Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
0
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Language and Culture
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

Language and Culture

28,199

Published on

Looks at kinesics, paralanguage, ethnolinguistics, historical linguistics, and cross-species communication systems.

Looks at kinesics, paralanguage, ethnolinguistics, historical linguistics, and cross-species communication systems.

Published in: Business, Technology
3 Comments
19 Likes
Statistics
Notes
No Downloads
Views
Total Views
28,199
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
1,364
Comments
3
Likes
19
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Language and Culture Language, Communication, and Culture
  • 2. Introduction to Language, Communication, and Culture <ul><li>How is language related to culture? </li></ul><ul><li>How is a language related to a culture? </li></ul><ul><li>Both questions are valid, and we look at the issues through several lenses: </li></ul><ul><li>Kinesics and paralanguage </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnolinguistics and code switching </li></ul><ul><li>Similarities and differences between human and animal communication. </li></ul>
  • 3. Nonverbal Communication <ul><li>There are two basic types of nonverbal communication </li></ul><ul><li>Kinesics involves the all-too-familiar body language: facial expression, gestures, even eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Paralanguage are the vocalizations that often accompany speech: slurs, tones of voice, nonmeaningful utterances including “um” and “uh” </li></ul>
  • 4. Kinesics: Gestures <ul><li>Kinesics: System of analyzing postures, facial expressions, “body language” </li></ul><ul><li>See that thumbs up? This gent likes whatever you’re doing. Buying his brand of coffee, perhaps? </li></ul><ul><li>In other countries, it would mean—well, you know! (Need a hint? Think middle finger) </li></ul><ul><li>This is one example how the same gesture might mean different things in different cultures. </li></ul>
  • 5. Kinesics: Facial Expressions <ul><li>Social smiles are commonplace, though women may do so more than men—a matter of expected social sensitivity </li></ul><ul><li>Frowns express frustration, sometime cynicism, as this cartoon suggests—if you smile, you’re naïve </li></ul><ul><li>Facial expressions and eye contact are the most widely used forms of kinesics; gestures are also frequent </li></ul>
  • 6. Gesture Call Systems: Paralanguage <ul><li>Paralanguage consists of extralinguistic noises accompanying language </li></ul><ul><li>Voice qualities: tone, slur (cartoon), other background noises </li></ul><ul><li>Vocalizations : Identifiable noises turned on and off at short intervals—”uh,” “um,” other kinds of hesitation </li></ul>
  • 7. More Paralanguage <ul><li>Vocal characteristics: Sound production such as laughing </li></ul><ul><li>Vocal qualifiers: Tone or pitch-”Get Out!” </li></ul><ul><li>Segregates: “Shh!” “Oh oh,” “hmmm!” (cartoon) among others </li></ul>
  • 8. Historical Linguistic Techniques <ul><li>When tracing the history of language, linguists have no writing to rely upon </li></ul><ul><li>Several techniques have been developed to trace the probable changes </li></ul><ul><li>Glottochronology: the reconstruction of past languages on the assumption that 14% of a language changes every 1000 years </li></ul><ul><li>Core vocabulary: Comparison of words for common objects based on similarity </li></ul><ul><li>A list of words is compiled for each of two languages that refer to objects that are common everywhere: body parts, sun, rain, stones, trees, and others </li></ul><ul><li>The closer the vocabulary—cognates or similar words between two languages, the more closely related the two languages are thought to be. </li></ul>
  • 9. Models of Language Change <ul><li>Language Family </li></ul><ul><li>Group of languages descended from a single ancestral language </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Indo-European is descended from Proto-Indo-European </li></ul><ul><li>Family Tree Model: a model that emphasizes the derivation of language from a common source </li></ul><ul><li>Wave Model: A model that emphasizes borrowing across contemporary languages </li></ul>
  • 10. Ethnolinguistics <ul><li>Definition: Study of relationship between language and culture </li></ul><ul><li>Named after Edward Sapir (top) and Benjamin Lee Whorf (bottom), the </li></ul><ul><li>Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis states that language, </li></ul><ul><li>By providing habitual “grooves” of expression </li></ul><ul><li>Predisposes people to see world in certain ways </li></ul><ul><li>Thus guiding thinking and behavior </li></ul>
  • 11. Ethnolinguistics: Do Languages Structure Cultures. . . <ul><li>Example of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis; </li></ul><ul><li>Hopi: Conception of time as processes, not discrete units </li></ul><ul><li>For example, Hopi would not divide time into seconds or hours </li></ul><ul><li>Nor would they perceive time as object, such as wasting time </li></ul>
  • 12. Or Do Cultures Structure Language <ul><li>The Nuer of the Sudan are cattle herders </li></ul><ul><li>Children are named after cattle, and poetry is composed about them </li></ul><ul><li>More than 400 words are related to cattle </li></ul><ul><li>In our own culture, we have a militaristic vocabulary; we make a killing on Wall Street, we bomb the exam, we have a war on drugs, cancer, poverty, you name it </li></ul><ul><li>So we have a chicken and egg question </li></ul><ul><li>Does language condition culture </li></ul><ul><li>Or does culture condition language? </li></ul>
  • 13. Ethnolinguistics: Some Areas of Research <ul><li>Kinship terms : The terms father and mother may be extended to uncles and aunts. More on this later </li></ul><ul><li>Gender-based meanings : When women say “I’m sorry,” are they taking responsibility for the problem or are they regretting the situation, as Deborah Tannen argues. </li></ul><ul><li>We have several social dialects in this country, ranging from Afro-American speech to “Spanglish” (Spanish-English word combinations) to regional dialects from the U.S. South, y’all, to Bostonian bahgains. </li></ul>
  • 14. Code Switching: Martin Luther King <ul><li>We change our speech styles to fit the occasion </li></ul><ul><li>Code Switching: Switching style of speech according to occasion and audience </li></ul><ul><li>Martin Luther King, Jr., was a master in code switching, ranging from standard discourse in formal settings (Washington Monument, 1963, I Have a Dream speech upper photo) </li></ul><ul><li>To informal discourse in black settings (Here delivering a sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia) </li></ul>
  • 15. Language Origins: Interspecies Comparison <ul><li>When language began is anyone’s guess </li></ul><ul><li>Defining communication and comparing different communication systems is a first step </li></ul><ul><li>Chimpanzees have used American Sign Language and computer buttons to convey messages somewhat like languages </li></ul><ul><li>But speech organs have long since deteriorated, so we have at best indirect evidence. </li></ul>
  • 16. Language Origins: Fossil Evidence <ul><li>Did Neanderthals have language? A humanlike hyoid bone, which anchors the tongue, was found in Kebara Cave, Israel </li></ul><ul><li>Endocasts indicating size of cerebrum and possible Broca’s area have been found among Homo habilis remains </li></ul><ul><li>Another indication is the flat surface at the skull base, suggesting the larynx was too high to enable language; nonhuman primates also have a flat skull base and high larynxes </li></ul><ul><li>Basic conclusion: no one really knows when language got its start </li></ul>
  • 17. Features of Language Shared with Other Species <ul><li>Nevertheless, language does share some features with the communication systems of other animals. </li></ul><ul><li>We look at some examples, such as gibbons, stickleback courtship, and bee dances indicating the location of a nectar source </li></ul>
  • 18. Common Features of Language and Nonhuman Communication <ul><li>Arbitrariness </li></ul><ul><li>Productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Interchangeability </li></ul><ul><li>Displacement </li></ul><ul><li>Specialization </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Transmission </li></ul>
  • 19. Arbitrariness <ul><li>Definition: Absence of intrinsic relation between communication element (speech sound) and thing or event to which it refers (referent) </li></ul><ul><li>Iconic Relationship: Existence of such a relationship between element (e.g. gesture) and its referent </li></ul><ul><li>Importance: Utterance is not “married” to meaning, such as this gibbon’s warning call </li></ul>
  • 20. Arbitrariness (Examples) <ul><li>Example [k], [æ], and [t] are not meaningful in and of themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning emerges when sounds are combined: </li></ul><ul><li>[kæt] “cat” has one meaning (feline, the one who caught a mouse) </li></ul><ul><li>[tæk] “tack” has another (small nail) </li></ul><ul><li>[ækt] “act” has a third (dog and pony show) </li></ul><ul><li>Even then, this string is language specific (English), not intrinsic </li></ul>
  • 21. Arbitrariness (Across Languages) <ul><li>Evidence of Arbitrariness: Diverse Languages </li></ul><ul><li>“ Cat” has different pronunciations in different languages </li></ul><ul><li>Similarities are the product of common roots and/or diffusion from one language to another </li></ul>
  • 22. Productivity (Definition) <ul><li>Productivity is the capacity for elements of communication system to be combined to form new meanings which the speaker and listener may never have learned before, yet understands perfectly </li></ul><ul><li>Try this exercise: the top figure is a wug </li></ul><ul><li>Now here are two of them </li></ul><ul><li>There are two ____ </li></ul><ul><li>If your response was [w əgz] you produced an entirely new—and correct--utterance </li></ul>
  • 23. Productivity: Jabberwocky Riddle <ul><li>From Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll (see illustration} </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Twas brillig and the sllthy toves </li></ul><ul><li>Did gyre and gimble in the wabe </li></ul><ul><li>Identify: </li></ul><ul><li>The nouns </li></ul><ul><li>The verbs </li></ul><ul><li>The adjectives </li></ul>
  • 24. Productivity: The Answers <ul><li>The nouns: surely the article the is a dead giveaway for toves and wabe </li></ul><ul><li>The verbs: ‘ twas is poetic English for “ it was,” and the helping verb did uncovers gyre and gimble </li></ul><ul><li>The adjectives: Doesn’t the –y ending of slithy suggest an adjective, similar to slimy ? And ’twas suggests brillig to be another one. </li></ul>
  • 25. Productivity: Language Learning <ul><li>Language drills use the principle of productivity </li></ul><ul><li>English: I am, you are. . . </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish: Yo soy, tu eres. . </li></ul><ul><li>Productivity simply involves taking a few elements (phonemes, morphemes, even syntax) and generate unlimited combinations of expressions </li></ul>
  • 26. Productivity Among Other Species: Bee Dance <ul><li>When a scout bee has discovered a flower or other nectar source, she returns and tell the other bees where it is with a dance </li></ul><ul><li>Their figure-eight tell the other bees the direction and distance of the pollen source </li></ul><ul><li>The waggle of the tail also indicates the direction </li></ul><ul><li>Amount of pollen brought back indicates pollen available there </li></ul><ul><li>Productivity involves variations of speed of the dance, the amount brought back, and the waggle. </li></ul>
  • 27. Interchangeability <ul><li>Definition: Use of same communication system to send and receive messages </li></ul><ul><li>Illustrative Counterexample : Three-spined stickleback fish courtship (see diagram) </li></ul><ul><li>Female elicits male response by presenting distended belly </li></ul><ul><li>Male performs zigzag dance around female </li></ul><ul><li>She follow him to nest </li></ul><ul><li>Male point to nest on arrival </li></ul><ul><li>Female enters nest, male rubs abdomen, </li></ul><ul><li>She discharges eggs, and male fertilizes them with sperm </li></ul>
  • 28. Displacement (Definition) <ul><li>Ability to refer to things and events not present, nonvisible, intangible, or nonexistent </li></ul><ul><li>Not present: Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco </li></ul><ul><li>Not visible: Termites in sealed mound </li></ul><ul><li>Intangible: math equations, square roots </li></ul><ul><li>Nonexistent: dragons, unicorns </li></ul>
  • 29. Displacement (Importance) <ul><li>Ability to represent unseen parts of world </li></ul><ul><li>Part of toolmaking ability : to conceive a design (above) </li></ul><ul><li>Bee Dance </li></ul><ul><li>Scouting bee gives information on non-present blossoms </li></ul><ul><li>Direction of dance relative to sun: indicates direction of source </li></ul><ul><li>Length of tail waggle: distance of source </li></ul><ul><li>Other bees act on this information even though they cannot see the flower or blossom </li></ul>
  • 30. Cultural Transmission <ul><li>Learning of an element of communication (speech sound, gestures) </li></ul><ul><li>Bees and stickleback acquire behavior genetically </li></ul><ul><li>Dogs learn by conditioning, do not pass learning on </li></ul><ul><li>Chimpanzees do learn by imitation and pass it on: e.g., termite fishing. </li></ul>
  • 31. Specialization <ul><li>Definition: Ability to transmit message with minimal physical effort </li></ul><ul><li>Language is the most specialized of all communication systems </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of unspecialized communication </li></ul><ul><li>Chimpanzee displays </li></ul><ul><li>Bee dance </li></ul><ul><li>Stickleback courtship </li></ul>
  • 32. Conclusion <ul><li>Language is the basis of culture </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of linguistics is prerequisite to knowing how cultures function </li></ul><ul><li>We have looked at the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive Linguistics </li></ul><ul><li>Language, Culture, and Society </li></ul><ul><li>Comparative Human-nonhuman Communication </li></ul><ul><li>One question remains: does culture condition language, or does language condition culture: the old chicken-egg question. </li></ul><ul><li>There are many similarities between human and animal communication </li></ul>

×