Language & Communication

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A group presentation for our ANT101 class regarding Language & Communication using a Linguistic Anthropological approach.

A group presentation for our ANT101 class regarding Language & Communication using a Linguistic Anthropological approach.

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  • 1. Language & Communication
  • 2. Outline
      • What is Language and Communication?
      • Origin of Language
      • Nonverbal Communication
      • The Structure of Language
      • Sociolinguistics
      • Historical Linguistics
      • Language Barrier
  • 3. What is Language and Communication?
    • Language is our primary means of communication, it can be done through speech or writing.
    • In anthropology, language is studied in its social and cultural context (. It focuses on the fact that language is always changing. Study is done by comparing ancient languages to its contemporary descendants.
  • 4. The Origin of Language
    • One theory states that language evolved from call gestures used by early hominines.
    • “ When primates encounter food and danger simultaneously, they can only utter one call.” At some point in human evolution, early hominines began combining calls and to understand the combinations.
  • 5. HUMAN LANGUAGE PRIMATE CALL SYSTEMS HAS THE CAPACITY TO SPEAK OF THINGS AND EVENTS THAT ARE NOT PRESENT. ARE STIMULI-DEPENDENT, THE FOOD CALL WILL BE MADE ONLY IN THE PRESENCE OF FOOD; IT CANNOT BE FAKED. HAS THE CAPACITY TO GENERATE NEW EXPRESSIONS BY COMBINING OTHER EXPRESSIONS. CONSISTS OF A LIMITED NUMBER OF CALLS THAT CANNOT BE COMBINED TO PRODUCE NEW CALLS. IS GROUP SPECIFIC IN THAT ALL HUMANS HAVE THE CAPACITY FOR LANGUAGE, BUT EACH LINGUISTIC COMMUNITY HAS ITS OWN LANGUAGE, WHICH IS CULTURALLY TRANSMITTED. TENDS TO BE SPECIES SPECIFIC, WITH LITTLE VARIATION AMONG COMMUNITIES OF THE SAME SPECIES FOR EACH CALL.
  • 6. Non-verbal communication
    • 1. Sign Language:
    • - used to convey messages through visual transmissions such as hand gestures combined with body movement and facial expressions.
    • - American Sign Language (ASL) is widely used by deaf and mute Americans.
  • 7. Non-verbal communication
    • Body Language
    • - American women are more likely to look directly at each other when they talk. American Men do not, especially when talking to other men.
    • - In some cultures, nodding your head does not necessarily mean yes and shaking it side to side may not mean no.
    • - Americans point with their fingers, in Madagascar they point with their lips.
    • - Kinesics , study of communication through body movement, stances, gestures, and facial expression.
  • 8. Non-verbal communication
    • Body Language
    • - In Madagascar and Polynesia, people of lower statuses must not hold their heads above those of higher status. When approached by someone of higher status, they must bend one’s knees and lower one’s head as a sign of respect.
    • - In Japan, people greet each other with a bow.
  • 9. The Structure of Language
    • Phonology – study of speech sounds.
    • Morphology – studies the forms in which sounds combine to form morphemes (words and their meaningful parts). Ex: cat [name of an animal] + s [a morpheme indicating plurality] = cats.
    • Syntax – arrangement and order of words in phrases and sentences.
  • 10. Speech Sounds
    • In English and French, “l” and “r” are phonemic but not in Japan. Phoneme = a sound contrast that makes a difference.
    • Pit/Bit = Phonemes are /p/ and /b/.
  • 11. The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
    • Different languages produce different ways of thinking.
    • English has a fully developed noun-gender and adjective-agreement system. Ex: he, she, him, her, his, hers. French does not.
    • In English, future tense is used to talk about something that is thought to possibly happen. Ex: In English, people say “See you next year.” even if they’re not entirely sure. In Portuguese, they say “See you next year, if you’re still alive by then.” using a future subjunctive verb form to introduce a degree of uncertainty to discussions of the future.
  • 12.
    • Lexicon
    • - a language’s dictionary. A set of names for things, events, and ideas.
    • - Eskimos have different types of snow. To most Anglophones (native English speakers), its just “snow.”
    • Focal Vocabulary
    • - specialized sets of terms and distinctions that particularly important to certain groups.
    • - Women = turquoise, cerulean, Tiffany blue.
    • Men = blue.
    • - Hospital lingo.
  • 13. Sociolinguistics
    • Studies relationships between social and linguistic variation.
    • Diglossia = “ high” and “low” variants of the same language. High variant applied in universities and in writing, professions, and the mass media. Low variants are applied in ordinary conversations between family members and friends.
    • In Japan, women tend to adopt an artifically high voice for the sake of politeness, according to their traditional culture.
  • 14. Sociolinguistics
    • Women are more likely to use words like “gorgeous, lovely, adorable, divine, and charming” more than men.
    • Honorifics , terms added to names as a sign of respect. Ex. Japan = -sama, -san, -chan, -kun. English = Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr.
    • Dad V.S. Father
  • 15. Historical Linguistics
    • Deals with long-term change.
    • Contemporary languages (daughter languages) originate from other ancient languages. French and Spanish came from Latin while German, Dutch, English, and Scandinavian languages came from proto-Germanic.
    • “ Latin and proto-Germanic were btoh Indo-European languages.”
    • Dialecs = granddaughter.
  • 16.  
  • 17. Language Barrier
    • - Refers to the difficulties faced when people who have no language in common attempt to communicate with each other. It may also be used in other contexts.
  • 18. How do you overcome Language Barrier?
    • Speak slowly and clearly.
    • Ask for clarification.
    • Frequently check for understanding.
    • Avoid idioms.
    • Be careful of jargon.
    • Define the basics of business.
    • Be specific.
    • Choose your medium of communication effectively.
    • Provide information via multiple channels.
    • Be patient.
  • 19. Thank you for listening!