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Human Language.

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Presentation on theme: "Human Language."— Presentation transcript:

1 Human Language

2 Language and Culture Language: _________________________
Importance of language for human life 1. only animal capable of _______________ 2. avenue of communication & thought concerning abstract concepts, and concrete persons, places, things, actions, & events 3. _____________of culture aided by _________

3 Linguistic Anthropology
Focus on language ________________________ Generally interested in how language changes Examples: Comparisons World economy Gender Comparisons Worldview Patterns of thought Multilingualism World economy Cross-cultural differences in language use “differences in context and/or frequency of occurrence” Implications: Same language structures with different functions across languages

4 Language and Communication
What is the difference between language and communication? Communication: Act of transferring information to others 1. 2. Language can be thought of as a way of communicating

5 Human Language Distinctive
1. Openness (a.k.a. ________) _________________ to create totally novel sentences and a ___________ to comprehend them A language’s __________________ can be combined into a infinite number of meaningful sentences

6 Human Language Distinctive
2. Displacement Our ability to talk about __________ __________________________________ Due to usage of symbols to transmit meanings

7 Human Language Distinctive
3. Arbitrariness ___________________________ between particular linguistic sounds & particular linguistic meanings Evidence in the design feature of language known as ________________ and ______________ Phonomes: small set of meaningless sounds Morphomes: meaning-bearing units (which have been patterned together with phonomes) Grammar: a set of rules that aim to describe fully the patterns of linguistic usage observed by speakers of a particular language Duality of Patterning Sound and meaning Semanticity Association of linguistic signals with aspects of social, cultural, and physical world of a speech community Example: US & computers as well as Aymara & potatoes Prevaricate Make or ask statements that violate convention  Consequence of open symbolic systems

8 Communication Among Non-Human Primates
Primates don’t ______ Parts of calls are not ___________ to get new information Their calls are _____________ Communication can signal: submission, reassurance, aggression, etc. Communication can include: vocalizations, body language, scent, and displays.

9 Language, Thought, and Culture
Coined by _______________ Mastery of adult grammar Communicative _________________ Coined by ______________ Mastery of adult rules for socially & culturally appropriate speech

10 Language, Thought, and Culture
Noam Chomsky Set of rules – ___________________________ Human brain contains a limited set of rules for organizing language All Languages = ________________________

11 Language, Thought, and Culture
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis Idea that different languages produce _______________________________ English & Hopi languages

12 Language, Thought, and Culture
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, continued Initial ideas centered on ‘all thoughts being constrained, or determined, by language’ Various studies have: 1. 2. Moderate Whorfianism differs from extreme Whorfianism in these ways: the emphasis is on the potential for thinking to be 'influenced' rather than unavoidably 'determined' by language; it is a two-way process, so that 'the kind of language we use' is also influenced by 'the way we see the world'; any influence is ascribed not to 'Language' as such or to one language compared with another, but to the use within a language of one variety rather than another (typically a sociolect - the language used primarily by members of a particular social group); emphasis is given to the social context of language use rather than to purely linguistic considerations, such as the social pressure in particular contexts to use language in one way rather than another.

13 Language, Thought, and Culture
__________ Vocabulary Set of words describing particular domains of experience Examples: 1. 2.

14 Pragmatics Study of language in context of its use Discourse 1. 2.
____________________________________ Series of verbal exchanges in conversation

15 Ethnopragmatics Study of language use:
Relies on ethnography to illuminate the ways in which speech is both constituted by and constitutive social interaction Focus on practice - how are rules of grammar, cultural values, and physical action conjoined

16 Language Revitalization
Collaboration between linguistic anthropologists and fluent speakers of indigenous languages

17 Language Revitalization
Hinton’s work in CA:

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