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Lecture 14

AN101 Lecture 14

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Department
Anthropology
Course
AN101
Professor
Anne- Marie Colpron
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 14 3/6/2013 10:29:00 AM Question:  Is it enough to simply learn the appropriate sounds, lexicon and grammatical rules to know the right way to speak a language? Social Context of interaction:  No! to know the right way to speak a language we lso have to be aware of the appropriate social patterns of interaction Languages differ in discourse patterns:  English: second person singular or plural o You  French: o Second person singular: tu o Second person plural: vous o “vous” can also be used in a formal context, to be polite when speaking to a single individual. Language differ in discourse patterns  We find different behaviours linked to language in its context of use (pragmatics): o How do we talk? o When do we talk? o Where do we talk? o To whom do we talk?  Ex. Gestures, silence, etiquette, intonation. Question:  Why do discourse patterns vary cross culturally? Discourse Patterns:  They are learned and socially acquires: they depend of socialization  Values and beliefs linked to the appropriate way of speaking are transmitted by adults to children depending on their culture. Relationship between language and culture:  A different language implies a different way of talking, but also a different way of thinking, imagining and experiencing the world Sapir-Whorf hypothesis:  We are not free to describe the world impartially: o We are influences by the modes of interpretation given by our language o Language influences through i.e. it influences the way we see and categorize the world. Question:  Does this mean that language determines our way of thinking, imagining and experiencing the world? No! if language determines our way of thinking  Each language would be a completely sealed universe  Translation would not be possible. There is a difference between influencing and determining:  The language one speaks does not limit what is possible to think: that is why there are original thinkers and creators in all societies  There is a difference between what is possible to think, which is unlimited in any language, and what people usually thin, which is strongly influenced by a particular language. Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis:  This theory has been misinterpreted by some scientist who deemed it as deterministic: o They wrongly understood it as if language determines thought.  This theory can rather be understood as linguistic relativity  Language does not determine how we view the world: o It rather gives us a position, a different point of view on the world. Problematic theories:  The way speakers of the Western European languages conceive the world is right, everyone else is wrong: evolutionism  Everyone in the world conceive language in the same way: universalism  Each language is a unique sealed universe that must be preserved: particularism. In anthropology:  We seek for a comparative approach that prevents us from neglecting how each culture make different classifications based on their own criteria. Lingua Franka:  A language which is used among people whose mother tongues are different in order to facilitate communication between them.  Ex: trade language, contact language, international language (English today), auxiliary language (Es
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