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Lecture 1

CMNS 110 Lecture 1: To Week 13 (Complete Semester)

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CMNS 110
Gary Mc Carron

CMNS110 Week 3: Language and Culture 9/18/2012 9:33:00 AM Trying to understand where language actually came from is problematic Language: social phenomenon, how we communicate with other people. Creates a social bond with people Ancient Greeks created democracy (template for contemporary democracy) Where does language originate? How is rhetoric possible if we dont have language? The pen is mightier than the sword Language origins Language acquisition Magical words Two theories of language origins Charles Hockett and the Design Features of Language We perform language Speech acts performing acts with language the power of language o making commitments o making promises and vows o etc. it always exceeds, it cannot be contained with just meaning Magical Words politeness: please and thank you expletives: cursing and swearing hate speech dysphemism and euphemisms The call of nature hypothesis The gestural origins hypothesis Hocketts Design Features of Language Structuralism Interested in the origins of language, but there was a problem with the question There is no language, there are languages and each are unique o Important to have a clear understanding of each languages origin and social/cultural background Design Features - the building blocks of language o Vocal/auditory channel Sender/receiver model o Rapid fading Characterizes spoken language Spoken word disappears, after you speak, its gone Animals use scent and pheromones Contrast to writing that doesnt disappear o Interchangeability Switch roles of listener and speaker o Intrapersonal feedback Feedback within the person Listen to yourself o Semanticity Language possesses meaning Must involve intentions it is intentional o Arbitrariness Human spoken language is arbitrary There is nothing that determines what a word means until we have agreed on what it means o Displacement Language is not limited to things in your immediate environment Communicate about things that are not present/field of vision o Productivity Language is infinitely productive Produced by its arbitrariness o Tradition Go to school, learn language o Prevarication Lying o Reflectivity (meta-communication) Use language to communicate about language o Concatenation (duality of patterning) When we use language, we chain things together The linking of things o Medium Transferability Audio recordable Re-encode Sign language CMNS110 Week 4: Orality and Literacy 9/18/2012 9:33:00 AM Walter Ong Marshall McLuhan Ong and McLuhan approached the notion of historical development by examining the forms of communication technology that were dominant in each historical era Medium theory Example: o Radio age to television age o Television age to computer age The greatest shift: o Primarily oral to literacy Ongs main interest was in the way that oral societies and literate societies differ, and his specific emphasis was to study how the change from orality to literacy had significant social, cultural, and educational implications. How does it change our lives? Example: o PowerPoint changed education Exosomatic Printing individualism o Personal interpretations of written work o Ex: the printing of religious documents Examples in which orality is still vital Testimony in courts must be given orally Orality is important in public debates, especially in political forums Graduate students must complete an oral examination Marriage ceremonies have an important verbal, ritual component the vow We can say that although the significance of contemporary occasions of orality may sometimes be ceremonial, they are not in any sense unimportant or merely incidental Certain kinds of media of communication have certain effects
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