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Chapter 5

Anthropology- Chapter 5.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Ivan Kalmar

Chapter 5: Language and Communication Call Systems 1. They have a limited number of sounds 2. They are used only when stimlu are present 3. They cannot be combined to produce more complex messages Sign Language: Washoe a chimp gradually knew a vocabulary of more than one hundred signs representing English words Cultural transmission of a communication system through learning is a fundamental attribute of language Koko and chimps show that apes share still another linguistic ability with humans (Productivity); speakers routinely use the rules of their language to produce entirely new expressions that are comprehensible to other native speakers, ex, baboonlet let designates the young of the species THE STRUCTURE of LANGUAGE Phonology: the study of speech sounds, considers which sounds are presents and significant in a given language Morphology: studies the way sounds combine to form morphenes- words and their meaningful parts  thus the word cats would have 2 MORPHENES cat for the animal, and s meaning plurality A language’s lexicon is a dictionary containing all its morphemes and their meanings Syntax refers to the arrangement and order of words in phrases and sentences, for ex. Do nouns usually come before or after verbs? Do adjectives normally precede or follow the nouns they modify A phoneme: significant sounds contrast in a language that serves to distinguish meaning, as in minimal pairs  in English and French r and l are phonemes but not in Japanese (they cannot distinguish from r and l) slash (/) means phonemes Minimal pairs  words that resemble each other in all but one sound…the words have different meanings, but they differ in just one sound such as pit and bit single sound contrast between p and b, thus p and b are phonemes in English Phonetics is the study of speech sounds in general, what people actually say in various languages Phonemics studies only the SIGNIFICANT sounds contrasts (phonemes) of a given language (sounds that aren’t phonetic are enclosed in brackets *+) Language, Thought, and Culture Noam Chomsky has argued that the human brain contains a limited set of rules for organizing language, so that all languages have a common structural basis. Chomsky calls this set of rules universal grammer) Creole Languages: languages develop from pidgins – languages that form in situations of acculturation, when different socie
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