A Basic Course in Anthropological Linguistics (Studies in by Marcel Danesi Ph. D.

By Marcel Danesi Ph. D.

Language may be studied from a number of angles. the point of interest at the relation among language, idea and tradition is called anthropological linguistics (AL). this article constitutes a simple creation to the subject material and strategies of AL. typically, anthropological linguists have aimed to rfile and examine the languages of indigenous cultures, specially North American ones. this day, despite the fact that, the purview of this intriguing technology has been prolonged significantly to surround the examine of language as a common cultural phenomenon, and to figure out genealogical kinfolk between languages, with a view to recreate historic cultures via them. In non-technical language, with lots of examples regarding languages internationally, this publication introduces the fundamental notions, strategies, and methods of AL. It additionally discusses the beginning and evolution of language, concentrating on the comparability and reconstruction of language households. Its remedy of strategies for examining sounds, phrases, sentences and meanings introduces the coed to what needs to be understood approximately language and its constitution for you to observe that wisdom to the learn of inspiration and tradition. the ultimate chapters learn how languages range in response to social components and the way languages impression cognition. to reinforce the text's pedagogical software, a suite of useful actions and issues for research accompany each one of its 8 chapters. A word list of technical phrases is additionally incorporated. the final target of A easy path in Anthropological Linguistics is to teach how the technical technique of linguistic research may help scholars achieve a deeper knowing of language as a technique for classifying the area. The text'sunderlying premise is that the excellence among language and data is hardly uncomplicated. certainly, the 2 input right into a consistent synergy--a synergy that defines the human situation.

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Extra info for A Basic Course in Anthropological Linguistics (Studies in Linguistic and Cultural Anthropology)

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It explains why certain phonic features are built into words in a regular way. For example, the use of nasals to designate negation, as Swadesh (1971: 193) explains, is due to the nasal character of grunting: The use of nasal phonemes in the negative in so many languages of the world must in some way be related to the prevailing nasal character of the grunt. Why is nasality so common? Surely because it results from the relaxation of the velum; the most usual position of the velum is down, and the most relaxed form of grunt is nasal.

The main evidence used in support of this theory is the universal presence of interjections-Ah! Ouch! Ekes! Wow! -in the world’s languages. Ding-Dong Theory. This postulates that speech resulted from vocal osmosis. For example, a word such as mama is postulated as resulting from the sounds made by infants as they suck on the mother’s breast. Similarly, forms such as ding-dong, bing-bang, flip-flop, suggest an osmotic origin, revealing an attempt to reproduce sounds of various kinds through vocalization.

First, Genie was not an ideal subject for testing Lenneberg’s hypothesis, because there was some question as to whether she was mentally retarded from birth. Her father, it is thus claimed, locked her up in cruel response to her abnormality. The extreme deprivation that Genie suffered also may have had biological mfluences on her brain, making it difficult for her to acquire language after she was found. Critical period theory suggests that human biology puts limits on our ability to learn a language.

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