ANTB21-Tutorial 1-January 16, 2013
Focus on Chapter 2 of Living Language book
Indexicality is part of Pearson’s concept. He wanted to understand the uses of language. The icon is
the notion of how a photo can stand for something else. Symbol is an arbitrary way to talk about
something example bird. Index, related to concept. Example of index, smoke. We can say to
someone we see smoke and they know it’s a fire. Symbols are more like labels.
2 important themes:
1. Language should not be studied in isolations or cultural meanings
2. Questions about social cultures and social meanings
Research can vary in anthropology.
All research begins with a research question-often concerns how language shapes culture.
Pg.32-33 good examples of research questions.
Also a focus on the kinds of data we find.
Some people may video record or tape record, everyday interactions.
Multisided research-different sites
Also learning and understanding new languages, great way to become familiar with social roles and
Interviews-type of info requested can vary widely. Process can also vary. Can also use interviews
itself to gauge. But interviews aren’t simple. Ex. job interview, the interviewer has power over
whether you get the job. Interviewer and interview are counterparts in the interview. Like they each
affect each other.
Surveys and questionnaires- not the most used method. Good way to get quantitative data (age,
sex, etc) or qualitative data (# of people engaged in an activity).
Naturally occurring conversations-another way to collect data. Record conversations and go back
and transcribe them. Problem with this is it takes away the naturalness of the conversation.
Transcribing itself can be overwhelming, it takes 6 hrs for every hr. Tools to use, but people will do it
themselves if there not good in technology. Also issue if you directly transcribed what you heard,
like “um” “you know what I mean”, etc. These can change the way you read their tone, or how
smart or stupid they same. You can decide whether to leave those words or to take away those
words and change them to someth