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ANT253H1 Study Guide - Comprehensive Midterm Guide: Linguistic Anthropology, Noam Chomsky, Franz Boas


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANT253H1
Professor
Marcel Danesi
Study Guide
Midterm

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UTSG
ANT253H1
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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ANT253
Lecture 2 September 22, 2015
Noam Chomsky and Universal Grammar
Metaphor: Juice
Sociolinguistics
Koasati (an indigenous language spoken in Louisiana), men say lawawhol to refer to
“lifting,” while women say lakawhos
o theories:
possible because men and women pick up different things
could be gender?
lexical
In the language spoken on the Island of Carib in the West Indies women use the word
kachi for “sun” while the men use hueyu
o theories:
men and women - possible different relationships with the sun?
Historical Roots
o Ferdinand de Saussure (1916) - founder of Linguistics
his student wrote the (probably) first Linguistics textbook - published after
he died - Course in General Linguistics
distinguished between language as it changes..
o Diachronic and synchronic
Diachronic - language that changes across time
there are principles of change
evolutionary forces at work that transform language over time
compression - languages do not expand - don’t add sound or
letters, they reduce them
o to make communication efficient, economical and as
effective as possible
o ie. “formula”? - (relation to language)
nanotechnology
synchronic - study not as it changes but right now, as it is
how language functions, breaking down language - seeing how
the “bits” function and interact
o separate sounds...etc
sounds - give context (baby testing out words example)
o langue and parole
language/speech
langue: more static / parole: differences appear
knowledge of the system itself (how it’s formed, etc) vs. how to use it
Linguistic relativity or the Whorfian Hypothesis (WH)
Ethnography
Fieldwork
Subdivisions
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bilingualism (the acquisition and use of two languages)
code-switching (the admixture of languages in the speech of bilinguals and others)
o emotional component
class example: English the language of academia, so they would speak
about business together in English, but when speaking about their family
switched back to Italian
“threshold”
communicative competence (the rules that govern how we use language to
communicate)
o like “phone etiquette”
ex. “moshi moshi” - used when someone picks up the phone
means hello, but generally only used when answering the phone
dialects and sociolects (geographical and social variants of a language)
o when you form communities the language that develops within that, although
basically the original language, it develops its own form, its own uses
o the world is different and language adapts
diglossia (the social assignment of prestige to linguistic variants or dialects)
o different social value
o ie. different between France French and the Quebec French dialect
o considered a “lesser” French
discourse (language use to convey group membership and worldviews)
o ie. politicians/academic lecturers practice this
expressive uses of language (the roles played by certain forms of language, such as
poetry)
language and identity (how language is used to construct and convey identity)
language and social variables (how language reflects and encodes social perceptions of
gender, age, class and other variables)
language in digital environments (how language is changing to serve the needs of
people interacting in online media)
language, race and power (how language is used for reasons of power and how it it
used to signal racial differences)
multilingualism (the use of various languages in a particular society and the roles they
play in it)
pragmatics and conversation (the forms of language used in conversations and verbal
interactions of all kinds)
o turn-taking, sequences
q&a, rhetorical, interrogations, dialogue, argumentation
registers (the level of languages that denote meaningful social distinctions)
slang and jaron (how certain forms of language are used for group solidarity or emerge
in specific kinds of speech contexts)
o only real slang is used by criminals so people won’t understand them
o languages of the street still alive
class example: italian mafia - created their own language in prison
o reason why “slang” isn’t really a thing anymore is because it quickly gets
appropriated by the media and turns in colloquialisms
style (how language and literacy...
written language and literary
writing has changed - writing practices
o class example: handwriting - forensic linguistics - graphology - lost art
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