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Lecture 4

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McMaster University
Bryan Cummins

Anthropology 1A03 October 5 , 2011 Language and Communication Language is defined as a system for communication in symbols of information, all language is symbolic, > Our system is an open system of communication, all other species (so they say), are closed systems. This means that, first of all, in terms of languages, these languages can be put together in so many different ways that it’s virtually infinite. Wolves communication would be considered CLOSED. > Displacement, we have this. This is a very important and fundamental aspect of human language, it is the ability to communicate or to talk about other than here and now. This gives us the ability to say “ detailed” information passed onto each other > Almost weekly, we are learning about the communication methods of other species, they have determined that a pod of orcas, have various dialects. The matter of dialects: >we all speak dialects. What people refer to as dialects, are variations of language, and what is termed a dialect has to do with political/social/economic inequality. Dialect is a variation of a language. > We all speak dialects, BUT dialects and how we preserve them are socially and political judgments and statements. When we make a judgment on someone’s dialect, we are making a value social judgment about that person and that person’s character. > We must divorce ourselves from those kinds of attitudes. Not everyone slips into the type of idea that we give to someone’s dialect. > Dialects are then social and political evaluations > Sapir Whorf- They looked at the relationships
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