Cultural Anthropology Chapter 4 Notes
Cultural Anthropology Chapter 4 Notes ANT2410
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Popular in Cultural Anthropology
This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Maria Valencia on Sunday September 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANT2410 at University of South Florida taught by Dr. Melina Taylor in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in Cultural Anthropology at University of South Florida.
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Date Created: 09/11/16
Cultural Anthropology ANT2410.002F16 Chapter 4 Highlight = Important Person Highlight = Key Concept Highlight = Key Term **Seems as if every blue heading is a key concept when going over it in class** Basically? Language is awesome. -Languages are culture, vary widely, alive and dynamic, so many ways to communicate! What Is Language and Where Does It Come From? Language: is a system of communication organized by rules that uses symbols such as words, sounds, and gestures to convey information. • Animals communicate somehow someway! • Human communication much more complex, involving sounds, gestures, symbols, rules, etc The Origins of Human Language • Primatologists have studied language and communication to our nearest relatives (chimp, orangutans, apes) and found some calls pass on genetically. -Lack ability to manipulate vocal cords, tongue, lips like humans can. -Debate a to whether animals can actually develop human communication skills or just mimic caregiver. Productivity: the linguistic ability to use known words to invent new word combinations. Displacement: ability to use words to refer to objects not immediately present or events occurring in the past of future. • How did human language capacity evolve? -Genetic evidence: Presence of FOXP2 gene. -Archaeological evidence: neurological and anatomical features in Homo sapiens necessary for speech, and ability to cooperate in hunting and tool making led to communication. Descriptive Linguistics • Think of the word pig.., why those three letters and that speciﬁc sound equal picture of pig? Descriptive Linguistics: study of the sounds, symbols, and gestures of a language, and their combination into forms that communicate meaning. • What if you went to a village where there was no written language and you tried to create one for them using English alphabet? Very complex.. Phonemes: smallest units of sounds that can make a difference in meaning. Ex: p and b sound same but pig and big very different. Phonology: study of what sounds exist and which ones are important for a particular language. Morphemes: the smallest units of sound that carry meaning on their own. Morphology: study of patterns and rules of how sounds combine to make morphemes. • Human language we combine morphemes to make sentences based on rules. Syntax: speciﬁc patterns and rules for constructing phrases and sentences. Grammar: combined set of observations about the rules governing the formation of morphemes and syntax that guide language use. Kinesics and Paralanguage • Master more than just spoken and written elements Kinesics: study of the relationship between body movements and communication Ex: nod, handshake, bows, arms crossed. -Different in different cultures. Ex: Point with ﬁngers in America versus with lips like people form Finland. Paralanguage: an extensive set of rises (such as cries) and tones of voice that convey signiﬁcant info about the speaker. -Can convey emotion Ex: Say “ the exam is on Thursday” being happy, sad, frustrated, scared. See how it changes? Fun Fact: As much as 90% of emotional information is communicated though body movements and . e g a u g n a l a r a p Can Language Shape Our Ways of Thinking? Language, Thought and Culture • Noam Chomsky suggested human brain is hardwired with basic framework for organizing language that creates a universal grammar. -Felt that this theory explains our humility to learn other languages and to translate form one language to another. • Different direction taken by Edward Sapir and student Benjamin Lee Whorf. Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: idea that different languages create different ways of thinking. -Whorf linguistic research with Hopi———> shows difference in grammar compared to English that reﬂect difference in worldview. “Shakespeare in the Bush”: A Nigerian (Mis) interpretation of Hamlet • Laura Bohanan attempted to translate classic English literature story, Hamlet, only to ﬁnd some words were not able to be translated into Tiv (native language) because had distinctly different meanings or because they had different concepts. Meaning of poem got lost in translation. -Reveals power of environment to shape language and how we see world. The Role of Focal Vocabulary • Language may inﬂuence the way we see the world but does not control or restrict our thinking. -They change and adapt as natural and cultural worlds shift. Lexicon: All the words for names, ideas and events that make up a languages dictionary. Focal Vocabulary: the words and terminology that develop with particular sophistication to describe the unique cultural relatives experienced by a group of people. Ex: Bolivian Aymar Indians having 200 names for potato! How Do Systems of Power Intersect with Language and Communication? • “It’s not what you said, its HOW you said it…” ———> actually what people say and how they say is intricately connected to the cultural context, social position and larger systems of power. Sociolinguistics: study of the ways culture shapes language and language shapes culture, particularly the intersection of language with cultural categories and systems of power such as race, gender, class and age. The “N-Word” Has been a derogatory term for African Americans as a symbol of white power, slavery and • threat of violence. -20th century, was replaced with Negro but has not completely disappeared. • Debate about use even among African American community. • Young people often to express friendship but know the limits and rules for the usage. Language and Gender • No hard evidence brains of men and women wired differently leading to gender differences in language. • Linguists have two frameworks for analyzing differences. -Deborah Tannen sides with the difference model: she suggests men and women are a form of cross-cultural communication. Age 5 to 15 girls hang with girls, boys with boys. -Dominance model:if gender stratiﬁcation and hierarchy are prevalent in larger culture, and if men are generally in positions of superiority then language will reﬂect mens dominance. Language and Dialect Dialect: nonstandard variation of a language vs language that is complete system of communication. -Elevated status associated with language derives form ability to establish particular form as the norm by which to judge other ways of speaking. Prestige Language: a particular way of speaking or language variation, that is associated with wealth, success, education and power. • Pierre Bourdieu proposes that language skills serve as a type of cultural capital: a resource or asset available to language users that can be converted into ﬁnancial capital such as wage and beneﬁts. Language Variation In The United States • Midwestern accent and grammatical usage of the English language has become the prestige language variation against which all other variations are judged.———> Standard Spoken American English (SSAE) Code Switching In Academia Code Switching: switching back and forth between one linguistic variant and another depending on the cultural context. Ex: Writing email to professor versus Facebook post Black English: “Spoken Soul” • Perhaps most stigmatized variation of English, mistakenly criticized as broken English. • Black english is not ungrammatical jumble but a sophisticated linguistic system with clear rules and patterns. -Rickford and Rickford document how this “spoken soul” comes alive in African American community. -Representative of culture, history and worldview distinct from white culture • National debate in 1996 with Oakland district to recognize Black English as Ebonics as a distinct language. -Huge controversy stating that this would undermine the use of Standard English which considered central to US nationality. Historical Linguistics Historical Linguistics: the study of the development of language over time, including its changes and variations. Ex: Know through analysis of vocab, syntax and grammar that Spanish and French came from parent language, Latin. Language Continuum: the idea that variation in languages appears gradually over distances so that groups of people who live near one another gradually speak in a way that is mutually intelligible. Ex:Italy to France there is huge difference in language or even different parts of China. What Are the Effects of Globalization on Language? • As people move, elements of vocabulary and grammar are loaned or imposed on pop that come into contact with. Diminishing Language Diversity • Colonial languages provide points of access to current global economic and political systems and therefore continue to spread. • Increasing migration leads to less widely spoken languages to adopt the more widely spoken language. • Global media is dominated by prominent language crowding out less widely spoken language Fun Fact: The 10 most prominent languages spoken by more than 50% of world pop, top 83 languages account for 80% of humanity. 3,500 least spoke languages account for .2% of . s e g a u g n a l d l r o w Hastening Language Loss Language Loss: The extinction of languages that have very few speakers. Fun Fact: On average one language is lost every 10 days. (Not so ) n u f • When a language is lost, we lose all of bodies of info and local knowledge that had been developed maybe over thousands of years by that community. -Within language is embedded rich knowledge about plants, animals and medicine and a particular groups unique way of knowing the world. Language Revitalization Most languages have never been written down. • • Summer Institute of Linguistics———> a group with the most extensive efforts to create written records of langauges. -SIL send missionaries to remote areas to live with community and create a written language in order to translate Christian Bible into local language. -Some linguists think its controversial because Christian nature can possibly ignore religious aspects of the culture, while others see this as positive because signiﬁcant data would be lost if not for them. -Created a compendium title Ethnologue with 7,106 languages Preserving Endangered Languages • Information technology such as LiveAndTell for Lakota language has created way for native users to share family stories, video recording, and anything to preserve language on online portal.
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