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Antro1020E-Linguistic Lecture Notes.docx

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Anthropology 1020E
Andrew Walsh

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September 10, 2012 What is Anthropology? - Holistic study: looking at anthropology as a whole, a whole > sum of parts - Description & theory: describe facts about cultures & generalize a theory - Understanding variation & change: study at the group level - Critical thinking: interpret the behavior, deeper understanding of data How Do Anthropologists Work? 1. Collect data: sample of tissue/bones, information 2. Make observations: has to be systematic. Writing notes or tape recording 3. Ask questions: interview, survey 4. Participate in activities 5. Do analysis: in lab 6. Draw conclusions 7. Make comparisons 8. Write, report, educate, advocate September 12, 2012 What is Linguistic Anthropology? Objectives: - To introduce what linguistic anthropologists do The Research Process in Linguistic Anthropology - Research questions:  How does language reflect or influence some aspects of social life?  Answer: language shapes social life & social situations influence the way we speak - Methods: - Collecting data:  Qualitative data: describe something to figure out the pattern  Conversation: speech at an event, courtroom  Recordings  Documents: newspapers, government documents  Surveys  Interviews: tend to be open-ended; structured or spontaneous  Observations: systematic, participant observation  Experiments  Research assistants: transcribe data, translate - Analysis:  Listening to the recordings & reading the transcripts many times to look for a pattern Linguistic Anthropology & Other Areas of Study - Linguistic Anthropology vs. Sociocultural Anthropology  Similarity: ask similar questions about social life  Difference: Linguistic Anthropology  focuses on language; Sociocultural Anthropology  focuses on structure of family relationships - Linguistic Anthropology vs. Linguistics  Similarity: both studies language  Difference:  Linguistics: study language structure (grammar), sound of language (ie. Study language without dealing with real people)  Linguistic Anthropology: talk to many people/groups, context when/how language is used, look for variations September 17, 2012 What is Unique about Human Language? Main ideas: 1. Language (with certain design features) is unique to humans 2. Language developed along with our evolution as a species 3. Language is essential to our development of knowledge, technology, society, & to our survival 1. Language is unique to humans - Communication vs. Language  There are many ways of communication: symbols, signals, signs, language, smell  Language is one way of communication - Dance of the honeybee (txtbk): describes the location of the flowers by flapping its wings  The bee gives other bees a taste of the nectar first to tell about the quality of the nectar  Then it flaps its wings to give direction to the flowers in relation to the sun  BUT it’s NOT a language; it’s a type of communication - All animals & insects communicate but only humans have language - Design features of language:  Vocal-auditory channel: using our voice as speech. Writing is a representation of speech, it is NOT the language itself  Duality of patterning: meaningless & meaningful features combining to make meaningful words  Productivity: unlimited ability to create new words, meanings  Displacement: can talk about past, present, future. Real & imaginary  Reflexiveness: we can talk about our own language; aware of our own language 2. Language developed along with our evolution as a species - We don’t know exactly when our ancestors started using speech language - Human characteristics related to evolution of language  2-3 million years ago:  Bipedalism: walking on 2 legs  Use of tools  Increased brain size  Preference for vocal-auditory channel  50,000 – 70,000 years ago:  Invention of symbols  Productivity  Duality of patterning  Syntax (sentence structure) - Txtbk: Theories of spreading language - VIDEO: “Let There Be Words: The Origin of Human Language”  1.6 million years ago, migration from Africa due to increased population  Language also migrated from Africa  Change in the position of the voicebox: moving downward  able to make more words  Increased brain size: able to do more things such as language  With language comes the development of social interaction: group hunting, social learning, etc. b/c people were able to communicate with each other 3. Language is essential to development of knowledge, technology & crucial to survival - Mark Pagel: VIDEO “How Has Language Transformed Society?” 1. Human capacity for “social learning” gave us an advantage over other species 2. Language evolved to solve the crisis of visual theft 3. Language is a piece of social technology for enhancing the benefits of co-operation - Cumulative cultural adaptation: We can learn by watching & we can build on from others’ ideas - Social learning is a visual theft: by watching other people catching fish, you can also learn to catch fish - About 200,000 years ago, our species confronted this idea, and thus language evolved - With language, we can develop a cooperative society: such as trading since we are able to communicate with each other. So, we chose cooperative society over small family groups. - However, this is just one of the explanations of why language evolved. What is Unique about Human Language? Nonverbal Communication Main Ideas: 1. Not all language is verbal or oral 2. Human language uses a combination of verbal & nonverbal communication Examples of Nonverbal Communication - Gestures - Postures - Expressions Nonverbal Communication - 2 Types: 1. Human communicative gestures that are independent of culture & language. Eg: a smile, frown, scream, laughing 2. Gestures & vocalizations that are culturally & linguistically variable. Eg: a wink can mean flirting or telling a lie. They can be learned & “quotable” (ie. Can demonstrate/show) - Paralanguage  Volume: loudness  Pitch: high/low = excitement/sorrowness  Speed: fast/slow = nervousness/calmness  Tone of voice: sarcasm, sincerity  Voice quality: breathy voice, raspy voice - Gestures help the speakers to express their ideas/words, not much helpful for the listeners.  Eg: we still use hand gestures when speaking on the phone knowing that the listeners can’t see them.  Expmt: had people expressing their ideas without using hand gestures  people had difficulty expressing their ideas/words. Combining Verbal & Nonverbal Communication Lying & lie detection - How can you tell if someone is lying? - Eg: no eye contact, mumbling, sweating, stuttering, voice gets softer, shrug - VIDEO: Paul Ekman – expert in detecting lies  Studied microexpressions: facial or body gestures such as shrug, voice drop  Nonverbal & verbal communication do not match = lying  When the person is trying to lose something by lying  easier to detect than when the person is trying to gain something Sign Languages - Who uses sign languages?  Deaf, military, interpreter, mute, communicating with babies - Sign languages are full languages with the same design features of oral language  Different sign languages: English, French, etc  Can depend on age: people with different age can use different signs for the same expression September 19, 2012 Language Acquisition & Multilingualism Main Ideas: 1. Humans are the only species to acquire language 2. All healthy/normal humans acquire at least one language effortlessly 3. There are more multilingual speakers than monolingual speakers in the world today Language Acquisition - Some theoretical questions:  How can humans learn to speak?  Does learning a new language depend on innate & social environment? - 2 types of research: 1. Tried to teach language to chimpanzee 2. People didn’t have the natural environment to learn a new language 1. Humans & Chimpanzees - VIDEO: Sign Language & Washoe  Each sign represents an idea which can be translated in several ways using various words  Chimpanzees are apes, close to humans  Started training Washoe at 12 month age (like a human baby)  Child learns through imitation. Washoe was very good at imitation  Washoe was able to use a sign in different concept. Eg: a sign to “open” used for opening door, opening briefcase, opening box, etc - Project Nim:  A chimp named Nim was raised from infancy & taught sign language  However, it didn’t learn as many signs as Washoe did - Question: is Chimp learning a language or just imitation?  Washoe seems to understand the concept & used the signs in various situations  But she wasn’t able to use the language in a correct syntax way & still had limited ability in learning many signs 2. Language Acquisition: Testing the Critical Period Hypothesis VIDEO: Genie (Genie Wiley) - Critical period: states that if we don’t learn language by teenage age (12), we will never get fully efficient at it - Genie was raised in a cage until 13 years old, found out by social workers - When she was young, she was beaten for making noises. So she learned to not vocalize at all - Sleep study showed that she had abnormal brainwave - Genie was then helped to learn English - Question: Was she retarded at birth or was it a result of brain damage from being beaten? - Chomsky said: we acquire language because of nature, not nurture & proposed a critical period hypothesis in acquiring language.  Evidence against his hypothesis: Genie was past the critical stage yet she was still able to learn English  Evidence supporting: she wasn’t able to learn the language fully. Multilingualism - Def’n: the ability to communicate in more than one language - Code-swithcing: switching b/w English & French - Code-mixing: mixing of English & French in a sentence September 24, 2012 How & Why Do Languages Change? Main Ideas: 1. Languages always change & they always have 2. We cannot stop language change 3. Difference & change does not mean bad (ie. Change does not mean degradation) 4. Changes in language are usually systematic (ie. Rule-based & regular) Linguistic Anthropologists - Describe the ways people talk: without judgement whether it’s good or bad - Explain how differences are meaningful (to the people they study) Describing Sounds - Voiced vs. Voiceless  Vibration (or not) of vocal cords - Consonants & Vowels  Restriction (or not) of air flow  Vowels: no restriction of air flow; voiced  Consonants: restrict air flow; can be voiced or voiceless - Phonetics:  Describe smallest detail how the sounds are made  Aware at an unconscious level  IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet): to give a way to describe the sounds of most languages in a technical & systematic way - Phonology:  The study of the sound system of a particular language  Aware consciously  Phoneme: smallest meaningful unit of sound. Eg: bat, sat, mat = 3 different phonemes Variation & Change in Language Linguistic Variation - By social difference - By region - By context: at home vs. at school Varieties of a Language - Eg: varieties of English – American, Canadian, Australian English - Often have distinct phonology - Difference b/w linguistic change & varieties of a language Linguistic Change Varieties of a Language - Occurs over time (many generations) - Occurs over time - Spreads to all speakers - Only spreads to the local people - Systematic change Sound Change: The Great Vowel Shift - Happened b/w 1400s & 1700s: 300 years (a long time) - All long vowels were shifted one level - Spelling is represented in the old way, but we have changed the pronunciation Language Change Word & Sentence Structure - Morphology: study of the structure of words & relationships b/w word parts - Morpheme:  Smallest meaningful unit of grammar  Free morpheme: love  Bound morpheme: love-ly, un-lov-ed, lov-ing  Eg: un-lov-ed = 3 morphemes How Do Words Get Constructed - Affixation: stick morphemes to words  Prefixes: stick morphemes to beginning of words. Eg: reorder, overcook  Suffixes: add morphemes to the end of words. Eg: privatize - Affixation can: 1. Change word class (noun to adj or adv) or meaning 2. Indicate grammatical relationship (singular vs. plural; 1 person vs. 2 or 3 person) How Do Words Change Their Meaning? - These happen over time - Internal processes: 1. Invention:  Invent new words for new ideas, new objects  Has to be systematic 2. Semantic shift: over time the meaning of words gets generalized instead of specific thing  Eg1: hamburger  ham-burger  just burger (general thing): fish-burger, veggie- burger, beef-burger  Eg2: people substitute problem with issue b/c issue sounds less negative 3. Variations spread through the population: regional words spread to everywhere. Eg: “dude” was a word that was used only in Western US Coast, it’s now used in many regions. - External processes: 1. Borrowing: take single words from an existing language to name things that we didn’t have before. Eg: burrito (Spanish), yogourt (Turkish) 2. Semantic domains: conquest of French over English  French was a dominant language in the old time  All the military words were borrowed from French: conquest, lieutenant  Administration words: office, department  Food: beef, pork, etc for meat instead of using English words cow, pig ... What Motivates Language Change? - Multilingualism: group of multilingual people  code switching - Language contact: trade relationship  need to communicate with each other; conquest; tourism - Creativity & distinction: people want to distinct themselves from another group (slangs) Constructing Sentences: Syntax - Meaning depends on word order - Every language has rules in grammar for how words can combine  Active vs. passive construction: he hits the bear vs. he was hit by the bear  Questions vs. statements vs. commands  Object vs. subject  Washoe wasn’t able to use syntax to build full sentences Putting sentences together: Discourse - Sequence of sentences or utterances (a lot of the times speech is not complete sentences such as “I thought that ...”) - Discourse: is the largest unit for study of language: a story, a conversation, a speech - Language in use, in context - Linguistic Anthropologists often focus on discourse September 26, 2012 Processes of Language Change & Reconstruction Main Ideas: 1. We can classify languages according to patterns & common ancestors 2. Changes in language are related to other changes within a population 3. Linguistic changes are often systematic & regular Variation in Human Languages Today - 6900+ living languages - Ethnologue: website with statistics about languages - Great variation in distribution of languages  Mandarin language has 845 million speakers  North Korea: 24 million speakers, 1 language  133 languages have less than 10 speakers Classification of Languages 2 ways to classify languages: 1. Genetic classification by language family: look for languages with the common ancestor 2. Linguistic classification by type: how language is structured 1. Genetic Classification by Language Family - Language families: all languages descended from a single ancestor - “mothers” & “daughters” - Examples:  Indo-European family > Latin branch > Romance > Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese  Indo-European family > Germanic branch > English, German, Dutch, Swedish - From the process of comparison of languages to build a language family Eg: the verb “to write” Italian Scrivere Latin: scribere Portuguese Escrever Therefore, Italian, Spanish Escribir Portuguese, Spanish, French French ecrire must be related Reconstruction of Language Families How do we determine if 2 or more languages are related or part of same family? 1. Look for words that look/sound the same & have similar meanings  Potential cognates (cognates = words with same meanings) indicate common ancestor 2. Look for sound changes that happen consistently in the same environment  Sound changes are regular Process of Sound Change - Weakening:  Voiced > voiceless at the end of word or syllable  Voiceless > voiced b/w 2 vowels (vowels are always voiced)  Stops > fricatives (p, t, k > f, th, h); fricative = air continues to flow - Deletion: Spelling Pronunciation Chocolate choclit Vegetable vegtable Surprise saprise Cotton, mountain Co-n, mou-n Sound Change in a Language Family Grimm’s Law of Consonant Shift - Is a weakening process - P, t, k > f, th, x (h) - B, d, g > p, t, k - Bh, dh, gh > b, d, g - Eg: Latin Ped- English Foot German Fuss Latin Tenuis English Thin German Dunn Latin Centum English Hundred 2. Linguistic Classification by Type - Language Types: related languages share similar properties - Morphology:  Eg: English “The woman saw the dog”  Korean “Yeoja-neun kae-reul poatda”  Woman –subject dog-object saw. - Syntax:  SVO word order in English  SOV word order in Korean Reconstruction of Ancestral Homelands - Did group X live in area Y? - Where did group X migrate to? - Were groups X & Z in contact? - Holistic approach of anthropology combines various types of data to answer: linguistic, archeological, biological, cultural October 1, 2012 How Is Language Used to accomplish Social Goals? Main Ideas: 1. Language is a set of resources we have that helps us accomplish social goals 2. We acquire & develop linguistic resources through interactions with other speakers What Are Social Goals? - Constructing or performing identities: the way you speak reflects your identity - Establishing & maintaining social distinctions - Expressing solidarity, shared viewpoints - Expressing emotions - Communicating info - Obtaining or creating knowledge - Influencing behavior of others: persuading How Do We “Use” Language to Accomplish Goals? - Choosing what to say & how  Using linguistic resources - Building on the talk of others  Reinforcing, challenging, repeating, responding  Eg: “I heard from the news that ...”, “What you are saying is ...” What are Linguistic Resources? Linguistic Resources: - The languages, dialects, varieties, styles we are competent in - Various ways of speaking we can adopt Linguistic Resources: Languages - Everyone at least has a native language – mother tongue - Official languages: languages that govern the controlling body. Eg: English & French are official languages in Canada or Spanish is the official language of a club  These are languages that we are confident of using in public places  When we travel, we may also acquire the language of that place Linguistic Resources: Dialects & Varieties - Dialects: mutually intelligible varieties of a single language  Eg: dialects of English: Canadian, Australian, Irish, etc  Mutually intelligible: 2 people can understand each other when conversing - Idiolect: individual way of using a language Linguistic Resources: Styles - Style: variations in linguistic expression according to context or situations - Phonological (pronunciation – tempo, pitch, etc)  Eg: hurried style vs. normal tempo style - Lexical (word choice)  Eg: poo vs. stool (poo = used with children; stool = used with patients) - Syntactic variation (grammar)  Eg: these are the different ways in which children learn independence” vs. “So those are the different ways that children learn independence” - Styles combine phonological, lexical, & grammatical choices - Linguistic styles can work with other expressions of style  Language style can associate with appearance: we can guess people’s way of speaking from the way that they look. Eg: rapper style vs. police style How Do We Acquire Linguistic Resources? - Through interactions:  Social groups  School  Religious institutions  Public mass communication  Media  Workplace - What if we don’t have the opportunity to acquire linguistic resources?  Eg: poor African-American people who speak African-American English instead of the standard American English Using Linguistic Resources - Code-switching: can be from 1 language to another, 1 dialect to another of the same language, or 1 style to another - Social goals:  Shows that you belong to a certain group  Shows that you are bilingual/multilingual  To exclude other people  To indicate politeness Eg: Barack Obama who can speak standard American English & African-American English: it’s very natural for him to code-switch depending on the situations. VS. Mitt Romney who used African-American English with Black people in Chicago and it didn’t work because he was not comfortable doing it. Conclusion - People have different sets of linguistic resources - Not everyone is equally competent Ethnography of Communication Main Ideas: 1. “Knowing” a language means knowing how to use it appropriately 2. We can study communicative interactions systematically 3. Context is always important: linguistic anthropologists care about context, not whether it’s grammatically correct Communicative Competence - Social goals are accomplished jointly through talk in interaction  How to say appropriate things & know how to interpret things - Def’n: appropriately producing & interpreting utterances & being able to interact successfully with other speakers  Eg: able to answer a question when being asked for info Acquiring & evaluating Communicative Competence - Speech community: a group sharing specific rules for speaking & interpreting speech of at least one speech variety  Speech community of people who speak Spanish  Speech community of people who play hockey: use hockey language  This is where we learn communicative competence Ethnography of Communication - Def’n: Systematic description of a speech event - Ethnography: description of some other cultural group - Includes contextual aspects - Identifies patterns, structure, variations - Example: VIDEO - prediction of rain in Northern Brazil – CASE STUDY 1. Purpose of rain predicting - Inform farmers if it’s going to be a rainy season or not: to plant crops accordingly - Build hope among people - Keep the tradition alive 2. What counts as a prediction? - For farmers: only care about whether it’s going to rain or not in a sentence or two - Anthropologists: care about the whole presentation that rain prophets talk about – can last for 5 minutes 3. Who can be legitimate to predict rain? - Has some connection to the land: has know the land for many years - Certain age: typically older men - Reputation: has been making predictions in their community for a number of years 4. Settings where predictions are made - Daily conversation - Annual meeting: outdoor venue, near the damp, in the morning 5. Linguistic features that must be included? - Start with a greeting - Have the forecast: going to rain or not - Method/signs about how they know: bee’s hive, bird’s nest, fish’ eggs 6. What are some optional features or variations? - Tell stories about religious references: Noah, a rain prophet, predicted rain but no one believed him  so they try to establish religious authority - Used mother as a reference: 7. What is the order in which the components occur? - Greeting is first - Ending is last - Middle is varied in order 8. Who are the audience for predictions? - Supposed to be for farmers - But they live far away to come, so they can only watch on TV later - Usually, people who are in town, media people, politician (come to support & indirectly advocate their campaign) - Audience is expanded nationally & internationally (youtube) 9. What variety & style of language is used? - Old rural Portuguese which may not be understood by everyone 10. What key is used for predictions? - Key = tone (serious, polite, sarcastic) - Polite & serious key when prophets talk about their prediction - But the media may report in a sarcastic way 11. Which genres of lang
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