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ANT 210 Exam 1 Study Guide
Terms in this set (47)
-documentation, description, and classification of indigenous languages
-representative of unconscious and arbitrary relations between language as symbolic system & reality
-the study of language use across speakers and activities
-View of language: as a culturally organized and culturally organizing domain
-use of linguistic practices to document & analyze the reproduction of persons, institutions, and communities across space and time
-View of language: as an interactional achievement filled with indexical/ideological values
Key Themes in Linganth
-The ways in which language is enmeshed with
cultural values and social power
-How inequality is reproduced in language
-Human diversity (linguistic and cultural) eg, how are we different?
-How are we the same?
-How the way people speak affect our perceptions of them
-Language in ritual vs. language in everyday life
The process-oriented view
Culture as process=doing culture or "culturing." Same with language. Doing language or"languaging" Linguistic anthropology focuses on this participation: this communicating, languaging, socializing, speaking, performing, doing rituals, making magic happen with words...ALWAYS concerned with activity, emotion, feeling, dominating, loving, connecting, etc
treating a dynamic process as a thing
To treat something ( eg culture) as an essence equally distributed among all members. "Essence" as a way of referring to the nature of x — something very important to defining x, something that is inside of every copy of x.
The different kinds of "work" that language does.
the phenomenon of a sign pointing to some object in the context in which it occurs
terms like here, now, he, she, and it, point to/index different things at different times.
Shared experience, feelings, and thoughts, which all add up to sharing a sense of 'what's going on here'
Semiosis/Semiotic theory of Culture
the process of signification in language or literature
the study of sound in language
The basic sounds in a Language **Sounds systems enable (or force!) speakers of a language to recognize differences
the basic unit in a language that signifies a grammatical or lexical meaning.
the study of how languages build meaningful units such as words or the study of the internal structure of words
Conduit Models of Communication
conceptual models used to explain the human communication process. ... Following the basic concept, communication is the process of sending and receiving messages or transferring information from one part (sender) to another (receiver).
A sign that refers to its object by means of similarity Photos, sketches, diagrams, onomatopoeic words ( choo choo train, meow)
A sign that refers to its object by virtue of convention or habit. Most words fall primarily into this category (though words can have iconic, indexical, and/or symbolic aspects simultaneously!)
Example - We call most flying animals birds
**Symbols are uniquely human because they embody an arbitrary or culturally conventional rule
A sign that signifies indexically and points to another thing
Example - smoke points to fire
Language, culture, and society all apparently have a pre -existing reality but at the same time are very much the products of individual humans' words and actions" (Ahearn 2012: 23) Structure appears to make agency impossible. The reality is more complex...It is only within structure that human action can take place, and, at the same time, human social activity reproduces or transforms the structure within which it operates. We cannot communicate more than simple ideas without sharing a structure like "the English language"...and yet such structures are always changing because we (especially children) keep messing with them...This never - finished quality is what leads some to write of languaging rather than language.
The study of meaning in language, including analysis of the meaning of words and sentences**"Semantic meaning" often indexes/points to the dictionary meaning, or the referential/denotative meaning
The study of language use, of actual utterances, of how meanings emerge in actual social contexts. (Ahearn 2012: 12) **This includes culturally and linguistically specific ways of structuring narratives, performances, or everyday conversations.
what a speaker conventionally means, not what he/she is trying say....the dictionary meaning, referential - denotative, exists "out there" and must be communicated
"the effect - producing significance of words and larger units of language — their ability to influence the extralinguistic context" — it does something in the world, shifts/creates/sustains the relationship
How children are socialized into becoming very different
kinds of social beings through culturally specific uses of language (Ahearn: 51)
**It can be through all forms of language so words, gestures, etc.
simplifying of utterances and asking questions to which they already know the answers
treating the child as more competent linguistically than she really is
the exaggerated, drawn-out form of speech that people use to communicate with babies, apparently is universal and plays a vital role in helping infants to analyze and absorb the phonetic elements of their parents' language.
Linguistic relativity/determinism & the "Sapir-Whorf hypothesis"
Popular notions: Language as prison. The causal relationship or arrow between language and thought runs in one direction, and culture is nowhere in the picture.
Wrong on many levels: Sapir and Whorf never published together, did not frame their work as hypothesis/science, and did not see it unidirectionally
may help producers think of the right words in a given context, help the brain function spatially, or even help speakers to package spatial information into units appropriate for speaking
focuses attention and grounds utterances in the immediate context
Speakers, typically in institutional contexts, can use gesture to control and manage the turn sequence of the interaction.Speakers can use gesture to request a turn, hold their turn or block interruptions, maintain a topic, signal the end of another speakers turn, and assign other speakers turns.
speech area, speech network, community of Practice
Alternative concepts for speech communities
defined as "a group of speakers" in sociolinguistics
when a certain territory can be considered a single multilingual speech community because the people in this area share cultural and religious practices, and even though they do not all speak the same language, they share an understanding of how language should be used in daily social life.
Speech communities of practice
an aggregate of people who come together around mutual engagement in an endeavor. Ways of doing things, ways of talking, beliefs, power relations—in short, practices—emerge in the course of this mutual endeavor. As a social construct, a community of practice is different from the traditional community, primarily because it is defined simultaneously by its membership and by the practice in which that membership engages."
One nation/one language origins
Johann Gottlieb Fichte said "Those who speak the same language are joined to each other by a multitude of invisible bonds by nature herself, long before any human art begins; they understand each other and have the power of continuing to make themselves understood more and more clearly; they belong together and are by nature one and an inseparable whole."
a linguistic repertoire that is associated, culture internally, with particular social practices and with persons who engage in such practices
began writing on semiotics, which he also called semeiotics, meaning the philosophical study of signs, in the 1860s, around the time that he devised his system of three categories. ... By "logic" he meant philosophical logic.
Schieffelin & Ochs
The process of acquiring language is deeply affected by the process of becoming a competent member of society. The process of becoming a competent member of society is realized to a large extent through language. **In other words, learning a first language and becoming a culturally competent member of society are two facets of a single process. It is virtually impossible for a child to learn a language without also becoming socialized into a particular cultural group. Conversely, a child cannot become a competent member of such a group without mastering the appropriate linguistic practices.
Language might facilitate certain types of thinking and could provide a
valuable way of understanding unconscious patterns of culture and thought...but it would not prevent people from thinking in a way that differed from the categories presented most conveniently in their language.
"We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation" Believed that grammatical categories can exert "a tyrannical hold on our orientation in the world" HOWEVER: "no matter what any speaker of [a language] may desire to communicate...the language is prepared to do his work"
"Which was first: the language patterns or the cultural norms? In main they have group up together, constantly influencing each other. But in this partnership the nature of the language is the factor that limits free plasticity and rigidifies channels of development in the more autocratic way." Plurals and verb tenses differ dramatically: SAE languages objectify and spatialize non-spatial qualities (units of time). Not in Hopi, where there are more process-oriented ways of talking about time ("eventing") This leads to differences in the habitual cultural behavior of speakers (Hopi emphasizing process and continuity so emphasize preparation, endurance, and intensity vs. SAE splitting time leads to record-keeping, accounting, schedules, historical sequencing)
Speech communities: Frequent interactions, Shared verbal repertoire, Shared social norms
"The speech community is not defined by any marked agreement in the use
of language elements, so much as by participation in a set of shared norms."
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