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Complete Course Notes - Language and Culture

by: Ricardo Rauseo

Complete Course Notes - Language and Culture ANT3620

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These notes cover what we saw in all of the semester, it includes: Week 1: January 5th – January 10th: Introduction to Language Week 2: January 11th – January 17th: Language and Thought We...
Language and Culture
Sean King
Language, Culture, Anthropology
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Date Created: 04/21/16
“If culture was a house, then language was the key to the front door to all the rooms inside” Phoneme: Smallest unit of sound.  Culturally recognized sound Morpheme: Smallest unit of meaning  Not necessarily words Auto: self Graphos: to write Linguistic relativity: We perceive the world a way because of our language 1) De Saussure: Structuralist a. Early linguistic b. Separates: i. Parole (speech) ii. Langue (formal grammar) 2) Chomsky a. Universal Grammar b. Innate competence c. Separates: i. Performance ii. Competence Lexical terms tend to be Greek, Latin or French “The sun never sets in the English language.” Phonetic: People from the outside, acoustic study of speech sounds in all languages (physical) Phonemic: Particular sound distinguished and recognized only by their people Language Ideology: literally, the ideology of language (racism for linguists)  How culture, politics and economy, sex class and generation reinforce language. Multifunctionality: Every language displays multiple functions Functions from Jakobson: 1) Expressive (Related to speaker) 2) Conative (Related to listener) 3) Referential (Related to third person, event or context) 4) Poetic: (Oriented towards itself) …to do similes, metaphors (figures of speech) 5) Phatic: (Relating to the channel of communication) Like: 1...2…3… Sound Check) 6) Metalinguistic: Language discussing language *It is not mutually exclusive: You can do many things at the same time* Language Ideologies Attitudes, opinions, beliefs and theories that help anthropologists understand the relationship between individuals and culture. Example:  German is ugly  French is beautiful 1) Franz Boas:  Cultural relativism  Language drives cultural system 2) Chomsky:  Language is socially constructed  Universal Grammar 3) Silverstein  Language Ideology  Interplay between individuals vs. what they thought about other languages  Peircian Semiotics  Cultural signs: Language 4) Bourdieu  Practice theory i. Habitus: You don’t have a say in your habits 1. English speakers think: TIME IS MONEY Language is active Indexicality  Points to authors, words, concepts  Tree: (Drawing of a tree)  Provides a way to analyze intersection Peirce  Peirce’s semiotics Signs: 1) Icon: Directly resembles the object 2) Index: Direct relationship with object 3) Symbol: A sign that refers to its object because of convention Examples: 1) Men and Woman bathroom icons 2) Heel (women) vs. shoe (man) 3) Mars and Venus symbols for sexes 1) Drawing of a shark 2) Teeth of a shark 3) Silhouette of Jaws Language is always symbolic/indexical Light blue  Goluboy Dark Blue Siniy Within-category vs Cross-category When distracted with language They were not that good discriminating the two colors Linguistic determinism: How much language affects thought Linguistic Relativity: The influence of language culture is pre-dispositional habitus History of Linguistic Relativity 1) Franz Boas a. Trying to avoid ethnocentrism b. Cultural relativity c. No hierarchy 2) Edward Sapir (Determinism) (Student of Boas) a. Grammatical categories had strong influence on people’s perception of the world culture/biology….LanguageThought 3) Benjamin Whorf (Relativism) (Student of Sapir) a. Language affects habit Europeans according to Whorf quantify time in discrete unites Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis  Language determines thought  Never co-authored Linguistic relativity means that it can affect but certainly it doesn’t determine it (like linguistic determinism) Axiomatic relation: Triangle, each corner is Language, culture and thought; they all affect a person (in the middle) Testing Linguistic Relativity Whorfian effects (hierarchal organization): 1) Language in general: effects of structure on structure 2) Linguistic structures: effects of structure on agent 3) Language use: effects agent had on structure Language is science:  Classifiable  Predictable Whorf favored syntax over morphology Dog domesticated animal Pet eagle eagle dog Whorf theory says that language and science need to be re-investigated as equal systems of knowledge Grammatical Categories: Structures that allow proper construction of sentences Morpho-syntax Sumerian categories: Humanness, non-humanness Spatial frames Indexical relationships  1/3 of languages see space as absolute You establish yourself with space or objects (in, out, around) Shape vs. Materiality Kids from different countries discriminate by materials (combs) Axiom: Conceptual system of perception  Metaphor: Symbolic relationality Metaphors structure our perception system things like “Time is money” and “Time is a burden” bring light to cultural notions; they hide other concepts inconsistent with its own system. Michael Reddy’s conduit metaphor (hides an embedded one):  Ideas are objects  Expressions are containers  Communication is sending This theory is missing the context 1) Orientational Metaphors: a. Up-Down b. Happy-Sad c. More-Less d. Good-Bad e. Rational-Emotional 2) Entity Metaphor: a. Ontology: What is it made of? b. “Mind is a machine” 3) Substance Metaphor: a. “Mind is a brittle object” Whorf thinks Westerners are biased by their language Duranti “Culture is becoming an antiquated notion” 1) Culture (we have it, everything we do) vs. Nature (Is out there) *Problem: Culture is not exclusively distinct from nature 2) Culture vs. Knowledge  To know a culture is similar to knowing a language  Cultural Grammar (Cognitive) Distribution:  Not everyone has same sort of access to cultural knowledge  It is socially distributed  There are units that form a bigger picture: CULTURE *Problem: It is not exclusively just knowledge* 3) Culture as communication  System of signs: Semiotic theory of culture  Perceptions must be communicated and are not inherent  Levi Strauss i. Perception of world is binary, oppositions linked in analogic sequences. ii. Idiosyncrasies Little things that make up the big picture iii. Raw vs. Cooked 1. Deals with nature/culture divide 2. Focuses on elaboration by every individual a. I take meat and make it sautéed or teriyaki *Problem: It is a really superficial concept of what culture is, it is simple, black and white. *  Geertz: i. “man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun” ii. Thick description: Extremely detailed to explain symbols iii. Culture is not in your heard, it is done, it is out there iv. Culture is not just ideas but also practices 4) Culture is a System of mediation  It is an instrument of labor  Culture mediates conflicts between individuals and environment  Material tools  Body vs. intended consequences  Everyone is not happy, culture helps people be happy, lessens cultural destruction. 5) Culture as a System of practices  Post-structural ideas: No correspondence between meaning and expression  They thought Levi-Strauss was simplifying and culture is way too complex  Bourdieu stresses relationality of knowledge and action  Habitus i. What you have learned when you grow up ii. Expectations they believe in iii. The history of their cultural practices iv. Repeatability of their practices 6) Culture as a System of participation  Language allows a certain amount of participation  Participation Sharing resources: i. Belief system ii. Language iii. Material things  Variation occurs because of this unequal access to knowledge The Science of the Concrete  Abstract words are not only the product of civilized language  Western “science” and non-western “magic” should be seen as complementary sources of knowledge, not ranked  Levi-Strauss was fighting against the idea that native people only give name to what they know (The can conceptualize!) System of Classifications  Language serves to classify human’s environments and also expose how societies construct relationalities  Language provides a way of thinking about a culture basic structures and relation  It is not if it cures it or not, but what is the cultural relationship between the smoke and the asthma Magic and Science  Both are attempts at bringing order to some perceived chaos of nature  Sometimes “primitives” got it right! o They sometimes test o Cause and effect relationality  Science is a method of discovering “arrangements” in the universe. o Magic does the same but in a different way.  Difference between magic and science is determinism: o Magic is fully deterministic Everything that we know has a KNOWN cause o Science is partially deterministicEverything that we know should have a cause, even though science can’t actually explain it today. Levi-Strauss says that it is better to compare and not to contrast them  He was anti-evolutionary  Magic should be thought like something that comes before science.  Both are “well-articulated” systems  We have been doing science for millions of years! Mythical Thought-Bricolage  Magic is the science of the concrete, of the here and now  Science is kind of a mysticism, “over there”  Mystical thought is a bricolage of parts that are fit into a cultural structure of some sort  Da Vinci was a bricoleur Science vs. Bricolage: Scientists creates events by means of structures; whereas the bricoleur creates structures by means of events (like a spiritual ritual). _____________________________________________________________________________________ Greetz: Deep Play  These gambling events are not just to make money or display social identity but to act out cultural tensions and ideas  The cockfight becomes a performance of society that relates to the people involved. All of society can be indexed through this one act  Geertz reads this activity, all activities, as texts that must be interpreted not from our perspective but from the perspective of the society o Societies, like lives, contain their own interpretations. One has only to learn how to gain access to them. The Rooster’s Semantic Domain  The rooster is the ultimate symbol of masculinity in Balinese culture  The world rooster, “sabung” has a large semantic domain o Warrior, champion, hero, politician (all metaphorical) o Double entendre is intentional for Geertz o Animal behavior, however, is a deeply reviled practice by the Balinese  By indexing himself to his rooster, a Balinese man not only identifies with the powerful animal but also its dark, transgressive nature. o The cock fight is a stage not just for gambling but also for the ritual cleansing of negative spirit activity. Structure the Space  Geertz refers to these fighting events as “melodramas” that have certain rules which structure their performance (1000 years ago)  Goffman called them “focused gathering”, people encompassed in a common flow of activity that was not rigidly setup but that loosely comes together and disperses incoherently (for example when people are drawn to Christians at Turlington Plaza)  Two major spaces of this focused gathering based on two types of bets: the center and the periphery Betting: Center and Periphery  The betting at the center (“toh katengah”) o This part of the gambling process is always done in a legalistic, formal, solemn manner. o Center bets “pull” this peripheral bets into its own betting pattern because the size of the bet is directly proportional to the degree that the rooster are evenly matched o Thus, the center begins to define the periphery  The betting at the periphery (“toh kesasi”) o These bets are done in a loud, disorganized manner. Creating depth  The center bet creates a game that is “deep” or interesting for all involved  Deep, for Geertz, is when a situation begins to relate to the wider social contact in which an actor finds themselves embedded. o The rooster is indexical to its handler. o It is not only deep because of the amount of money that is invested but because the social status is also displayed and performed in the fight o The most emotionally invested is the peripheral, the deeper. The Fight: Performing Culture  Balinese see in cock fighting a multiplicity of their being in the world: themselves, their social order, symbolic animalism and masculinity. o These are all displayed and put into practice in the arena through the proxy of the bloodied triumphant rooster  Such performances are not meant to be explicit commentaries on Bali culture.  Instead, they are a “Balinese reading of a Balinese experience; a story they tell themselves about themselves.” Culture as a formed text  Geertz looks at culture as an assemblage, or ensemble, of texts.  Does this because old ideas of culture would simply see the cock fight as a ritual or right of passage  The emotions, sounds, smells, etc. all play into this cultural melodrama and should not be separated out into categories of ritualistic or economic behavior that typical anthropology does. o In the cockfight, The Balinese forms and discovers his own temperament and his society’s temper at the same time. Linguistic Relativity and Language in General There are multiple ways in which scientists look to determine the nature of the relationship between language, social behavior and thought. Language in General  Focuses on the nature of language and how it is similar/different from general animal behavior/signaling  Animals’ communication system seems to only reference present-action; no past or future. o They have capabilities of understandings basic symbology, yet still lack 3 things: theory of mind, a way to generate new words, and syntax.  Theory of mind: an ability to understand others’ mental states and act accordingly. o Very young children begin to develop a theory of mind around the same time that they begin to fully utilize language o Language plays some sort of role in the process of developing a theory of mind. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The theory of culture that looks for cultural grammars; also called the cognitive view of culture  Culture of knowledge The Balinese cockfight indexes  Man to society Seeing nature as opposed to culture doesn’t provide an excellent way of understanding human societies. Whorf:  Claims “scientific thought” is a language artifact from Indo-European.  Every language, or communication system in general, has built-in resistances to other points of view.  Language is like music or physics because: o It exhibits patterned relations o It discusses properties of the world o Everyone is “in it” and “belong to it”  Every language is a “vast pattern system” in which cultural forms are given expression. Levi-Strauss:  Binary opposition: key to understanding other cultures; based on structure of the brain. o Right brain/left brain o Critique: Creates a false dichotomy of the world o Science vs. Magic  Western “science” and non-Western “magic” should be seen as complementary forms of knowledge, not ranked.  Language, magic and science are “systems of classifications” o Both magic and science are attempts at bringing order to some perceived chaos of nature. Geertz:  Culture is a symbolic performance  Thick description: the systematic and deep interpretation of a performance to understand the larger structures of a given culture  Deep Play: o Balinese symbols: rooster, space o Focused gathering o Center vs. Periphery o Cockfight was, for Geertz, and index for Balinese society as a whole. Recursive Mind –Corballis  Recursion is the primary defining characteristic that separates human cognition from animal thought  It is also the defining component of language  Recursion occurs when a phenomenon is both conditional and the product o Something is defined in terms of itself Recursion  “A procedure that calls itself, or…a constituent that contains a constituent of the same kind.”  Recursions do not necessarily have to replicate the same things, but similar things self-similar embedding. o Example: “the tree, the dog, the lake” can recursively extend to any noun phrase with other parts of speech.  “The dog ran beside the lake. The dog swam in the lake. The tree grew out of the lake.”  Recursion occurs in language because it is our thought that is recursive.  Recursion is either a process or a structure, but not both simultaneously.  Chomsky’s Merge operation: o Units of language can merge together, and can continue to do so to form larger merges o This thought operation applies to the language going inside your head (“I-language”) o Recursion in theory can extend forever, but in practice humans tend to cut the network o Inside language vs. External language. What Recursion isn’t  Repetition: o While can potentially lead to infinite construction, it only repeats previous units instead of creating feedback o Animals and human repeat in their communication o Repetitive elements are like a list of things that may be structured, but no necessarily recursive.  Iteration: o A repeated process that uses input from the previous application of the process o It is very similar to recursion, but Corballis doesn’t call it “true” because once an element is used to further the sequence in iteration, it is discarded o Iteration does not lead to further complexity=Therefore, it is not considered recursive. o Examples: homeostasis in animals; air conditioning (a simple pattern). Evolutionary Psychology  Corballis rejects that evolutionary psychological point of view: o He truncates their view down to imagining the brain as “a collection of minimids, each beavering away on its own specific problem, among which are language and theory of mind”  Critiques explanations as “just so stories” we like a landscape with trees because trees used to shade us and provide cover from predators  Instead, Corballis views recursion as the primary operator of human thought. Recursion  “the application of a function to its own values to generate an infinite sequence of values”  Phonology, morphology and syntax in languages are essentially functional and can be used to potentially generate sequences  Language displays recursive properties because the brain can think recursively, language follows thought o Does not believe in linguistic relativity thought determines language, not the other way around.  According to Corballis recursion is a requirement for language. Chomsky’s View of Language  Minimalistic Program: this is Chomsky’s most fundamental operation of language, the Merge Operation o It is considered “unbounded” because recursion allows for an infinite amount of possibilities  Chomsky’s holds Merge Operation to only be part of I-Language vs. E- Language.  I-Language tries to capture everything, but we can’t speak it. When it is E-Language you are constraint by rules and policies of language. Chomsky’s I-Language  Chomsky assumes I-Language to be the basis for all language, therefore it has no external reference o All in your head, so to speak.  Biologically, Chomsky believes a mutation (evolution) within an individual caused a “rewiring” of the brain that allowed recursive thinking  “Prometheus”  Because I-Language is not directly observable, it must be inferred from E-Language. Piraha Case Study  Everett’s missionary work in Brazil necessitated they learn a notoriously complex language  Because of the language’s lack of temporality mythology and history, Everett concluded they only “lived in the present”  While Piraha is a language that does not use center-embedding principles, the same thing can be expressed in a center-embedding language. o In other words, language does not seem to be strongly correlated with thought.  They can understand mathematics even though they don’t have words for numbers, again, they can conceptualize. They are cognitively competent. Morphology and Syntax  Words can become structuring agents over time  “Today’s morphology is yesterday’s syntax” o “He laughed” may have come from saying something like “He laugh did”  Language adapt(ed) to different cultures while undergoing progressive modifications.  Chomsky “viewed thought from language”, while Corballis attempts to “view language from thought”.  Recursion is a property of the human mind, not necessarily of all human language. Chapter 3 – Do Animals Have Language?  Animal vocalizations: o Genetically “fixed”  instinctual, not voluntary (humans have many of these) o Neuro-chemically occur in the mid-brain, not neo-cortex (front part that is mostly responsible for higher cognitive functions – developed in humans only)  Destroying small parts of this mid-section in animals causes muteness. Human/ape vocalizations  Human laughter a vocalization – not language  Jane Goodall noted chimpanzees could not produce sound without being emotionally instigated. o However, chimpanzees will change acoustic depending on listener’s social rank, aggressive disposition, and call to a positive relation (e.g. a human with potential raspberries, vs just raspberries) Vocal Learning  Humans (and some random other animals – whale, elephant, hummingbird) learn primarily both through sound and sight: vocal learning.  Possible reasons: o Most of these don’t have natural predators? o Vocality introduces a lot of variation (language ultimate example) and not using ensures “truer” (no lying) communication between agents.  Imitating songbirds strong exception still true? o Teaching chimps from birth to try and speak have always failed  some part of language must be bio-genetic. Animal Understand  Animals, over time, can learn to pick our words in sentences, something thought humans could do  Understanding acoustic signals indexically is defining characteristic of animal/human communication o Humans use far more complicated systems besides mid-brain vocalizations, i.e. “language” o Animals can understand visual symbols only in terms of an index: no symbolic dimensions  E.g. could be taught that the “cross” relates to a feeding time or material object but would never understand it’s cultural significance. Proto-language  Protolanguage – term coined by linguist Derek Bickerton to describe communication systems in animals before grammar  Children <2yo, grammar not yet developed display similar patterns of behavior to animals without language  May be just a form a problem solving  Note: this is different from the term in historical linguistic that I introduced about Indo-European and other language families it’s about biology and behavior than tracing the history of related languages. Gestures  Gestures from an integral part of this phenomenon: o They are observed being used far more freely and with large variation than vocalizations o Display great degree of intentionality not tied to emotional state per se but an act of simply conveying communication  Seems most “language-like” of animal communication techniques o Lack any sort of syntax only indexical, not symbolic. 1 Part – Language, Culture and Thought nd 2 Part – 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 worldindependent 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 timerecursive! 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 th 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” (heteroglossia), 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/peripheryhigh/lowfront/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 contextgestures, 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 th  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 orderBourdieu’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 l


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