Anthropology 33 - Lecture 2 (04/08/14)
Anthropology 33 - Lecture 2 (04/08/14)
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Date Created: 04/09/14
Lecture 2 040814 What is Language 1 Nature of language physiology behind production of language and cognition of symbols into meaning 2 Relationship between language thought and human culture 3 Social change of language and culture over time as its passed down generations Language Prohibition 1866 o Language was banned from discussions because debates about its origins and how it came about became too heated due to a lack of any conclusive empirical evidence 0 Used fossil record to speculate about origins but could never create direct relationship for the cause of language 0 1990s use cognitive science and neuroimaging to understand how the brain acts in terms of language o Compare human and nonhuman primate brains to nd what distinguishes our language from animals Early Thoughts Before 1990s Evolutionary theory and speculation based on multiple disciplines o Danvin considered language in terms of sounds and gestures that came about through a gradual evolution 0 Noam Chomsky believes language began at a punctuated equilibrium about 10060 thousand years ago 0 Began due to a cognitive growth spurt started by a mutation in the brain of a single hominid ancestor o Charles Hockett created list of physiological and cognitive features that enable language 0 Refer to posted lecture slides for full list 0 Not logically interdependent don t need all the features to have language 0 Three additional features speci c ONLY to humans 1 Prevarication ability to tell false statements or lie 2 Re exiveness ability to talk about language in that language 3 Learnability ability to learn multiple languages using others Animal Languages Bees communicate location of new pollen sources to other bees through dance 0 direction oftheir dance is relative to the sun and the number of buzzes indicates distance 0 von Frisch 1947 won Nobel Prize for discovering that bees communicate through dance 0 Wenner 1967 proved that bees need both the dance AND pheromone odors to communicate a Symbolic language that does not require any material token other than the bee and its movements Nonhuman Primates o Production apes don t have the ability to control their lips and tongue to produce speech 0 Lack vocal apparatus necessary to modulate sound and they don t have a larynx voice box 0 Comprehension ability to understanding nonspoken referential symbols alphabet 0 Want to see if apes have the ability to comprehend the meaning behind language 0 Performance hallmark of language ability to create increasingly complex sentences within con nes of grammar 0 Unique to the human brain Multiple Modalities of Language in the Human Brain reading writing speech and grammar o Perisylvian area area responsible for language production a Broca s area speech production b Wernicke s area word recognition c Ape brain has Brodmann area which is similar to Broca s area in humans but is NOT activated I Have the potential for language but it s not activated a Reading brain reading symbols requires more than just visual specialization and representation a Must link visual representation to conceptual understanding b Angular gyrus association area of association areas not present in apes I allows memory and learning of symbols by creating associations between different parts of brain I damage to angular gyrus causes loss of reading and writing o Tokenlanguage brain use of symbolic representation a When symbol has no meaning we only use the visual cortex gt when it does we use many parts ofthe brair b Have ability to connect sight in visual area retinaoptic nerve to perisylvian area I visualauditory specialized region is the association area connected by angular gyrus c Have ability to categorizecluster symbols to create rules grammar for an in nite number of sentences o Steps to language 1 Acknowledge token object visually gt associate it to certain meaning 2 Sensory processing relates symbol to meaning 3 Note meaning remember it and create patterns from it
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