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Languages and Communication

by: Thomas Ranson

Languages and Communication 045

Thomas Ranson
Penn State
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About this Document

Notes on the section covering languages and communication
Cultural Anthropology
Dr. Marcie Venter
Class Notes




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Thomas Ranson on Thursday February 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 045 at Pennsylvania State University taught by Dr. Marcie Venter in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 33 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Pennsylvania State University.

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Date Created: 02/04/16
Languages and Communication Language: A system of communication organized by rules that use symbols (Words, sounds, gesture) to convey information Verbal  Speech, tone and pronunciation (Accent, Dialect)  Nonverbal (body language/ Writing)  Vary from culture to culture  Symbolic communication Symbolic Communication: a meaning is known even when reference is not present (meaning is arbitrary) Origins of Language  Biologically modern humans  FOXP2 gene  Cranial capacity increased  Throat anatomy  Advancements in technology (Communication necessary for learning)  Human ability to improvise Noam Comsky: Human brain is limited to a set of rules for organizing language, all languages have common structural basis Sapir – Whorf Hypothesis: Different languages produce different patterns of thought, focal vocabularies: The words and terminology that develop with particular sophistication to describe the unique cultural realities experienced by a group of people Descriptive Linguistics: The study of sounds, symbols and gestures of a language that can be combined into forms that communicate meaning Phonemes: The smallest units of sound that can make a difference in meaning Phonology: The study of what sounds exist and their importance to particular languages Morphemes: The smallest units of sound that carry their own meaning Morphology: The study of patterns and rules of how sounds combine to make morphemes Syntax: The specific patterns and rules for making phrases and sentences Grammar: The combined set of observations about the rules governing the formation morphemes and syntax that different languages use Kinesics: The study of the relationship between body movement and communication Paralanguage: An extensive set of noises and tones of voice that convey important information about the speaker (Emoticons are like this) Sociolinguists investigate the social and linguistic variation in social context  Code switching: Switch to different language mid sentence  Style switching: Chang the style mid conversation Linguistic Stratification: Different accents and dialects and the assumption therein  The assumptions made upon hearing different regional speech patterns Languages are Fluid  Prescriptivists: Correct ways of speaking a language  Descriptivists: Language diversity  Historical Linguistics: Reconstruct features of past languages through daughter languages Language Family: A set of languages that derive from the same protolanguage (Reconstructed common ancestor)


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