Anthropology Notes Week 4
Anthropology Notes Week 4 2597
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Melissa Metzgar on Thursday February 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 2597 at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania taught by Professor Ehrensal in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Intro to Cultural Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.
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Date Created: 02/11/16
Language and Communication Non-Human Communication -Other animals (including other primates) -call system ● each call has only one meaning, which is always in the present tense ● particular calls only occur in particular environmental circumstances (ex. mating, breeding, territory, food) ● cannot be combined with other calls Human Communication -Language: a sign system based upon symbols -Based upon arbitrary learned associations between words and the things for which they stand -Functions as a system of classification and mental representation of the world The Origin of Language -Capacity to remember and combine linguistic symbols may be latent in apes -wouldn’t learn without human intervention -evolved about 12 million years ago -Recent genetic studies put language in homo sapiens approx. 150,000 years ago (had recognizable sounds, just not as many as we have today) Language, Thought, and Culture 19th Century Anthropology -”Primitive” peoples were culturally and intellectually “primitive” “primitive mind” and “primitive thought” → don’t think like us -”Primitive” people were not logical, thought magically or like children The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (linguistic relativity) Sapir→ early Boas student Whorf→ industrial engineer -Boasian response to 19th century beliefs about how “primitives” thought Two Propositions: -Semantics and words (once we label something, it becomes that label) -Grammar (subject-verb-object language) The Structure of Language Descriptive Linguistics Phonology→ sounds that are used in a language, sound combinations, phonetics Morphology→ morpheme: a sound cluster that is a minimal unit of meaning ex) cats Syntax→ the study of the combination of morphemes into meaningful utterances (permissible and impermissible order) Beyond Just Sounds -Kinesics (body movement) -Paralanguage (variations in verbalization) Language in Use How to Do Things With Words -Performative speech acts -The speech act itself creates an outcome (ex. military commands) Sociolinguistics -Focus on linguistic performance (what people actually say) -how performance says something about the individual themselves (social stratification) Elements of Linguistic Performance -Bilingualism and code shifting -Style shifts -Dialects -Gendered speech contrasts -Social stratification/social class
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