Textbook Notes (362,734)
Canada (158,032)
Anthropology (185)
Chapter 1

Anthropology Chapter 1 Notes.docx

5 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Anthropology 1027A/B
Claire Gurski

Anthropology Chapter 1 September 14, 2011 Chapter 1 – Introduction to Language  What is Linguistics? o Scientific study of language o Language plays an important role In communicating thoughts, emotions etc., differentiating social groups, defining national identity; etc., and can be studied from these perspectives o The perspective we will take in this course is on language as a system regulated by rules- -- a grammar o Reflects identity o We speak differently depending on where we come from, who we’re with, and what we’re doing o Reveal interesting things about human society o Many practical applications of language  What do we know when we know a language? o Learning language is unconscious, we don’t know how we learned o Knowledge of language is hidden o Show what we know through how we speak and comprehend others speaking o Linguists use linguistic competence as their basis for hypotheses o Communication  Think of what you want to communicate  Pick out words to express the idea  Put these words in a certain order following rules  Figure out how to pronounce these words  Send those pronunciations to your vocal anatomy  Send the sounds through the air  Listener hears the sounds  Listener interprets sounds as language  Listener receives communicated idea o Listener doesn’t always get the right message  Linguistic knowledge o Linguistic competence – what you know o Linguistic performance – how you use it  Affected by tiredness, stress, being drunk o Linguistic knowledge is not conscious knowledge o We may not be aware of the rules of language just like we may not know the rules that allow us to stand or catch a baseball o We hear, recognize, and are able to produce sounds o Know how to explain the differences between sounds o Able to identify pauses between a stream of sounds o Recognize when sentences are well formed o Able to use context to interpret the meaning of words (ex Can you close the door?) o Our knowledge consists of the words we know and unconscious rules that are stored in our brain o We acquire rules by listening and paying attention  What We Don’t Know When We Know A Language o Language is not writing o Writing was not used until about 6,000 years ago o Writing does not exist everywhere o Writing must be taught o Writing can be edited o Speaking is not as delayed as writing o Speaking uses many areas of the brain, compared to writing  Linguistic Grammar o The mental system which allows us to form and interpret sounds, words, and sentences is a grammar  Phonetics – sound articulation and perception  Phonology – sound patterning (how they interact with each other, two sounds side by side, how they affect articulation when frequently used)  Morphology – word formation (how we take sounds and create words, small units of meaning combined to make larger units of meaning)  Syntax – sentence formation (follow certain rules to communicate properly)  Semantics – meaning of words (meaning of those words within a sentence) o Language is not prescriptive grammar  How to speak or write the “correct” way o Prescriptive rules were written down by scholars o Rules that do not reflect language usually survive  Rules associated with social standing o Non-standard dialects are frowned upon o Prescriptive rules used to mark social identity and mobility  Language is Creative o Our ability to speak a language (our implicit knowledge of the rules governing language) allows us to form and understand an infinite number of utterances (sound combinations and sentences) – we know the rules so we can interpret it our way  Mary suspects that I know that John thinks that it is raining  Creativeness of language or Productivity of language (take it and create an infinite amount of utterances) o Language is  A system of communication  Transmitting messages through sound or gestures  All signals have meaning or function  Serves a useful purpose  Receiving of messages  Words represent connection between groups of sounds or signs  Representation of natural sounds and meanings associated with nature  Sounds that imply a particular meaning  Discrete units that create larger communicative units  Limited number of sounds  Communication about things, actions, and ideas that are not present in space or time when speakers are communicating  Productive  No fixed set of ways that units can combine  Five Language Universals o All Languages have Grammar (rule governed, follow rules to create and understand sentences)  Sound system – phonetics and phonology (sign language may not have sound, but it uses gestures)  Words and S
More Less

Related notes for Anthropology 1027A/B

Log In


Don't have an account?

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.