Language and Culture
Language and Culture ANTH 4173
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March 22 2011 Origins of Language 1 Introduction a Questions H V v39 vii i iii iv How did language evolve physiologically and neurologically Did language evolve gradually or did fully grammatical language evolve all at once What were the pre adaptions that made language possible Which came first the capacity for language or the biological capacity for the vocalization of a wide range of sound What were the selective pressures that encouraged this development What are the differences between how humans and animals communicate What is the nature of the interdependency between biology and culture that made language possible 11 Biology of language Anatomy a Description 1 ii The human vocal tract The pharynx 2 Larynx voice box 3 Tongue 7 shorter and deeper allowing for a larger range of motion More muscle activity 4 epiglottis Ape vs human vocal tract b Skeletal evidence i ii39 iv v Hyoid bone 7 protect your wind pipe Basicranium 7 the base of the cranium Hypoglossal canal Spinal cord in the thorax region Cranial shape 1 Broca s area 2 Wernicke s area c Fossil evidence 1 ii iii Australopithecus l 2 million years ago Genus Homo l 718 million H ergastererectus l 2 mya300000 years ago iv Archaic H sapiens l 30000030000 years ago 2 Suggest rib control 3 Hypoglossal canal 4 Pharynx is larger 5 Broca s area v Neanderthal 1 130000 7 30000 years age 2 No modern vocal tract but the ones before them did IH What is Language a Hockett s Design features features of communication systems March 24 2011 V Cultural transmission 7 symbols are taught Arbitrariness 7means it s symbolic Discreteness 7 grammar complex messages are built up out of smaller parts Duality of Patterning 7 levels of patterning word patterning syntactical patterning blending Displacement 7 ability to communicate things not present in space or time Productivity 7 openness ability to create new combinations of symbols meaningful words sounds sentences b Cognition i Theory of Mind 7 ability to guess what someone else is thinking empathizing IV Brain a Brain size and distribution i Australopithecus brains 4500 ccs ii H erectus 1000 cc iii H sapiens 1400 cc iv Neocortex Memory judgment control learning social perceptions b Lateralization 7 right and left side of the brain Tool use and language development 57 of language function is on the left side of the brain V Evidence form archaeology a Tool making 7 seem to require abstract thought Paleolithic art 7 cave paintings VI Questions about language evidence a Did language evolve gradually or suddenly i Early theories Wilhelm Wundt in 1911 a Bowwow theory 7 hearing other animals b Miracle 7 language is a divine gift c Natural sound 7 language is built of emotional sounds d Invention theory 7 b 1 Was language acquired gradually or suddenly Single sound based on an immediate stimulus Points to an immediate issue i IncrementalGradual Physical evidence gradually 2 Linguistic evidence 7 sudden ii DiscontinuousSudden l Chomsky Noam 7 sudden children learn language quickly and in leaps 2 FOXP2 gene 7 formation of brain regions necessary for production speech sounds Appears in modern people from 125k years ago Supports language made as a mutation c Which came first i Syntax evidence by gestures perhaps or physical capacity to produce language ii Grammatical ability or vocalization iii Two views 1 Syntax vs Physical Capacity a Syntax first 7 GESTURING PRECEDED ORAL LINGUISTIC COMMUNICATION AN ATOMICAL CHANGES CAME AFTER THE GRAMMATICAL ABILITY TO FORM SENTENCES i Phonology is most likely a secondary phenomenon whose evolution depended crucially on the evolution of symbols and syntax Bikerton Coevolution 7 Preadaptations i What would need to be in place in order for language to be possible Capacity for symbolic representation Ability to put symbols in sequence Co gnitive social follow eyegaze direction or direct attention Imitation of action sequences to communicate Increase in memory 57 0 mrwwe March 29 2011 B2 Did grammatical gestures like sign language precede oral linguistic communication Bonobos use gestures more exibly and symbolically while the facial features are more emotional Gestures are evolutionally younger The species more closely related to humans use more complex gestures and the change became more symbolic over time iv Gesture Theory 1 GW Hewes 1973 2 Pollick and De Waal 2007 Ape gestures and language evolution PNAS 104198184 8189 3 Bikerton 4 Why would language shift to vocal means d Why did language evolve i Need to coordinate subsistence ii Social needs re living in a group 1 Machiavellian intelligence hypothesis 2 Robin Dunbar Gossip grooming hypothesis 3 Burling sexual selection iii Bikerton s Critique human niche theory 1 DerekBikerton 2007 Language Evolution Lingua 1175 10526 a Australopithecines probably had no language b Probably some sort of protolanguage c There was some kind of selective pressure for protolanguage d Probably connection between evolution of language and evolution of cognition March 3 1 201 1 NonHumanPrimate Communication studies Can Apes Talk Can Apes Talk 1 What is the evidence for YES and NO Based on what evidence REFER TO SPECIFIC AUTHORSH a Aping Language article says no because the apes were imitating what their handlers are doing They don t learn like children because they never graduate past the two wordphase they understand vocabulary but they do not understand grammar p 14 Responding but never initiating there were no evidence that the symbols had any meaning to the apes behavior modification b Empirical Kanzi article says they have ape language quotApes have a language but it s not like human language because they are not humans find the first sentence of the conclusion c King article says apes communicate as apes even when they use human symbols d Talking Chimp to Chimp article is stating other people s statements but doesn t really make a statement of his own e Hockett s Communication and Language says it is di icult to define language but gives a list of characteristics to go by f Language Files 7 p 574 the CheatingMonkey To think about What is languageHockett s Design features displacement and productivity In addition to those two are discreteness blending and duality of patterning multiple levels of patterning 7 limited number of sounds that create language 3 What is the difference between language and other forms of communication 4 How can we know if they have language or not a What kinds of study design are most effective b What evidence are we looking for in the studies There is no statement that language is any better than other form of communication Technically speaking the debate is that there isn t language N April 5 20 1 1 Sociolinguistics Pays attention to Ways of de ning social difference in technical linguistic terms Relationship of social difference to cultural identity Relationship of social difference to social strati cation I Sociolinguistics a Wardhaugh Ronald An Introduction to Sociolinguistics 539h ed 2006 b understanding of the general principles of organization that surely must exist in both language and the uses of language Assumptions 1 Bonvillain Nancy 2000 Language Culture and Communication The Meaning of Messages 3 01 edition Prentice Hall a Social differences correlates with differences in speech b Notice different ways of speaking point to social segmentationdifferentiation c Problems with generalization sometimes too narrowly de nes people based on their language All women speak one way all AfricanAmericans speak one way Methods 1 Scienti c and data driven Record a lot of examples of people speaking Statistical component quantitave study and analyze statistically Looking at large samples iii Topics H l Dialects 2 Pidgins and creoles 3 Bilingualism and code switching 4 Class 5 Ethnicityrace 6 Gender 7 Any distinct social community may have corresponding language use differences iv Critiques of Sociolinguistics Bonvillain No one is only malefemale youngold we are all an aggregate of sociolinguistic markers It is more complex than that We have to be very careful about generalization 2 Language usage cannot be predicted sociolinguistics can just describes patterns 3 Content matters v Positive Aspects Quantitative analysis backs up the qualitative research Helps us trace patterns of identity in social strati cation Language is also an active way for people to position themselves in the world based on identifying categories vi Question 1 How does language variation perpetuate social strati cation not just mirror it a See Bonvillain text for examples II Dialect Bilingualism a 57 A few points from book i Dialect it is a form of language or speech used by members of a regional ethnic or social group Linguistic etic perspective 7 there is no difference This is not a legitimate linguistic category It is a political concept People emic perspective ii Language and cultureethnici there is often a correlation but not always Don t assume a correlation exists iii Bilingualism languages exists sidebyside iv Pidgin to Creole 1 Creole a pidgin that has become the rst language of a speech community 186 Example Black English Vernacular i AAVE is rule bound Phonologicalmorphological 1 Reduction of consonant clusters at the end of words a SE ex last night las night 2 Third person possessive plural a Ex She like to read You have my friend number ii Copula deletion l Cupola verb to be 2 Rule for cupola deletion the verb to be in the present tense 3 Where SE has contractions BEV deletes a Result He is tired i SE ii BEV iii The use of be marks habitual or durative aspect 1 He be hiding when he knows she s mad 2 They don t be on the streets no more 3 Leo be the one to tell it like it is 4 the of ce be closed on weekends iv Perfective done action that is completed 1 The teacher done lost her keys 2 We done told him already v Future perfective be done 1 We be done washed all the cars by noon vi Multiple negation 1 They didn t never do nothing to nobody 2 He ain t not never gon say it to his face 3 They can t do nothing if they don t never try III Language Ideology a This refers to i intentionalconscious ways of thinking aboutevaluating language ii and not directly intentional ways of thinking aboutevaluating language b Example EnglishOnly movement c Example AAVEEbonics i 1977 Michigan 1 Court case 2 What was the nding April 7 2011 d Social Class 39 Speaking style phonological morphological and syntactic the way you pronounce things the way you put words together from multiple parts 1 Higher classes tend to speak in standard English Judgment of others how do you evaluate what is proper and what is not iii Conversation style pragmatics iv Bonvillain p 222 relationship between speech sound and patterns In the context of a hierarchical class society in which certain forms of speech and communicative interactions are privileged speakers who manipulate the prestige forms Iquot are able to present themselves as people worthy of respect 2 And in a classbased society they are granted such respect by others 3 We can therefore see the ways that socialization into norms oflanguage use contributes to the production and reproduction of social inequality a Critical thinking In an essay question I could quote this from Bonvillain and ask you to support it with evidence What would you include in your answerNorrns39 BE V Gender C S Class establish and describe those norms evidence of its relationship to power examples Language and Gender I Gendered Styles Gendered Language 7 How Language Differs a Lexical terms i Colors 7 use more colors for language ii Adjectives iii Kinship terms b Prestige forms 7 double negatives are not prestige form Women tend to use more prestige forms than men Women compensate for linguistic barriers or they feel insecure i Grammatical ii Pronunciation c Morphological i Japanese honori cs ii Different endings among the Yana of CA d Phonemic i s ii Native American groups iii EX Koasati SW Louisiana a Muskogean group iv Women day Iakawwa nasalized and men say Iakawwas he will lift it e Men s and women s languages i Yanamamo Wayamo manhood language ii Japanese women s language Gagne f Prosody i Intonational curves ii Oh that s terrible g Female Register i 2 Robin Lakoff Female Register 1 Tag questions 2 hedges 3 rising intonation at end of declarative statements 4 repetition 5 intensi ers 6 hesitations ii O Barr and Conley 1 When a juror watches a lawyer II Gender and Power Domination Involves Getting someone to do something Establishing de nition of world views and reality evaluating as good or bad impose ideas a Who talks more i Fishman P M 1983 Interaction The work women do In B Thorne C Kramarae and N Henley eds Language Gender and Society Rowley MA Newbury House ii Originally published in Social Problems 1977 pp 397406 1 Think about tumtaking topic initiation the topic is successfully changed and conversation is established interruptions 2 Interruption versus overlap April 12 2011 b Different Styles Culture Miscommunication and Power 39 MaltZ Daniel N and Ruth A Borker 1982 A cultural approach to malefemale miscommunication In 11 GumperZ ed Language and Social Identity Cambridge Cambridge University Press 196216 Difference is based on cultural difference and miscommunication iii Women s features I C Ask questions Conversational labor More positive minimal responses Display silence after being interrupted Use of pronouns to acknowledge to the other speaker MJAWNH iv Men s features More likely to interrupt More likely to challenge More likely to ignore More likely to successfully introduce new topics 5 More direct statements of facts JRENN V We argue that American men and women come from different sociolinguistic subcultures having learned to do different things with words in conversation so that when they attempt to carry on conversations with one another even both parties are attempting to treat one another as equals cultural miscommunication results vi Emphasis added 1 Examples a Positive minimal responses b Questions c Topics 2 Socialization vi1 Tannen Deborah 1990 You Just Don t Understand Women and Men in Conversation NY William Morrow and Co Inc viii Tannen Deborah 1990 You Just Don tUnder tand39 Women and Men in C quot NY William Morrow and Co Inc ix Genderlect l for most women conversation is a way of connecting and negotiating Thus their parleys tend to center on expressions of and responses to feelings or what the author labels quotrapporttalkquot private conversation 2 Men on the other hand use quot to achieve or maintain social status they set out to impart knowledge termed quotreporttalkquot or public speaking 3 The Solution ie better we understand it the genderlects the better our chances of bridging the communications gap integral to the battle of the sexes x Are Men from Mars 1 Gray John 1992 Men are from Mars Women are From Venus A Practical guide for improving communication and getting what you want in your relationships 2 The author offers a simple solution couples must acknowledge and accept these differences before they can develop happier relationships xi Evaluating these claims 1 Do people really talk this way 2 If so why Another argument Social power i Henley Nancy M and Cheris Kramarae 1994 Gender Power and miscommunication In Roman C et al eds The Woman and Language Debate New Brunswick Rutgers University Press 383406 1 cultural difference alone cannot adequately explain the full pattern of language difference and miscommunication 2 and that in fact such an explanation badly misrepresents these phenomena ii What s wrong with the cultural difference argument 1 Is difference ever just different 2 What s the role of power in difference a The styles are not only different but one has greater status access to power prestige and wealth i Greater social power gives men the right to pay less attention to to discount women s protests the right to be less adept at interpreting their communications than women are of men s The right to believe women are inscrutable b If differences between men s and women s speech were simply about cultural difference this dominance pattern would not be so clear c The differences are not just neutral iii Sattel Jack Men Inexpressiveness and Power 1 The starting point for understanding masculinity lies not in its contrast with femininity but in the asymmetrical dominance and prestige which accrue to males in this society 2 My argument is that one reason little boys become inexpressive is not simply because our culture expects boys to be that wayibut because our culture expects little boys to grow up to hold positions of power and prestige iv What are Tannen s Problems 1 Review of Tannen iquot a Trivializes experience of injustice 2 Senta TroemelPloetz 1998 Selling the Apolitical In Language and Gender39A Reader Jennifer Coates ed Pp 446458 3 Tannen is selling political na39139vete 448 a What does this mean 4 Bonvillain text pp 254262 a Implications of Gendered talk i Male ii Female d Example of this debate Relationships e In sum April 14 2011 Guest Speaker First written record of the word ya ll was in 1736 ye aw by an Irish New Yorker o Ye is considered plural Lost words youthou These were formal and informal versions Thou was inferior or intimate You was the formal During the renaissance people want to be treated equally and this word begins to disappear There is a collapse of the use of you and it becomes singular Problem how can we figure out who and how many people we are talking to Inserting plural markers to make it easier to understand 0 Y all ya ll you all Authority and institutions make the standards that we abide by power and authority chooses the standard The masses use other dialects noncorrect usage The standard forms are not necessarily good in expression Sometimes the nonstandard helps express better Regular and irregular verbs irregular verbs don t have a pattern Regular verbs have a speci c pattern and come from German 0 Ex tweettweeted Dialect 7 neutral term to talk about other forms of language Old English 5 11 103911 centuries Middle English 13001500 Around 449 AD Germanic invaders take over the England area Synthetic language 7 in ection usage English becomes more analytical Two things that language is always doing 1 Simplicityef ciency 2 Communication Language versus Dialect 0 Language is abstract 0 My own individual speech is called idiolect many different dialects April 19 2011 Language and Power Code Switching Bilingualism bidialectalism o Hegemony preponderant in uence or authority over others 0 Convert prestige competing sets of values exist creating strong pressures in favor of the illegitimate languages in the vernacular markets p 348 0 Creative linguistic response to authority n 39 vernacular practice are productive not merely reproductive that they arise not from a mere bending to the weight of authority p349 I People may sharpen or exaggerate differences 0 MendozaDenton I Hegemony covert prestige creative response to authority resistance 0 How do these themes run through the piece 0 Think about your own lives Identify instances of hegemony convert prestige and creative linguistic response to authority Reported Speech and Media 0 mainstream media are produced and constrained by dominant ideologies that support particular social and political agenda p 376 o Analyze the following reports April 21 2011 Pink Toenails o httpwwwyoutubecomwatchv0mechpLWkampfeaturerelated 7 CBS news online 0 httpwwwyoutubecomwatchvSmG6smfan 2 7 Newsycom o httpwwwyoutubecomwatchvBbeGOHGg do 7 Whoopi Goldberg Creative responses 0 Does the internet and social media provide a space for dissenting views and grassroots organizing o httpwwwyoutubecomwatchvTHvBTMzmSZI 7 Egypt protests 0 http wwwyoutubecom watchvm 1HDfJ 3 0ampfeaturerelate 7 Medical Encounters o httpwwwyoutubecomwatchv1hk392vlrcampfeaturerelated 7 XanaX re ll Language and Culture 7Drag o How do gender race and class become relevant through language How are they negotiated 0 Do the drag queens resist challenge or accommodate dominate white society and speech forms as the norm 0 Do they challenge linguistic hegemony