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Lecture 3

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Department
Anthropology
Course
AN101
Professor
Tristan Long
Semester
Winter

Description
WEEK 3 Cultural Anthropology: Chapter 4: LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION WHAT IS LANGUAGE? Language: a system of sounds of gestures that when put together following certain rules results in ways that all can understand -although humans rely mainly on language, also a GESTURE CALL SYSTEM. Gesture Call System: consists of paralanguage and kinesics -also convey message through use of space and touch Paralanguage: extralinguistic noises that accompany language Kinesics: body motions that convey messages HOW IS LANGUAGE RELATED TO CULTURE? - Languages spoken by all members in a culture Social variables such as class, history and gender and status of speaker influence the way language is used -People communicate what’s meaning to them and what is or not meaning is defined by culture -language use affects culture -Language retention in today’s world= main concern to aboriginal cultures HOW DID LANGUAGE BEGIN? -human language began as only gestures -speech, like gestures uses muscle movements so someone long ago must’ve discovered muscles in mouth - This way ppl. Can multi-task by using hands AND speaking Displacement: ability to refer to objects and events removed in time and space (linguistics use this when referring to things like, long long ago, once upon a time, fado fado fado (long long ago) -language not just a system but a symbolic system -different languages have different words for the same concepts. -each word REPRESENTS A CONCEPT -anthropologists know that culture is learned and transmitted from person to person, due to effective communication system Language: system of communication using sounds/gestures put in meaningful ways according to set of rules Symbol: is any sound or gesture to which cultural tradition assigned a meaning. Sounds/gestures with meaning. The word “laughing” = symbol Signal: smile – sounds or gestures that have natural/self-evident meaning. –laughing, smiling -language experts not sure if dolphins and other mammals possess ability to use symbols and signals - Apes have been taught to do American Sign Language (chanteh-ape learned 150 diff. signs developing communication skills of 2-3 years) THE NATURE OF LANGUAGE -all languages are transmitting information and sharing cultural/individual experiences with others -language allows us to express our concerns, beliefs and perceptions into symbols other get -through spoken language: quickly done in a few sounds (most Lang use about 50 sounds) -roughly 6000 living languages Lingusttics: modern scientific study of language of all aspects of language -in 21 century, researchers still collecting data about understanding logic of languages -Linguistic Anthropology has many areas: HOW PEOPLE USE LANGUAGE< BOTH CERBAL AND NONVERBAL TO DEVELOP SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH ONE ANOTHER AND TO CREATE, MAINTAIN AND REPRODUCE SOCIAL DISTINCTIONS THE SOUND AND SHAPE OF THE LANGUAGE Phonetics: study of production, transmission and reception of speech sounds A: PHONOLOGY - Once researcher knows all possible sounds in language, they study patterns the sounds take as they make words -they then learn the rules and grammar of language 1 Step: ISOLATE PHONEMES Phonemes: smallest class of sounds that makes a DIFFERENCE in meaning Ex: Bit and Pit, two phonemes Butter is pronounced as Budder, so the sounds are represented by variants of same Phonemes B: MORPHOLOGY Morphemes: smallest units of sounds that carry meaning Ex: Cats and Dogs, two separate morphemes Bound Morphemes: “s” is a plural indicator morpheme since it carries meaning of plural, but it can only be in conjunction with a free morpheme b/c “s” in dogzz and “s” in catss, 2 variants of morphemes Free Morphemes: Dog, Cat. Free Morpheme because it can stand on its own. Can occur unattached C: GRAMMAR AND SYNTAX: next step put morphemes together to make phrases or sentences Frame Substitution: method used to identify syntactic units of language. Example, a category called nouns can be established as anything that will fit in “I see a _____” Syntax: In linguistics, the rules or principles of phrase and sentence making - Some speakers may not say certain words due to it not being culturally accepted Grammar: entire formal structure of language. Includes syntax and all morphemes (also phonemes) Form classes: parts of speech or categories of words that work the same way in sentence. Ex: the ____ died. Person or dog works, but not “think” THE GUESTURE-CALL SYSTEM Gesture Call System: non-verbal communication -conveys messages of happiness, sadness, tired, etc. -very little of above messages conveyed by spoken language alone -at least 90% in English language, emotional information transmitted not thru words BUT 90% through body language and tone of voice A: Kinesics -humans capable of producing over 250,000 facial expressions Kinesics: a system of notating and analyzing postures, facial expressions, body motions that Convey a message Ex: scratching our lip, furrowing brows=conveying doubt Complex ones= gender signals. Women standing with legs close together, or crossing them Men hold legs apart with upper legs at 10-15 degree angle -Kin messages complement spoken message. Nodding head while saying yes -Cross cultural difference: Aboriginals raise brows with rapid movement, Japs don’t=rude Srilanka- if asked to do something, sideways nod Greece: jerking head back = no Conventional gestures: body movements must be learned and vary cross culturally B: TOUCH Touch: form of body language including physical contact -American business ppl. Shake hands, old guy friends give slaps on back, women embrace and kiss -hug family members C: PROXEMICS: Proxemics: study of how people use physical space. “Personal space” or lack of it - In other places, orderly line up for bus uncommon -Europe = crowded, pushing and shoving – atm personal space is irrelevant -men and women tend to maintain more space between them than with same gender D: PARALANGUAGE: Paralanguage: extra linguistic noises accompanying language. = crying, laughing - “not so much what said but how it’s said” - How a witness up on stand would react A: VOICE QUALITIES -not always easy to distinguish sounds of language and paralinguistic noises, so two different kinds identified Voice qualities: in paralanguage, the background characteristics of a speaker’s voice Includes pitch range (low to high pitch), lip control (open/close), sharp to smooth Transition in pitch (glottis control), articulation control (forced or relaxed), rhythm
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