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Chapter 1

ANT100Y1 Online Reading: chapter 1 and 3 notes.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Ivan Kalmar

Anthropology Online readings: • Chapter 1: 1.1)  Do not confuse language with channel - Language: Language is the language "faculty;" an innate ability possessed by humans. It has a structure that is independent of the way we express it: through speech, through writing, or through sign language. - Channel: Speech, writing, and sign language are "channels" for sending language messages to others.  Do not confuse language with communication - Internal narratives - Logos, in Greek, refers to both language and reason  Internal speech reflects the way we speak with others - Internal speech is secondary to dialogue - We internalize language and culture 1.2)  Language and other systems of signs - Signs are items that stand for other items  Language is arbitrary and conventional ( symbolic) - Arbitrary: natural language doesn’t necessarily entail a connection between the sign and what it stands for ( words that are conventions in different languages) - Symbols: signs that are arbitrary AND entirely conventional. Language ( words) is for the most a symbolic system - The language of colour does not work that way but rather according to a universal human propensity  Only a small part of language, if any, is iconic - Signs that do reproduce some aspect of their referent were called iconic - Sounds that do so are rare and called onomatopoeia  Much of language is indexical - Index: does not reproduce any aspect of what it stands for, yet it has an existential relationship with its referent (smoke & fire) - Indexical terms: encode a reality that is constituted as we speak (up is only up if I am under it) - Language is a system of signs, therefore, Linguistics,
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