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Intro Notes

by: Vanessa Notetaker

Intro Notes APY204

Vanessa Notetaker
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Intro class notes
Linguistic Anthropology
Dr. Everett
Class Notes
linguistic anthropology




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Vanessa Notetaker on Friday February 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to APY204 at University of Miami taught by Dr. Everett in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see Linguistic Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Miami.

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Date Created: 02/12/16
APY204 Notes 2/12-19/2016  The ratchet effect o From generation to generation, we don’t lose knowledge… we ratchet it o Extract knowledge thru lang. o Hums. Are great inheritors (we inherit knowledge from others)  7,000 langs o Mandarin: most native speakers nd o English: most widely spoken (2 lang of many) o Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Russ, Jap, Javanese, etc.… o 100,000 langs in human history?  Language Death o About half of the 7,000 dead w/in the next 100 yrs.  Random cultural knowledge you’ve acquired o Ex: “why is 1 second a second?” etc. …. Origin of system  Babylonians-based 60 system in the US  Egyptians- sun dial, 12 hrs./day, 12hrs/night o Baseline: we think it’s “natural” to have these measurements of time (ex: atomic clock), but really it’s all culturally constructed and reinforced thru LANGUAGE  Numbers- key to what we have today  15,000 words/day avg… no real difference between men and women  7 billion ppl today o Came very close to extinction in Africa (before getting out of Africa)  Possible creation of lang. allowed us to survive (also eating seafood) APY204 Notes 2/12-19/2016 Linguistic Anthro can tell us 3 things about humans 1. Culture a. Language reflects culture i. Ex: how we talk about love (“I love you… I love burritos, SHOWS etc.…”) KINSHIP ii. Karichianano overarching term for brother (only SYSTEMS separate words for “younger bro” and “older bro”) IN THESE CULTURE  Other Amazonian groups don’t have terms for S uncle, aunt, etc… one term for people in diff generations, for example. iii. Ex: Karchiana don’t have word for “monkey”… instead have different words for different types of monkeys  Reflects how monkeys are important in their culture  Distinctions that matter mostly based on what they taste like, leading to diff terminology within these particular culture 2. History a. Similarities existed, but due to what? b. Historical linguistics i. (William Jones observation) some langs similar to some langs in India (langs/ppl that had been isolated for centuries)… similar words, meanings, etc.… ii. They come from the same lang… very generation speaks slightly diff from previous generations iii. Languages are constantly changing iv. Proto-Indo European language  Descendants speak Portuguese, Eng., Spa, Indian, German, etc.… (languages and people that dominate the world today)  Why did Indo-Europeans become so influential?  Similar case with Proto-Tupi (Amazon/S. America)… point of origin… another example is languages that were disseminated in Polynesian Expansion c. Writing: 4,000 yrs. old in the oldest case i. Sumerian-ancient Iraq, oldest writing system now d. Everett’s Theory: Humidity impacts how languages evolve i. How Hums have adapted to climate… INCLUDING LANGUAGE  VERY subtle patterns suggest how Hums are ecologically adaptive creatures… something seen in other species too APY204 Notes 2/12-19/2016 3. Cognition a. Language can tell us how people think b. Language impacts how you think in very subtle ways c. Ex: how we can memorize objects i. Geocentricspeak languages that constantly require you to do that ii. Left to right, etc. d. Your language’s grammar makes you practice certain things… like spatial perspective, etc.… i. We make sense of abstract things thru concrete things like our body ii. Abstract concepts: we make sense of them (like past present future)  Future vs no-future tense… there’s no present tense in some langs like Karichiana  Past tense vs non-past tense  other Present & langs have 2 tenses, none or multiple e. Metaphors i. Help structure how we think and interpret concepts like love, time, space, etc.… ii. Ex: “the future is fwd.”  We see future as being in front of us & past behind us… we think of time in terms of space… time just isn’t there though  “Leaving the past behind, I look fwd. to next week, etc...  Lang also affects body lang… ex: English speakers tend to move fwd. when thinking of the future  BUT Aymarapast is in front  You construe stuff differently based on lang you speak  Many langs lack metaphor seen in English iii. Ex: “Love is something that’s in the heart”  Other cultures think of love in the liver, in the eyes, etc.… f. Languages & Quantities i. Language impacts how we see numerically ii. #s Hum invention… some cultures don’t have #s iii. Mathematical reasoning not so diff from chimps until we learn #s  Ex: Pirahã (one of many ANUMERIC CULTURES) a. Rough # words (not precise)… 3 number like words- one/few, one/a couple, several APY204 Notes 2/12-19/2016 b. Struggle with quantities >3 … like with #s 7 and up c. Can still make sense of quantities! Ex: if they lose one kid out of 5 in the forest they recognize that individual is not there… Hums recognize people as individuals qty not needed to recognize and keep track of people iv. Age…(in English) how many trips we’ve made around the sunwe keep track of that… our culture has #s  Pirahã know who’s older but not exact age like we have in our concept of age


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