ANTH 1001 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Nonverbal Communication, Valley Girl, Esperanto

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Language as a symbolic system: doesn"t just describe our world- creates it. Not a value-free set of labels for describing reality. Meaning therefore comes from an environment of symbols: the interrelationship between symbols and concepts makes up a particular cultural universe within which people think and act. Southwestern usa and argued that their language was processes and movement-oriented, whereas european languages were noun and thing- oriented: languages have characteristic ways of interpreting and expressing things. Studying language is therefore a great source of knowledge on a people"s mode of though, cosmology and everyday life: language allows us to articulate our struggles. The only things we know how to express are things our language has words/concepts for. The written word: john goody- writing enables people to distinguish between concepts and their referents. Allows us to turn words into things, to freeze them in time and space, whereas speech is fleeting.

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