Linguistic Anthropology The study of communication in It also studies the It usually refers tocultural contexts and the relation between work on languages linguistic analysis of human that have no written particular (usually non- biology, cognition and records. Indo-European) language. languages.
In the United States a close relationship between Through anthropological anthropology and linguistics linguistic, languages are described developed as a result of and interpreted in a certain research by anthropologists sociocultural context, the time and into the American Indian the geographic space. cultures and languages. Conventional linguistic anthropology also has implications for sociology and self- organization of peoples.This strongly overlaps the fieldof linguistic anthropology which isthe branch of anthropology thatstudies humans through thelanguages that they use.
Historical development Alessandro Duranti has noted three paradigms that have emerged over the history of the subdiscipline.The first known as The second, known “anthropological as "linguistic The third linguistics”. anthropology”. paradigm, studies questions related to other subfields of anthropology with the tools of It engages in linguistic inquiry Focuses on the theoreticaldocumentation of studies of languages. language use.
Problems between interlinguistic and intercultural translation When a translator or a researcher face a language for the first time, he would find problems with the translation or definition of a word or term.Intralinguistic translation Interlinguistic translation In the second one, the linguistic wont find anIt is used a synonymous. equivalent, so as an interpreter, he would process the message in the other language.
Benjamin Lee Whorf • Instead of merely assuming that language influences the thought and behavior of its speakers he looked at Native American languages and attempted to account for the ways in which differences in grammatical systems and language use affected the way their speakers perceived the world. Whorf was also concerned with how a scientific account of the world differed to such an extent from a religious account, which led him to study the languages of old religious scripture and to write several anti-evolutionist pamphlets.
Among Whorfs well known examples of linguistic relativity are examples of instances where an indigenous language has severalterms for a concept that is only described with one word in English and other European languages (Whorf used the acronym SAE"Standard Average European" to allude to the rather similar grammatical structures of thewell-studied European languages in contrast to the greater diversity of the less-studied languages). One of Whorfs examples of this was the supposedly many words for snow in the Inuit language, which has later been shown to be a misrepresentation, but also for example how the Hopi language describes water with two different words for drinking water in a container versus a natural body of water.
These examples of polysemy served the doublepurpose of showing that indigenous languagessometimes made more fine grained semanticdistinctions than European languages and that directtranslation between two languages, even of seeminglybasic concepts like snow or water, is not alwayspossible.
Edward SapirSapirs special focus among Americanlanguages was in the Athabaskan languages, afamily which especially fascinated him. In aprivate letter, he wrote: "Dene is probably theson-of-a-bitchiest language in America toactually know...most fascinating of alllanguages ever invented.“.Sapir also studied the languages and culturesof WishramChinook, Navajo, Nootka, Paiute, Takelma, and Yana. His research on Southern Paiute, incollaboration with consultant TonyTillohash, led to a 1933 article which wouldbecome influential in the characterization ofthe phoneme.
Although noted for his work on American linguistics, Sapir wrote prolifically in linguistics in general. His book Language provides everything from a grammar-typological classification of languages (with examples ranging from Chinese to Nootka) to speculation on the phenomenon of language drift, and the arbitrariness of associations between language, race, and culture.Sapir was also a pioneerin Yiddish studies in the UnitedStates.Sapir was active in the internationalauxiliary language movement. Inhis paper "The Function of anInternational AuxiliaryLanguage", he argued for thebenefits of a regular grammar andadvocated a critical focus on thefundamentals oflanguage, unbiased by theidiosyncrasies of nationallanguages, in the choice of aninternational auxiliary language.
Sapir and Worf studiesSapir was the teacher of Benjamin Lee Whorf, whostudied with him at Yale and substitute-taught forhim during his illness. Whorf produced importantwork on Hopi and developed in his own way some ofSapirs ideas about the relation of language andthought, resulting in the so called Sapir-Whorfhypothesis or, in Whorfs terms, the principle oflinguistic relativity.
Sapirs intellectual breadth andeclecticism, and his genius forobserving and describing in simpleand elegant fashion what at firstseem to be impossibly confusinglinguistic patterns have alwaysattracted graduate students, evenlong after his death and in periodsin which American linguistics hasbeen dominated by schoolsminimizing his interests.
He has inspired many a linguist to tryto think more widely and to delvemore deeply into theirsubjects, whatever their theoreticalorientation. It is likely that hisposition in American Linguistics asone of the founding and mostintellectually prominent members ofthe modern field will long remainundiminished.
• Anthropological linguistics deals with describing many languages and issues such as the influence of language on the behavior of the community that uses it. The well known Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is a result of such investigations. According to this theory the language that people use has strong influence on the perception of the world.
Therefore, anthropolinguists deal withproblems such as how it happens that peoplessharing a culture might speak differentlanguages and peoples who have differentcultures sometimes share a language.