Study Guide Exam 2 Language and Culture
Study Guide Exam 2 Language and Culture ANT3620
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Literacy Studies Literacy concerned with being literate and that influence on cognitive factors. Now, literacy Socially embedded phenomenonrelies and produces social inequalities. Anthropology and Literacy Way people speakreflect and shape social relationships (text does too) Intertextuality “Between texts” what is the nature of the relation (relationality between two different textual sources?) Text can influence conversations and vice-versa Recursion Barthes: Meaning of a text does not reside in the text, but is produced by reader in relation to the complex network of texts invoked in the reading process. Literacy events Heath 2001 heavily embedded in: o Times and places where and when they occur influences 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” Borrowing from Bourdieu! o Literacy events are shaped by practices and vice versa o Habitus: the knowledge that tells us how to act that “goes without saying” for specifics These “practices” are not events in the direct observable sense normalized (or occasionally subverted) ways. Language Ideologies of Literacy Two broad literacy ideologies: o Autonomous: Independent of culture Always the same 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 activities, events, and ideological constructs associated with literacy.” Primary way anthropologists approach literacy. “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 a 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 powerCreate language ideologies. Ahearn – Nepal Love-letter writing practice Practice of love-letter writing instituted new acts and norms: o Local cultural saw this practice as foundational for proper marriageeasier to elope If woman eloped disowned by own family Literacy provided new ways of practicing love in a culture, also exacerbated gender inequalities. Ahearn – Pema Kumari’s letter When she was arranged, she resistedwriting a letter threatening her father with jail if he went through with it didn’t work, wedding happened. Drew upon acceptable practice of letter-writing to instigate a new form of political identity. o Small iterations of cultural practice can engender larger changes, over timeRecursive Shirley Heath – “What No Bedtime Story Means” Practice theory: children and parents interact with texts on a daily basis to understand how socialized forms of behavior on reading influence performance at school. Formation of habitus, where and when begins 1. Maintown: white, middle-class. a. Adults discussed books with their children b. Explicitly made links to what was going on (news) with stories meta-textual (talking about text itself) i. Children learned formulaic story openings then created their own narrative. c. Children gave authority and power to books and texts. d. Habitustexts as sacred and literature as an authority. 2. Roadville: white, working-class. a. Children exposed to “literacy-based stimuli b. Taught to memorize, repeat, regurgitate for factual information. c. Did not “tell stories” to their children books learning, when stories were tolddiscussion of factuality (e.g. fairytales were “not true” or “not real”) d. Texts are meant to convey facts, and that a fictionalization of an event is a lie e. Didn’t like to being taught stories but facts, 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. 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. Children performed poorly in school not because they didn’t understand 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 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. Children socialized in different ways to literacy and how it is practiced. Grammar of Politics – Duranti Work in Samoa on language and political discourse. Samoa: o Polynesian macro-culture o Chiefly societies 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 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 used when blaming or praising someone. o “Facts” are constituted by point of view. Grammar is strictly related to moral 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 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 changes in social relations. Performance and Event Different forms of “talk” (heteroglassia), or genres, shape social positions and political success (really metaphorical). 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 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” Matai: highest ranking males of a village/community. Only ones allowed to be inside the fono. The “front”: o Most important people The “back” for women, wives, auxiliary family members. Schema of Arrangements A general schematic of how Samoans culturally seat themselves There front vs. back arrangements are relative to where one is in the community. Front spaces are closest to the main ceremonial spaces of a community, while back spaces are always directly opposite Side space are for the highest ranked. General ordering scheme: o Center/peripheryhigh/lowfront/back Practice of Speech Spatial ordering helps members of the fono to identify 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. Temporality in the Fono Temporality: what is the nature of time, event, sequence, etc. The kava (ceremonial drink) ceremony important in establishing social order through time. Primary orators served first, and so on ritual creates a hierarchy furthers social ordering 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 Sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropologistslanguage in real-life settings fieldwork Grounded theory: 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” Research by Hill on “Spanglish” in personal and 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 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: 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 Participant Observation Preferred method Ethnographic “is an experience” and “process”. Field notes Bystander status: Duranti ethnographers not complete participants Adjacent status: Rabinow holds that ethnography must take place alongside participants Either way must be considered vague. o Power relations always exist between anthropologist and those they study o Critical positionality. Interviews – Emic perspective Never considered the only instrument for analysis Repertoires: native taxonomies of speech genres o Taxonomy: a possible way of organizing and performing a set of speech acts. o Must document performance, not just what was said! o Variations in performance may allow for cultural perspectives to take shape. Variations in performance: performative code-switching can be studied in terms of sociocultural organization. It lacks contextgestures, facial expressions. Chamula taxonomies of speech genres Studied by Gossen Municipality in Chiapas inhabited by Mayan speaking peoples. Asked them about their native speech taxonomies Different words are practices depending on who they talk to Ethics Always unequal relation of power between researcher and researched. IRBs: Institutional Review Boards o Setup to counter ethically questionable biomedical and psychological experimentation. o Process does not always work for anthropological work o Informed consent Foucault: knowledge is power; power is relational Conversation Analysis (CA) Focus language on “natural” occurrences. 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. o Preferential adjacencies in every language. Goffman and CA Sociologist who has looked at participation networks and roles. 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 (exclusive). Criticism of CA Conversation out of context interpretation not taking into account larger structures. Introducing tape recorders changes the affective nature of people Transcribing leaves out key things: gestures and facial behavior. 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, globalization makes this impossible 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 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 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. Language is made for further social bonds A single individual doesn’t have language (formal model of linguistics) you need social group Saussure was simplistic. Second major modelChomsky Structurally, very similar to Saussure’s 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 Moved away from the stance of theoretical linguistics Sought to contextualize social life and language define a speech community 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? Culture and language are always there 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. Malinowski and Language Action Context of situation: words always tied to context. Pragmatic function: Function of language play an active pragmatic part in the human behavior. o Language mode of action o Critique: separated languages b/w “civilized” and “primitive”. Malinowski and Magic His early anthropological attempt at language theory has problems. o Word for word translation (transliteration) decontextualized language. o He judged based on truth values he judged whether the magic incantation actually produced the intended magic effects. Missed the point: metaphor! o Systems of classification (Levi-Strauss) o Language both reflects and shapes being-in-the-world. o Language creates relationships. Philosophy of Language Action – Speech Act Theory J.L. Austin: 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” regarding how utterances are tied to action. 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”: o Locutionary act: the act of saying something (“you’re fired”) o Illocutionary act: the act a speaker can accomplishChanges social status (unemployed) o Perlocutionary act: an act produced by the utterance beyond intention multiple emotional outcomes Unintended effect (you don’t expect this to happen) Doesn’t have specifically linguistic Don’t smoke, it’s horrible (L.A.)The individual may stop smoking (I.A.)Individual raises middle finger (P.A.) 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? 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 o Truth: Rosaldo believes that any classification of speech acts must be seen as just one part of cultural practice that both represents and reproduces some form of social orderBourdieu’s practice theory Geertz and Balinese cockfight SAT assumes that every promise made in any language must meet the requirement of the speaker sincerely intending to carry it out This is not the case everywhere Statements cannot be “verified” under SAT because it assumes a Western stance of false/true opposition. Empirical truth (at least for Western) Others have different oppositions in terms of their speech acts. o Intention 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). 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” First to critique Chomsky’s distinction of competence/performance paradigm (anti-Chomsky) o Speaking in socially contextualized the “rules” and “structures” of a language are more played out in conversation that legally/cognitively defining features (everyday context) o It is all embedded (more like Levi-Strauss) o Levi-Strauss’ “bricoleur” vs. Chomsky’s “I-language” SPEAK-different aspects of language o S: setting, or scene o P: participants o E: ends, goals, purposes o A: acting sequence; sequence of events (Duranti looked at this in his book) o K: key; emotional, tonal clues (paralinguistic) o I: instrumentalities, forms and styles of speech o N: norms; social rules governing speech o G: genre; speech taxonomy. (Chamula community) John Gumperz Ethnomethodology: believes in order to write correctly of another’s language, one must understand the other’s “universe”: Every language is a universe not just ideas and symbols but gestures, cultural idioms, spaces and materialsthis universe is heterogenious The universe is the speech community: any human aggregate characterized by regular and frequent interaction by means of a shared body of verbal signs and set off from similar aggregates by significant differences in language usage.” He never assumed members from same community spoke in same waysthey spoke in similar ways A speech community still has verbal repertoires: speech varieties within a single system. o There are levels of these speech community like Gainesville or the United States. William Labov Pioneered variational analysis of sociolinguistics Focused on dialects (phonology and syntax) Studied lower East Side Manhattan community o Social dialectology: discovered language ideologies surrounding African American Vernacular and different forms of Caucasian dialects o Different dialects were both perceived, and instituted, to different socioeconomic ranks. Differences in acceptability were not simply stemming from different dialects. o Different dialects showed some similarities in acceptability, and differences in others language should not be considered abstract, but abstractly grounded. Dialectology: language ideologies concerning dialects within a single community Acceptability: within a speech community, there is a level of social acceptability of dialects dialect/social hierarchies Rossi-Landi From Marxism perspective Linguistic forms and contexts have values, just like goods and services in the Economy (he saw language as a circulation) In the circulation of linguistic signs, language is a product of human labor and has an assigned value that simultaneously satisfies needs and promotes new ones. Words “presuppose” certain perspective and ideologies, just as commodities “presuppose” certain desires and values. o Linguistic alienation: are agents in control of their own linguistic resources? To what extent? o The problem is you just don’t have control over the context you were born in. Saw the circulation of sentences, common phrases/sayings, etc. the same as the financial sector linguistic economy Some have more resources based on social and historical circumstances (e.g. white males) than others (e.g. Latinos) Speech Networks Highlights interactions between and among speech communities/users Members are a part of networks that can o Change through time o Overlap one another o Be embedded in one another Ties in the network: o Strong to weak ties: level of participation in a particular network o Multiplex/uniplex ties: level of connectivity in a particular network o High/low density: network ontology think “degrees of separation” Communities of Practice Terms coined by Jean Lave & Etienne Wenger (1991) o Studied leaning in social contexts o Learning is not just what goes on “in your head” but is socially mediated by one’s place in time. A “community of practice” is: o A mutual engagement o Joint enterprise o Shared repertoire o Ways of: doing, talking, believing and behaving A community no longer defined by a location of demographic community is a thing that is socially engaged with itself. Wittgenstein – Language Games Philosopher who used the metaphor of a game to the practice of language Words are understood in relation to other words, contexts and by projecting its future impact against our models of reality. o Meaning is not just “in our heads” it is rooted in the experience of practice Words are directly tied to a “particular kind of existence” o Knowing a word does not simply mean we know what to do with itpresupposes a certain existence “If a lion could talk, we could not understand him” Problems with language game analysis: o Too general: where doesn’t this apply? o Generalization impossible is it too specifically minded? Wittgenstein: “there is no such thing as the theory of what something means: o Because context is key! If the context changes, then so must the description and analysis! o Paralinguistic: “beyond linguistics”; non-verbal cues, facial expressions, eye movements etc. that are all integral to language. Shilbrack – Are we through with Geertz? Attempts to tackle question with two major criticisms: o Religions provide their practitioners with a “model of reality”, or symbolic relations and structures that constitute the cosmos o Religion prove an “ethos”; shared beliefs but also emotions, feelings, attitudes, etc. Models of Reality – Metaphysics Schilbrack defines Geertz’s “models of reality” as really an investigation into metaphysics the nature of reality. Religions popularly conceived as lacing metaphysics Western analytics philosophy o “Metaphysics” vs. “metaphysics” Really, Geertz was liking at ethno metaphysics how native people believe their world was/is constructed and how it operates, functions and behaves. Critique of Geertz – Asad and Genealogy First critique used Michel Foucault’s notion of “genealogy” tracing, through time, the relations between science, truth and power. Asad believes Geertz is reproducing Western ideas of religion because his theories bear resemblance to an early religious scholar who held cognitive views of religion o Helbert Spence held that religion was both internal (just beliefs in your head) and private (up to the individual what to do with their religion) Modern ideals of the primacy of private property and the rugged individualism of the post-Enlightenment periods may have colored Geertz’s view of religion. In the End? Asad’s critique: Geertz does not take into account the social context of power in his analysis granted. o But cognitive view of religion? All in the natives’ head? No! Geertz was interested in performance of symbolism In the cockfight, did the men’s social position change, at all? In any way? Did their positionality affect anything? o Static culture another problem with Geertz Symbolic systems constantly thought to reproduce. But don’t they change? Dell Hymes’ view on language encompasses a critique of Chomsky’s conception of a homogenous grammar in a speech community, viewing “grammar” as something that is played out in everyday contexts, and also viewing language beyond “competency” and “performance”. In Shilbrak’s piece, he cites Asad’s critique in response to Geertz work. His major critique was on his idea of power and the Western ontology he was biased by. Sorry in the pacific – Meyerhoff Looked at speech acts and their contexts of saying sore, or “sorry”. Wanted to know the utility of “communities of practice” vs. “speech community” 3 functions of Sore Express apology “I am sorry for hitting you” Express empathy “I am sorry to hear that happened to you” Express certain politeness discourse to “miss something”, as in “I miss you” Distribution and “Rules” Most frequent users of sore are women Qualitative analysis of the instances of use: o Both men and women use sore to apologize and express missing someone. o Men do not use sore to signal empathy o Both men and women use similar syntax to reflect similar attitudes about empathy. Conclusions from qualitative analysis o Women and men prefer different behaviors of expressing empathy o Not because women are “more” empathic social practice/habits of speaking engender language rules for the different sexes. It doesn’t mean men can’t feel empathy with people or that they can’t say sorry for that they tend to not do it. Ethnographic Side of Sore – Symbolism Women symbolically conceived of, in Vanuatu society, as “growers and nurturers” Further, semantic domain of kinship relies on similar imagery of “planting” and “grafting” o Women therefore indexed and symbolically linked with agricultural/horticultural practices This symbolic relationality embeds and furthers women’s language ideology in Vanuatu as empathic, nurturing, care givers. Further Constructing Habitus Common way of describing a proper/good female: “she is a quiet girl” goodness linked to proper ways of speaking o Many cultures have this link US similarity: “She is well spoken” Metalinguistic relation: using language to say something about language and society ideas of gender roles and proper practices. “[It] is NOT that women are nurturing while men are not” o Both draw from different sources of symbolic power to constitute different social roles that language then reflects and perpetuates. Men nurture differently from women. Habitus tends to perpetuate social norms and roles. Communities of…? Mayerhoff does not like “communities of practice” idea. Saying sore not relegated specifically to women o Just one of MANY practices that separate the sexes in Vanuatu society o Women themselves come from heterogeneous positions wealth, status, sub-ethnicity, etc. Speech community, in this case, fits the data between than does applying a community of practice Especially since the only common practice discovered so far is the use of sore Practices change, communities not much. Categorizing the whole society by their use of sore is missing out everything else. You are missing context. Language Acquisition and Socialization There are multiple ways of being socialized into culture through language Language use is culturally specific Assumptions about language acquisition largely based on Anglo- American models. Language Acquisition: (according to Ahearn) o Chomsky o Psychology Chomsky on Acquisition Process Many linguists do not consider social or environmental factors o Chomsky LAD: Language Acquisition Device; what is responsible for promoting language learning. o “poverty of stimulus”; because Chomsky and others believe that there is a limited amount of linguistic input (learning) in the first year, there must be a device—linked to Universal Grammar—that facilitates this. What about people raised in contexts without language? Do they magically “figure it out”? Others – Psychology & Cognition Child psychologists and neuro-scientists maintain that learning a language is like learning to ride a bike simply a cognitive task. o Here context is considered a part, but still unimportant. Disagreement on the “poverty of stimulus” do children really have a lack of language going on around them? o Why might this be considered at all? o Anglo-American social practices: “baby talk” vs. the rest of the world. Language Socialization Coined by anthropologists Elinor Ochs and Bambi Schieffelin Ahearn’s summary: o “The process of acquiring language is deeply affected by the process of becoming a competent member of society.” o “The process of becoming a competent member of society is realized to a large extent through language” They draw from Bourdieu’s notion habitus: individuals simultaneously structure, and are structured by, social forces and relations in which they are embedded. Cultural values and social practices part of leaning process Axiom of linguistic anthropology: it is impossible to learn a language without becoming socialized into a culture. Children not simply passive receivers but active participants in the practice. Language Socialization throughout Life There is not stopping point to “learning” a language a continuous process until death Not simply leaning new words or another languagealso the social/cultural practices and beliefs. Hasidic Jewish Gender Culture Men and women’s language use: o Men expected to study ancient texts and prayer use Yiddish almost exclusively. o Women expected to protect men from polluting effects of non- Jewish life they deal with non-Jews, so their English is usually better practiced. Hasidic Jewish Language Socialization During adolescent years, young women’s discussion often involved topics and ideas concerning married life, motherhood and proper ways of being-Hasidic-in-the-world. After marriage, men would leave home to work while mothers stayed home to care for children men began to learn better English later in their lives. In both cases: o Language use and the structuring cultural practices and principles that come along with it changed though time b/c of context needs of the speakers o They were “bricoleurs” Elizabeth Mertz – Thinking like the Law Argues that law schools teach to “think like a lawyer” though the way speech occurs in the classroom. Law Talk Students taught to disregard “irrelevant information” in cases like emotions, historical or social settings, etc. o Instead, texts are conceived along legalistic discourse: what matters is not context but past cases (precedent) and the history of the legal matter at hand. This new text relation achieved through the Socratic method in the classroom o Answer-and-question method o Students have no lectures but must answer questions which challenge assumptions and legal principles. Through this discursive practice, law students are provided a mental model for texts that ultimately legal truth merger through argumentation Goffman: law students are these animators of legal doctrines (mouth pieces), not the composers (authors) or principals (not their opinion). This specific relationality of animator produces a language that values structure (of legal jurisprudence and rules) over content (because each case is different) o Applying an amoral way of analyzing text key to becoming a competent lawyersocialized in a particular way. “Truth emerges through argumentation” When the teachers challenges you by asking, they are trying to bring out that practice of argumentation Language Acquisition in Bi/Multilingual Communities Before the age of 8/9, children learn languages at a faster pace than any adult At least half the world is multilingual Multilingual communities provide insights into the complex interrelations between culture, learning, thought and language. Multilingual Communities Ways of switching, shifting or moving between and among languages/dialects: o Diglossia: Phenomenon where there are two languages present or dialects It is not only bilingualismsocial differences between the two ways of speaking Two ways of speaking (New Yorkers vs. Southern)It is relative Spanish vs. English Diglossia has social hierarchy, also highly structural (English is considered better than Spanish) It assumes some type of variable, not deviating too much from Chomsky. Diglossia and bilingualism differ because, diglossia takes into account context. o Code-switching Switching between two different registers (not place-based but socially-based) o Code-mixing Mix two different languages in the same sentence (Spanglish) Transidiomatic Practice From Marco Jacquemet: takes into account globalization’s influence on language practices. o Migration o Social Media might make you speak in shorter sentences o Cultural multiplicities Example: “Diverted to Delhi” Aikhenvald – 2003 code-switching and code-mixing among Vaupes region o Tucano,Tariana, Makú, Baniwa languages spoken Area known for practice of linguistic exogamy o Marrying someone that speaks a different language Due to colonial growth and missionary work, language use shifted towards Tucano as a lingua franca Ethnic identity and social status has become fractured and re-oriented since pre-Columbian times. o Article focuses on the Tariana’s language ideologies. How to Choose a Language? Familiar relationalities o Etiquette protocols: speak mother’s language to her and her relatives, same with father. o Because Tucano is “easier” language extinction occurring Other relationalities: o Etiquette protocols: speak guest’s language; however, to speak one’s own primary language a sign of aggressiveness. o Portuguese only spoken around whites those who cannot speak usually remain silent Schooling almost always in Portuguese o Language choice in everyday contexts determined by 1) cultural etiquette and 2) statusTucano considered higher status. Code-Mixing and Code-Switching There are language ideologies to code switching and mixing Code-mixing is looked down upon Makú people viewed animal-like because of hunter-gatherer lifestyles Language Ideologies of the Vaupes Tariana and Tucano They are seen as haughty, weakling, succumbing to Tucano superiority. o Only appropriate times are when directly quoting or in stories (for animals and evil sprits) Tariana and Baniwa Tariana believe the person is childlike; trying but not quite succeeding. o Tariana trying to sound “silly” will knowingly use Baniwa words to appear foolish Tariana and its other variants people tend to view that person as potentially dangerous; serious ridicule. Language Ideologies of Colonization Tariana and Portuguese worse than Tucano mixers; pure arrogance and superiority. o Words that do not appear in Tariana, and that are in Portuguese, can be mixed in without social repercussions Tariana and English Cultural exportation – music and radio. o “Unreserved privilege” indexicality to ideas of easy-going lifestyles, large feasts; positive materialism. Conclusion Numerous semiotic indexes culturally established within multi-lingual Tariana communities. History of the area has had severe impact on current linguistic practices These L.I.s serve to attempt to “put down” others so as to re-capture some form of social agency in the face of massive cultural change. o It is no coincidence that Tucano and Portuguese, the languages of the most powerful people relative to the Tariana, are treated with most contempt. Politics and Debates – Mutual Relationality Nation-states have “official” or “national” languages Dialect had connotations of being subaltern, backward, not proper in relation to the “official” one. Register: “polite language”, “nerd talk”, “girl talk”, “slang” speech genres! o Differences in register directly related to how one is perceived in the world by others. India – A Case of Language(s) In India official languageHindi with 22 recognized languages. o English is the language of the legal system artifact of British colonization. Official Language Resolution of 1968 o Passed because of India’s enormous ethnic heterogeneitylet’s promote diversity but keep HindiHierarchy Cultural tensions. o Language use major ethnic controversy. o Multilingualism part of daily life o What is “official” vs. what actually occurs in practice often contradistinction Lead to social inequalities and loss of social identity. Don Kulick – Papuan bilingualism Language acquisition and socialization in community that spoke a native tongue, Taiap, and a lingua franca creole, Tok Pisin. Children tend to speak in Tok Pisin. o Adultschildren are to blame because strong willed and not respective of traditions Marshall Sahlins: people reproduce their social conditions but in the process, contribute to change. Papuan bilingualism – Theory of Person Two major cultural concepts regarding theories of person in Gapun: o Hed: the individualistic, egotistic, unbending self (Individualism, feminity, children, negativity) Taiap o Save: the cooperative, knowledgeable self (Communalism, masculinity, adults, positivity) Tok Pisin In Gapun, these two concepts both act on the individual, who must mitigate hed in order to cultivate save Missionary activity changed these structural relations: o The idea of hed came to form a semantic domain with the native languages, Taiap, and “backwardness”, or “barbarity”. o Save came to form the opposite domain, with the newly created Tok Pisin language —from the missionaries —clustered with modernity, Christianity and “goodness” Papuan Bilingualism – Practice Kulick notes that adults assumed children incapable of language acquisition of retrieval before 18 months of age o Infants speaking a few native Taiap words were displaying their hed —their selfishness Parents assumed Tok Pisin is easier to speak so when they want young children to pay close attention, they speak Tok Pisin o Cultural norms regarding infant speech made a catch-22 of the native tongue! o Parents unconsciously reinforcing hed/save distinction through language ideologies but in a new linguistic system/structure. o Not cause and effect, it all embedded inside of each otherco- embedded Who Speaks What? – Campbell and Grondona Misión la Paz, Argentina o Linguistic exogamy occurs, though it is not a socially constructed rule. Considered incest to practice linguistic endogamy. Passive bilingualism: speakers speak only one language but understands other speaker’s perfectly fine. o They speak the language they identify with. Identity and Practice People identify with a single language o Begins around 5 or 6 personal choice o No status conferred to one over the other o Gender, prestige and power not factors in a person’s identification While claiming to not be able to speak other languages, this is not true in practice Impacts on Linguistic Structure Natives resist lexical borrowing form Spanish or each other, and instead create their own words o Ex. “goat” “similar to brocket deer” 3 languages in MLP appear to be diverging from each other. Structural differences in syntax and morphology b/w the 3 languages suppose linguistic identity is rigidly guarded. Passive/Dual Multilingualism Universals This has been observed in some aspects from immigrants to US, Papua New Guinea and the Scandinavian countries. Aboriginal Australians tend to be multilingual that follow their father’s dialects “patrilects” Usually, linguistic exogamy involves the wife coming into her husband’s community, and then she earns the local lang. Vaupes region mentioned! o Social practices explicitly constructed around multilingual practices and ideologies. Differences and Conclusions MLP differs significantly from universals noted in the text o Multilingual interactions occur in a very one-sided seeking/listening discourse. o Many claim to not speak others, though large evidence to the contrary o Linguistic exogamy not realized as an explicit social practice “just the way it is” narratives Generalizations about linguistic convergence and universals in language use need to be critically engaged. o There is a lot of human variation o There is not that idea of “universals” Jan Blommaert-Rwanda Political Asylum Blommaert studies transidiomatic practices in relation to power asymmetries. Case of “Joseph Mutingira”: o Sought political asylum in Britain after Rwandan genocide o Home Office rejected him on grounds of the language he spoke considered inauthentic o Perception of “national languages” and authentic nationals.
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