Anth 104 language, culture, and society (fall 2012) queens college syllbus


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Anth 104 language, culture, and society (fall 2012) queens college syllbus

  1. 1. QUEENS COLLEGE ANTHROPOLOGY 104 LANGUAGE, CULTURE, AND SOCIETY Prof. Miki Makihara Fall 2012 Class Meeting: MW 10:50~12:05 p.m. KY150 Code: 2596 Office: 312D (314) Powdermaker Hall Prerequisites: None Office Hours: M 12:30~1:30 in KS 357 (except for 1st Mon of the month) W 12:20~1:20 in PH312D by appointment on Tue and Thu 3 hours, 3 credits E-mail: First Class: August 27 (Mon), 2012, 10:50~12:05 PLAS: Cultures & Values (CV) Final Exam: December 17 (Mon), 2012, 11:00~1:00 (tentatively scheduled by the Registrar’s) Office) PLAS: World Cultures (WC) Course Description: Language plays a very important role in our everyday life. Not only is linguistic behavior the central focus of many social settings, but it is also on linguistic evidence that we base many of our evaluations of the world around us. Yet attitudes towards language and the ways in which we use language are highly dependent on social and cultural factors. This course provides an introduction to the field of linguistic anthropology: the study of language use in its socio-cultural context from anthropological perspectives. It focuses on the relationships among language, culture, and society by addressing such questions as: To what extent does language shape our thoughts and identities? What does it mean to know a language? Do all children follow the same language acquisition patterns within a society or across cultures? What is the nature of sign language? How do languages develop and change? What are the differences between language and dialect? How does language reinforce or challenge social stratification? What is the relationship between language and ethnicity? Do women speak more politely than men? Do men and women miscommunicate? How do we study language use and attitudes? How do conversations work? Do we need English-Only laws in the United States? Why is Ebonics controversial? Should we do anything about disappearing languages? Is English going to be the world language? Examples of linguistic phenomena in ethnographic perspective are drawn from peoples around the world. The Liberal Arts Goals of the Course: Language is a central part of social and professional life but is often taken for granted and assumed to be a neutral referential medium. Becoming aware of how linguistic communication shapes, and can be shaped by, culture, inter-personal and group relations, and power dynamics can be an important learning experience for students. In our increasingly globalized world, we face more opportunities and need for intercultural communication, and a deeper awareness of the historical and cultural foundations of language will help both to reduce prejudice and to increase understanding and cooperative interaction. Linguistic anthropological works serve the larger p. 1
  2. 2. society by providing deeper understanding of the sociocultural and linguistic diversity, which in turn influence policy discussions and decisions, e.g., the English only movement in the U.S., bilingual education, and language right and revitalization. The course fulfills the Perspectives on the Liberal Arts and Sciences (PLAS) requirements in the Area of Knowledge and Inquiry of Cultures and Values (CV) and the Context of Experience of World Cultures (WC). Course Materials (1) (required) Blackboard Anthropology 104 Course Documents. Blackboard is a system which allows you as a registered student in a course to have access to course materials on a web page. Log in at or If you need assistance contact the Helpdesk at 718-997-4444, the Dining Hall, Room 150, or (2) (recommended) Reference book (Available at Queens College Bookstore) Crystal, David. 2010. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. New York: Cambridge University Press. (It costs about $30 or less.) [An older edition is in Queens Library, Reference Level 3 - Call Number: P29 .C64 1997; PE1072 .C68 1995] Course Format and Requirements: The class will combine lectures, film viewing, and class or group discussion. You are expected to have completed readings ahead of class. Course grades will be determined as follows: 2 Quizzes (announced during the prior class meeting) 10% Test (9/24) 25% Mid-Term Exam (10/31) 30% Final Exam 35% Total 100% ,mo. Make-Up Policy: No make-ups are offered for missed quizzes or test. Only students who have a legitimate reason, with a prior arrangement when possible, AND with official written documentation will be permitted to make up one exam. Proper documentation is required and if granted permission, you must take the make-up exam on a day and time agreed upon with the instructor. Semester Outline: The following schedule provides information on how the semester is broken down into topic units, and provides a list of required readings for each class. You are expected to have completed reading assignments ahead of class. Any changes to the schedule will be announced p. 2
  3. 3. in class and on Blackboard. The final exam is currently scheduled by the Registrar’s office on December 17th 11~1pm, but please check later in the semester to confirm the date/time. I: INTRODUCTION Topics Reading Assignments 1 8/27( M) Introduction to the Course 2 The Nature of Language [Study Syllabus, Go to Blackboard for readings] oThe Linguistic Facts of Life (Excerpt from English with Accent)(Lippi-Green), pp.7~18. II: BIOLOGICALAND CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS OF LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT 3 9/5(W) Language Acquisition and Socialization oAcquiring a First Language (Finegan) pp.502~18. 4 9/10(M ) oThe Day Language Came into My Life (Keller) oCultural Dimensions of Language Acquisition (Ochs) 5 9/12(W ) Language Development oAmerican Sign Language (Wolkomir) oA Linguistic Big Bang (Osborne) 6 9/19(W) oReview Sheet for Test 7 9/24(M) Test 8 10/1(M ) Whorf’s Study of the Hopi Language and Culture o Language and the Structure of Thought (Hinton) o (start reading the next reading) 9 10/3(W ) Similarities and Differences between Languages o Language Universals and Language Typology (Finegan), pp.214~37. III: LANGUAGE AND CULTURAL CHANGE 10 10/10( W) Language Origin and Development o Early Voices (Wade) o The Gestural Origins of Language (Corballis) 11 10/15( M) Historical Linguistics o Excerpt from Language History, Language Change and Language Relationship (Hock & Joseph), pp. 3~21. 12 10/17( W) o The Austronesians (Lingua Franca) o Writing (Finegan), pp.394~415 (read first half) 13 10/22( Writing o Writing (Finegan) p. 3
  4. 4. M) 14 10/24( W) Literacy Practice and Culture o Much Ado about Nushu (Miller) o Language by Women, for Women (Cody) 15 10/29( M) o Review Sheet for Mid-Term 16 10/31( W) Mid-Term Exam (covers after Test) IV: LANGUAGE IN SOCIOCULTURAL CONTEXT 16 11/5(M ) Varieties of Language in the US o They Speak Really Bad Down South and in New York City (Preston) 17 11/7(W ) Ethnolinguistic Diversity of New York City o Excerpt from Exposing Prejudice (Urciuoli) 18 11/12( M) Language, Race. Ethnicity, and Class African American English oAnthropology (Makihara) 19 11/14( W) o Suite for Ebony and Phonics (Rickford) oAcademic Ignorance and Black Intelligence (Labov) (read first half) 20 11/19(M) oAcademic Ignorance and Black Intelligence (Labov) 21 11/21( W) Accents and Linguistic Profiling o Teaching Children How to Discriminate (Excerpt from English with Accent by Lippi-Green), pp.79~103 22 11/26( M) Sociocultural Identities and Multilingualism Ethnography of Communication o Linguistic Paths to Urban Self in Postcolonial Solomon Islands (Jourdan) 24 11/28( W) Gender and Interaction Discourse Analysis o The Father Knows Best’Dynamic in Family Dinner Narratives (Ochs & Taylor) 25 12/3(M ) Language Endangerment and Revitalization oExcerpt from When Languages Die (Harrison) pp.3-21. 26 12/5(W ) o Heterogeneity … Language and Community on Easter Island (Makihara) 27 12/10( M) Language Policy and Planning oShould English be the Law? (King) 28 12/12( W) Conclusion &Review oReview Sheet for Final p. 4
  5. 5. 29 12/17( M) 11am~1pm Final Exam (focuses on Part IV) Please confirm the exam date/time (scheduled by the Registrar’s office) p. 5