Anthrtopological linguistics1


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Anthrtopological linguistics1

  1. 1. Anthropological Linguistics
  2. 2. Anthropology • Study of the humans past & present. • Sociocultural, Biological, Archeology, Linguistic Anthropology. Linguistics • The study of human speech including the units, nature, structure, and modification of language. Anthropology vs. Linguistics
  3. 3. • Linguistic anthropology is the comparative study of ways in which language reflects and influences social life. • Linguistic anthropology shares with anthropology in general a concern to understand power, inequality, and social change, particularly as these are constructed and represented through language and discourse. (AAA) Linguistic Anthropology
  4. 4. Linguistics Anthropology or Anthropological Linguistics? Description vs. Context
  5. 5. • Descriptive (or synchronic) linguistics. Phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and grammar. • Historical (or diachronic) linguistics. Language families, comparative linguistics, etymology, and philology. Related Fields
  6. 6. • Ethnolinguistics: Analyzing the relationship between culture, thought, and language. • Sociolinguistics: Analyzing the social functions of language and the social, political, and economic relationships among and between members of speech communities. Related Fields
  7. 7. • Franz Boas • Beggining of the 20th century Salvage Anthropology (1st paradigm)
  8. 8. • John Gumperz & Dell Hymes • Early 60’s • William Labov. The Ethnography of Communication (2nd Paradigm)
  9. 9. • Started in 1980’s • Focuses on language as used in socialization, negotiation of identities, power struggles, and the constitution of heterogeneous communities. 3rd Paradigm
  10. 10. William Labov
  11. 11. William Labov •December 4,1927 •American Linguist • “An enormously original and influential figure who has created much of the methodology" of sociolinguistics. •University of Pennsylvania
  12. 12. Labov was exposed to the most progressive view of language extant in classical linguistics, its variability and changeability across space, time, speakers, domains and contexts. Labov laid down a program for the empirical study of language in the speech community in 1968, thus making the bridge between the traditional study of language and the new field of sociolinguistics. William Labov
  13. 13. Language Variation and Change •He demonstrated the connection between social factors and language change •Labov began with Sturtevant’s (1907)argument that sound change starts in a few words and may then spread by analogy to others of the same class. •The change may progress slowly and only end up appearing as a regular process. •Labov investigated the variation of the vowels /ay/ and /aw/ and their raised and centralized variants, on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts, USA. William Labov
  14. 14. •The import from this study was at least two-fold: •Labov demonstrated that sound change, long assumed to be either cataclysmic or glacially slow, was observable in synchronic variation; •sound changes were connected to the social forces in a community. • These were conceptual turning points in the scientific study of language. William Labov Language Variation and Change
  15. 15. •The linguistic variable was originally conceived as a set of semantically-equivalent variants which alternated with each other in the production of a variable context: a variable such as (r) could have two variants, constricted and unconstricted [r], which would be in competition with each other. •The benefit of the linguistic variable as a conceptual entity was that variation could be handled in a systematic manner by quantitatively tracking the production of variants in different social and linguistic contexts. •The linguistic variable as a theoretical innovation also permitted multivariate quantitative models of language variation William Labov
  16. 16. Interview with Labov! • VEL – You have had an immense importance on the developments of Sociolinguistics in America. And you can be considered the founder of Variationist Sociolinguistics.
  17. 17. Can you tell us a little about your history in the field of Sociolinguistics? • Labov – When I first entered linguistics, I had in mind a shift towards a more scientifically oriented field, based on the way people use language in every-daylife. When I began interviewing and recording people, I found that their everyday speech involved a great deal of variation, which the standard theory was not equipped to deal with. The tools for studying variation and change in progress emerged from that situation. Eventually, it turned out that the study of variation gave clear answers to many of the problems that were not resolved by a discrete view of linguistic structure.
  18. 18. ReVEL – What is the object of study of Sociolinguistics? • Labov – It’s language, the instrument that people use to communicate with each other in every-day life. That’s the object that is the target of the work on linguistic change and variation. There are other branches of sociolinguistics that are primarily concerned with social issues: language planning, the choice of orthography, and others who are concerned with the social consequences of speech actions. These are all important areas of study, but I have always tried to address the major questions of linguistics: to determine the structure of language—its underlying forms and organization, and the mechanism and causes of linguistic change. Studies of the use of language in every-day life have proved very useful towards that end.
  19. 19. ReVEL – When it comes to phonological variation, how do you see the relation between Variationist Sociolinguistics and generative theories, such as Lexical Phonology or Optimality Theory, for example? • Labov – I have just attended a workshop on variation held by phonologists who are interested in that very question. The work that I began in 1967 on the analysis of the internal constraints on –t,d deletion in English is still a central concern of the phonologists who are trying to incorporate variation into formal models. Harmonic Grammar, Stochastic OT, Stratal OT are all options being considered. The originator of Lexical Phonology, Paul Kiparsky, has developed Stratal OT as a means of capturing the insights of Lexical Phonology along with the ability of OT to deal with variable ranking of constraints. Again, the treatment of the fundamental relations discovered in sociolinguistic work is a central problem for these formal developments.
  20. 20. What is the future of Sociolinguistics? What is the future of Variationist Sociolinguistics? • Labov – Linguistics is not a predictive science, and I would prefer to let the future unroll under its own momentum. What will determine the future is whether studies of linguistic change and variation prove to be a cumulative and positive route to answering our fundamental questions about the nature of language and the people who use it.
  21. 21. ReVEL – Could you please suggest some essential readings in the field of Sociolinguistics? • Labov – Among the most important early studies I think one should be familiar with the work of Peter Trudgill in Norwich, Walt Wolfram in Detroit, and my own study of New York City, which has just appeared in a second edition, as well as in the book, Sociolinguistic Patterns. Some of the most important work on change and variation is done in Brazil, and one should be thoroughly acquaintedwith the research of Anthony Naro, Marta Scherre, Sebastian Votre, Gregory Guy, Eugenia Duarte, and Fernando Tarallo. Much of this work is correlated with and informed by research on Spanish variables in the studies of Shana Poplack, Richard Cameron, and Carmen Silva- Corvalán. My own more recent work is reported in the two volumes of Principles of Linguistic Change (1994, 2001). Finally, anyone who wants to be current on research in this field should read the journal, Language Variation and Change, in which the most important papers appear.
  23. 23. • A man’s language moulds his perception of reality, or that the world a man inhabits is a linguistic construct. SAPIR WHORF
  24. 24. Boas Bloomfield
  25. 25. • Linguistic Drift There is a long- term tendency for a language to modify itself in some particular direction.
  26. 26. • Covert (Whorf): A feature of a word or phrase is said to be covert if there is no surface evidence of its existence within that word or phrase. • Example:
  27. 27. “A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language” - J.G. Hamman.
  28. 28. Silent Way Dr. Caleb Gattengno
  29. 29. • The class is conducted in silence. • Ss are encouraged to use the target language as their primary language. • Constructivism “learning to learn” Silent Way
  30. 30. • Pronunciation • Fluency • Fidels Color-coded
  31. 31. Fidels & Color Charts
  32. 32. • Functional vocabulary • Luxury vocabulary • Semi-luxury vocabulary Fidels
  33. 33. • Pronunciation • Rods, pictures, objects and situations to add meaning • Perceptions • Follow a sequence based on gramatical complexity, and one element presented at a time A lesson
  34. 34. • Independent • Autonomous • Responsible Learners
  35. 35. • To teach • To test • To get out of the way Teachers REAL TS DON’T LOOK BACK
  36. 36. Gestures
  37. 37. Advantages • Learners acquiare inner criteria • Creates a correctly, adequatly working inter- language • The self-esteem of the ss will be increased and this will enhance learning • Learnes gain practical knowledge and use of the target language Disadvantages • Method should be used in small groups of ss • The rigidity of the system may be meaningless • How successfully it might e used at more advanced level is questionable • Language is separated from its social context and thaught through artificial situations usually by rods Advantages and Disadvantages