Study Guide 1 for Intro to Swahili 3020
Study Guide 1 for Intro to Swahili 3020 swah/cmlt/afst 3020
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This 9 page Study Guide was uploaded by Bethany on Monday February 15, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to swah/cmlt/afst 3020 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Maganda in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 69 views. For similar materials see The Swahili and the World II in African Studies at University of Georgia.
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Intro to Swahili Study Guide ONE February 15, 2016 What is LANGUAGE? Linguistic skill or expression A communication tool Nuance of identity Gauge of global influence Undisputable social and political sorting machine Authoritative force of control Great power that shapes and reflects the human mind Ever changing phenomena that defines human reality * Language is not a mere communication tool, language embodies history, beholds the present while predicting, propelling and controlling the future. Background When you think of Africa, if nothing else comes to your mind, at least one does: POVERTY. The definition of LANGUAGE allows us to Recognize why language issues within any society shape and disclose what lies within people’s minds and what transpires in their societies. We therefore need to examine Language attitudes and ideology. Language Attitudes Language attitudes are 1. Specific, low level ‘states’ (mentalist) or ‘responses’ (behaviorist) or opinions. 2. Complex and various reactions towards language 3. Occur on multiple dimensions to an aspect of language 4. Can be contradictory, in that people may hold attitudes that seem to contradict each other and even themselves. 5. THEY ARE NOT SYSTEMATIC Language Ideologies involve some kind of rationalization that builds up and sustains a framework of ideas and facts about social relations. Definition: Language ideology is the belief systems related to and informing linguistic behavior as well as the framework that shapes decisions about language acquisition and use (Kroskrity, 2004). Four key aspects of Language Ideology Intro to Swahili Study Guide ONE February 15, 2016 According to the Political philosopher Robert Higgs: 1. Cognitive: It structures a person'ʹs perceptions and predetermines his understandings of the social world, expressing these cognitions in characteristic symbols; 2. Affective: it tells a person whether what he/she "ʺsees"ʺ is good or bad or morally neutral; and 3. Programmatic it propels a person to act in accordance with his cognitions and evaluations 4. Solidary: as a committed member of a political group, in pursuit of definite social objectives.” (Higgs 1987) Main foundations of Language Ideologies 1. How a language furthers individual and group interests. 2. Social status associated with language knowledge and use 3. Local and Global economic trends * Language Ideologies permeate schooling and contributes to language shifts and maintenance around the world (Woolard & Schieffelin, 1994; Maganda, 2014). The significance of Language Ideology Language ideologies help us understand: 1. How language helps to construct and maintain forms of power 2. How social and political symbols are created to form individual, group and national identity. 3. How words are associated with positive or negative aspects of people’s identity that result in stereotypes. Issues of Language & Governance * Global Africa: Europeans identify Africans through language: -‐‑ If you speak Hausa, you are Hausa. -‐‑ Africans relate to each other based on their shared colonizer. Intro to Swahili Study Guide ONE February 15, 2016 “1/5 black people on Earth have a European language for a mother tongue” English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch 1. French depends on the global status more than English for African countries. 2. Link between languages and white domination over the black population should never be undermined. * Language policy and racial attitudes often stem from the 4 forces responsible for spread and evolution of language: religion, economics, politics and war. What is Culture? • Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of: Knowledge; experience; beliefs; values; attitudes; meanings; hierarchies; religion; notions of time; roles; spatial relations; concepts of the universe; material objects and possessions: acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving. Expansion of the Definition: 1. Culture is the systems of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people. 2. Culture is communication, and communication is culture. 3. Culture in its broadest sense is cultivated behavior; that is the totality of a person'ʹs learned, accumulated experience that is socially transmitted, or more briefly, behavior through social learning. 4. A culture is a way of life of a group of people-‐‑-‐‑the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next. 5. Culture is symbolic communication. Some of its symbols include a group'ʹs skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, and motives. The meanings of the symbols are learned and deliberately perpetuated in a society through its institutions. 6. Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other hand, as conditioning influences upon further action. Intro to Swahili Study Guide ONE February 15, 2016 7. Culture is the sum of total of the learned behavior of a group of people that are generally considered to be the tradition of that people and are transmitted from generation to generation. 8. Culture is a collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another. So Whose Culture is It? 1. Ideas, meanings, beliefs and values people learn as members of society determines human nature. 2. People are what they learn. 3. There are no limits on the abilities of human beings to do or to be whatever they want. 4. There is no universal "ʺright way"ʺ of being human. "ʺRight way"ʺ is almost always "ʺour way"ʺ; that "ʺour way"ʺ in one society almost never corresponds to "ʺour way"ʺ in any other society. 5. Different cultural groups think, feel, and act differently. Can One Culture be Considered Superior? 1. There are no scientific standards for considering one group as intrinsically superior or inferior to another. 2. There are issues that may influence one'ʹs own culture to seem superior to that of others—“US versus THEM.” 3. The reduction of the "ʺother way"ʺ of life to a distorted version of one'ʹs own. a. Consider: § the case of global dealings when a company or an individual § important factors in business that could be overlooked because of the obsession with certain cause-‐‑effect relationships in one'ʹs own country. § the need to recognize the environmental differences and problems associated with change. § the differences recognized (the assumption that changes are so basic that they can be achieved effortlessly. Manifestations of Culture: Intro to Swahili Study Guide ONE February 15, 2016 4. Cultural differences manifest themselves in different ways and differing levels of depth. 5. Symbols represent the most superficial values the deepest manifestations of culture, with heroes and rituals in between. 6. Symbols are words, gestures, pictures, or objects that carry a particular meaning which is only recognized by those who share a particular culture. 7. New symbols easily develop, old ones disappear. Symbols from one particular group are regularly copied by others. 8. As such, symbols represent the outermost layer of a culture. 9. Culture is also manifested in the concept of HEROS, RITUALS, and VALUES a. Heroes are persons, past or present, real or fictitious, who possess characteristics that are highly prized in a culture. They also serve as models for behavior. b. Rituals are collective activities, sometimes superfluous in reaching desired objectives, but are considered as socially essential. They are therefore carried out most of the times for their own sake (ways of greetings, paying respect to others, religious and social ceremonies, etc.). c. Values are broad tendencies for preferences of certain state of affairs to others (good-‐‑evil, right-‐‑wrong, natural-‐‑unnatural). Many values remain unconscious to those who hold them. Therefore they often cannot be discussed, nor can they be directly observed by others. Values can only be inferred from the way people act under different circumstances. 10. Symbols, heroes, and rituals are the tangible or visual aspects of the practices of a culture. The true cultural meaning of the practices is intangible; this is revealed only when the practices are interpreted by the insiders. Layers of Culture: People even within the same culture carry several layers of mental programming within themselves. Different layers of culture exist at the following levels: 1. The national level: associated with the nation as a whole. 2. The regional level: associated with ethnic, linguistic, or religious differences that exist within a nation. 3. The gender level: associated with gender differences (female vs. male) 4. The generation level: associated with the differences between grandparents and parents, parents and children. Intro to Swahili Study Guide ONE February 15, 2016 5. The social class level: associated with educational opportunities and differences in occupation. 6. The corporate level: associated with the particular culture of an organization. Applicable to those who are employed. Language Ideology & Governance-‐‑ Global, Continental, Regional & Gender Issues Africa is a microcosm of the linguistic world. Because 1. Africa has a wide range of languages than any other continent in the world. 2 Africa can be credited with inventing human language, Asia sacralized language and a. Europe universalized it. Background When you think of Africa, you need to understand its: Triple linguistic heritage: 1. Indigenous Africa-‐‑ languages stemming from native African ethnic groups before external contact or influence 2. Islamic traditions-‐‑ languages that Africa inherited and adopted mainly as part of Arab domination. 3. Western Contribution-‐‑ languages that Africa uses based on historical, social, political, economical, and educational reasons. FOUR categories of languages in Africa: 11. Afro-‐‑ethnic: Languages not heavily influenced by Arab-‐‑Islamic and Euro-‐‑ Christian impact: a. Examples: Kalabari, Yoruba, and Ewe (West Africa); Lingala (Central Africa); Pokot, Luganda and Orominya (East Africa); Ndebele, Nyanja, Zulu (South Africa) 12. Afro-‐‑Islamic: Languages that are native to Africa but have been heavily influenced by Islam. a. Examples: Swahili, Somali, Nubi (East Africa); Hausa, Fulfude, Mandika (West Africa). b. These languages have “absorbed” many Arabic words. Intro to Swahili Study Guide ONE February 15, 2016 13. Western: Languages whose native speakers are located in the Americas and Europe. a. These Languages are directly linked to the transatlantic slave trade and colonization. b. Examples: English, French, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and German = these languages are predominantly spoken as additional languages. 14. Afro-‐‑Western: Languages with a mixture of African and western that developed from pidgin languages and are being spoken as primary languages: Examples: Kriyol, Pidgin, Kiro & West African Pidgin (English). Writing • Afro-‐‑ethnic languages were last to be written down • European colonialism caused a need for the preservation of Afro-‐‑ethnic languages leading to these languages being written down • Poetry: There is very little Afro-‐‑ethnic influence on poetry -‐‑ Exception: Amharic is one of the few Afro-‐‑ethnic languages with a rich tradition of both oral and written literature - Many other Afro-‐‑ethnic languages were almost exclusively oral Gender Issues in Africa What is Gender? - A natural phenomenon referring to human physiology - A social construct based on traditional, cultural, historical and political issues - A spiritual aspect evolving without anyone’s control - A complicated manifestation of the evolving facets of human development What is Gender? -‐‑ A Working Definition • It is a natural concept regarding human physiology and how it permeates different contexts shaped by traditional, cultural, historical and political issues that are constantly evolving in light of local and global social development. • Gender issues are intertwined with culture and need to be understood in light of specific societal and historical circumstances. Gender and Literature: Writers often discuss gender issues in the following perspectives 1. Social and Communal Intro to Swahili Study Guide ONE February 15, 2016 - Almost all the time a female is described in relationship to what she means not to herself but to the entire society beginning with her immediate family (daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother…) - Male are almost described independent of their community (name, position…) 2. Presentational: For females, it is looks, but males are described in relationship to women and how the female affect their image. Gender and Literature in light of the African culture 1. Gender roles: Division of labor (Equal or Unequal) 2. Discrimination based on gender 3. Beauty: Natural vs. Artificial beauty 4. Dowry: A man pays/gives dowry to the bride’s family (based on color, education etc..) a. This is a legal transaction leading to her treatment as her husband’s property. 5. Dances and clothing a. Although man also dance, often female are described in terms of how well they dance b. Dances are not just for entertainment, traditional dances had varied meanings and purposes Common myths about African Women • African women have no Voice. • African women have no power. • African women are weak. • African women are oppressed. • African women are in the kitchen all the time. • African women are too dependent on Men. Introduction: Song of Lawino and Song of Ocol, the book Summary: - Together Song of Lawino and Song Ocol contributes a heated debate over the future of Africa. Intro to Swahili Study Guide ONE February 15, 2016 - In graphic metaphor and with grammatical intensity, the author presents the conflict between modern civilization and old traditions. Structure & content: It is an epic poem written by Ugandan poet Okot p'ʹ Bitek. - First published in 1966 in Luo then translated into other languages, including English. - Song of Lawino addresses the issues facing a liberated Africa. - The poem poses a question: what kind of liberation should Africa take on? Should it honor its traditions, or should it adapt the European values that were already set in place during colonialism? Point of clarity: In the book, Okot p'ʹBitek addresses this question by: - Telling the story of Lawino, a woman whose husband, Ocol, throws her out of their home and brings home a more Europeanized woman as a wife. - Telling the story as a dialogue between Lawino and Ocol. - Exposing social problems facing Lawino and Ocol in their marriage due to their differences and value systems. Issues to Consider: 1. The book is written as a dialogue because for once, that is how most of the songs in Acholi are done-‐‑ just like a choral reading. 2. Global languages allow us to share what we could not have understood before but how much of it is lost in translation?
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