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Lecture 4

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ANTH 1150

Kottak Chapter 4 – Language and Communication Definitions: Call systems: the natural communication systems of other primates Cultural Transmission: transmission through learning Productivity: the ability to use the rules of one’s language to create new expression comprehensible to other speakers Displacement: a linguistic capacity that allows humans to talk about things and events that are not present Kinesics: the study of communication through body movements, stances, gestures, and expressions Descriptive Linguistics: scientific study of a spoken language involving phonology, morphology, lexicon, and syntax Phonology: the study of speech sounds, considers which sounds are present and meaningful in a given language Morphology: studies the forms in which sounds combine to form morphemes – words and their meaningful parts Lexicon: a dictionary containing all its morphemes and their meanings Syntax: refers to the arrangement and order of words in phrases and sentences Phoneme: a sound contrast that makes a difference; that differentiates meaning Phonetics: the study of speech sounds in general; what people actually say in various languages Phonemics: studies only the significant sound contrasts of a given language Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: theory that different languages produce different ways of thinking Focal Vocabulary: specialized sets of terms and distinctions that are particularly important to certain groups Semantics: a language’s meaning system Sociolinguistics: investigates relationships between social and linguistic variation Style Shifts: variations of speech in different contexts Diglossia: the existence of “high” (formal) and “low” (familial) dialects of a single language Black English Vernacular: the relatively uniform dialect spoken by the majority of black youth in most parts of the US today, especially in the inner city areas of NY, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, Cleveland…and other urban centers. It is also spoken in most rural areas and used in the casual, intimate speech of many adults Historical Linguistics: deals with the long-term change; can reconstruct many features of past languages by studying contemporary daughter languages Daughter Languages: descend from the same parent language and that have been changing separately for hundreds of even thousands of years Protolanguage: the original language from which languages diverge Subgroups: languages within a taxonomy of related languages that are more closely related Summary: 1. Wild primates use call systems to communicate. Environmental stimuli trigger calls, which cannot be combined when multiple stimuli are present. Contrasts between language and call systems include displacement, productivity, and cultural transmission. Over time, our ancestral call systems grew too complex for genetic transmission, and hominin communication began to rely on learning. Humans still use nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions, gestures, and body stances and movements. But language is the main system humans use to communicate. Chimps and gorillas can understand and manipulate nonverbal symbols based on language. 2. No languages uses all the sounds the human vocal tract can make. Phonology – the study of speech sounds – focuses on sound contrasts (phonemes) that distinguish meaning. The grammars and lexicons of particular languages can lead their speakers to perceive and think in certain ways. 3. Linguistic anthropologists share anthropology’s general interest in diversity in time and space. Sociolinguistics investigates relationships between social and linguistic variation by focusing on the actual use of language. Only when features of speech acquire social meaning are they imitated. If they are valued, they will spread. People vary their speech, shifting styles, dialects, and languages 4. As linguistic systems, all languages and dialects are equally complex, rule-governed, and effective for communication. However, speech is used, is evaluated, and changes in the context of political, economic, and social forces. Often the linguistic traits of a low-status group are negatively evaluated. This devaluation is not because of linguistic features per se. Rather, it reflects the association of such features with low social status. One dialect, supported by the dominant institutions of the state, exercises symbolic domination over the others. 5. Historical linguistics is useful for anthropologists interested in historical relationships among populations. Cultural similarities and differences often correlate with linguistic ones. Linguistic clues can suggest past contacts between cultures. Related languages – members of the same language family – descend from an original protolanguage. Relationships between languages don’t necessarily mean there are biological ties between their speakers, because people can learn new languages 6. One aspect of linguistic history is language loss. The world’s linguistic diversity has been cut in half in the past 500 years, and half of the remaining 7000 languages are predicted to disappear during this century. Chapter 5 – Making a Living Definitions: Correlations: association of covariation between two or more variables Band: basic social unit, was a small group of fewer than 100 people, all related by kinship or marriage Horticulture: cultivation that makes intensive use of none of the factors of production: land, labour, capital, and machinery; use simple tools to grow their crops; slash and burn techniques Agriculture: requires more labour that horticulture does because it uses land intensively and continuously; domestication of animals, irrigation, terracing Pastoralists: people who activities focus on such domesticated animals as cattle, sheep. Goats etc. Pastoral Nomadism: the entire group moves with the animals throughout the year Transhumance: part of the group moves with the herds, but more people stay in the home village Economy: a system of production, distribution, and consumption of resources Mode of Production: a way of organizing production – a set of social relations through which labour is deployed to wrest energy from nature by means of tools, skills, organizations, and knowledge Means (or factors) of Production: land (territory), labour, and technology Peasants: small-scale agriculturalists who live in nonindustrial states and have rent fund obligations; produce to feed themselves, to sell their produce, and to pay rent Market Principle: profit-oriented principle of exchange that dominates in states, particularly industrial states. Goods and services are bought and sold, and values are determined by supply and demand Redistribution: operates when goods, services, or their equivalent move from the local level to a center Reciprocity: exchange between social equals, who normally are related by kinship, marriage, or another close personal tie Reciprocity Continuum: the range from generalized to negative Generalized Reciprocity: someone gives to another person and expects nothing immediate in return Balanced Reciprocity: applies to exchange between people wh
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