Chapter Outline What is language? How is language related to culture? How did language begin?
What Is Language? A system for the communication, in symbols, of any kind of information. Through language, people share their experiences, concerns, and beliefs and communicate these to the next generation.
The Nature of Language There are approximately 6,000 languages. All languages are organized in the same basic way. Spoken languages use sounds and rules for putting the sounds together. Sign languages use gestures rather than sounds.
Linguistics Linguistics is the study of all aspects of language: –Phonetics –Phonology –Morphology –Syntax –Grammar
Studying a Language 1. Isolate the phonemes, or the smallest classes of sound that make a difference in meaning. 2. Determine all groups or combinations of sounds that seem to have meaning. 3. See how morphemes are put together to form phrases or sentences.
The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis A language is not simply an encoding process but is rather a shaping force. Language guides thinking and behavior by predisposing people to see the world in a certain way. There has been a recent renewal of interest in this hypothesis.
Origin of Language: One Theory Early hominines, began using gestures to communicate intentions within a social setting. When Homo erectus moved out of the tropics, they needed to plan and communicate to survive seasons of cold temperatures. By the time archaic Homo sapiens appeared, finely controlled movements of the mouth and throat had given rise to spoken language.
Gesture-Call System Inherited from our primate ancestors. Gesture component consists of body motions used to convey messages. Call component consists of extralinguistic noises involving various voice qualities and vocalizations.
What do you think this couple is communicating non-verbally? Look at them carefully.
Test your knowledge of North American/European body language. Look at the couple walking together. What does it mean to be so close with their arms around each other this way? Could they be strangers?
Proxemics ____________________ DISTANCE BETWEEN TONE OF VOICE TYPE OF MESSAGE FACES very close (3-6") soft whisper top secret or sensual close (8-12") audible whisper very confidential neutral (20-36") soft voice, low volume personal subject matter neutral (4.5-5') full voice non-personal information across the room (8-20')loud voice talking to a group stretching the limits (20-24' indoors and up to 100' outdoors) loud hailing voice departures and arrivals Derived from The Silent Language by Edward Hall (1959)
What do the clothing, hair style, makeup, and body language of the young woman in the photo communicate to you? Now think of a middle-aged businessman with the same clothing, hair style, makeup, and body language. Would she fit in the office environment?
Papua New Guinean man wearing a penis sheath English "punkers" in their "uniforms" Communicating with Clothes
Lecture 3 Language and Communication Assignments 1. Test your cross-cultural gesture literacy: http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/quiz/gestures.php 2. Read article: „Dying Languages” http://www.nysun.com/opinion/dying- languages/45847http://www.nysun.com/opinion/dying- languages/45847 3. Read article: „Accents speak louder than words”: http://living.scotsman.com/books/Accents-speak-louder-than- words.2831938.jp http://living.scotsman.com/books/Accents-speak-louder-than- words.2831938.jp 4. Read article: „Nature v nurture? Please don't ask”: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article5986239.ece http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article5986239.ece Note: I would like to remind you that all assignments (including assigned readings) are compulsary and will be included in your June examination!