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Ant102-Oct9-La Ant102-Oct11-Language and Culture.docx

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Victor Barac

10/9/2013-Week 5 Monday, October 7, 2013 3:13 PM Boas and native North American languages (his first fieldwork): Inuit words for “seal”: – Generic “seal” – Male / female seals – Seals of different ages – Seal basking in the sun – Seal floating on a piece of ice – Etc. Language & Culture Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf (Whorf was not an Anthropologist) but then Whorf became a leading world expert in native American language Sapir compared northern American languages which led to: • Linguistic relativity – Structure of language influences cognition, perception, action – Language models the physical, social and supernatural Sapir/Whorf hypothesis-doesn't actually exist (but in books). Theory argues: in the process of socialization, a big part of that is learning how to classify and categorize the world. e.g looking at body parts, how you refer to an arm Classification of Body Part: Arms and Hands One term that refers to upper part etc. Zapotec Body Parts -Oaxaca, Mexico Same parts apply to different animal and objects-metaphorical extension to objects. e.g the top of box,=head (top of body). The foot of the tree=all space that surrounds the tree. They also use these terms for time. e.g foot is the beginning of the store (the foot of the store) Paiute Geographic Terms (Sapir) -hunter gatherers Detailed knowledge of their knowledge for survival in desert is reflected in terminology: 1. Divide / ledge / plain / desert / knoll / plateau / gulch -single term for specific translation 2. Sand flat 3. Semicircular valley -one word 4. Circular valley or hollow - they have 1 word… 5. Spot of level ground in mountains surrounded by ridges 6. Plain valley surrounded by mountains 7. Canyon without water 8. Canyon with creek, wash or gutter 9. Slope of mountain or canyon receiving sunlight 10. Shaded slope of mountain or canyon wall 11. Rolling country intersected by several small hill‐ridges Foregrounding=focusing on something in front Backgrounding=not focusing on something=blurry Paiute looks at this with a different set of eyes and values Paiute Golf Course, Las Vegas How would the paiute translate this image? How would they translate the "green", "fareway". They wouldn't, they wouldn't understand it. Because they have a different perception. Colour: Visible Wavelengths When look at colour spectrum, depending on cultural conditioning, apply generic term and focus on a specific area. Some people would draw line of colour change in one place and others somewhere else. It's perception. We categoriz
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