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Chapter 3- Bonvillain Language and Cultural Meaning.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3- Bonvillain Language and Cultural Meaning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 3- Bonvillain Language and Cultural Meaning

2 Foundations of Linguistic Anthropology OUTLINE: Sapir Whorf Linguistic Relativity Boas’ research among the Yupik (Inuit) Cultural Emphasis Ethnosemantics – Cultural presupposition – Extended and transferred meaning

3 Cultural Emphasis Boas: Language a window into culture Culture reflected in language – Elaboration of vocabulary – Finer distinctions between items Inuit snow, seals Nuer cattle U.S. sports

4 Ethnoscience as Method From Cultural Emphasis to Ethnosemantics Cognitive anthropology/ethno science or ethno semantics Ethosemantics as a Field Method – Emic & Etic perspectives

5 Hanunóo Color Terms Dark Light Fresh Dry Reflecting an agricultural focus.

6 Linguistic Relativity Languages are different Languages are arbitrary systems Differences are not predictable

7 Searching for Universals Berlin & Kay – Basic color terms Focal points vs boundaries Sequence – black & white – add red – add green or yellow – ditto – add blue – add brown – add purple, pink, orange, and/or gray – Problems: defining basic; no ‘standard’ measure.

8 How Culture Reflects Language Linguistic Determinism Sapir… Whorf… – Strong Whorf… – Weaker Whorf… Examples… Experiments….

9 Linguistic Determinism “Human beings... are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society.” (Sapir 1929) “we cannot talk at all except by subscribing to the organization and classification of data” (Whorf 1940).

10 Sapir “The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached.” (Sapir 1929).

11 Whorf “We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native languages.” (Whorf 1940) Strong Whorf – Language determines thought Weaker Whorf – Language influences thought.

12 Examples of Linguistic Determinism: Hopi time = a process units of time = cycles passage of time = endless repetition of same cycle.

13 Experiments in Linguistic Determinism: Yucatec Grammar stresses material – Connects words for wood, tree, table Individuals group cardboard items together.

14 Experiments in Linguistic Determinism: English Grammar stresses shape – Different words for wood, tree, table Individuals group boxes together.

15 Cultural Presupposition Participants in a speech interaction come to encounters with an array of knowledge and understandings of their culture as expressed and transmitted through language. – Shirley Temple & Punky Brewster – Topo Gigio – El Chavo del Ocho & Cantinflas

16 Extended and Transferred Meaning Metaphor & Metonymy Metaphors – Metaphors of Kinship – Metaphors of the Body – Other metaphors? Metonymy Review article:Shakespeare in the Bush


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