Presentation on theme: "Language and Cultural Meaning"— Presentation transcript:
1Language and Cultural Meaning Chapter 3- Bonvillain
2Foundations of Linguistic Anthropology OUTLINE:Sapir WhorfLinguistic RelativityBoas’ research among the Yupik (Inuit)Cultural EmphasisEthnosemanticsCultural presuppositionExtended and transferred meaning
3Cultural Emphasis Boas: Language a window into culture Culture reflected in languageElaboration of vocabularyFiner distinctions between itemsInuit snow, sealsNuer cattleU.S. sports
4Ethnoscience as Method From Cultural Emphasis to EthnosemanticsCognitive anthropology/ethno science or ethno semanticsEthosemantics as a Field MethodEmic & Etic perspectives
5Hanunóo Color Terms Dark Light Fresh Dry Reflecting an agricultural focus.
6Linguistic Relativity Languages are differentLanguages are arbitrary systemsDifferences are not predictable
7Searching for Universals Berlin & KayBasic color termsFocal points vs boundariesSequenceblack & whiteadd redadd green or yellowdittoadd blueadd brownadd purple, pink, orange, and/or grayProblems:defining basic; no ‘standard’ measure.
8How Culture Reflects Language Linguistic DeterminismSapir…Whorf…Strong Whorf…Weaker Whorf…Examples…Experiments….
9Linguistic 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).
10Sapir“The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached.” (Sapir 1929).
11Whorf“We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native languages.” (Whorf 1940)Strong WhorfLanguage determines thoughtWeaker WhorfLanguage influences thought.
12Examples of Linguistic Determinism: Hopi time = a processunits of time = cyclespassage of time = endless repetition of same cycle.
13Experiments in Linguistic Determinism: Yucatec Grammar stresses materialConnects words for wood, tree, tableIndividuals group cardboard items together.
14Experiments in Linguistic Determinism: English Grammar stresses shapeDifferent words for wood, tree, tableIndividuals group boxes together.
15Cultural 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 BrewsterTopo GigioEl Chavo del Ocho & Cantinflas
16Extended and Transferred Meaning Metaphor & MetonymyMetaphorsMetaphors of KinshipMetaphors of the BodyOther metaphors?MetonymyReview article:Shakespeare in the Bush