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Anthropology 2250F/G- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 23 pages long!)


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTH 2250F/G
Professor
Karen Pennesi
Study Guide
Final

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Western
Anthropology 2250F/G
Final EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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What is Verbal Art and Speech Play
Thursday January 11th, 2018
The Ludic Function of Language
Going in and out of the serious and non-serious
Playing by the Rules
Changing pronunciation, word order, etc.
Ex. don’t make the same pun in the same conversation
Ex. setting up a joke before telling the punchline
But don’t manipulate all the rules at once
What can we learn from studying speech play and verbal art?
Simultaneous study of language structure and language use
Studying creativity we see more about how language works
Studying play or art looks at humanity differently, studying values, beliefs, taboos, and
how they are addressed, how they are played with, and who plays with them
We learn what it takes to be good at playing with language
Discussion
How does Sherzer define speech play and verbal art? How are they similar and different?
What characteristics of language makes speech play and verbal art possible, according to
Sherzer? (p.5)
What does Sherzer mean by loose coupling?
(p. 13)
How various components of language are all related but exist independently,
generating endless examples of speech play.
What is the ethnography of speaking approach to analysis?
“The ethnography of speaking studies the relationships between language and
culture and language and society from an ethnographic perspective. Empirical
analyses of actual instances of language use, derived from extended field
research, are related to native cultural conceptions and practices of speaking.”
How is language characterized by Sherzer (and linguistic anthropology)?
“Structured as open systems, flexible and creative.”
Define and give examples of some linguistic features on which speech play is based.
Signifieds like figures of speech and metaphors
Signifiers like rhyme, assonance, and alliteration
Comparing Three Versions of “Busted”
Harlan Howard
Original
Johnny Cash
Removed brother’s name
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Removed last few verses
Ray Charles
Removed brother’s name
Removed references to “the Lord”
Kept last few verses
More soulful
Questions
Does anyone know a contemporary song that also deals with the theme of being
broke, “saying the same thing in a different way”?
Jay Z’s Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)
What do the last three verses add to the song? Johnny never sings them and Ray
always does. Is there a different effect on the audience or do you interpret the
song in any different way depending on whether the last verses are sung or not?
Johnny Cash’s version ending early gives the feeling that the end of the
song is that he’s broke and his brother’s broke and that’s the end,
whereas the other versions mention packing up and moving and
searching for more or being forced to find more.
Do you think a case can be made that lyrics for soul music have characters with
more agency (capacity to act and decide) compared to more passive characters in
lyrics for country music? Give me examples to support your opinion.
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