Study Guide - FINAL - Language and Culture
Study Guide - FINAL - Language and Culture ANT3620
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Gestures and Paralinguistic Gestures reflect speakers’ thoughts Gestures can change speakers’ thoughts Gestures are important features in linguistic acquisition and socialization Temporal scales: o Moments o Learning language(s) through time o Linguistic change through time Gesture’s Role in Linguistic Processing Meanings different for gestures and speech: o Gesture: Global= visual and mimetic imagery; meant to be understood by most people in the world o Speech: Local= codified words and linguistic structured shared in a speech community; i.e. not recognized universally. Theories on Gesture and meaning in Human Communication Growth Point Theory Relies on the duality of meaning of gesture and speech Every utterance contains a globally defined gesture image and a linguistically defined speech structure How to define “global”? Information Packaging Hypothesis Gestures help contextually by organizing information in a visual-spatial way Gestures also help speakers organize into segments, or units, that resemble linguistic phenomena. Lexical Gesture process Words are made easier to understand through gesturing o Lexicon “dictionary” This process has serious implication for language acquisition. Gesture-as-Simulated Model A speech act produces a simulation of the action in the speaker’s mind Geertz’s “models of reality” These simulations activate (unintentionally) motor movements in the nervous system o The body, biologically speaking, seems hardwired for gestural practice. Interface Model Gestures and speech are separate systems but entangled together in terms of speech acts Gestures shaped by syntactic structures of one’s speech community Case Study: English/Turkish Sign Languages o English: manner and path of motion expressed in single clause; in Turkish they are expressed in two separate clauses o English Sign Language uses one motion to express simple actions; Turkish uses two o Different sign languages influenced by different syntaxes of embedded spoken languages. Gesture & Language Comprehension Studies on gesturing and language learning: o Gestures linking movement create a more accessible environment of learning o Sending/receiving abstract concepts harder to produce through gesture Gesture are communicative: o They convey contextual information o Reinforce information o Facilitate the learning of new information. Gesture and Early Infancy Most children use gestures before speaking (of any kind). How much and what type of gesturing are indicators of later speech acquisition and development Types of gestures: o Deictic gesture: indexical/indirect relationality E.g. pointing to an object o Iconic gesture: iconic/direct relationality E.g. putting index finger on lip o Symbolic gesture: cultural/conventional relationality E.g. peace sign Stages of Gestural types Human infants first begin using deictic gestures (8-12 months) Later in this stage, symbolic gestures can be recognized in an infant’s repertoire Iconic gestures: large variation across studies o Children begin to use iconic gestures at different times and seemingly for different reasons. Children combine words/gestures well before they begin to syntactically combine words Changes in gesturing show a causal change in language learning o Children learn vocabulary that they gesture to most frequently Most important: gesturing is highly integral to the process of learning/language acquisition Gesturing and Learning a Language Practice ideas, make mistakes produces a learning environment Amount of variation in gesturing at 14 months mild indicator at vocabulary breadth at 42 months o Now always, however Generally: parents who gesture more have children who gesture more, who in turn tend to have larger vocabularies later in life. Gesturing and Language Creation Sign language resembles spoken language because it has segmented, combinatorial forms (their view of language) However, sign languages do not entirely depend on syntax of spoken language o American vs. British Sign Language Syntax, morphology, cultural idiosyncrasies o Contrary to popular opinion, SL largely not iconic in its relationalities. Emergent Sign Systems 90% of deaf children born to hearing parents who don’t know a sign language Homesigns: signs constructed more ad hoc and contextually that, over time, begin to form its own syntax and morphology. Emergent Sign Systems: NSL In the late 1970’s and early 80’s deaf Nicaraguans began to organize independent outreach programs No one had sign language: each had their own colloquial system of gestures/signs Nicaraguan Sign Language grew out of a heterogeneous and dispersed group of people to form a new and emerging speech community. o Homesigns carried over to produce a completely new Sign Language that was officially adopted by the state o Still changing to this day Gesturing and Hearing Adults Multilingual group study: o English, Spanish, Chinese, Turkish speakers o Could not use speech, had to use gestural signs. o Could express simplistic ideas, not abstract ones o Curiously: SOV word order emerged even if underlying language is not! Gestures and the Deaf Deaf signers do gesture when they use sign language Deaf children produce as many gestures as hearing children Deaf children who gestured more frequently tended to succeed better at instructional tasks than those who gesture rarely. Corbalis and Gesture Gesturing was the foundation of speech Looks at evolutionary biology to determine how and when speech/language came about. Mirror Neurons Giacomo Rizzolatti et al. studied neural activity in the brains of monkeys. Specific brain area activates neurons when the monkey intentionally grasps for something ALSO activate when the monkey see another doing the same movement “mirror” The area in the monkeys’ brains corresponds to the location in the human brain called the Broca’s Area major language center of brain In both monkeys and humans, this area simultaneously sends signals to certain motor functions when gesturing or speaking o Impossible to speak without gesturing, it is instinctual We perceive speech not through acoustics but through how we ourselves would do it. Evolutionary History Early human gesturing heavily reliant on facial gestures evolution of facial bones provided better muscle control over facial articulation Vocal tract changed when hominin species began to walk fully upright allowed greater variation in sound production Extra muscles surrounding lungs gave more power to producing sounds. Gestures are pre-language for Corbalis Genetics History – FOXP2 Needed for normal speech production in humans o Found in most animals songbird testing Genetic studies believe the gene mutated specially for human between 38-45 kya Breeding with Neanderthal also have us a more microcephalingene regulating brain size (bigger) Corbalis Answers, “Why?” Utilitarian thing o Spatial Reach o Freeing the hands o Diversity and the “Language Fortress” Myths of Sign Language Sign languages are universal o Like spoken languages, depends on numerous factors that explain variation Sign languages are same language as one that is spoken “just done with the hands” o Small grammatical relationships to spoken languages i. Word order (SVO, SOV, etc.) Changes occur via other sign languages, not other spoken languages. Sign Language and Written Language Written language enters sign language through iconicity”fingerspelling”. No universal fingerspelling alphabets o E.g. USA and Europe use one-handed fingerspelling UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand use a two-handed approach Sign Language and d/Deaf Socialization Three major levels of social scale that are NOT mutually exclusive: o Deaf community: largest scaleanyone who is interested in deaf issues. o Deaf culture: deaf and hearing peoples who follow semi- conventional rules of behavior o d/Deaf ethnicity: birthright important; can be deaf or born into a deaf family Lower case “deaf” vs uppercase “Deaf” one of ethnic social ties. Binary opposition of deaf/hearing in USA not universal either multiple variations. Variation arises from: geography, race, gender, ethnicity o Sign for “birthday” different even in the USA depending on region! o In Ireland, elderly deaf signers educated in gendered classroom settingsproduced gendered variation of Irish Sign Language Sign Language and d/Deaf Socialization, final Sign language, just like spoken language, is a practiced phenomenon that gives a certain model of reality to its user and at the same time socializes a person in a particular way Language in the 21st Century Pre-Internet history th 16 Century EuropeRenaissance o Systematic classification & mathematics Imperialism o Bacon “knowledge is power” o Word collection(s) o Need to archive and understand Renaissance Three main innovations from Renaissance: o Library o Index o Article/Encyclopedia Library, Encyclopedia, Knowledge Library initially good, but spatially exclusive French philosophers recognized problemcreated encyclopedia Encyclopedia: o Massive but no complete o Slowly updated. Index Cards th Paul Otlet – late 19 C Created pre-Dewey Decimal System Created archival sciences Derrida & “Archive Fever” The “compulsive, repetitive, and nostalgic desire for the archive, an irrepressible desire to return to the origin, a homesickness, a nostalgia for return to the most archaic place of absolute commencement” Freudian psychology – “death drive” Dual opposition of archive theory vs. archive practice o What is sough to do versus what it actually did. Poe’s Theory of the Internet Altered social practices and the cultures in which it is embedded Produced a distinct “internet” culture of its own Aspects of Experience What “Pulled the Internet? Who/what pulled the internet into this current practiced? 3 Major Forces of Pull: o Industrial capitalism Productivity decreased with larger bureaucracy R&D technology development protected by intellectual property rightsmoney! PCs primary pulling device of companies o The State Welfare State Keeping track of millions State surveillance Govt. already pit in millions, might as well fully use it o Cultural shifts (post 60’s) Mass expression of individualism The “good life” should be pursuit of personal happiness Pornography explosion, desire to express feelings (blogs, Friendster, MySpace, IM) Human Nature (?) & the Internet Poe believes “people were ready” for the Internet to emerge as it is today Anomalies and Puzzle-Solving “A book takes out on a trip from here to there; the Internet takes you on a trip from here to God-knows-where” Internet Culture It will: o Spread further and wider o Be used for pleasure o Link the past with the present through language o Create social groups and communities o Save everything, making is both knowledgeable yet also vulnerable. Social Networking Sites (SNS) – Culture & Language Anthropology and SNS in general: o Tension in anthropology over discussion of internet and its effects o Traditionally linked with small-scale societies: global reach? o SNS challenges old dichotomies: neighborhood vs. network, family vs peers, public vs. private o Miller: internet now a new form of social networking but an unconscious attempt to return to old forms of social construction. Past SNS Studies Popularity of sites like Facebook were not “inevitable” but a reflection of desiring similarity yet uniqueness. People have begun compiling their lives archive fever; self- aggrandizement of the individual Most studies have yet to prove or disprove the importance of SNS. Comparative Anthropology of SNS Cultural relativism: o Cultures may change but also localize global processes and institutions o East Asian SNS: CyWorld in S. Korea organized to reflect Korean custom of viewing kin relations in center/periphery relations. Aesthetically of these SNS made to look “cute” distance from the coldness of technology. o Broadbent: “attention” protocols: different cultures have a spectrum of acceptable linguistic action. Philippines high immediacy of answering vs. UK USA?? Tales from Facebook: Globalization Looked at Trinidad discourse on Facebook Trinidad culture already geared towards a practice of intense and explicit social scrutiny o They were “ready” for Facebook Believe the “truth” of a person is found not in the physical self, but the virtual one. o Word for “hanging out” —liming— now encompasses spending social time online o Globalization does not simply destroy culture it is more a process of change Localized ways of speaking and doing take global social phenomena and re-cast them culturally. Trolls Just Want to Have Fun – Buckels et al. Trolling: the practice of behaving in a deceptive, destructive, or disruptive manner in a social setting on the internet with no apparent instrumental purpose. Dark Tetrad personality traits detected in trolling activities: o Narcissism, Machiavellianism (authoritarianism/manipulative), psychopathy, sadism. Study: 418 participants from the US, two studies reported trolling tendencies and behavior types. Testing through Language Participants given large questionnaires with the “key questions” scattered about o Language attributed to one of the Dark Tetrad provided index for researchers. o E.g. “I have been compared to famous people” or “It’s not wise to tell your secrets”. o Internet activities (like debating, shopping, commenting, trolling, etc.) ranked and use were also asked. First Study: showed correlation between people with highest Dark Tetrad attributes and those who listed trolling as favorite internet pastime Second Study: showed correlation between frequency of commenting and Dark Tetrad, especially narcissism in online debating. Discussion Sadism was the biggest indicator of positive views of trolling and the Dark Tetrad trolls defined largely through sadistic impulses. Trolling behaviors and practices ultimately indexed through the psychological need to harm Among the “trolls” identified in the study, the frequency of enjoying trolling was directly linked to identity it was almost necessary for these people to practice trolling. Technology use and anti-sociality? o Anonymous aspects of the internet help antisocial people express their dark tetrad personalities? Analysis of Discourse of Trolling – Merritt Trolling: a genre of internet practice; notes their links to “antisocial behavior” but instead sees them as “purposeful” and “complex” Trolling vs. flaming: she sees what is popularly constructed as “trolling” as something else “flaming” or setting metaphoric fires on message boards/comments sections Discourse Analysis used on the site reddit.com She asks: how can we label practice “disruptive” if we do not establish what is being “disrupted”? Questioning the Normative “Troll” Critical of the normal way people see trolling what measures “annoyance” or “anger” and how can we measure why someone trolls at a particular time? Problems with intentionality: are trolls really seeking just to troll or is it failure of communication? Different personality types not syncing? Temporal scale: o Once a troll, always a troll? o Is there a line that is crossed to turn into a troll? Results Para-linguistics played large role in discourse! o Different than in spoken language o Yelling, sarcasm, etc. conveyed through these para-linguistics signs Noticed those who troll tend to construct a persona, or sometimes devil’s advocate role. o Social language: what she calls different languages and dialects based on culture Trolling is “a genre of communication that poses a challenge to identify” The threat of being trolled way even serve to socialize Internet users in certain communities into what is appropriate online communication Paralinguistics ALL CAPS, , I’m great. Trolls weren’t related to anti-social behavior but they are not doing it just to be mean but they were trying to construct something but they couldn’t find a way how to. It is an internet practice Gender, Language and Power Performative Roles – Gender vs. Sex All cultures have gendered predispositions Judith Butler: o Borrowed from Foucault’s idea of discourse and power o Holds that gender is performative: not something to have but something to do “Sex” considered biological: o Between 1 in 30k to 1 in 1k born “intersexed” o Current medical practices: is sex truly “natural”? Foucault & “discourse” Linguistic Anthropology & Gender Gender is learned o Socialized Gender is collaborative o Constructed through personal and social contexts Gender is practiced (Bordieu) and performed (Geertz) o Ochs: “indexed gender” Practice indexes genders Western Samoa vs. United States Gender is power Markedness From linguistics: o “unmarked”: dominant default from(s) o “marked” is the irregular from(s) o Gender: male = unmarked, female = marked Grammatical markedness: some grammars unconsciously divide world into a faulty opposition o Masculine generic pronouns (e.g. English & Spanish) Los hombres piensan Male/Female Man/Woman o Semantic domain of “gentleman’s skills/activities” Amalia Sa’ar’s study of Israeli linguistic practices: o Studied Hebrew and Arabic speaking women from different economic positions o Hebrew fashion designer & Palestinian elderly woman same language family o Both languages use masculine generic pronouns. Some thought it would professionally help, others didn’t notice it at all until pointed out! No simple direct relationality between grammatical and cultural genders. Early Gender Studies Studies assumed categorical differences Language myths that still persist: o Competitive vs. cooperative o Silent vs. talkative These differences were never proven: considered true from the start! Late Gender Studies Janet Hyde: Gender Similarities Hypothesis o Early gender studies perpetuate dangerous myths [“talkativeness”] o Meta-analysis indicated negligible, or NO, difference in terms of behaviors o Problems with the meta-analysis’ data o Later meta-analysis: boys talked more Gender studies focused more on how identities emerged through time: o Embodiment theory: mind/body is a faulty opposition o Experience captured through body, not generated form mind o Mind does not trump body: they are co-present in any experiential phenomena. Either vice versa, it is all co-embedded. Embodiment Theory Philosophy in social and behavioral sciences emphasizing the body in the production of human thought Lakoff and Johnson: o We define our world metaphorically to our bodies o E.g. work/love/life often defined as a journey of sorts Sexuality bound up not just as our own subjective thoughts (mind) but also our habitus (cultural practices). o Cultural plays both subtle and active roles in constructing our theories of person and body Recursive phenomena: o Information comes in through perceptual systems (senses) mind interprets according to theory of person/habitus/cultureactionreactionmore perceptual information so on. “Talkativeness” Matthias Mehl et al.: studied over 400 college students and words spoken. o F= 16,215 words/day o M=15, 669 words/day Large individual differences around the average due to individuals’ habitus and daily practice “Competition vs. Cooperation” Marjorie Goodwin: studied African American and racially mixed children’s speech behaviors across U.S. o Focus was on girls and their interactions in school Certain activities had cooperative language involved “He-Said-She-Said” moments: highly competitive linguistic techniques same as boys more to do with societal structures than linguistic structures Eckert — “Cooperative Competition” Notes a theory of person in US culture: o Men’s power based on public economic accumulation o Women’s power based on domestic capabilities that are inherently indexical to men’s power Because of this indexicality, women’s repertoires are more status- bound, NOT status-conscious Eckert — Symbolic Capital From Bourdieu: capital in the form of social prestige (not purely economic). o Goodwin: men/women symbolic capital o Women must justify status through relationships, not professional performance “Girl talk” is a linguistic force for women to increase competitive edge Eckert — Dialogic Interactions Being “popular” a defining system of thought concerning language in high schools. What occurred: o Interview/discussion among 6 African American girls entering senior year of HS o Competitive attitudes over self-presentation (popularity) vs. likability o Defining what is even “popular” o A small competition arose between two groups: “popular” and “non-mainstream” Eckert — Results At the end of the conversation, several issues of status and gender were settled between the different girls: o Girls reached consensus on importance of independence o “Shaky” consensus: religion Whether there was consensus or not, girls’ discussion an indexical speech event to larger societal structures. o However: provided a means of discussing and forming own opinions outside normative bounds. Symbolic Capital Distribution of social prestige. Kim Kardashian has a lot of capital on her Instagram and Twitter. Anger, Gender, Language Shift — Kulick Axiom: any discourse/thought/norm about emotion is implicitly also about gender Two speech genres analyzed to understand how discourses of gender, knowledge and being reinforce each other through linguistic practice. Language Ideology Kros: “anger”; it is culturally stereotypically feminine “Men’s oratories”: spoken in or around men’s house; o Downplay conflict and reframed disputes to achieve harmony Local knowledge semantically bound to ideas of danger and hazard e.g. magic chants, agriculture, men’s cults o Their language likewise privileges ambiguity with hidden meanings. Anger Anger is linked with danger having angry thoughts produces a “rot” within a person If anger is voiced or acted on, ancestral spirits sought to correct negative behavior o Correct their hed social being Women stereotyped as practitioners of kros o Self-fulfilling prophecy internalized but not explicitly. Anger and Orality Oratories considered a male-only practice When men discuss anger explicitly, it is indexical to negatively perceived phenomena o The anger must be “revealed” to correct the cosmic imbalance with the ancestors. Men re-contextualized speech in a socially “proper way” to downplay that there is even a problem. Relationality of: Men, Women, Anger Women publicly display their kros without re-concealing it through proper language practice Anger exposes a rot into village life that could potentially disrupt ancestral happenings. Men and women’s practices of anger are inverted: o Within private dwellings/within public men’s houses. o Oratories are sympathetic constructions/kroses are accusative declarations. Language Shift/Death Symbolic relationships and linguistics practices re-enforce ideas of hed, kros, femininity and Taiap Ways of talking about modernity and creating a better modern village use Tok Pisin terms and syntactical rules. Old language faces extinction Race, Ethnicity and Language Defining Race Jane Hill’s “folk theory of race” o Basic category of biology in which people fit AAA: physical traits inherited independently “There facts render any attempt to establish lines of division among biological populations both arbitrary and subjective.” Defining Race — Beginnings of Color Blumenback in the late 1700’s Formulated 5 different races of the world based on craniometry Believed in mono-genist “degeneration” theory Color typology to racial theory still in use today! “Race” as a concept is real, but as biological reality, remains to be seen Race should be viewed as cultural perceptions of others a theory of person for Other subjects Example: “whiteness” o Many groups now considered white were not always o Irish, Germans, Italians, etc. o Franklin: “swarthy” Swedes Race through Time “Race” is a concept: fluid and changeable through time Sarah Hengen: o Research in Nepal o Mongol National Organization (MNO) o Tried to fight ruling religious casts using outdated racial typology o Recast national and ethnicities, even though not technically true. Race vs. Ethnicity Some researchers critically split “race” and “ETHNICITY” Bonnie Urciuoli: o Research on NYC Puerto Rican community o Racial discourses: “frame group origin in natural terms” o Ethnic discourses: “frame group origin in cultural terms” o Racialized people considered dangerous, disorderly, chaotic o Ethnic people considered quaint, safe, orderly. o Speaking with an accent linguistically marks someone as dangerous, disorderly, unsafe. African American English (AAE) Linguistic system with rules governing: morphology, phonology, syntax. Presence of geographic dialects and absencelinguistic variation! Many can code-switch between linguistic registers to fit social context Scholars still disagree on statues of AAE as language or dialect o No matter what: has as much systematicity as other languages. Some Major Grammar/Rules of AAE Invariant or habitual “be” o “He be singing” vs “He is always singing” Copula deletion o “She happy” vs. “She is happy” Double negatives o “I can’t not go out tonight” vs. “I can go out tonight” o Anglo-Saxon bias: “rationality”, mathematics, modernization. Reduction of final consonants o Rule!: voiced and voiceless finals o Final consonant dropped only if preceded by a voiced consonant. Dump, belt, sink vs. ol’ (old), lef’ (left) “Ask” vs. “Aks” o Popularity considered to be the worst of errors by AAE speakers. o History happening for centuries in England o England: Didn’t historically index blackness Came to represent lower social classes after Revolution Speaking differently is not tied to cognitive competency! does not index intelligence, just difference. Racism in Linguistic Practice Queer theory and racism: racist ideas can emerge in conversation/practice Valentina Pagliai: o Research how people react to racist comments in conversation Recorded conversations about immigrants in barber shop in Tuscany, Italy. o Spiral effect: “occurs because when speakers receive a positive reception for their mildly negative comments, they are emboldened to make more blatantly negative and eventually outright racist remarks.” Racism, Language Ideologies, Practice Psychosomatic tendencies of race and learning Ruben and Smith conducted match-guise tests in a classroom setting: o 4-minute lecture recorded by a white woman o Half class shown video of her with her voice, other half shown video of East Asian woman with original white woman’s voice o Students in Asian group tended to report the woman had an accent and did worse on comprehension of lecture materials. Ebonics, Language and Power – Long The role of “ebonics” in U.S. educational system Coined by Robert Williams in a 1973 conference: o “refers to the study of the language of black people in all its cultural uniqueness.” Linguistic studies in AAE: o Classroom practices and language ideologiesasymmetric dualism Language and Social Identity AAE not a marker of “blackness” variation and cross-ethic diffusion. o Southeast Asian, Hawaiians, working-class white and Latino Symbolic relationality: resistance o Suppression of Hawaiian o Suppression of Basque in fascist Spain AAE language ideology, emic perspective: resistive politics to perceived eradication, or at least, change of identity. Oakland School Board Resolution Flashpoint of “linguicism” came in 1997 in Oakland, California o 53% of student K-12 population was black, with 47% Asian & Latino, less than 1% white. Oakland School Board attempted to rectify terrible conditions teach classes in a different register It was NOT to “teach Ebonics”, BUT to help facilitate learning to increase language skills and others. Reactions Support from the Linguistic Society of America met in Chicago to specially address this issue Department of Education rejected the proposal based on linguistic grounds AAE not a “separate language” Even popular black culturalists — Maya Angelou and Jesse Jackson — condemned the proposal, while less popular black figures’ opinions marginalized. Reactions and New Relationship Oakland proposal became platform for larger “English-only” movement. o Other languages (mainly Spanish) also demonized alongside AAE Oakland School Board Reaction: o Re-stated that AAE had limited genetic relationship to West African languages (correct) o Stated it is not a dialect of English (incorrect) o Stated ultimately goal was to impart Standard English on the Students. Nature vs. Nurture & Education Follows Chomsky’s view of language as innately cognitive and universal o But, also sees the “language environment” as pivotal in formulating social identity Certain access to power is predicated in language: o Submersion: standard dialect in classrooms o Assimilation: collects subaltern communities together to create uniformity o Immersion: programs designed to immerse one in a language and its ideologies. Conclusions and Questions Bilingual education programs see huge results (Hawaii’s KEEP program, Canada’s French program) o Learning-in-general and learning a language in particular share the same problems National unity discourses often downplay or outright try to destroy linguistic diversity in the sake of security Long’s proposition if the world is only going to increase in its multi- cultural and multi-linguistic state, how do we deal with this in an educational setting? RSA Animate: Language as a Window into Human Nature Indirect Speech Act Veiling Relationship Types (x3) o Dominance (Hierarchy in primates) o Communality (Share & share alike (kin selection and mutualism) o Reciprocity (Exchanges of good and services, reciprocal altruism) – Two ways Mutual Knowledge Shared understanding, we are all in the same page. Language has to convey some content and it has to negotiate a relationship type the solution is to use language at 2 levels Innuendos provide individual knowledge and direct speech provides mutual knowledge. “Word-Sound-Power”: Rastafarian Cosmology (Pulis) Rastafarianism: not what you think it is o Syncretic Christian and West African religious system that began in Jamaica o Believe Haile Salassei, last Ethiopian monarch, was the next Christian Messiah o Millenarian movement--> bring about a new age for African diasporic peoples around the world. Historical Context(s) Jamaica was the crown jewel of British Caribbean landholdings o Both plantation owners and newly imported African slaves spoke the local dialect o British political elites in Jamaica still held language ideology of British accent as “normal” In the 1930’s mass political unrest against British domination began with street preachers. o Pan-African Movement in the 60s and 70s catapulted mutual knowledge of black suppression across the globe. Rastafarian Morpho-Syntax Morpho-syntactics: how a language constructs its words and sentences Context of communication: o Part of “speaking Rastafarian” is not in the language itself, but in what context it is found in. o i.e. it is about its practice in reference to word construction o Rastafarian speech explicitly deconstructs English and African words are re-arranges them. Word-sound-power is: o Linguistic construct that expresses local ideas of identity, agency and speech. o Theory of person! Research and Method Interviewed “Bongo”, a Jamaican man in the late 60’s who recently became “Dread” but famous for good oratory skills. Because English was language of subjugators, it is purposefully “busted” to show resistive practices “Up” fill morphologies: o Any word with a prefix that had symbolic similarities to negative things were overtly changed to create a positive relationship Example: English word “dedicate” —pronounced “DEAD- icate — is changed to “livicate” Example: English word “oppression” begins with an “o” — linked with word “over” and power over — is changed to “down-press” Word-World Production Up-fill morphology defining characteristic of Rastafarian linguistics and identity Histories of oppression linguistically renegotiated and resisted The world-sound-power of Rastafarian speech further promotes their world view of a Pan-African religious unifier Word-Sound-Power Up-fill morphology—Playing with the morpho-syntactic sense of the words. They are taking aback by the SE, and they were rebelling against it. Oakland School board Resolution Misconception over teaching a second language instead of IN Ebonics. The alternative was abased on the hierarchies. It failed, it didn’t pass but in other places it was successful. Theorists of Power & Language Jacques Derrida: power & texts o “archive fever” internet provides a means of immortalizing one’s self through constant archiving o Western thought relies on false dualism to “deconstruct” is to reveal there faulty oppositions within a given text o Signature, Event, Context Michael Foucault: power/knowledge and the body o Western ideas of science and the body: how has science contributed to a theory of person that subjects and dominates us through bodily practice? o How does the state get us to –unknowingly- follow the rules? o Power is enacted through networks of relations and the knowledge of how to manipulate and navigate said networks o Discipline and Punish Pierre Bourdieu: power and symbols o Cultural capital and symbolic violence o Class-based approach to circulation of symbols, i.e. language o Language and dialect indexes a person’s social position within a society. What is Power? Power not simply a measure of quantity but of types of relations i.e. it isn’t so much about how much you have, as how you can enact it. Force or persuasion: “hard” vs. “soft” power o Problems: misogynistic terminology (too obvious), only explicitly seen, what about hidden power relations? Power is considered how much potential effect an actor/subject can produce in his/her particular place and time. Hegemony Hegemony: formulated by Neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci o Dynamic system of domination not necessarily through overt force but through social-political change o Created by the formation of a political society a group of individuals who share similar self-interests o This society entrenches itself further into politics until it becomes the dominant paradigm o Examples: rise of: Fascism, Communism, Capitalism, Tea Party, Occupy, all social movements basically Hegemony is dynamic in that it must be renewed and modified Hegemony does not concern itself with how social groups come to power through force, but through cultural persuasion. “lived hegemony”: hegemony in practice o People living under a hegemony usually are not aware of the domination, they believe they are positively taking part in it i.e. Nazi Germany o Their practices reinforce the hegemonic rule under which they live Agency NOT free will; it is the capacity to do something, to effect a change or phenomenon in the world Usually opposed to “structure” agency vs. social-cultural structure o Many studies view agency in light of cultural structures: E.g. “word-sound-power” was a response to colonial and historical structures placed on former African slaves and colonial subjects. o Can structures be changed? Actors and agents: o Basically the same thing o Both can effect changes and produce affect o Affect=emotion Agency and Resistance Agency is also NOT resistance, though an agent can be resistive. And a resistance is ALWAYS agency. Agency needs to be understood within the local context of theory of person o Mahmood: “agency must be explored within the grammar of concepts within which it resides.” Agency of power and projects: o Agency of power: domination and resistance o Agency of projects: how people maintain their own culturally created projects in the face of domination (such as colonialism or racism). Derrida — Signature, Event, Context Born in French-occupied Algeria to a Jewish migrant family Life’s work dealt with critique of Western logic, rationalism, and theories of representation Famously said, “There is no outside the text” o Focus was on language, writing and the history of philosophy concerning both Deconstruction: there is an inevitable underside to what gets said where other, hidden meanings lurk. Communication & Context “Communication” traditionally thought of as a vehicle for meaning critical of this o It is a word that is both useful, and useless Should encompass more than just meaningpara-linguistics carry meaning as well! Context: different contexts engender different communications o Derrida holds that “context” is also a word that opens and closes meaninguseful and useless Writing — History of Thought Why people used writing: popular model o They had to communicate o They had to communicate ideas and thoughts o They already had a system that did the previous two (speech) History of writing reveals underlying assumption in the West about writing: it is only about representation o Why? Pictographic, to hieroglyphic, to alphabetic writing systems o The beginning gives away the ending: pictograms Absence Critiques Western view of speech, language and writing with notion of absence Speech is privileged as a fully present representation/meaning o One means what one says (Is that always true?) Writing considered perfect index to speech Derrida holds meaning can never be fully present/contextualized there is always a semantic absence o It is important to analyze what was not said or what is not there Political speech is always filled with absence, their words never answer the question they are asked and are sentences are hollow. Written Signs Have some form of “context” to which meaning can be produced in infinite variation Can sometimes be “misread” in which the original context is rendered meaningless (or far less meaningful) o Derrida called this a sign’s “force” Because of the first two points, written signs create spaces of meaning that are potentially ambiguous The less people know that people know, the better. If a politician said things straightforward there would be mutual knowledge and they don’t want that Derrida and Speech Act Theory Derrida insists that Austin created a system of looking at words through their effectual relations o Holds that Austin was first to see the performative value, not just the semiotic, in words Takes issue with Austin’s theory of context: o Those “felicity conditions” Austin uses to determine intentionality create a false opposition Conditions of success that Austin uses to determine a “truthful” statement all center around value vs. fact Determining whether a statement is truthful itself an exercise in power and domination Further critiques of Austin Austin is highly normative in his consideration of types of performances: o Considers staged performances as “parasitic” If there are “non-serious” forms of performance, as Austin judged, then how to determine “success”? Derrida exposes another faulty opposition in Austin’s thought: o “Non-serious” performances cannot be thrown out, because the nature of context in relation to “seriousness” is one that is entirely subjective o I.E. the dichotomy of “serious” vs. “non-serious” is faulty because it entirely depends on context, which itself is also slippery and vague Michel Foucault Born in France, studied history of philosophy Project are all centered around a critical reading of Western modernity (19 century on). Methodology: o He called what he did a genealogy of “truth” o Writing a history that reveals struggles, discontinuities and the role of the individual o Focused on spaces of marginalization: prison, insane asylums and non-normative sexuality He says that we have not become more modern but we changed our methods of power Power Relations and Discourse Difference between violence and power: violence is action upon the body, power is action on action. People “govern” themselves and others unknowingly through language Institutions, governments, etc. try to create systems of relations that create power differences o E.g. “English-only Movement”, Oakland School Board Debate, government’s “War on Drugs” o Creates a phenomenon Foucault called “governmentality” Foucault’s d/Discourse Ahearn separates Foucault’s idea of discourse into two kinds, depending on the scale of interactions Capital “D”iscourse: o A way of speaking about something that governs the way it is spoken about o A way of properly practicing and regulating actions of subjects o It both has rules and norms, and simultaneously rules and norms, and simultaneously rules out other forms of knowledge and practice that it doesn’t like. Discourse & Grammar Power and language must take into consideration grammatical categories “d”iscourse grammar: how social differences are caused by, and constituted by, language Three major grammatical relations of all languages: o Subject o Agent o Object Social positions within a community are related partially through grammar Example: Samoan Village grammar o Socially higher-ranked men will mark their verbs in the ergative (accusative) case this creates a power relationship High ranking agents tend to grammatically “accuse” people o The lower-ranked persons will respond with an alternate case so as to not endanger social relations (so they don’t come off as “accusatory”). Foucalt’s Govermentality Governmentality: a portmanteau of “government” + “mentality” Essentially means the government colonizes our ways of thought to produce the perfect citizen o This is done through the disciplinary mechanism Example: the failed War on Drugs o Government says drugs are bad produces an idea within the populace that drugs are bad and will lead to failed lives o This mentality was not captured by everyone failed to become mutual knowledge o Not everyone had governmentality, in which case the system collapsed/is collapsing because it failed to capture the entire social system, i.e. the whole populace. Derrida: o Binary oppositions falsely construct the world and produces problems in meaning. o Absence idea of unspoken meaning integral to the context of communication Foucault: o Knowledge/power part of technologies or techniques of power Discipline & Punish — Body of the Condemned Foucault traces changing discourses on the body, through science o Specifically, in the realm of how bodies are acted upon by discourse Wrote this book to understand how social discipline changed through time in Western Europe Focuses on official state (national governments) discourse: o Government records, memos, policies, statements, and practices. o I.e. Foucault looked at text and practice in relation to imprisoned bodies. Sites and Spaces of Power Foucault notes a major change from “old” to “modern” forms of punishment the disappearance of the public spectacle. The site of punishment and discipline was focused on the body in modernity, it is at the site of the “soul” Western societies eliminated the public spectacle of execution instead his the juridico-legal process under bureaucracy o Punishment became “absent” yet still present within the minds of the populace a technique of power Technologies/Techniques of Power To alleviate social guilt over punishment, physicians, bureaucrats, psychologists now a part of the large disciplinary system All of these specialists represent different ways-technologies- of establishment what is normal and what is abnormal Material technologies, like prison architecture, also became entrenched in how power differences are maintained Science the ultimate technology of domination: o By claiming empirical fact and truth, every social decision was made irrefutable o Example: American Psychiatric Association and homosexuality pre-1970’s The Birth of the Modern Soul Analyzes a specific linguistic moment: Mably, a French politician in charge of the penal system in the 19 century stated: o “Punishment…should strike the soul rather than the body” Foucault looks at this discourse and sees it as the primary discourse for punishment in the West o Christian theory of person: your bodies are prisons for your souls In modernity, passing judgment moved the object of discipline –the crime- onto the soul of the individual being judged. The body discursively/popularly seen as a prison for the soul A sick soul necessarily produced a sick –or punishment- body if it transgressed outside accepted social norms But that is not what was happening! o The reserve occurred the body became treated as a site of punishment, as a site of discipline and ultimately imprisoned by this Western idea of “soul” “The soul is the prison of the body” -Michel Foucault Conclusions Power is a strategy unconsciously played out by individuals o It operated within the machinery and structures of society o It operates in and through knowledge one and the same thing o Knowledge ≠ power Knowledge and power are one and the same, actualized through differing relations of power o Through numerous mechanisms, social agents are subjects of a constant dynamic of power relations Western societies in particular have formulated humans as mechanistic things that can be quantified, measured and counted ultimately controlled. o Power affects everyone, from the prisoner to the prison guard, but no on individual can “control” it. Habitus Set of predispositions-habits- within individuals Shaped by social structures Tell individuals which actions they can and cannot undertake, and in what contexts This will lead to either the reproduction or changing of social structures Body hexis: The body proportion of habitus, how you act out habitus. o Non-verbal phenomena (styles of dress personal adornment, ways of walking, etc.) as a way of inscribing social identity and status. Doxa That which is taken for granted, “commonsense”, culturally obvious Individuals in a society do not think about their preconceptions (usually), which helps enforce their doxa Orthodoxy and heterodoxy: o Both exist together within discourse o One if hegemonic (orthodox), the other is resistive, Other, etc. (heterodox) Dominant groups have an invested interest in maintaining the doxa of societyturn it unto orth-doxa (orth=correct) Symbolic Violence When individuals in a society speak subaltern/non-dominant forms of speech leads to unequal access to resources (education, economics, etc.) Very similar to the term “structural violence” Result of symbolic violence is misrecognition: o Tacit understanding that there are forms of speech more prestigious/considered more correct than others o This helps perpetuate linguistic ideologies and systems of domination o E.g. Standard [White] American English vs. AAE, Spanish- speaking Americans (with accents), basically any accent that is not considered to stem from “whiteness” Foucault Discipline & Punish: how the West changed its relations of disciplinary power o Technologies and techniques of power increased with scientific understanding o Soul/body binary underwent serious change public spectacle of discipline to private concealment of discipline Christian theory of person in the West o Body is prison of soul o Criminal behavior seen as a moral sickness of the body that had to be cured o Prison/discipline must be centered on curing the soul, or mind, so the body will not act out in criminal ways Bourdieu — Language and Symbolic Power Of course, he begins with a major critique: o Linguistic models are used in social sciences because language thought of as a symbolic code to read. o Nope! o Language needs to be thought of as a vehicle for action and power Linguistic exchanges reveal the social/power differences but also constitute and reinforce them discourse. The asymmetry is what causes the discourse. Economy of Symbolic Exchange — The “Market” Bourdieu uses the term “economy” to refer to the circulation of discourse and linguistic symbols in a society 2 aspects to this symbolic power market o There are proper ways of speaking o These proper ways are mediated by social classes that have their own censorships and rules Bourdieu believes knowing the grammar of a language is only half of it you must know the social fields The market shapes not only symbolic value of words and meanings, but the discourse surrounding them. o Prescriptions on how to talk about symbols, values, moral codes, etc. Style: o Exactly the same as “speech genre” o Refers to local distinctions of saying and doing The Market and Discourse It is not just language that circulates within a society, but discourse. There are multiple meanings for each sign in the market: polysemy. o E.g. family, love, etc. can have opposite meanings in the same market o Major reason polysemy develops: social distinctions, a.k.a. social classes. o “There are no innocent words” Hidden Correspondence (Bourdieu’s Absence) Symbolic efficacy why does language fail? Bourdieu sees symbolic efficacy failing when there is a discontinuity between the social structure (class) and social field (profession, age group, peer group, etc.) Exactly like absence! o Difference between Derrida and Bourdieu is communication (Derr.) vs. social class (Bour.) Political and religious discourses similar in that they: o “produce statement formally impeccable but semantically empty.” o Cultures view “law” and “right forms of speech” as synonymous phenomena. “The right utterance claims what ought to be right” People begin to misrecognize that their verbal repertoires are both “low class” and criminal o “the most rigorously rationalized law is never anything more than an act of social magic which works”. The Linguistic Situation Basic problems with knowledge: o What defines “language”? o Hegemony of “official languages” o Many of those deemed “endangered” only found in remote places o Lack of written scripts past 500 years saw massive language death Numbers of Language Death About 10 languages constitute half the world’s speaking population o These are “native” speakers only 94% of world’s languages spoken by less than 6% of human population Approximations different figures depending Linguistic “hotspots”: o Refers to spaces of intense linguistic diversity o Example: Saudi Arabia (9 Semitic languages) vs. Papua New Guinea (approx. 860 languages, multiple language families. Why do Languages Die? o Sometimes natural causes (volcanic eruptions, famine, disease) wipe out communities of speakers o Political and cultural reasons: dominant forms of discourse create a negative language ideology o Native American and US Bureau of Indian Affairs “schools” o Welsh school flogging “Welsh not” badges o “Ideology of contempt”: how speakers view a less-dominant language. What Happens to Language When it “Dies”? Most languages in the face of extinction tend towards grammatical simplification Speakers have fewer opportunities to use syntax and morphology become simplified o E.g. Dyitbal (Australian) pre-colonial had 4-part noun classification now just has 2 Creolization usually takes place as well, with large number of loan words. Categories/Stages of Language Extinction Michael Krauss: o Safe: languages that have official recognition and/or more than 100,000 speakers o Endangered: Learned by children but not likely to be passed on in the next generation o Moribund: Children no longer learning language o Extinct: No longer spoken Only 10% of world’s languages considered “safe”. Critiquing Language Death Problematic assumptions about language death Use of numbers creates a colonial agenda technology of domination (Foucault). o Conveniently “leaving out” certain languages in the count furthers marginalization Enumeration: o How to define language and death? o What is the metric of “partial” or “bilingual” and its relation to the statistics on rates of death? E.g. is a person who is considered by the researcher “partial” counted among native speakers? Or left out? Why? Research agendas: example o Ethnologue widely cited for its counting and recognition of different languages o But their primary purpose its to create Bibles in all said languages! o Ultimate index to their “ethnologue” is American English. English dominates as the ultimate source of translation Multiculturalism problems: o “Saving culture” but for whom? Does their language “belong” to you? Language Extinction: What Happens? Harrison and Crystal: o Human knowledge loss Knowledge of natural world: species unknown to biologists known to native speakers. Knowledge of sustainable resources management o Cultural heritage loss Myths, stories, ways of being all unknown without knowing a language o Cognitive research opportunities lost Some languages so unusual they break with standard/accepted “universals” (Chomsky) Using biology as justification Analogy of species to language has drawn criticisms Essentialize nature, language and native speakers o They are valorized, seen as “of the land” and represent a time where man and nature were closer o Exoticized a made simplistic stereotyped about their life patterns and worldviews. Speaking a language and being a language –a culture- are not always the same, especially in multilingual communities. Language Ideologies Languages ideologies have a prominent place in discourse surrounding language death Homogeneity and revitalization efforts: o Assume standard practice when there are none o Natives resist outsider opinion on “true” nature of their language “Endangered” vs. politics: o Rhetoric of English-Only movement proposes that American Englis
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