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Only Quizzes and Fall '12 Midterm and Chapters 6 and 7 key terms


the minimal sound contrasts that distinguish meaning in a language


a minimal pair in Standard American English

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

argues that the language people speak influence the way they think


regular shifting between "high" and "low" variants of a language


the study of communication through body movements, stances, gestures, and expressions


the arrangement and order of words in phrases and sentences


the study of the forms in which sounds combine to form words and their meaningful parts

linguistic displacement

the ability to talk about things that are not present

focal vocabulary

the specialized set of terms and distinctions that are particularly important to certain groups


they study speech in its social context

Noam Chomsky

linguist that argued that all human languages have a common structural basis and that all humans have similar linguistic abilities


most professional linguists regard this as a dialect of English; it is not a distinct language


tend to use language to build social connections with others


all of a language's morphemes and their meanings


they believe that the world's linguistic diversity has been cut in half over the past 500 years

daughter languages

languages that have descended from the same ancestral language


the study of sounds used in speech

creole languages

after being spoken for generations, pidgins may develop into these; commonly found in regions where different linguistic groups came into contact with one another

mutation in the FOXP2 gene

the genetic difference that has been found between humans and chimpanzees that is likely responsible for the human capability for speech


a society that lacks status distinctions except those based on age, gender, and individual qualities, talents, and achievements

Southern Mesopotamia

where writing first developed in the Middle East

H. sapiens sapiens

the first hominin to arrive in the New World


the name given to the cultural period in which the first signs of domestication are present


the term for the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is today Iraq and southwestern Iran


life in permanent settlements


a ranked society in which villages have lost their autonomy; the precursors to primary states

10,000 B.P.

in the Near East, when did the domestication of plants and animals begin to replace foraging as the basis of subsistence


knowledge of the properties of metals, including how to extract, process, and use them to make tools

gene flow

the transmission of genetic material between populations


what natural selection acts on

Mendelian genetics

studies the ways in which chromosomes transmit genes across generations


natural selection cannot work without this


used as a basis for assigning organisms to the same taxon (zoological category)

great apes

gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans


when the first hominoids appeared


the era that anthropologists are most interested in

longitudinal ethnographic research

the long-term study of a particular culture or society, frequently based on repeated visits


study primates in both zoos and natural settings


the study of disease and injury in skeletons from archaeological sites

historical archaeologists

use written records to supplement the archaeological record


the collection of a representative subset of a larger population

AAACE (American Anthropological Association's Code of Ethics)

designed to ensure that all anthropologists are aware of their obligations to the field of anthropology, the host communities that allow them to conduct their research, and to society in general


the measurement of human body parts and dimensions


kind of researcher that has traditionally studied small, non-Western populations


not an absolute dating technique

participant observation

taking part in the events one is witnessing and describing

longitudinal research

the study of an area or population over time

genealogical method

technique developed specifically because kinship and marriage relationships are so important in nonindustrial societies

key cultural consultant

an expert on a particular aspect of local life


the firsthand, personal study of local settings

biocultural perspective

allows the inclusion of both biological and cultural approaches to comment or solve particular issue or problem


the comparative, generalizing aspect of cultural anthropology

four main sub disciplines of anthropology

biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, cultural anthropology, and archaeology anthropology

material remains

what anthropological archaeologists study


the study of interactions among past living things in a past environment


term for the process by which organisms cope with environmental forces and stresses


a systematic field of study that uses experiment, observation, and deduction to produce reliable explanations of phenomena

biocultural perspective

the inclusion of both biological and cultural approaches


a scientist who studies the fossil record of human evolution


the study of the relationships between social and linguistic variation

applied anthropology

the use of anthropological findings, concepts, and methods to accomplish a desired end

cultural anthropologist

an anthropologist studying ethnic-religious conflict in contemporary Sri Lanka


process by which children learn culture

practice theory

anthropological approach that focuses on how people with different motives, intentions, and degrees of power and influence manage to create and transform the society in which they live


a sign that has no necessary or natural connection to the thing it stands for or signifies

cultural relativism

the argument that behavior in a particular culture should not be judged by the standards of another culture

cultural universal

some kind of family


viewing another culture in terms of your own culture and values

cultural particulars

features unique to a given culture, not shared with any others

cultural generality

nuclear family

direct diffusion

the kind of diffusion that takes place when two cultures trade, intermarry, or wage war on one another


cultural change that results when two or more cultures have continuous firsthand contact


processes that are causing nations and people to be increasingly interlinked and mutually dependent

independent invention

the process by which humans innovate, creatively finding solutions to problems; the emergence of agriculture in at least seven different regions of the world is an example of this

ideal culture

what people say they do or should do (as opposed to what they actually do)


the different symbol-based patterns and traditions associated with particular groups within the same complex society

all people

what kinds of people do anthropologists consider to be "cultured"


mechanism of cultural change that is responsible for pidgin English


the firsthand, personal study of local settings


the processes by which organisms cope with environmental forces and stresses


the study of the relationships between social and linguistic variation

cultural relativism

the argument that behavior in a particular culture should not be judge by the standards of another culture


viewing another culture in terms of your own culture and values

gene pool

all of the genetic material in a breeding population


kind of society is divided into social classes

natural selection

operates when there is competition for strategic resources


the name of a form of social and political organization that has a formal, central government and a division of society into classes

H. sapiens sapiens

hominin group that colonized the Americas

broad-spectrum revolution

the period when glacial retreats led to the exploitation of a greater variety of plant and animal foods


"Old Stone Age"

H. erectus

the first hominin species to expand its range outside of Africa

A. afarenis

early form of australopithecus, found in ethiopia at Hadar ("Lucy") and in Tanzania at Laetoli; dating to the period between 3.8 and 3.0 m.y.a


varied group of Pliocene-Pleistoncene hominids; the term is derived from their former classification as members of a distinct subfamily, the Australopithecinae; now they are distinguished from Homo only at the genus level


upright two-legged locomotion, the key feature differentiating early hominins from the apes


opposite of robust


a member of the taxonomic family that includes humans and the African apes and their immediate ancestors


a member of the human lineage after its split from ancestral chimps; used to describe all the human species that ever have existed, including the extinct ones, but excluding chimps and gorillas

Homo habilis

term coined by L.S.B. and Mary Leakey; ancestor or contemporary of H. erectus; lived from about 1.9 to 1.44 m.y.a

Oldowan pebble tools

earliest (2.0 to 2.5 m.y.a.) stone tools; first discovered in 1931 by L.S.B. and Mary Leakey at Olduvai Gorge


large, strong, sturdy; said of skull, skeleton, muscle, and teeth; opposite of gracile


derived from the French village of St. Acheul, where these tools were first identified; Lower Paleolithic tool tradition associated with H. erectus

anatomically modern humans (AMHs)

including the Cro-Magnons of Europe (31,000 B.P.) and the older fossils from Skhul (100,000) and Qafzeh (92,000); continue through the present

archaic H. sapiens

early H. sapiens, consisting of the Neandertals of Europe and the Middle East, the Neandertal-like hominins of Africa and Asia, and the immediate ancestors of all these hominids; lived from about 300,000 to 30,000 B.P.

blade tools

the basic Upper Paleolithic tool type, hammered off a prepared core

Clovis tradition

stone technology based on a projectile point that was fastened to the end of a hunting spear; it flourished between 12,000 and 11,000 B.P. in North America


the four or five major advances of continental ice sheets in northern Europe and North America


extended warm periods between such major glacials as Riss and Wurm


Middle Paleolithictool-making tradition associated with Neandertals


H. sapiens neanderthalensis, representing an archaic H. sapiens subspecies, lived in Europe and the Middle East between 130,000 and 30,000 B.P.


Old Stone Age; divided into Lower (early), Middle, and Upper (late)


epoch of Homo's appearance and evolution; began 2 million years ago; divided into Lower, Middle, and Upper

Upper Paleolithic

blade-toolmaking traditions associated with AMHs; named from their location in upper, or more recent, layers of sedimentary deposits

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