Language and Culture

linguistic anthropology
is the understanding of the
crucial role played by language (and other semiotic
resources) in the constitution of society and its
cultural representations
linguistic anthro and anthropological linguistics
qualitative, “micro,” interactional analysis
taking many contextual facts into account
quantitative, “macro,” studying variables in
urban settings (such as gender, sex, dialect
variation, sound change in progress)
term used mostly in Europe
linguistic anthropological tools
broader and cultural issues and deepen our
understanding of language and culture more
linguistic anthropologists
analyze language
use in context
mutually influencing each other
the socio-cultural context and linguistic practices
(also called discursive practices) are
universal grammar for all languages exists
Noam Chomsky reinforced this perspective with his famous
theories arguing that a
Universal Grammar
The basic design
underlying the grammars of all human languages; [it] also refers
to the circuitry in children’s brains that allows them to learn the
grammar of their parents’ language.
know more than an abstract set of grammar rules
linguistic anthropologists agree that to know
a language, one must
phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics
five components of language
The study of sound in language
The study of the internal structure of words
The study of the structure of sentences
The study of meaning in language, including analysis of the
meanings of words and sentences
The study of language use, of actual utterances, of how
meanings emerge in actual social contexts
multifunctionality language ideologies practice indexicality
4 key terms of linguistic anthro
Language is inherently multifunctional: it does
different things at the same time
language ideologies
the attitudes, opinions, beliefs, or theories that
we all have about language. We may or may not be aware of them