February notes from Language and Culture
February notes from Language and Culture ANT3620
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1 Part – Language, Culture and Thought 2ndPart – Language, Community and Identity Corballis trying to get away from Linguistic Relativity Literacy Studies The idea of literacy was once only concerned with being literate and that ability’s influence on other cognitive factors. Now, literacy is understood as a socially embedded phenomenon that relies and produces social inequalities. This makes it perfect for study as anthropologists! Anthropology and Literacy Orality, or the spoken word, was the first thing linguistic anthropologists looked at. The way people speak both reflect and shape social relationships Text, however, does the same thing. Intertextuality “Between texts” what is the nature of the relation (relationality between two different textual sources? Text can influence conversations and vice-versa. o Can be recursive! Barthes: “the meaning of a text does not reside in the text, but is produced by the reader in relation not only to the text in question, but also the complex network of texts invoked in the reading process.” Literacy events Heath 2001: “occasions in which written language is integral to the nature of participants’ interactions and their interpretive processes and strategies” Heavily embedded in: o Times and places where and when they occur will influence the relationality of the participants o Cultural contexts The socialized norms and rules that can potentially influence. Literacy Practices “the general cultural way of utilizing written language” This is exactly borrowing from Bourdieu! o Literacy events are shaped by practices and can also shape practice itself o Habitus: the knowledge that tells us how to act that “goes without saying” for a specific people, society, cultural or language. These “practices” are not events in the direct observable sense important o They are the normalized (or occasionally subverted) ways of doing literacy in a culture. Language Ideologies of Literacy Scholars fall into two broad ideologies in viewing literacy: o Autonomous: Literacy is the same no matter where or when one is in the worldindependent of culture Example: No difference between a Melanesian tribal culture being introduced to written language by Christian missionaries and when ancients Egyptians first began to write extensively. o Ideological: Consider as axiomatic (ideologically constructed, the basics): “focus on the activities, events, and ideological constructs associated with particular manifestations of literacy.” This view is the primary one linguistic anthropologists approach literacy in society. “Post-Structural” Theories and Literacy Jacques Derrida: o Deconstruction: every text is positioned upon a faulty opposition that can be “deconstructed” to reveal the hidden relation of power. Michel Foucault: o Power/knowledge: texts are just one form of discourse. o Discourse: a dominant paradigm of thought that circulates through society and creates viewpoints among its populace, usually without them knowing knowledge is power. Create language ideologies. Ahearn – Nepal Studied love-letter writing in a community that just began to see literacy among young women. o How would social norms influence this emergent idea of literacy among females? Practice of love-letter writing instituted a new constellation of acts and norms: o Local cultural saw this practice as foundational for a good/proper marriage. o However, also made it easier to elope! If a woman eloped, she would be disowned by own family, making it harder to get out of a bad situation. In the end, while literacy provided new ways of practicing love in a culture it also exacerbated some gender inequalities. Ahearn – Pema Kumari’s letter When she was arranged, she resisted in a unique way by writing a letter that threatened her father with jail if he went through with it. o Didn’t work, wedding happened. He ended up dying in a war she was widowed and never remarried. Drew upon previous acceptable practice of letter-writing to instigate a new form of political identity. o Small iterations of cultural practice can engender larger changes, over timerecursive! Recap: Literacy vs. literacies Literacy practices Literacy events Ahearn case study: o Love-letter writing practice o Changed through time o Gender orientation Shirley Heath – “What No Bedtime Story Means” Practice theory: studied how children and their respective parents interact with texts on a daily basis to understand how socialized forms of behavior on reading influence performance at school. She explores the formation of habitus, where and when is the beginning of habitus. 1. Maintown: white, middle-class, teachers with children were the focus a. Adults discussed books with their children b. Explicitly made links to stories in the news, or what they had recently read, to what was going on meta-textual (talking about text itself) i. Children learned formulaic story openings (e.g. “once upon a time…”) and typical story-telling themes that they then could re-interpret and create their own narrative. c. Ultimately: children of this community were practiced to give authority and power to books and texts. d. Habitus lead to think of texts as sacred and literature as an authority. 2. Roadville: white, working-class, textile mill workers were the focus a. Children exposed to “literacy-based stimuli” in their bedrooms. b. Taught to memorize, repeat, regurgitate for factual information. c. Did not “tell stories” to their children books were used as learning, and when stories were told, often it was in a discussion of factuality (e.g. fairytales were often commented upon as being “not true” or “not real”) d. Ultimately: texts are meant to convey facts, and that a fictionalization of an event is a moral affront; it is a lie. e. They didn’t like to being taught stories but facts, they didn’t like being lied to. f. Maintown view it as a romanticize notion while Roadville went straight to the point 3. Trackton: black, working-class, primarily works at textile mill as well. a. Children immersed in constant verbal and nonverbal communication, but not written. b. Usually not read to; sometimes complete lack of written texts. c. Children were not brought up in a social situation that had some sort of rules for acting around texts. d. Ultimately: children performed poorly in school not because they didn’t understand but the modes of interaction between text and person at home was non-existent. i. Reading wasn’t the problem—interpretation and validity were ii. Children could actually produce more poetic semantics than both of the other communities. e. They weren’t good at school not because they didn’t get it but because they were not introduced to literacy as others, literacy practice was not the same as the standardized. Shirley Heath: form literacy to literacies Children socialized in different ways to literacy and how it is practiced. Clearly, the “autonomous” view of literacy seems questionable, at best. Heath: “there are many literacies. To describe only one set of uses and functions is to miss the myriad other uses and functions found… throughout the world. Grammar of Politics – Duranti Known for work in Samoa on language and political discourse. Samoa: o Polynesian macro-culture o Chiefly societies that were missionized in early 19 century o Major component of religion: mana a vital energy and source of political power. Introduction Grammar is embedded in, and creates, political action. Fono: gathering of village elders who discuss political and legal matters. Lauga: ceremonial speech; poetic politics Discourse (from Foucault): o Truth emerges in specific contexts of grammatical and social discourse o How they argue, grammatically, provides framework for the fono practices. o Specific types of utterances display one’s social power and oratory skills. Truth is supposed to come out from argumentation, and dialog. Political and Moral Grammar? Argument and truth connected more with personal networks and social standing No neutral construction of the past (is there ever?) Linguistically constituted moral world: o Certain types of clauses (transitive) used when blaming or praising someone. o “Facts” are constituted by point of view. Grammar is strictly related to moral Recap: Shirley Heath: literacies, not literacy o Practice with texts o Children’s treatment of writing formulated in the home Intertextuality: relations between texts, or anything text-like. Derrida: all text can be de-constructed to show they are built on faulty oppositions: Background Theory Intertextuality: all “texts” are connected to other texts (iconic, indexical, symbolic) Heterglossia: from Bakhtin o Simultaneous existence of multiple forms and norms o Differential access to these forms and norms creates and maintains power relations o Social is (re)produced through language and space similar to Geertz! Social Order Social order is dynamic and co-created and changed by individuals culture is practiced! Fono house: o Station and locale: a place for high-status only peoples. o Back and front: spaces of the house index larger Samoan society. o Changes in seating arrangements reflects changes in social relations. Performance and Event Different forms of “talk” (heteroglassia), or genres, shape social positions and political success (really metaphorically). Bodily performance Speech event approach: o Both spoken language and culturally appropriate (or not) ways of action when speaking figure into the cultural “code” Duranti wishes to investigate. Ethnographic Context Duranti’s main question: how is social order created through speech, space and bodily practice? Notes he was constantly “taught” or corrected or managed when living among Samoans Produces an explicit cultural awareness of an individual’s rank relative to the community. Fa’alupega: opening speech that relates titles and heroic histories o Speeches of this type establish the speaker’s social position o They are used to enforce social order (structure) but also to challenge it. Lesser-ranked speakers can sometimes produce moving or logical speeches that countermand the dominant order. Space and Spatial Analysis To understand the fono spaces, and all other types of spatial ordering, Duranti wanted to “see” the space how they did Emic perspective Uses Goffman’s frame analysis: what are the different frames out of which different actors relate and react to each other? Space: “front” vs. “back” Uses an example of a to’one’i, a Sunday communal meal involving matai, deacons, the pastor, and their families. Matai: highest ranking males of a village/community. Only ones allowed to be inside the fono. The “front” was the side of the eating space that runs up against the side of the pastor’s house. o Most important people The “back” for women, wives, auxiliary family members. Schema of Arrangements A general schematic of how Samoans culturally seat themselves There front vs. back arrangements are relative to where one is in the community. Front spaces are closest to the main ceremonial spaces of a community, while back spaces are always directly opposite Side space are for the highest ranked. General ordering scheme: o Center/peripheryhigh/lowfront/back Practice of Speech Spatial ordering helps members of the fono to identify those of higher/lower rank relative to themselves Those whose personalities are more savy in social networking can operate their speech and arguments by looking and addressing specific peoples that produce some positive outcome. o Tafili, visiting female from another village, sister to that village’s chief. o She was an “upstart” in the sense that she had to be recognized as high rank, yet still a woman. o She used her positionality and social order to refer back to the way things always had been, using both the past but also her present position to finish an argument. Temporality in the Fono Temporality: what is the nature of time, event, sequence, etc. The kava ceremony important in establishing social order through time. o Kava is a ceremonial drink present in many Polynesian cultures. Primary orators served first, followed by orators from smaller villages who came, and so on. The sequence ritually creates a hierarchy. Order of speakers furthers social ordering Rank simply not a given here orators who are not chiefs still have precedence. o When one chief tried to take the floor before another orator’s turn, he was politely allowed to speak but was chastised for not allowing those who should have gone next finish. Social order is constantly established but also constantly challenged dynamic states of structure. Duranti’s ethnography of political speech doesn’t view Samoan politics as rigid and uncontestable, in terms of linguistic practices. Ahearn’s analysis of women’s emergent literacy un Nepal showed how newly introduced practice can change social structure. Questions Distinguish between sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropologists o Language in real-life settings fieldwork Fieldwork: temporal dimension is key o Extended stay o Personal networks established o Initial question’s often change o “work in progress” Grounded theory: the idea that theory will be influenced by immersive practice over time Linguistic Anthropology never practices experimental research on social subjects. Broad research array necessary to account for multiple contexts of language o Remember, cultural context is always the key Example – “Mock Spanish” Long-term research by Hill on “Spanglish” in personal and discursive (societal) contexts. o Sayings like “Hasta la vista, baby” o Pop. Culture references o Only white Americans analyzed purposefully o Language ideologies indexes through these sayings o Revealed certain attitudes by some white Americans on Latinos as violent and/or simple. Linguistic Anthropological Data Quantitative: numerical/statistical analyses Qualitative: written description and interpretation o Ethnography: participant observation o Interviews o Questionnaires o Recorded Conversations o Experimental Data: psychologically inspired Ethnography – “Writing Culture” A written description of cultural norms, practices, beliefs, structures and relations. General characteristics what makes these people particular relative to others? o How do they themselves portray, believe and act out these differences? Emic perspective: the perspective of the subject under question o Comes from linguistics phonemic versus phonetic o This view must be a part of the ethnography. Ethnography and Objectivity Objectivity: in a negative sense it is meant to exclude subjective stances in relation to the interpretation of data The “human science” (Duranti) is at least in some part one in which personal bonds are necessary to methods and analysis Establishing dialogue between differing viewpoints becomes part of the research paradigm Culture an index, or metaphor, for how anthropological research works o Culture made of similarly structured individual agents, research must account for such differences into a structured narrative. Objectivity and Concepts Geertz’s experience concepts: two ways of thinking of concepts in relation to ethnography o Experience-near: the concepts that one sees as typical to their sociocultural group. o E.g. what it means “to be American” Experience-far: the concepts employed in a scientific technical sense to describe phenomena of the world. o E.g. language of physics or social theory Ethnography and Pattern Patterns in languages: configurations of ideas around proper behavior, use of tools and procedures, general being-in-the-world. Variations in patterns could suggest sociocultural subdivisions and hierarchies among a single group and/or between groups Observation is the key to an anthropologist’s toolkit for linguistic/cultural data retrieval. Participant Observation The preferred overall method and political stance of anthropologists. Ethnographic “is an experience” and “process”. Field notes kept throughout entire process. Bystander status: Duranti holds that “ethnographers must often restrain themselves from being complete participants” [emphasis in mine] Adjacent status: Rabinow holds that ethnography must take place adjacent/alongside participants Either way the situation must be considered vague, in some sense. o Power relations always exist between anthropologist and those they study o Critical positionality. Exam 1 Metaphors both create and hide relationships in language The phonetic is the linguistic recognition by researchers of sounds in language Euphemisms are an example of how language can be political. “Chomsky believes that people are agents of language, not producers of it”—This is false A sign that creates an indirect relationship between two things is not a symbol Saussure’s approach to understanding symbols oversimplified how sings relate to their meaning Chomsky and Saussure share similar dichotomies of language. The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis was not created by Whorf and Sapir to account for linguistic relativity. Corballis does not agree with the idea that the mind is made of small independent parts linked together. If an image of a face is given – and taken away the nature of the image – it is an icon type of sign In Jakobson’s typology, the function of language that related to a third- person, event or context is referential. The component of language that deals with language in everyday contexts is pragmatics In Jackobson’s typology, the function of language that related to language itself is metalinguistic. Symbol is one example of a sign that does not exist in animal communication. According to Whorf, language is like music or physics because it has systematic patterns, and it categorizes the world Grammatical categories, for linguistic anthropologists, can be useful for analysis because they inform how a culture potentially creates symbolic relationships. Practice theory, formulated by Bourdieu, sees habitus as culturally constructed, constituted by a collection of cultural habits and embedded within practice and structure. The theory of culture as a system of mediation sees culture as an “instrument of labor” and sees materials as mild mediators between body and consequence. The concept of language ideologies relates to how people view their own, and others’ language(s) The theories of culture as a system of practice and participation views knowledge and action as mutually constructed The relationship between linguistic relativity and linguistic determinism is the second proposes stronger association of language and thought. In Whorf’s Language, Mind, Reality his analysis of language includes Western scientific language as a limiting source on cultural perspectives and analyzing syntax and morphology to understand structure. John Lucy’s investigation of the differences between Yucatec Maya and English saw a difference in practice between younger and older children and a strong correlation between language and thought. In Levi-Strauss’ Science of the concrete a system of classification, he looks at language as an important unit of understanding culture, relates magic and science as complementary forms of knowledge production and views science as partially deterministic. The component of linguistics that analyzes the structure of words is called morphology. Recap: Ethnography Anthropology Data o Qualitative o Quantitative Participant Observation Interviews – Emic perspective Interview never considered the only instrument for data analysis in anthropology Repertoires: native taxonomies of speech genres o Taxonomy: a possible way of organizing and performing a set of speech acts. o Must document performance, not just what was said! o Variations in performance may allow for cultural perspectives to take shape. Variations in performance: performative code-switching can be studied in terms of sociocultural organization. It lacks contextgestures, facial expressions. Chamula taxonomies of speech genres Studied by Gossen (1974) Municipality in Chiapas inhabited by Mayan speaking peoples. o Tzotzil Mayan language predominant spoken language (almost 99% fluency) Combined formal interviews about overt speech genres combined with informal discussions about said genres to locate further sub-divisions and categories. Ethics There is always an unequal relation of power between researcher and researched. IRBs: Institutional Review Boards o Setup to counter ethically questionable biomedical and psychological experimentation. o Unfortunately, process does not always work for anthropological work o “informed consent” —the idea that one who is under analysis knows they are, and why; to be informed of anything in the research goals and agendas. Foucault: knowledge is power; power is relational o How do relations of power affect the place of the anthropologist? Is there just no hope? Conversation Analysis (CA) Helps focus language on “natural” occurrences. Since there is no structure beyond conversational rules, supposedly gets at the “heart” of a person’s/culture’s language ideologies. Adjacency Pairs: certain statements that “go together” o Culturally instituted o Examples: questions/answer, greetings/responses, compliments/disavowals, etc. o There are preferential adjacencies in every language. Goffman and CA Sociologist who has looked at participation networks and roles. Any speaker in any conversation has three roles: o Animator: the mouth piece; the person speaking the words, though they may not be their own o Author: The composer of the spoken words o Principal: The person whose opinions are expressed through the words Normally social institutions These roles are no mutually distinguishable; one person can operate under more than one of them. Criticism of CA Conversation our of context interpretation not taking into account larger structures. Introducing tape recorders changes the affective nature of people makes them “feel different”. Transcribing even normal conversation leaves out key things: gestures and facial behavior. Friday, February 12, 2016 Recap Interviews Gossen’s study of Chamula Maya o Asked them about their native speech taxonomies o Different words are practices depending on who they talk to Ethics Goffman’s Conversation analysis o Author, animator, principal Speech Communities Chomsky has explicitly stated problems of method, without self- critique: o He says any speech community with some form of mixture is not good enough to study as an ideal type o Where is there a community that has no mixture whatsoever? o Increasing globalization has made untouched speech communities practically non-existent. Instead of formal linguistics, let us think along the following axioms of speech communities: o Variation is the norm o Documentation difference actually leads to better understanding of structure. Chomsky doesn’t believe in speech communities. o People borrow all the time o There is just not ONE speech community o He wants to look at grammar and see how it plays out in the world. o There is no language that sits on itself Formal Linguistic Models of Speech Communities First major model of speech communities comes form Saussure “In order to have a language there must be a community of speakers.” Language is considered a separate entity unto itself Community of speakers is homogenous, with the forces between them vague and open-ended. Language is made for further social bonds; you need a social group to have language (sociality) A single individual doesn’t have language (formal model of linguistics) Saussure was simplistic. Second major model is from Chomsky Structurally, very similar so Saussure’s system of language and speech community He is “primarily concerned with an ideal speaker-listener in a completely homogenous speech-community, who knows its language perfectly…” Neither he nor Saussure discuss the ontology of community. Linguistic Anthropologists – 60’s and 70’s In the late 1960’s linguistic anthropologists began to move away from the stance of theoretical linguistics Sought to contextualize social life and language major project became defining what a speech community even is. What was the relationality between: o The nature of social life? o The nature of language? o The nature of what is considered “proper” or “right” forms of speech? They realized that culture is always there as well as language Change is the constant, language and culture are not static. Language as Action Words themselves can be seen as producing action. Malinowski: first fieldworker o Pioneered extended stay in the field to understand other cultures. o “to grasp the native’s point of view, his relations to life, to realize his vision of his world” o First anthropologist to analyze speech and action as simultaneous units of analysis. Words DO things on us, opposite to the idea that “sticks and stone make break my bones but words can’t hurt me”. Words enact specific things; the way they are said is important. Malinowski and Language Action Context of situation: formulated during his time in Melanesia o Words can never be taken out of context, and can mean different things in different contexts. o Coral Gardens and Their Magic (1935) Pragmatic function: “the main function of language is…to play an active pragmatic part in the human behavior.” o Language as a mode of action o Critique: separated languages b/w “civilized” and “primitive”. Malinowski and Magic His early anthropological attempt at language theory has problems. o Word for word translation (transliteration) decontextualized language. o He judged based on truth values he judged whether the magic incantation actually produced the intended magic effects. Missed the point: metaphor! o Systems of classification (Levi-Strauss) o Language both reflects and shapes being-in-the-world. o Language creates relationships. Philosophy of Language Action – Speech Act Theory J.L. Austin: philosopher of early 10 century who believed language does not simply describe state of affairs (e.g. the tree is tall) but to do things. His work foundation of “speech act theory”: theory regarding how utterances are tied to action. Monday, February 15, 2016 Quiz Techniques that define anthropological study: Conversation Analysis Grounded theory Interviews Habitus: Ways of thought of action Predispositions Assumptions (Samoan woman example) o Usually never critically engaged Influences by: o Class o Personhood Speech Act Theory – Austin Three types of “acts” that an utterance can be: o Locutionary act: the act of saying something (“you’re fired”) o Illocutionary act: the act a speaker can accomplish (“you’re fired” changes status of employed individual) Changes social status (unemployed) o Perlocutionary act: an act produced by the utterance beyond intention (saying “you’re fired” can have multiple emotional outcomes) Unintended effect (you don’t expect this to happen) Doesn’t have specifically lingusitic Don’t smoke, it’s horrible (L.A.)The individual may stop smoking (I.A.)Individual raises middle finger (P.A.) Ultimately: “in saying something, we are always doing something.” 5 Illocutionary Act Types These are the basic range of actions that language performs, or “does”, when in use: o Assertives: directions, recipes, suggestions. o Directives: orders, requests, recommendations o Expressives: feelings and attitudes o Declaratives: endorsements, disapprovals o Comissives: promises, contracts, refusal Problems: o How do speakers and listeners come to interpret and act upon each other’s words o No context! Language always has a function but to what scale is a different topic of conversation. Austin’s Felicity Conditions Since speech acts are technically neither true or false, Austin provides criteria for utterances to be judged: o Conventionality of procedure o Appropriate number and types of participants and circumstances o Complete execution of order o Complete participation o Sincerity conditions o Consequent behavior Speech Act Theory and Anthropology Assumptions of SAT that are problematic: o Automatic assumption that language actions are universal and non culture-specific o Generalizations about universals in human languages further complicated because of introspection Three areas of concern: Rosaldo (Anthropologists should really focus on these 3 things) o Truth: Rosaldo believes that any classification of speech acts must be seen as just one part of cultural practice that both represents and reproduces some form of social orderBourdieu’s practice theory! Geertz and Balinese cockfight SAT assumes that every promise made in any language must meet the requirement of the speaker sincerely intending to carry it out This is not the case everywhere! Statements cannot be “verified” under SAT because it assumes a Western stance of false/true opposition. Empirical truth (at least for Western) Others have different oppositions in terms of their speech acts. o Intention Intentions are major component of SAT’s felicity conditions How to measure/quantify this? Intentional or not intentional? Scale from 1-10? Rosaldo notes this places too much emphasis on judging successful achievements, or outcomes. Speech acts aren’t just about getting stuff. o Theory of person Rosaldo believes that Searle’s preoccupation with sincerity and intentionally reflects and reproduces Western system of thought about scientific observation, human agency and the role of “truth” in discourses of power Foucault: whoever determines “truth” in a society determines how people will “truthfully” conceive the world. Theories of person: ethnocentric views regarding the what, how and why a person is a person (Emic perspective). Wednesday, February 17, 2016 Recap: Speech Act Theory – Austin The 3 types of speech acts o Locutionary act – the speech act itself; the performed utterance o Illocutionary act – the intended consequences of the locutionary act 5 types of Illocutionary acts: Assertives Declaratives Expressives Directives Comissives o Perlocutionary act – the unintended consequences of the locutionary act Ahearn’s definition of Speech Community Frequent interaction among its members must occur to create systematic, stable speech community. Members must share a verbal repertoire, even if they don’t speak same dialect or even language Members must share language Ideology(ies) Dell Hymes Established the sub-field term “linguistic anthropology” Studied Pacific Northwest Coast Languages, after Boas (in the 50’s) First to critique Chomsky’s distinction of competence/performance paradigm o Speaking in socially contextualized the “rules” and “structures” of a language are more played out in conversation that legally/cognitively defining features o It is all embedded o Levi-Strauss’ “bricoleur” vs. Chomsky’s “I-language” SPEAK o S: setting, or scene o P: participants o E: ends, goals, purposes o A: acting sequence; sequence of events (Duranti looked at this in his book) o K: key; emotional, tonal clues (paralinguistic) o I: instrumentalities, forms and styles of speech o N: norms; social rules governing speech o G: genre; speech taxonomy. (Chamula community) John Gumperz Ethnomethodology: believes in order to write correctly of another’s language, one must understand the other’s “universe”: The universe is the speech community: any human aggregate characterized by regular and frequent interaction by means of a shared body of verbal signs and set off from similar aggregates by significant differences in language usage.” He never assumed members from same community spoke in same waysthey spoke in similar ways A speech community still has verbal repertoires: speech varieties within a single system. o There are levels of these speech community like Gainesville or the United States. William Labov Pioneered variational analysis of sociolinguistics Focused on dialects (phonology and syntax) Studied lower East Side Manhattan community o Social dialectology: discovered language ideologies surrounding African American Vernacular and different forms of Caucasian dialects o Different dialects were both perceived, and instituted, to different socioeconomic ranks. Differences in acceptability were not simply stemming from different dialects. o Different dialects showed some similarities in acceptability, and differences in others. o This is because language should not be considered abstract, but abstractly grounded. Rossi-Landi From Marxism perspective Linguistic forms and contexts have values, just like goods and services in the Economy (he saw language as a circulation) In the circulation of linguistic signs, language is a product of human labor and has an assigned value that simultaneously satisfies needs and promotes new ones. Words “presuppose” certain perspective and ideologies, just as commodities “presuppose” certain desires and values. o Linguistic alienation: are agents in control of their own linguistic resources? To what extent? o The problem is you just don’t have control over the context you were born in. Speech Networks Highlights interactions between and among speech communities/users Members are a part of networks that can o Change through time o Overlap one another o Be embedded in one another Ties in the network: o Strong to weak ties: level of participation in a particular network o Multiplex/uniplex ties: level of connectivity in a particular network o High/low density: network ontology think “degrees of separation” Communities of Practice Terms coined by Jean Lave & Etienne Wenger (1991) o Studied leaning in social contexts o Learning is not just what goes on “in your head” but is socially mediated by one’s place in time. A “community of practice” is: o A mutual engagement o Joint enterprise o Shared repertoire o Ways of: doing, talking, believing and behaving A community no longer defined by a location of demographic community is a thing that is socially engaged with itself. Wittgenstein – Language Games Philosopher who used the metaphor of a game to the practice of language Words are understood in relation to other words, contexts and by projecting its future impact against our models of reality. o Meaning is not just “in our heads” it is rooted in the experience of practice Further: words are directly tied to a “particular kind of existence” o Knowing a word does not simply mean we know what to do with it o Also presupposes a certain existence “If a lion could talk, we could not understand him” Problems with language game analysis: o Too general: where doesn’t this apply? o Generalization impossible is it too specifically minded? Ultimate takeaway for Wittgenstein: “there is no such thing as the theory of what something means: o Because context is key! If the context changes, then so must the description and analysis! o Paralinguistic: “beyond linguistics”; non-verbal cues, facial expressions, eye movements etc. that are all integral to language. Inflection - Molly - chamber of secrets - BURROW Tone - …and you must be Miss Granger (Malfoy) Sarcasm - Snape newspaper Volume - Training for the ballet Potter? Friday, February 19, 2016 Recap Del Hymes o Anti-Chomsky more similar to Levi-Strauss’ “bricoleur” Rules (grammar) and social structures played out in everyday contexts SPEAKING acronym: different aspects of language John Gumperz o Every language is a “universe” not just ideas and symbols but gestures, cultural idioms, spaces and materials Universe is heterogeneous within any community William Labov o Dialectology: language ideologies concerning dialects within a single community o Acceptability: within a speech community, there is a level of social acceptability of dialects dialect/social hierarchies Ferruccio Rossi-Landi o Saw the circulation of sentences, common phrases/sayings, etc. the same as the financial sector linguistic economy o Some have more resources based on social and historical circumstances (e.g. white males) than others (e.g. Latinos) Shilbrack – Are we through with Geertz? Attempts to tackle the above question by going through two major criticisms of his work Geertz’s 2 major theses: o Religions provide their practitioners with a “model of reality”, or symbolic relations and structures that constitute the cosmos o Religion prove an “ethos”; shared beliefs but also emotions, feelings, attitudes, etc. Models of Reality – Metaphysics Schilbrack defines Geertz’s “models of reality” as really an investigation into metaphysics the nature of reality. Religions popularly conceived as lacing metaphysics Western analytics philosophy o “Metaphysics” vs. “metaphysics” Really, Geertz was liking at ethno metaphysics how native people believe their world was/is constructed and how it operates, functions and behaves. Critique of Geertz – Asad and Genealogy First critique used Michel Foucault’s notion of “genealogy” tracing, through time, the relations between science, truth and power. Asad believes Geertz is actually reproducing Western ideas of religion because his theories bear resemblance to an early religious scholar who held cognitive view of religion o Helbert Spence held that religion was both internal (just beliefs in your head) and private (up to the individual what to do with their religion) Modern ideals of the primacy of private property and the rugged individualism of the post-Enlightenment periods may have colored Geertz’s view of religion. In the End? Asad’s critique: Geertz does not take into account the social context of power in his analysis granted. o But cognitive view of religion? All in the natives’ head? No! Geertz was interested in performance of symbolism In the cockfight, did the men’s social position change, at all? In any way? Did their positionality affect anything? o Static culture another problem with Geertz Symbolic systems constantly thought to reproduce. But don’t they change? Monday, February 22, 2016 Quiz 7 Dell Hymes’ view on language encompasses a critique of Chomsky’s conception of a homogenous grammar in a speech community, viewing “grammar” as something that is played out in everyday contexts, and also viewing language beyond “competency” and “performance”. In Shilbrak’s piece, he cites Asad’s critique in response to Geertz work. His major critique was on his idea of power and the Western ontology he was biased by. Sorry in the pacific – Meyerhoff Looked at speech acts and their contexts of saying sore, or “sorry”, in a speech community of Vanuatu. o Bismala is a creole language: English vocabulary (almost 95%) with an Oceanic morpho-syntax Wanted to know the utility of “communities of practice” vs. “speech community” 3 functions of Sore Express apology “I am sorry for hitting you” Express empathy “I am sorry to hear that happened to you” Express certain politeness discourse to “miss something”, as in “I miss you” Distribution and “Rules” Most frequent users of sore are women Qualitative analysis of the instances of use: o Both men and women use sore to apologize and express missing someone. o Men do not use sore to signal empathy o Both men and women use similar syntax to reflect similar attitudes about empathy. Conclusions from qualitative analysis o Women and men prefer different behaviors of expressing empathy o Not because women are “more” empathic social practice/habits of speaking engender language rules for the different sexes. You see some type of socialization It doesn’t mean men can’t miss people or that they can’t say sorry for that. It just means men tend to not do it. Ethnographic Side of Sore – Symbolism Women symbolically conceived of, in Vanuatu society, as “growers and nurturers” Further, semantic domain of kinship relies on similar imagery of “planting” and “grafting” o Women therefore indexed and symbolically linked with agricultural/horticultural practices This symbolic relationality embeds and furthers women’s language ideology in Vanuatu as empathic, nurturing, care givers. Further Constructing Habitus Common way of describing a proper/good female: “she is a quiet girl” goodness linked to proper ways of speaking o Many cultures have this link US similarity: “She is well spoken” Metalinguistic relation: using language to say something about language and society ideas of gender roles and proper practices. Ultimately “[It] is NOT that women are nurturing while men are not” o Both draw from different sources of symbolic power to constitute different social roles that language then reflects and perpetuates. It doesn’t mean men can’t nurture, but they nurture differently from women. Habitus tends to perpetuate social norms and roles. Communities of…? Mayerhoff does not like “communities of practice” idea. Saying sore not relegated specifically to women o It is also one of MANY practices that separate the sexes in Vanuatu society o Women themselves come from heterogeneous positions wealth, status, sub-ethnicity, etc. Speech community, in this case, fits the data between than does applying a community of practice Especially since the only common practice discovered so far is the use of sore Practices change, communities not much. Categorizing the whole society by their use of sore is missing out everything else. You are missing context. Language Acquisition and Socialization There are multiple ways of being socialized into culture through language Language use is culturally specific Assumptions about language acquisition largely based on Anglo- American models. Chomsky on Acquisition Process Many linguists do not consider social or environmental factors o Chomsky LAD: Language Acquisition Device; what is responsible for promoting language learning. o “poverty of stimulus”; because Chomsky and others believe that there is a limited amount of linguistic input (learning) in the first year, there must be a device—linked to Universal Grammar—that facilitates this. What about people raised in contexts without language? Do they magically “figure it out”? Others – Psychology & Cognition Child psychologists and neuro-scientists maintain that learning a language is like learning to ride a bike simply a cognitive task. o Here context is considered a part, but still unimportant. Disagreement on the “poverty of stimulus” do children really have a lack of language going on around them? o Why might this be considered at all? o Anglo-American social practices: “baby talk” vs. the rest of the world. Language Socialization Coined by anthropologists Elinor Ochs and Bambi Schieffelin Ahearn’s summary of their thought: o “The process of acquiring language is deeply affected by the process of becoming a competent member of society.” o “The process of becoming a competent member of society is realized to a large extent through language” They draw from Bourdieu’s notion habitus: individuals simultaneously structure, and are structured by, social forces and relations in which they are embedded. Cultural values and social practices part of leaning process Axiom of linguistic anthropology: it is impossible to learn a language— for the first time— without also becoming somewhat socialized in to some group of culture. Children also need to be recognized not simply as passive receivers of a language but active participants in the practice of language and social values. Language Socialization throughout Life There is not stopping point to “learning” a language a continuous process until death This does not simply include leaning new words or another language, but also the social/cultural practices and beliefs surrounding the language(s) Ayala Fader – Hasidic Jewish Language Acquisitions Research conducted in a community of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn, ca. 1990’s Followed this community for several years: o Understand not only language acquisition for children/young adults but also for adults established in the community. Hasidic Jewish Gender Culture Men and women’s language use: o Men expected to study ancient texts and prayer use Yiddish almost exclusively. o Women expected to protect men from polluting effects of non- Jewish life they deal with non-Jews, so their English is usually better practiced. Hasidic Jewish Language Socialization During adolescent years, young women’s discussion often involved topics and ideas concerning married life, motherhood and proper ways of being-Hasidic-in-the-world. After marriage, men would leave home to work while mothers stayed home to care for children men began to learn better English later in their lives. In both cases: o Language use and the structuring cultural practices and principles that come along with it changed though time b/c of context needs of the speakers o They were “bricoleurs” Wednesday, February 24, 2016 Recap Sorry in the Pacific – Meyerhoff Language Acquisition: (according to Ahearn) o Chomsky o Psychology Language Socialization: one is always socialized when learning a language, and that process never stops o Hasidic Jewish practices through time in Brooklyn, NYC. Elizabeth Mertz – Thinking like the Law Argues that law schools teach to “think like a lawyer” though the way speech occurs in the classroom. Looked at 8 different law schools across the United States and focused on discourse in the classroom. Law Talk Students taught to disregard “irrelevant information” in cases like emotions, historical or social settings, etc. o Instead, texts are conceived along legalistic discourse: what matters is not context but past cases (precedent) and the history of the legal matter at hand. This new text relation achieved through the Socratic method in the classroom o Answer-and-question method o Students have no lectures but must answer questions which challenge assumptions and legal principles. Through this discursive practice, law students are provided a mental model for texts that ultimately legal truth merger through argumentation Goffman: law students are this animators of legal doctrines (mouth pieces), not the composers (authors) or principals (not their opinion). This specific relationality of animator produces a language that values structure (of legal jurisprudence and rules) over content (because each case is different) o Applying an amoral way of analyzing text key to becoming a competent lawyersocialized in a particular way. “Truth emerges through argumentation” When the teachers challenge you by asking, they are trying to bring out that practice of argumentation Language Acquisition in Bi/Multilingual Communities Before the age of 8/9, children learn languages at a faster pace than any adult Some scholars estimate at least half the world is multilingual Multilingual communities provide insights into the complex interrelations between culture, learning, thought and language. Multilingual Communities Ways of switching, shifting or moving between and among languages/dialects: o Diglossia: Phenomenon where there are two languages present or dialects It is not only bilingualismsocial differences between the two ways of speaking Two ways of speaking (New Yorkers vs. Southern)It is relative Spanish vs. English Diglossia has social hierarchy, also highly structural (English is considered better than Spanish) It assumes some type of variable, not deviating too much from Chomsky. Diglossia and bilingualism differ because, diglossia takes into account the context. o Code-switching Switching between two different registers (not place-based but socially-based) o Code-mixing Mix two different languages in the same sentence (Spanglish) Transidiomatic Practice From Marco Jacquemet: takes into account globalization’s influence on language practices. o Migration o Social Media might make you speak in shorter sentences o Cultural multiplicities Example: “Diverted to Delhi” Aikhenvald – 2003 Looking at code-switching and code-mixing among a region in the Amazon: Vaupes region (NW Amazonia) o Tucano,Tariana, Makú, Baniwa languages spoken Area known for practice of linguistic exogamy o Marrying someone that speaks a different language Due to colonial growth and missionary work, language use shifted towards Tucano as a lingua franca Ethnic identity and social status has become fractured and re-oriented since pre-Columbian times. o Article focuses on the Tariana’s language ideologies. How to Choose a Language? Familiar relationalities o Etiquette protocols: speak mother’s language to her and her relatives, same with father. o Because it is “easier” most 20-40 year olds just speak Tucano to their families language extinction occurring Other relationalities: o Etiquette protocols: speak guest’s language; however, to speak one’s own primary language a sign of aggressiveness. o Portuguese only spoken around whites those who cannot speak usually remain silent Schooling almost always in Portuguese o Language choice in everyday contexts determined by 1) cultural etiquette and 2) statusTucano considered higher status. Code-Mixing and Code-Switching There are certain language ideologies associated when particular languages are switched and mixed Code-mixing is looked down upon ridiculed as incompetent speakers Makú people viewed wholly as animal-like because of hunter-gatherer lifestyles common occurrence around the world. Language Ideologies of the Vaupes Tariana and Tucano when Tariana speakers code-mix with Tucano, they are seen as haughty, weakling, succumbing to Tucano superiority. o Only appropriate times are when directly quoting or in stories (for animals and evil sprits) Tariana and Baniwa when Baniwa is mixed in, Tariana believe the person is childlike; trying but not quite succeeding. o Tariana trying to sound “silly” will knowingly use Baniwa words to appear foolish Tariana and its other variants when Tariana is mixed among its variant dialects, people tend to view that person as potentially dangerous; serious ridicule. Language Ideologies of Colonization Tariana and Portuguese Tariana who use Portuguese (code-switch) or mix it are viewed worse than Tucano mixers; pure arrogance and superiority. o Words that do not appear in Tariana, and that are in Portuguese, can be mixed in without social repercussions o Numbers are likewise used mostly in Portuguese; beyond “four” all are in Portuguese. o Generational changes: younger peoples, ca. <30, use Portuguese kinship terms with their family and peers. Tariana and English English heard through cultural exportation – music and radio. o “Unreserved privilege” indexicality to ideas of easy-going lifestyles, large feasts; positive materialism. Conclusion Numerous semiotic indexes culturally established within multi-lingual Tariana communities. History of the area has had severe impact on current linguistic practices These L.I.s serve to attempt to “put down” others so as to re-capture some form of social agency in the face of massive cultural change. o It is no coincidence that Tucano and Portuguese, the languages of the most powerful people relative to the Tariana, are treated with most contempt. Friday, February 26, 2016 Multilingualism Language ideologies surround all multilingual speakers Languages in the world: o Number of speakers of languages problematic; dying languages o Many world languages spoken by less than a thousand people o Transnational flows of languagemedia technology o No universal accepted definition of dialect vs a language Max Weinriech: “a language is a dialect with an army and a navy.” (the language separation is mostly because of politics) Politics and Debates – Mutual Relationality Most nation-states have “official” or “national” languages which seek a standardized form of speech Oftentimes, the notion of a dialect had connotations of being subaltern, backward, not proper in relation to the “official” one. Register: “polite language”, “nerd talk”, “girl talk”, “slang” speech genres! o Differences in register directly related to how one is perceived in the world by others. India – A Case of Language(s) In India, the official language is Hindi with 22 additional nationally recognized languages. o English is the language of the legal system artifact of British colonization. Official Language Resolution of 1968 o Passed because of India’s enormous ethnic heterogeneity o Stated that “it is the duty of the union to promote the spread of the Hindi language…” o Yet it also states that “…concerted measures should be taken for the full development of these [additional 22] languages.” o When everyone needs to learn Hindi there is a hierarchy creating cultural tensions. o Which language to use was, and still very much is, a major point of ethnic controversy. o Being multilingual, however, is a part of daily life in India. Many know between 3-5 different languages o What is “official” versus what actually occurs in practice are often in contradistinction to each other This can, and does, lead to social inequalities and the loss of social identity. Class Activity British accent language ideology makes of thing of serious things. Don Kulikck – Papuan bilingualism Studied language acquisition and socialization in the Papuan community of Gapun that spoke a native tongue, Taiap, and a lingua franca creole, Tok Pisin. Children, versus adults, tend to spoke mainly (or sometimes only) in Tok Pisin, to the chagrin of their elders. o Adults claim the children are to blame because they are strong willed and not respective of traditions Marshall Sahlins: people tend to want to reproduce their social conditions but in the process of doing so, may actually contribute to change. Papuan bilingualism – Theory of Person Two major cultural concepts regarding theories of person in Gapun: o Hed: the individualistic, egotistic, unbending self (Individualism, feminity, children, negativity) Taiap o Save: the coopera
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