ANT102H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 22: Ethnography, Ethnoscience, Ward Goodenough

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Published on 22 Nov 2018
School
Department
Course
November 21,2018
ANT102
TOPIC-HOW LANGUAGES REFLECT CULTURE
Anthropologists have been fascinated by relation between culture and language
Different cultures have different views on language
In some languages there are words for objects while in others there aren’t
Boas noted the use of words such as snow ,ice in central Canada
Example : words for seals distinguish between male, ,female ,young ,old and even
specific locations
Same word can have different meanings in different languages to even same language
English is a language that tends to put separate ideas into separate words
Cultural emphasis :
The complete vocabulary of words in a language is a complex inventory of ideas
The idea that language reflects culture of speakers suggests the cultural
emphasis of language
If there are a lot of different meanings of a word then that word is probably
important part of the culture of people the language is spoken among
Example : there a ways of naming body parts in different languages
Example : in shinzwani there is a single word mama which is broken in mother
and aunt in English
Example : in English there is a single term for cousins irrespective of gender while
in many languages there are separate terms for Male and female cousins
In 1940-50s several nuclear tests were carried out in Marshall Islands and this a
radiation language was developed by the people there to deceive about the
experiences of these tests
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