Cultural Anthropology Week 3
Cultural Anthropology Week 3 ANT 204 - 09 (Anthropology, Angela L Reed, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology)
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brooke Yaffa on Sunday October 18, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ANT 204 - 09 (Anthropology, Angela L Reed, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology) at Grand Valley State University taught by Angela Lockard Reed in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Cultural Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Grand Valley State University.
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Date Created: 10/18/15
Cultural Anthropology ANT 204 Chapter 4 September 18 2015 Brooke Yaffa Language A system of communication using arbitrary sounds or gestures that are put together in meaningful ways according to a set of rules No language is simple or not well developed All languages possess the amount of vocabulary their speakers need and all languages expand in response to cultural changes Why Study Language 339 Anthropologists need to study language to be able to communicate with their informants v Knowing a cultures language give an anthropologist insight to the inner workings of language that can be applied to other aspects of culture v Language records and encodes peoples experiences and their understandings of the world Symbols signs emblems and other things that represent something else in a meaningful yet ARBITRARY way Alphabet is a symbol system the sounds they represent are arbitrary Signals Instinctive sounds or gestures that have a natural or selfevident meaning Language Design Features those characteristics of a language that when taken together differentiate it from other known animal communication systems This is compared to primate communication systems Openness Human language is creative Speakers of language can create and understand new messages Call systems of other primates cannot be combined to produce new meanings The number of calls is few and is produced only in certain situations Displacement The ability to refer to things and events removed in time and space Speakers of language can talk about absent or nonexistent objects of past or future events and easily discuss the present Primates appear to understand the past and future but their call systems cannot refer to those situations Arbitrariness There is no necessary link between any particular sound and any particular meaning In primate call systems links between the sounds of the calls and their meanings appear to be fixed and under direct biological control Multilevel Pattering The principle relating levels to each other is the same Units at one level patterned in one way can be used to create units at another level and so on Primate call systems are typically one level Semanticity The association of linguistic signals with aspects of the social cultural and physical world of a speech community People use language to refer to and make sense of objects and processes in the world While primate calls do have meaning the meaning is fixed People can change the meanings of words through time Prevarication Linguistic messages can be false and they can be meaningless in the logician s sense People use language to lie Sentences that seem perfectly well formed grammatically may be semantic nonsense Primate call systems cannot be used to lie Learning Language Noam Chomsky Claims that there is a device in the human brain called the innate language acquisition device It is an instinctive mental capacity that enables infants to acquire and produce language Universal Grammar Theory that the ability to learn grammar is hardwired in the brain 339 Not all members of particular speech communities possess identical knowledge about language they share 0 v Generational differences Dialects Varying forms of a language that re ect particular regions occupations or social classes that are similar enough to be mutually intelligible Gendered Speech distinct male and female syntax Native speakers of one language share not just vocabulary and grammar but also assumptions about how to speak and the organization of language Wordtoword translation does not work English I am fullquot means the end of a meal French Ie suis pleinquot 6 word for would be I am full yet in translation this statement is I am a pregnant male animalquot Linguistic competence the mastery of adult language Subject Verb Adjective Adverb Adverb Adverb Communicative Competence the mastery of adult rules for socially and culturally appropriate speech Speakers are able to choose words and topics of conversation Code switching the process of changing from one language or dialect or level of language to another Linguistic Ethnocentrism One language variety is taken as the standard against which all other varieties are measured Linguistic Inequality passing value judgments about other people s speech Language Change borrowing of words from one language to another Technological change requiring new vocabulary Such as computers and other western medicines machines Subgroups have unique vocabulary Such as sororitities and frats gangs and religious groups Language Erosion or Extinction over the last 500 years 4000 of the world s 10000 languages have become extinct
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