Presentation on theme: "The Anthropology of Language: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology Chapter 5 Silent Languages."— Presentation transcript:
1 The Anthropology of Language: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology Chapter 5Silent Languages
2 The transmission of messages w/o spoken word Sign languagesanalyzing signsGestures and nonverbal communicationSpeech substitutesBody languageSmell, Taste, TouchProxemics & Kinesicsgender, status, culture & spacetypes of gesturesGesture systems
3 Sign language IS language ‘Language performed in three-dimensional space’Generally associated with deaf peopleOften associated with Deaf peopleNatural vs. Manually Coded sign languagesSyntax is complex, unique to specific languageAmerican Sign Language (ASL; Ameslan) vs. BritishMutually unintelligible; not based on English syntaxSigns = concepts, not words (‘right’ vs. ‘right’)Syntax = one sign can stand for several wordsE.g., “I-ask-her” is one signvs. Signed English (SEE1 & 2) which follows English syntax
4 Analyzing Signs Primes Three kinds of primes Minimal pairs Basic elements of signs (correspond to phonemes?)Combine into morphemesThree kinds of primesHand shapeFist (A), Flat (B), Cupped (C)Hand placementHand movementMinimal pairsApple vs. candy (shape: fist hand vs. cupped hand)Summer vs. ugly (place: forehead vs. nose level)
5 Sign language is NOT gesture View this ASL exampleCan you separate the gesture from the sign?What elements of paralanguage play a key role in this performance?Note the gender shift as the performer moves from his pre-performance self to the performance selfMen typically perform signs lower than women
6 Body Language Learned in cultural groups Interpreted unconsciously Often overrides verbal language~60% of communication?Beware of guidebooks.
7 Smell, Taste, and Touch Smell Taste Touch And ethnicity, culture Cigars, perfumes and statusTasteAnd group membershipSpicy foods…TouchAnd gender and powerRelation to proxemics…
8 Proxemics Edward Hall, 1950s How people perceive and use space Cowboy proxemicsGetting to theatre seats
9 Gender, Status, & Space Entering into someone’s ‘space’ Getting the ‘best’ officeOr the biggest bedroomHaving one’s own ‘space’Dens vs. sewing rooms
10 Culture and Space Different arrangements Different uses US grids & French circlesGerman doors: closed vs. openDifferent usesWhere to eat in the ComorosDepends on gender, too
11 Kinesics – meaningful movement (Birdwhistell) Kineme with allokinesKinemorphs – meaningful units of visual expressionLater, kinemorphs abandoned as a concept, kineme comes to mean both the minimal and the meaningful units.
12 Kinesics – another model of meaningful movement (Ekman and Friesen) Emblems – direct verbal translationIllustrators – depict or illustrate what is being saidAffect displays – convey emotionRegulators – control or coordinate interaction, for example indicating that it is someone’s turn to talkAdaptors – expressions of restlessness or unease, facilitate the release of tension
13 Gesture Systems Where verbal communication is difficult Topics and contexts are limitedSimple alternative systemsLittle or no syntaxSawmills, baseball games, sailboat racingComplex alternative systemsSyntax based on spoken language:Australian women mournersSome monastic ordersSyntax independent of any spoken languageNative American Plains sign languageSigns used in varying order
14 Typology of Gestures Eckman & Friesen, 1960s Emblems Illustrators Translatable (waving)IllustratorsOf what is said (steering)Affect DisplaysConvey emotion (smiling)RegulatorsControl or coordinate (pointing)AdaptorsFacilitate release (wiggling)
15 Gesture Systems Where verbal communication is difficult Topics and contexts are limitedSimple alternative systemsLittle or no syntaxSawmills, baseball games, sailboat racingComplex alternative systemsSyntax based on spoken language:Australian women mournersSome monastic ordersSyntax independent of any spoken languageNative American Plains sign languageSigns used in varying order
16 Speech Substitutes Sound signals substitute for spoken words Or parts of wordsUseful for communicating over distancesExamples:Drum languagesbased on tones (Nigeria)Whistle languagesbased on tones (Mazateco)based on vowels (La Gomera)different whistled pitches = different vowels
17 Speech substitutesPresent only parts of words, listeners fill in the blanks.Stereotyped and predictable.How are these different from ASL?ASL is a language, NOT a speech substitute!How are ASL and SEE different?
18 Filling in the blanks Yoruba talking drums Use of a “talk-box,” from the Master
19 Creating a Language Create a proxemic system define degrees of space:private, personal, social & publicCreate two or three gestures:friendly, obscene, teasing, aggressive, etc.Practice! Use your greetings and proxemics rules, try out your gestures.
20 Next: Language in Action Read: Prepare to do: Textbook Chapter 6 Workbook/Reader:Good Tracks (pp )Prepare to do:Writing/Discussion Exercises (W/R p )Practice with Languages (W/R pp )Language Creating (W/R p. 135)Conversation partnering (W/R p. 136)