Cultural Anthropology Ch 4 Notes
Cultural Anthropology Ch 4 Notes Anth 2800
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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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