (was bitten, has been bitten, etc.) by the dog; (the dog) that bites (etc.) the man; (the man) that the dog bites; (the man) that isbitten by the dog; (the dog) that the man isbitten by; etc.

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