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Lecture 3

ANT253 week 1 to week 3 lecture notes.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Marcel Danesi

Week 1  Language o a means of expression/communication o linguistic o everything is a sign- interpretation is intuitive o based on meaning, which constantly changes with time  Word o language, not sound, but units that bear meaning  All languages have o finite and distinctive sounds o units that bear meanings of one kind or another known as words o grammatical structures -- rules; put together to form larger units = sentences/text o strategies for using language in various personal and social ways (speech) o resources for making new words and for using language in new ways  Language (Langue) vs. Speech (Parole) o The medium of language is speech o Language is content  Larynx (Exaptation) and hands o vocal chords meant to be used only for eating; the ability to speak is beyond the initial role of the Larynx o bodily movements and vocal speech are concurrent and necessary for the expression of language  How is language learned? o imitation leading into spontaneous responses o Plato and poverty of stimulus theory -- Chamsky Universal grammar -- capacity to learn language innately o Language is empirically learned and applied to unknown entities (i.e., child adopts the concept of juice (orange) by its colour and calls an orange cat "juice" from that experience.)  Innatism vs Empiricism  Linguistics -- the science of language Week 2  Critical Period – puberty – when one has to adopt language (learning) o Up until that point, only exposure is necessary  Subject/Predicate/Object (DIonysinus Thrax) o Nouns name things o Verbs are actions o Articles determine a specific thing (The, this, etc.) o Pronouns replace nouns (I, her, him, you, etc.) o Prepositions- relation to a position (of, under, over, on, etc.) o Conjunctions (and, or, because, etc.) o Adverb – words that describe the action o Adjectives  Port Royal grammarians o An all knowing god created the visible world  God is all knowing  God created the world  The world is visible  Language and ethnic character (Your upbringing determines your ethnicity – the power of culture) – Von HumBoldt  Neogrammarians and proto languages o Languages have similar tones (leading people to believe that they stem from an older language (French and Italian come from Latin) o Languages develops towards simplicity (easier syllables) Principle of efficiency o Sound shifts and sound laws o Proto language –a language that had to exist but is no longer existing (or traced)  Language families and Comparative languages  Saussure and structuralism –foremost linguist o Language is made up of minimal differences (opposition) o Things retain the same structure (triangles) while having oppositions (other types of triangles) o LANGUE VS. PAROLE  Linguistics arriving in America (chicago university famous)  Boos starts school o Anthropological linguistics o Sapir – top student – the language we speak filters out the world (English – clock and watch are English strict terms that distinguish the item) o Whorf --The words you use help you see the world in a perspective (hence, different languages provide different lenses) o A language instills culture, and most importantly, Identity o Chomsky- deep and surface structure o Conventions of communication are used to
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