Nanda 3e PPTs Chapter 4
Transcript Nanda 3e PPTs Chapter 4
Communication and Language
Debates about language
Language and Communication
The Origins and Characteristics of Human Language
Human and Animal communication
Descriptive, Historical, and Sociolinguistics
Bringing it Back Home: English Only
Debates About Language
Decades of language debate
What is the official language of the United States?
Thirty one states have passed English-only laws
The United States has never had an official national
language. Are there good reasons why this should change?
• a different way of speaking and
• neither better nor worse than any other language
• African-American English Vernacular (AAVE), also called
Ebonics or Black English Vernacular (BEV).
• “Most stigmatized version” of American English
• Linguistically, dialect of English
• William Labov demonstrated that AAVE was:
• Ebony (black) + Phonics (sounds)= Ebonics
• 1996- Oakland Unified School District
• Recommended official status as distinct language
• Use of AAVE/BEV in schools
A Nation of Languages
• Historically, a nation of many languages
• How did language become the subject of debate?
• Nearly 7000 languages in the world
• Subject to debate nearly everywhere- Canada, India
• Dutch, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Native American
Why should I care?
Vocabulary and grammar
Role of language in people’s lives
Society’s influence on language and vice versa
Language and power
• Languages are dynamic and alive- phablet, bank of mom and
• You and I change it- Spanglish, Hinglish
• We text, call, tell a story, say a prayer, ask a favor
• Conveys a vast array of information
• Linguistic Anthropology explores
What is Language?
• Communication- The transfer of
A form of communication
A systematic set of arbitrary symbols
Shared among a group
Passed on from generation to generation
It may be spoken, written, or signed
• Ideas, concepts and theories
• From one person to another
• Via signs and symbols
Communication which expresses
Communication in which one thing is
arbitrarily used to represent another
Signs and Symbols
Human and Animal Communication
All animals communicate using Call Systems and gestures
Ants- chemical trails
Dogs- growl, whine, bark
Dolphins and Whales
Not as complex as the or symbolic as human
Human communication is flexible and
Viki, the chimp- 1950’s- learned four words
Washoe, the chimp- ASL- 130 signs
Koko, the gorilla- several hundred signs
Studies suggest ability to develop language
• Use of known words to invent new word combinations
• Cat, hat, ate, rat, mat
• Ability to use words to refer to objects and events in the past or
Primate Language Capability
• Our most distant ancestors probably used call
systems similar to modern day primates.
• Language may have emerged from about
200,000 years ago, with the earliest Homo
• Human language may have emerged about
50,000 years ago
• sophisticated tool-making and symbolic
History of Human Language
The Structure of Language
G = PIG =
• The structure of any language consists of four subsystems:
• The study of the structure and content of languages is called
descriptive or structural linguistics.
• The sound system of a language
• What sounds exist
• Which sounds are important
difference in meaning and have no meaning of their own.
• b and p
• The International Phonetic Alphabet
• A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound that can make a
• A morpheme is the smallest unit of a language that has a
• Example: Cow, horse
• Can convey meaning without additional sounds
• Combine phonemes to make morphemes – r a t = rat
• Combine morphemes to make sentences – the rat ate the cat!
• The study of patterns and rules of how sounds combine to
• The part of grammar that has to do with the arrangement of
words to form phrases and sentences.
Semantics and Lexicon
• The study of the meaning of words.
• A lexicon is the total stock of words in a language.
Oure fadir that art
in heuene halowid
be thi name, thi
kyngdom come to,
be thi wille don in
erthe es in heuene.
Our father which
art in heaven,
hallowed by thy
Thy will be done, in
earth, as it is in
Our Father, who is
in heaven, may
your name be kept
holy. May your
kingdom come in to
being. May your
will be followed on
earth, just as it is in
• The study of language development and change over time.
• Sir William Jones
• 1880s- British Scholar living in India
• Similarities between Sanskrit (ancient Indian language) and
classical Greek and Latin
• Pater, Pitr, Mater, Matr
• The study of the relationship between language and society
and the way language is used in social contexts.
• The “N” word- who says it, when can you say it, who can you
say it to? Do you feel comfortable saying it?
1966 William Labov
New York City
Differences in language
Saks, Macy, S. Klein
predetermine differences in
The “r” sound
Social class and language
Joseph Casagrande (1960)
Navajo speaking children= shape
Navajo + English speaking= size or
Do men and women speak differently?
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus- John Grey
The five love languages- Chapman
You just don’t understand: Men and Women in conversationDeborah Tannen
Language and Gender
Does language determine status? How?
Does your gender affect language? How?
Does your age affect language? How?
Do your race and ethnicity affect language? How?
• Anthropologists believe that language sends messages about
who we are, where we come from, and with whom we
associate. Partner up, discuss, and prepare to share.
• Dialect- local variation of a language
• Example: Y’all, pop/soda, where y’at?
• Example: grandparents/locker room
• Parents/Potential employer
• Code Switching- The use of a totally different language or a
variation of the same language in different situations.
• Almost two-thirds of communication comes
from nonverbal cues.
• Messages are sent by clothing, jewelry, tattoos,
piercings, body modifications, posture, gestures.
• Relaxed posture- do you sit or squat?
• 1991 study on illegal immigrants
• Submissiveness- cowering, shrink
• Religious practice- kneeling and genuflecting• Christianity
• Kowtowing• Muslims
• Haptics is the study and analysis of touch.
• High and low touch
• Eastern European, Jewish, and Arab- high
• German and Scandinavian- low
• Polychronic and monochronic
• Proxemics is the study of how different cultures use
• Kinesics is the study of body movement,
facial expressions, and gaze.
• Chronemics is the study of how cultures understand time
and use it to communicate.
What forms of nonverbal communication are being used?
What can you tell about people from their pose?
• In teams of 2, pick at least ten words from the list provided
which culturally matches your “focus”.
• Take at least five minutes to match ten words to your “focus”you will be asked to justify each word.
• Once you are done, write down the ten words on the sheet
and on the whiteboard.
• Now partner up in the following manner• President and Athlete
• Teacher and Femininity
• Poverty and Minister
• Wealth and Masculinity
• What are some of the similar words picked?
• Do you speak a language other than English as a
• If so, do you want your children and
grandchildren to speak that language?
• If English is your first language, did your
parents or grandparents speak a different first
• In the United States, how closely is language
linked to American identity and to ethnic
Bringing it Back Home: English
A message conveyed that affects the behavior of another
organism is an instance of:
A message conveyed that affects the behavior of another
organism is an instance of communication.
2. The ability to put together combinations or
series of words from a limited set of recognized
sound units is one of the characteristics of
human language, referred to as:
b) a closed system.
The ability to put together combinations or series of words from
a limited set of recognized sound units is one of the
characteristics of human language, referred to as productivity.
Several hundred sounds, known as ________, found within
human languages are included in the International Phonetic
Several hundred sounds, known as phones, found within human
languages are included in the International Phonetic Alphabet
4. Which of the following does NOT reflect the ideas
about language and thought put forward by
Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf?
a) Time and space are experienced differently by
people who have different languages.
b) A lack of gender classes for nouns in a language
corresponds with the equality of men and
women in the society.
c) The structure of our language shapes our
perceptions of the world.
• A lack of gender classes for nouns in a language corresponds
with the equality of men and women in the society.
• The following does not reflect the ideas about language and
thought put forward by Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee