Midterm review.docx

3 Pages
Unlock Document

Claire Kramsh

Sapir, Language 1) Key terms o Language & Culture- an interdependent relationship;  “The content of every culture is expressible in its languages” (6)- Language is a means of expressing culture –the totality of the actions and thoughts of the people within a culture.  Language “enables human beings to transcend the immediately given in their individual experiences and to join in a larger common understanding” (7)- Language accumulates to culture, a universal field that people can relate to.  By bringing to the surface the differentiability of languages, Sapir is able to diversify the notion of culture all together. o Referential symbolism- symbols that have become compressed forms of functional activities which can be used to refer back to that activity o Condensation symbolism- a highly condensed form of substitute behavior for direct expression allowing for the ready release of emotion; closely related with emotion. Symbols don‟t just refer to things in the world but evoke emotion. Ex) Flag in a war. 2) Important quotes o “Language is an essentially perfect means of expression and communication among every know people” (Sapir 1) o Language “does not as a matter of actual behavior stand apart from or run parallel to direct experience but completely interpenetrates with it” (8)- The social reality we talk about takes meaning through the words that describe them. o “Language is a guide to „social reality‟…No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality…The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached” (69)- Language is not just a naming system of labels referring the same objects in different cultures but that language is equivalent to culture. Words in differing languages define much more such as the history and essence of a word in a cultural context. 3) Quotes or concepts to compare/contrast with other authors o “Language is heuristic… its forms predetermine for us certain modes of observation and interpretation” (7)  This can be compared to Foucault‟s notion of how an episteme, in a sense equivalent to a time period of culture,” present the conditions that make it possible to know what we know and dictate the kinds of knowledge that are excluded/accepted.  This can also be compared with how once a myth is naturalized, that myth can shape our interpretation of a certain concept and its associations. o “Language is at one and the same time helping and retarding us in our exploration of experience” (8) –By choosing to say one thing, one chooses not to say another  This can be associated to Saussure‟s ideas on the signification and value of signs. When people choose to use one word instead of another, they look into the connotations, or values, that a sign has. Sapir goes further to say that these decisions based on the values of signs can impede or facilitate our knowledge and understanding. o “Language may not only refer to experience or even mold, interpret, and discover experience, but that it also substitutes for it” (9)  This can be compared to Austin‟s idea of the performative in which words do more than referring, but also substitutes for action. It is different in that Sapir believes that words don‟t stop at substituting action but molds thoughts afterwards, exteriorizes emotions to be graspable. o “Language is a great force of socialization” (15)- A strong relation between the way we think and act with the way we speak. Through language, we know what is acceptable in a certain culture, what is the norm.  This can be contrasted with Foucault‟s idea of normalizing the delinquents rather than punishing the offenders through discipline. Here, Foucault uses discipline as a way of teaching what is and isn‟t socially acceptable, rather than language. If we go further back in Foucault‟s argu
More Less

Related notes for GERMAN C109

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.