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Cultural Anthropology Ch 4 Notes

by: Carly Rothert

Cultural Anthropology Ch 4 Notes Anth 2800

Marketplace > University of Toledo > Language > Anth 2800 > Cultural Anthropology Ch 4 Notes
Carly Rothert
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About this Document

These cover everything in chapter 4 of the the culture counts textbook
Cultural Anthropology
Shahna Arps
Class Notes
Cultural Anthropology, Anthropology
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carly Rothert on Tuesday February 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 2800 at University of Toledo taught by Shahna Arps in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in Language at University of Toledo.


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Date Created: 02/02/16
Anthropology Ch. 4 Notes THE ORIGINS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF HUMAN LANGUAGE  Call: animal vocalization  Call system: the form of communication among nonhuman primates composed of a  limited number of sounds that are tied to specific stimuli in the environment  Human language has the ability to re­create complex through patterns and experiences  through words  When did language develop 1. as early as two million yrs. ago when the genus Homo emerged 2. language like our own has been limited to members of our own species­­­ Homo  Sapiens date from about 200,000 years ago 3. modern human language emerged about 50,000 years ago, in connection with a  big jump in the sophistication of human tool making and symbolic expression b. Work in biology suggests a connection between language and a gene called FOXP2 c. Unless prevented by total social isolation or physical incapacity… 1. all humans learn a first language 2. all go through the same stages of language learning in the same sequence and  at roughly the same speed regardless of the language being learned b. Language instinct: what humans have­­­very different from animals 1. animals “learn” language through genetics 2. humans learn the language of the group into which the person is socialized b. Universal Grammar: a basic set of principles, conditions, and rules that form the  foundation of all languages c. kids need language in the first 6 years of life in order to learn to speak like other  members of the community 1. Ex: Genie Pg.: 83 2. kids like genie show the although language is a biological capacity, it can only be activated within a social group b. Symbol:  something that stands for something else. Central to language and culture c. Conventionality:  the notion that, in human language, words are only arbitrarily or  conventionally connected to the things for which they stand 1. Dog=Perro=chien b. Productivity (linguistics): the idea that humans can combine words and sounds into  new, meaningful utterances they have never before heard. c. Displacement:  the capacity of all human languages to describe things not happening in the present THE STRUCTURE OF LANGUAGE  Similarities of language o all have a structure  phonology: the sound system of a language  morphology: a system for creating words from sounds  Semantics:  the subsystem of a language that relates words to meaning  Syntax: a system of rules for combining words into meaningful sentences o all language is made up of sounds  Phone: smallest identifiable unit of sound made by humans and used in  any language  Phoneme: The smallest unit of sound that serves to distinguish between  meanings of words within a language  different languages have different phonemes and with a language  different geographical, ethnic, and social groups use somewhat  different sets of phonemes  we experience these as accents o all language is made up of morphemes  Morphemes: the smallest unit of language that has a meaning  can be composed of any number of phonemes  Lexicon: the total stock of words in a language o provides clues to culture because it tends to reflect the  objects and ideas that members of that culture consider  important  vocabulary can be used as a clue to understanding different  cultures  to convey meaning every language needs syntax o Syntax: rules that structure the combination of words into  meaningful utterances  parts of speech­­­nouns, verbs, and so on­­­ are critical to syntax  all languages have nouns, but different languages have different  subclasses of nouns (referred to as Gender)  USING ANTHROPOLOGY: FORENSIC LINGUISTICS o everyone speaks with an accent  can learn their geographical origin and ethnic background o Forensic anthropologists use the details of speech and  writing to provide legal evidence in a wide variety of  situations  Immigration:  use linguistics to find out if the accent, slang, and idiomatic  expressions used by asylum seekers are the same as those of the countries they claim to be from  Criminal investigations  use information to identify the regional origin of an individual in  prosecuting a suspect  use information to identify to person that committed the crime *****sometimes the info is off and can cause problems  used to identify what is said in recordings  problematic because a lot of meaning in conversation is  carried in nonverbal cues LANGUAGE AND CULTURE  Sociolinguistics: the study of the relationship between language and culture and the  ways language is used in varying social contexts o attempt to describe , identify, and understand the ways in which language is used in different social contexts  LANGUAGE AND SOCIAL STRATIFICATION o from a linguistic perspective, all languages are equally sophisticated and serve  the needs of their speakers equally well, and every human being speaks with  equal grammatical sophistication o in hierarchical societies the most powerful group generally determines what is  “proper” in language  social elites=language  anything else=dialects o speakers often vary their vocabulary and pronunciation in different contexts and  that the degree of such variation is related to their social class  poor=stigmatized forms  wealthy=privileged forms  middle class= stigmatized forms in casual speech, but privileged forms in  careful speech o AAVE is stigmatized as symbolizing ignorance, while SAE is considered normal  and symbolized intelligence o Code­switching: moving seamlessly and appropriately between two different  languages  THE SAPIR­WHORF HYPOTHESIS o Sapir­Whorf hypothesis: the hypothesis that perceptions and understandings of time, space, and matter are conditioned by the structure of a language  says we perceive the world in certain ways because we talk about the  world in certain ways  also argued that the grammatical structure of languages compelled their  speakers to think and behave in certain ways o language structure does and thought are somewhat related  pg.: 93 NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION  nonverbal communication includes: artifacts, haptics, chronemics, proxemics, and  kinesics  Artifacts (in communication studies): communication by clothing, jewelry, tattoos,  piercings, and other visible body modifications  Haptics: the analysis and study of touch o handshakes, kisses, and hugs  Chronemics: the study of the different ways that cultures understand time and use it to  communicate o m­time culture: time is perceived as inflexible and people organize according to a schedule o p­time culture: time is fluid and activities are not expected to proceed like  clockwork  Proxemics: the study of the cultural se of interpersonal space o intimate space: 1­18 inches­­­typical among intimates o personal distance: 18 inches­4 feet­­­ relationships among friends o Social distance: 4­12 feet­­­ common among strangers  distances are affected by gender circumstances, culture, and individual  personality  Kinesics:  the study of body position, movement, facial expression, and gaze o use posture, visual expression, eye contact, and other body movements to  communicate interest, boredom, and much else o smiling is universal, and every culture smiles  smiles aren’t interpreted in the same way in every culture LANGUAGE CHANGE  Great vowel shift: a change in the pronunciation of English language that took place  between 1400­1600  language changes o vocabulary o syntax o sound o slang  LANGUAGE AND CULTURE CONTACT o language reflects the history of their speakers  when people from societies where different languages are spoken meet,  they often develop a new language that combines features of each of the  original languages  called pidgins  no one speaks a pidgin as a first language and the  vocabulary of the pidgin is usually limited to the words  appropriate to the sorts of interactions shared by the  people speaking it  Creoles: a language composed of elements of two or more  different languages  can be spoken as a first language and the vocabulary is as rich and complex as any other language  often in countries that are colonized upper classes  speak the language of the colonizing power while  the lower class speaks creoles  TRACING RELATIONSHIPS AMONG LANGUAGES o Comparative linguistics: the science of documenting the  relationships between languages and grouping them into  language families o questions raised when considering the history of language  was there any one original human language  in the future will there be a world with one language  governments can help to wipe out languages  people abandon their language because they think it is more  convenient, prestigious, or profitable to speak the languages of  wealth and power  could be bad because language is a huge part of culture


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