- Slides: 27
Why Does Anthropology Matter? • Anthropology confronts basic questions of human existence and survival. – How we originated. – How we have changed. – How we are changing still. • Sound conclusions about “human nature” cannot be derived from studying a single nation, society, or cultural tradition. We have to compare them all.
Subfields or Branches • Cultural anthropology – examines cultural diversity of the present and recent past. • Linguistic anthropology – considers how speech varies with social factors and over time and space • Archaeology – reconstructs behavior by studying material remains • Biological anthropology – study of human fossils, genetics, and bodily growth and nonhuman primates
We have discussed culture… • Shared traditions, customs and innovations that shape behavior and beliefs of a certain group of people – Transmitted through learning – Greatly affects society – organized life in groups • Goes back to Geography – Adaptation – process by which organisms cope with environmental forces and stresses – Humans adapt using biological and cultural means
Culture • Our culture can often impose on the Earth and the other people who may have opposing traditions. • It is important to maintain a history of other people besides just ourselves so that we can see how we have changed over time. • Ishi…
We are discussing language… • Study of language in its social and cultural context across space and time – Historical linguists – reconstruct ancient languages and study the way languages change through time – Sociolinguistics – investigates relationships between social patterns and language patterns – Language helps to discover different understandings and patterns of thought in different cultures
• Historical linguists – reconstruct ancient languages and study the way languages change through time • Perhaps as many as 90% of all world languages will be extinct or spoken only by a few older people and unknown to children within the next 100 years • An entire way of thinking is lost each time a language becomes extinct
• Sociolinguistics – investigates relationships between social patterns and language patterns • Speaker’s use of language • Who says what to whom, when, where and why • Code Switching • Non-Standard forms of English are fully efficient languages with their own unique set of grammatical rules that are consistently applied
Language and Culture • Cultural emphasis—the vocabulary found in any language tends to emphasize the words that are considered to be adaptively important in that culture • Technology also affects language • Ability to recombine sounds to create new meanings that makes human language such an efficient and effective communication system
What are some new words/phrases that have appeared in the past 20 years? • • • Autotune Crowdfund Blu-ray E-cig Fleeky FLOTUS Fitness Tracker Handsy Hot mess • • Jeggings Koozie Photobomb Retweet Stanky Webisode Yasssssss
Read the article to help justify your claims… • Why do we add words to the dictionary? • What do our new words tell us about our culture? What do they tell other people? • How do we determine new words?
Values • Make a separate list of what you think the values of other Americans are.
Exit Slip • Are we different from other cultures? • What does this say about how other peoples perceive Americans? • What does this say about the reality of their perceptions? • Discuss any similarities: are there any values that are universally human?
• The idea that humans can combine words and sounds into new meaningful utterances they have never before heard • Speakers of any human language can generate an almost infinite number of such sentences • Productivity or “Openness” makes human language extremely flexible, conveying all kinds of new information
How do you “get” a language • Language Acquisition: A child “programs” her or his language by interacting verbally with other people automatically, apparently without conscious effort • • Acquisition of language is based in biology, the acceptable use of speech to participate in a community must be learned culturally
• Every language has logical structure • All languages have rules and principles governing what sounds are to be used and how those sounds are to be combined to convey meaning • Human Being would speak no language if he or she were taught none • • Critical period of language development for humans before the age of six— thereafter learning language skills become increasingly difficult
• The word "grammar" as used by linguists is not the same as it is when used by most people. Grammar, as most people view it, is actually what is known as prescriptive grammar.
• Prescriptive grammar is the usual stuff you learn in school having to do with what to do and not to do when speaking and writing, in other words, someone (usually the people writing the books) prescribes what people are supposed to do.
• Descriptive grammar deals with how language is actually used. • When linguists talk about being grammatically correct, they simply mean using language in a way that is normal and understandable in the community. • Therefore, many things that are often portrayed as "bad grammar, " such as "ain't, " are simply part of the grammar in a particular community or dialect.
Next we will discuss archaeology… • Study of human behavior and cultural patterns and process through material remains – – Artifacts (e. g. , potsherds, jewelry, and tools) Garbage Burials Remains of structures
Next we will discuss biological