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Midterm

ANT253H1 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Feral Child, Morpheme, Phoneme


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANT253H1
Professor
Marcel Danesi
Study Guide
Midterm

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ANT253 Test 1 Notes: A
compilation
of
all
texts
used
in
this
course
---------------------------------------------Chapter 1--------------------------------------------------
Features: 1.1.1
All languages have the following things in common:
i. They have a finite set of distinctive sounds used to make words or smaller
units
Sounds  phonemes & Units  morphemes
Double articulation: (André Martinet) Language divided into 2
streams:
oMeaningful units of sound, called morphemes
oSecond level consists of phonemes
, or sounds without meaning
by themselves
ii. The same set of morphemes and phonemes allows people to innovate and
coin words when referring to things.   .: Evolutionary potential
iii. Grammar: rules for formulating words together to form larger units of
meaning
iv. Social Interaction language can be used for rituals and other social
functions
v. Languages are highly variable  splitting into dialects
Morphology: study of how words are composed of lexemes and morphemes
Morpheme: a meaningful morphological unit of a language that cannot be
further divided
Phoneme: distinct units of sound in a specified language that distinguish one
word from another
Phonemic Transcription:
- the symbols in square brackets = representation of sounds
i.e. [k] = cats, kind, ache
Acquiring Language: 1.1.2
Children spontaneously acquire knowledge through the imitation of their
surroundings (i.e. parents)
Feral children: child not exposed to language
Plato
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Areti Tzanetakis

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- It is part of human nature to speak
Noam Chomsky- Universal Grammar (UG)
oExplains why children acquire languages so effortlessly via
poverty
of
stimulus
(partial and imperfect input from
speakers)
oLanguage as a set of rules
oUG- blueprint composed of rule-making principles available
to children
oFOXP2- hypothesized gene that passes specific language impairments
to offspring (Pinker 2007)
Sociolinguistics: 1.2
Lexical differentiation with genders  Markedness grammatical gender diff
Doublets: markers that ppl within community show diff in gender roles
EX: Koasati (an indigenous language spoken in Louisiana), men say
lawawhol to refer to “lifting, while women say lakawhos
Different terms per gender b/c a social difference
Not lexical but grammatical variation b/w 2 genders-very
common
Historical Roots: 1.2.1
Ferdinand de Saussure- Distinction b/w historical and systematic study
oHistorical study  diachronic: language changes across time
oSystematic study  synchronic: study of the current state
and taking apart to make sense of it
oLangue and parole (language and speech)- suggested that
we should focus more on language and its communicative
properties than word
Minimal pair: cat and bat are composed of the same combo of sounds but
differ by the initial letter sound
Franz Boas- How different cultures used their language for specific
purposes
o1st to use structuralism method
oShowed diff languages developed specialized lexical and
grammatical forms
oLinguistic anthropology
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Areti Tzanetakis

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Benjamin Whorf- Linguistic relativity? Whorfian Hypothesis
(WH)
oWhorfian Hypothesis (WH): diff societies encode specific
concepts as being necessary by giving them linguistic
expression
We are encoded to believe that the our language is
natural and universal and not specific to our historical needs
George Lakoff- Whorfian Property in Dyirbal
oDyirbal has 4 grammatical genders
This example brings out the cultural difference to this cultural
group
Ethnography: 1.2.2
Whorf used methodology of ethnography (suggested by
Boas) fo  r studies
Fieldwork: living among a group of ppl
Subdivisions: 1.2.3
Bilingualism
-the acquisition and use of two languages
Able to acquire and also lose language
Code-switching
- the admixture of languages in the speech of bilinguals and
others
Communicative
competence
- the rules that govern how we use language to
communicate
i.e. always answer a phone you say “hello”- rules that
govern the way certain societies communicate
Dialects
and
sociolects
-geographical and social variants of a language
Diglossia
- the social assignment of prestige to linguistic variants of dialects
Discourse
- language use to convey group membership and worldviews
Unites ppl and use of language in diff social situations
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 ppl interacting in online media
Language,
race
and
power
- how language is used for reasons of power and
how it is used to signal racial diff
Multilingualism
- the use of various languages in a particular society and the
roles they play in it
Pragmatics
and
conversation
- the forms of language use in conversations an
verbal interactions of all kinds
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Areti Tzanetakis
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