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Ant 3620 Notes

By jacob1011 Apr 26, 2013 7384 Words
Biological and Physical Anthropology
Language evolution as part of human evolution
Language and brain: studies of neurolinguistics and perception and how language is changed through strokes Medical studies of how diseases are categorized and treated

“glottochronology” and “lexicostatistics”: how languages are related based on their shared vocabulary linguistic archaeology: how particular languages change over time, such as North American Indian Languages The archaeology of symbolic forms and categories

To do with how people conceive one another; how they’re language relates one another

Cultural Anthropology
How to do better interviews during fieldwork
Theories of human communities based on their language
Studies of how people perceive the world
Religion and performance
Ehtnomedicine and ethnobotany
Cold and hot
Popular medicinal remedy called “vapor rüb”
Decision making
International commerce, communication

Franz Boas – founder of modern anthropology
Cultural relativism
Beliefs and activities should be understood in terms of his or her own culture; There is no such thing as cultural evolution
Race does not predetermine culture
Emphasized fieldwork based on rigorous scientific methodology

Boas’ reasons for studying language and culture in 1911:
1. It is best not to work through interpreters
2. Language is an ethnographic fact
3. Language is a window into the functioning of the shared consciousness of a culture 4. Language is a regular, patterned, and scientifically predictable part of behavior

Language and Culture by any other name…
Linguistic anthropology
Anthropological linguistics

Language and Culture v. Linguistics
Linguistics: concern for language “as an object of study,” something abstracted from everyday life L & C: concern for the relationship between language, thought, society, and culture

Assumptions of Language and Culture
How does language affect society and how does society affect language? Culture is embedded in language
Language functions to hold society and culture together

Language and Culture
Language is perceived as a vehicle for culture. That is, the language we speak is assumed to represent an adherence to particular cultural values and beliefs. As one example, francophones in Canada, especially Quebec, place an extraordinary value on the use of French in daily life The Ngabe publicly worry that the loss of Ngabere will have similar affects on Ngabe culture Americans generally worry that the penetration of Spanish into public discourse will erode American culture and threaten a unique way of life Sometimes we assume that language and culture is a one to one relationship – they perfectly reflect each other.

Duranti’s 1st Paradigm: Emphasis on Linguistics
Linguistics: concern for language “as an object of study,” something abstracted from everyday life. Anthropological linguistics : documentation, description, and classification of indigenous languages (salvage anthropology) Descriptive linguistics: construction of grammars and lexicons for unstudied language (phonology, morphology, syntax)

Duranti’s 2nd Paradigm: Linguistics with Anthropology
Ethnolinguistics: engaging in daily life of others to understand their point of view; what does one need to know to function in another culture Sociolinguistics: study of language use across speakers and activities to discover patterns of linguistic variation

Duranti’s 3rd Paradigm: Combination of Previous Paradigms
Linguistic anthropology – concern for the relationship between language, thought, society, and culture Language and culture – the use of linguistic practices to document and analyze the reproduction of

Glottochronology: “archaeology of languages”
Part of lexicostatistics that deals with the chronological relationship of languages Swadesh
T = [ln(c)]/-L
T: a given period of time from one stage of the language to another C: proportion of wordlist items retained at the end of that period, and L = rate of replacement for that word

The Problem:
Languages change at different rates
What could affect language rates of change?
No universal list for cognates

Charles Hockett – comparing communicative systems
Must study the basic design features that can be present or absent in any communicative system, human or animal Reconstruct communicative habits of the hominid line
Work out the sequence by which that ancestral language became language as hominids became humans *
* Design features of Language Charles Hockett
Set of 13 design features that are shared by all languages in the world Certain animal systems lack them
Certain human systems other than language lack them

1. Uses vocal and auditory channels
keeps the hands free for activities
2. Broadcast transmission and directional reception
sounds can be heard and their origin determined
* 3. Rapid fading
sounds do not linger
4. Interchangeability
speaker can reproduce any linguistic message that they can understand 5. Total feedback
speaker hears everything that they say
6. Specialization
speech serves no function except as signals
7. Semanticity
sounds have meaning
8. Arbitrary connections to meanings
no reason that certain words stand for specific things
9. Discreteness
difference between range of sounds is functionally absolute
10. Displacement in time and space
able to talk about things that are not here in the moment
11. Productivity is creative
capacity to create things that have never been heard or said before and for those things to be able to be understood Bromance: a close nonsexual friendship between men
12. Learned in a social context – “traditional transmission” humans have cognitive capacity and predisposition to acquire and learn language but the specifics of any language are learned and taught

13. Duality of Patterning
Ability to combine sounds (phonemes) into meaningful word (morphemes) Same phonemes used to create different morphemes:
Dog God
Cat, tack, act

Where is the line drawn between hominids/animals and humans? Hockett
Language has 13 design features
Animals and humans share 9
Humans have 4 more
Displacement, productivity, traditional transmission, duality of patterning Burling
Animals and humans have gesture-calls
Only humans have language
Language is digital
Language is…
Differ from place to place
Only humans
Gesture-calls are analog
Gesture-calls are…
Almost the same everywhere

Quotable Gestures and Vocalizations
Learned gestures
Convey referential meaning
Can be used to lie
Discrete, not continuous
Cannot be incorporate into syntax
* Distinctiveness of Human Communication
Not in vocal abilities
It is the ability to use language, whether audible or visible to Convey referential and propositional meaning

Functions of Language
Can you think of language functions?

“The chair”
“Points to” an object that is being referred to.

Phatic Language
Non-referential, small-talk, elevator-talk
Very easy to use verbal and body language (switch between).
A nod vs “What’s up?”

Expressive Language
“I am very happy to be here today!”
“I am feeling say today!”
Evoke and/or express feelings and emotions.

“This semester I am enrolled in the Language and Culture class” Based on logic
Affirmation or denial (logical)

“Turn off your cell phones.”

“Dearly beloved…”
measure of formality
Performance, with mix of other functions.
Ritualized manner.

Performative Utterances
“I do”
“Apology accepted”
Language that informs what it performs

The most common
Phatic language helps promote social and cultural bonds
Pay attention to how much texting and phone usage focuses on phatic language Expressive
Performative utterances

Emotions and Greetings
How do different cultures attach different emotions to a greeting? Example of greetings
Italian – “pronto”
Mexican Spanish – “mande”
Latin American – long greetings and goodbyes

Giving Directions
How can it vary across cultures and backgrounds?

What makes a joke funny or not?
How do language aesthetics affect the humor in a joke?

Language and Mind (Levinson)
Simple Nativism
Syntax of a language is innate
Semantics are given by an innate “language of thought”
“all major properties of language are dictated by inbuilt mental apparatus” (pp. 479) Advantage
Makes language a factor of people being alike

The impact of words…
Does it vary cross culturally?
Not all languages make the distinction between ‘in’ and ‘on’ In the cup, on the floor (English)
En el vaso, en el piso (Spanish)
Karuk makes a distinction of “through a tubular space” by using the prefix “vara” Tzeltal: “in a cylindrical container” is not the same as “in a hemispherical container”

Could the language we speak influence the way we think?
Three basic frames of reference
Relative frame of reference
Intrinsic frame of reference
(involving properties of a landmark)
Absolute frame of reference
Cardinal-directions (might differ from true norths)

Thought is metaphorical (Lakoff and Johnson, ch 11)
Metaphors we live by structure the actions we perform. Understanding and experiencing one thing in terms of another How do we view/describe an argument?
“His criticism were right on target”
“I’ve never won an argument with him:
“You disagree? Okay, shoot!”
How do we view/describe time?
“You’re wasting my time.”

Whorf and metaphor
Whorf: I “grasp” the “thread” of another’s arguments, but if its “level” is “over my head” my attention may “wander” and “lose touch” with the “drift” of it… SAE (Standard American English) objectifies (spatializes the non-spatial) Absence of such metaphor in Hopi speech for space, intensity, and duration

Sapir and Whorf
Labels for important objects, events, and ideas that direct people to focus on them How many words we have for money, snow, rain, or sand
Those labels direct specific attention to themselves
People are driven to label things that are important to them Labels are indicative of the power of language. Language can “influence” the way in which people think about things Linguistics Relativity

Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
Weak version
Some elements of language influence speaker’s perceptions and can affect their attitudes and behaviors Strong version
Language determines perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors
Language, culture, and thought coexist in fluid and dynamic interactions

Linguistic Relativity
Whorf – European grammatical categories
Mass and count nouns
Sapir – The language you speak influences perception
Phonetics and phonemics
Lee – values

Linguistic Relativity
Can you think of other Linguistic Relativity examples?
Whorf’s example of fires and gas cans is one example of how labels direct our attention away or toward particular kinds of reasoning Sami words for snow:
Čahki “had lump of snow… hard snowball”
Geardni “thin crust of snow”
Gaska-geardi “layer of crust”

Clean out your guns!
English: relation of two objects and the purpose
Shawnee: focus on the movement of the arm that creates and empties space

Whorf and Metaphysics
Static 3 dimensional space
Kinetic dimension of time
Flowing passage of time (past, present, and future)
Manifested (objective)
Historical physical universe with no distinction of the past and the present Manifesting (subjective)
Future, emotion, intellectual, spiritual, etc.
Time cannot be divided or subdivided. No nouns to refer to units of time (days, hours, etc.) Note the underlying causes of things – the language is constrained such that speakers must note the source and cause of objects, events, and knowledge when speaking. Prevented from making concrete statements about time, duration, or discrete numbers. Hopi – cyclical

SAE – lineal

We use language to change our perceptions of what might really be going on: “Pre-owned” rather than “used” vehicles
“Non-color capability television”
“Collateral damage”
“Downsizing”, “Rightsizing”, and “Restructuring” Would this type of propaganda work across languages?
Across cultures?
Across time?

Do vowels control your brain?
Jurafsky (
Front vowels (“I”, “E”)
Back vowels (“A”, “O”, “U”)

Lee and Language and Thought
Combination of an interest in grammatical categories and “ways of thinking”

Dorothy Lee
Applied anthropologist
Book of essays, Freedom and Culture (1959)
Could some be free and, at the same time, be defined by their culture? Philosophy of Language
Language gives you underlying expectations of value
Which numbers are valued?
Three in European settings – “Three is a magic number” “The past and the present and the future. Faith and Hope and Charity, The heart and the brain and the body, Give you three as a magic number.” Examples:

American Indian languages
What are the bases of what is said?
Pacific Island
Lineal and non-lineal thinking
Wintu Native Americans of California
Pugeda: I just pushed a peg into the ground
Olpugal: He is sitting on one haunch
Pogorahar: Birds are happing along
Tunpogoypogoya: You walk short-skirted, stiff-legged ahead of me. Focused on what the motion LOOKS like
Observers point of view of what something looks like rather than the kinetic action – share similar images Trobriand Islanders off coast of New Guinea

Trobriand Island and Lineality
Adjectives or modifies are within nouns
A yam is “Tatyu”
Overripe yam: “Yowana”
Sprouting yam: “Silanata”
Trobrianders see them as completely separate items, each containing a specific characteristic

Trobrianders are non-lineal?
No terms for comparison
“like” or “such as”
Few conjunctives (such as “and” or “therefore”)
Lineality is not valued – doing something in order that something else happens Exchanges are celebrated but not thought of as leading to something Reciprocity, especially “balanced” is devalued
History is a pattern of places

Lineality in our lives
What do we say when people seemingly talk at random?
What happens if people don’t stand in line?
What do you say when you learn someone is pregnant?
What do people say when you are getting ready to graduate?
How do we talk about a good movie?
* Linguists pay attention to “Productivity”
Refudiate – verb used loosely

Originally a noun
Nouns can be used to modify
E.g. sugar cookie – fun party
If fun can be an adjective, then it should be inflected
E.g. crazy to crazier – fun to funny

A Too for Learning and Writing an Unwritten Language
Description of the sounds (pronunciation)
Description of the words (dictionary)
Description of grammar (texts)
Description of use

Points of Articulation for Sounds
Speech sounds can be classified based on their articulation

International Phonetic Alphabet
Developed as a common scientific tool for comparing languages Based on Roman (Latin) alphabet
Goal of describing all sounds, some of which may not make a difference in one language or another

Phonemic Analysis
Phonemes with two or more sounds
/p/: aspirated pin; unaspirated spin
/k/: aspirate kin; unaspirated skin
/t/: aspirated tun; unaspirated stun

Stress or Accent
Emphasis placed on the syllables of words
Present (noun)
Present (verb)

Pitch or Tone
Voice pitch accompanying a sullable’s production:
High level: mā (mom)
High rising: má
Low falling: mâ
Falling: ma

In English…
Declarative statements are characterized by contrasting pitches They came in.
They came in?

Continuation of a sound during its production
Tuli (fire) tulli (wind)
Muta (mud) muuta (other)

In English…
Indicated exaggeration
“That dog is bi-i-i-i-i-i-i-ig!”

Orality of Language
Emphasis on the oral aspect of language in societies
Literacy and writing “recent” advances
The basic orality of language is permanent
Of ~3000 languages studied only 78 have literature
* Importance of Orality
Misled views
Oral histories

Aspects of Literacy
Three types
Each symbol is a word
Individual symbols refer to syllables
Contrastive sound units (phonemes)
* Importance of Understanding Literacy
Resistance to literacy
Issues of nationalism and identity construction
Literacy = development (?)
Literacy = education (?)

Descriptive Linguistics
Two “tricks” to human language:
Chomsky: “language makes infinite use of finite media”
Each language has a limited amount of words and sounds, but you can produce new words and sentences through the combination of such sounds De Saussure’s “arbitrary language”:

Chomsky’s Generative Grammar
Theory that looks at the ways new sentences can be generated through rules of movement and combination. The creation of new sentences can be finite.
You can have the largest integer, and add 1 to it to have a larger one.

Important to know that there is still a grammar that is followed and a reasoning behind the generative grammar. “Wrote what Pinker that Faulkner wrote…”

Grammar Trees
English – noun phrase and noun phrase

Ferdinand de Saussure
“A sign is the basic unit of language (…). Every language is…” *
* How Language Works
Two “tricks” to human language:
Chomsky: “language ‘makes infinite use of finite media’” De Saussure’s “arbitrary language”

Ferdinand de Saussure
“A sign is the basic unit of language (…). Every language is a complete system of signs.” “The connection between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary.”

Linguistic signs unite a concept and a sound-image.
Concept: “psychological imprint on the sound”
Sound-image: “Sensory”
They can only be physical when associated to each other.
Nature of the Linguistic Sign:
Language tends to be arbitrary

Across Individuals the Signified (concept) will vary
White house, wooden house, shack, etc.
Can also evoke Hugh Laurie (House)

Across Languages the Signified (random letters/sounds in a specific sequence) will vary… English: House
Spanish: Casa
French: Maison
Russian: Dom

What is a bird?

A bird is a bird is a bird…
Difficulty in classifying birds
Reveals that not all definitional criteria have the same weight, not absolute The best example of a bird is the one that is closest to an idealization of that category

Is all language arbitrary?
There are two “exceptions” in which the choice of the signifier is not always arbitrary Onomatopoeias – once incorporated into a language they are subject to language evolution and they might lose their original character Interjections – similar occurrence with onomatopoeias. No fixed bond between the signified and the signifier. When comparing across languages they seem to be arbitrary

Why study this?
Numbers can be attributed to different ideas or events
9/11, 666, 2012, 13

Descriptive Linguistics when literary traditions are “lost” Cracking the Maya Code (PBS – NOVA)
* About Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University is the world leader in liberal education and career development for dead and hard of hearing students. The university enjoys an international reputation for its outstanding programs and for the quality of the research it conducts on the history, language, culture, and other topics related to deaf people.

British Sign Language
1978 Stanford Study
Development of a “high” and “low” form of sign language L-BSL: exploits the visual medium in its grammar
Informal conversations
Intragroup interactions
H-BSL: constrained by English grammar
Formal conversations
Intergroup interactions

Whistled Languages
Developed in situations of long distance communication
Uses tones and pitches; base don a specific spoken language
Silbo Gomero
One of the best studied
Based on Spanish (canary islands)
Declared by UNESCO as Intangible Heritage of Humanity

Non Verbal Communication for Anthropologists
Instead of spoken communication
Along with spoken communication
Outside of spoken communication

Alongside Language

These past couple of days
How much did you use gestures? What purpose did they serve?

What are gestures?
Form of non-verbal communication
Can accompany speech or stand alone
Unlike sign language, cannot be incorporate into syntax, cannot convey propositions Gestures alone are not a language system

Why people gesture when they speak (iverson)
Is the use of gestures learned?
Require neither a model or observant partner
Are produced by speakers of all cultural and linguistic backgrounds; will vary as such

Is Gesturing Learned? (iverson and goldin-meadow)
12 blind, 12 sighted children
paired together and taped while responding to tasks known to elicit gesturing in sighted children findings
all blind children gestured
used the same range of gesture forms
e.g. pouring gesture
Suggests that gesturing

Do blind speakers know that gesturing conveys useful information? Findings
Gesture does not depend on
Model or observer (blind/blind conversations included gestures) Seems that gesturing is done for some other reason than to convey info to listener May be integral to the speaking process itself, may reflect or facilitate speaking

Why people gesture when they speak (Iverson)
Require neither a model or observant partner
Are produced by speakers of all cultural and linguistic backgrounds; will vary as such

At her current age, koko scores slightly below what a child would at the same age Intentionality is absent in lesser apes, however it exists within greater apes 3 points of extra credit will be assigned for a summary of the movie and how it relates to class

Half of spoken language is made up of pauses
Silences do not follow written grammatical units ( commas, periods, etc.) Pauses may indicate increased thinking
Lack of pauses reflect memorization

How do you know…
The difference between a “speech error” versus an intentional silence? The blank stare vs. speech errors

The value of silence will vary across cultures
Basso, “to give up on words” (Blum 45)
Language usage is structured by extra linguistic influences
Speech as a decision making process
Need to know what is appropriate in certain situations with different kinds of people Ethnography of communication

When and what is appropriate to say
When it is appropriate not to talk; to remain silent
How do these relate to or contrast with out ways of interacting, or remaining silent?

In What situations “is it right to give up words?”
Relationship of speakers
Negotiation of roles and status
Particular social context
Subject to redefinition and variation
6 main situations for apache
1. Meeting Strangers
completely different understanding of social interaction
not compelled to introduce each other
talkative is abnormal – “wants to teach us something”
2. Courting
“sweethearts” – will stand or sit, sometimes holding hands, for hours without speaking Shyness
Kinship – exogamous (see #1: strangers)
Gender differences – female talkativeness could be taken as sexually aggressive 3. Children Coming Home
returning home after long absence
boarding school
parents may not initiate conversation for days
seeing if children have been changed, find parents ignorant or ashamed of Apache life 4. Getting Cussed Out
Different understanding of emotional state
“Forgot who they are” crazy, alcohol
Speaking may provoke them
5. Being with someone for whom they sing
curing ceremonies
invitation of supernatural powers, can be harmful
6. People who are sad
burdened with intense grief, changes personality
speaking requires great effort
All these examples…
Participants perceive their relationship with others to be ambiguous or unpredictable Status on non-speaker is ambiguous – unknown (stranger, sweetheart) or changed (drunk, grieving)

Absence of sounds
Absence of communication

Death of a Language
Only means that the language as it is structured and known at one point in time will cease to be at another point in time – to the point that it is not recognizable Every language goes through a cycle of creation and recreation

Once Case: California
98 languages were spoken
90% population loss following European contact
kidnapping and enslavement of Native Americans
Ishi, the last Yahi
* Does language loss matter?
* What can we do?
* Should we do it?
* Duranti’s Second Paradigm
Incorporating anthropological topics and methods into the study of language Sociolinguistics – study of language used across speakers and activities to discover patterns of linguistic variation

Alternate Means for the Same Goal
“Would you be so kind as to pass the salt?”
“Gimme the salt!”
“How have things been?”
*a nod as you walk by*
*a hug*

Ethnography of Communication
Purpose: to understand how language is influenced by the context of speech events and to study language “in its widest cultural and social context in order to discover culturally relevant features of variation.” Includes descriptions of all explicit and implicit norms for communication, detailing aspects of verbal, nonverbal, and social parameters of interaction

1. Setting: Where does the event take place? How does the setting influence the nature of the speech event? 2. Participants: Who is doing the talking? What is the relationship between the speakers/ Does gender, age, or social status, or where the speakers are from influence the nature of the speech event? 3. Channel: speech, writing, gestures, etc

4. Topics/attitudes: What are they talking about? How do they talk about it? 5. Code: language/dialect; informal vs formal
6. Genre/form: conversation, folktale, chant, debate…
7. Goal: What is the purpose of the speech event? (e.g. to convey information, give directions, get to know one another)

Setting: Aspects of Formality
Increased structuring, consistency of co-occurrence, emphasis on positional identities, and emergence of a central focus Bounded spatially
Church vs dorm
Bounded socially
Dorm surrounded by peers vs dorm with your family
Informal to formal
Settings can be negotiated

Martin Joos “The Five Clocks”
Frozen – written communication – any distance
Public – formal: 8 ft. on
Business – 5-8 ft.
Personal – 3-5 ft.
Intimate -- <3 ft.

Terms of Address
Standard American English
Reciprocal First Name
Reciprocal Title + Last Name
In which situations do you see them occurring?

Pronouns (V vs T)
English has only one second person pronoun
Used to be thee/though and ye/you
Most European languages have two
Reciprocal exchange of V or T implies solidarity
Non reciprocal exchange emphasizes on a power relation

Kinship Terms
Exalt intimacy and solidarity between participants while maintains status “my brother from another mother”
“sisters have to stick together:
“Bros before hos”
Second cousins in some cultures will refer the ones from the older generations a Uncle/Aunt The term “mijo” (mi hijo) for someone who is not an offspring Bóbö – elder paternal uncle (seniority over father)

Topic/Attitudes: The Why’s
Within the norms established in a setting and its participants a topic may be chosen E.g. bodily function tend to not be discussed at the dinner table A specific attitude is adopted within the same constraints

E.g. “Gimmie the salt!”
“Would you be so kind as to pass me the salt?”
* Ethnography of Communication: Twitter
Setting: The Internet – Twitter
Topics/attitudes: Upcoming trip, cheerful, excited
Genre: Conversation
Goal: phatic; expressive, informative
Participants: young British male adult
Channel: writing
Code: British English

Some Cultural Situations…
Malagasy speakers focus on directives that are non-confrontational to avoid unpleasant interactions Difference in Ages
Norwegian vs. Hungarian
Familiars: direct (now!) vs. Always direct
Strangers: indirect (please)

English Directives
Pass me the salt.
Need statement
I need some salt
Embedded imperative
Could you give me some salt?
Permission directive
May I have some salt?
Question directive
Do you have any salt?
I have some pepper, but no salt.

Covert Means of Challenging
Through directives; through politeness
*Politeness theory
Labov, Fanshed, Tannen and others have studied how the use of some of the directive types that will mask the directive and provoke a challenge (and vice versa) *Intentional or not

Theories of Politeness
To avoid conflict
Be clear
Be polite

“Saving Face”
Face – an individual’s self-esteem
*Positive face – wants: desire for approval (solidarity)
*Negative face – wants: desire to be unimpeded in one’s actions Face threatening acts (FTA) infringe on a person’s face-wants They are found across cultures but are subject to cultural specifications

Politeness Strategies
Bald on record – direct; hard to misunderstand, public pressure “Take my dog out for a walk while I’m at work.”
Positive politeness – asserts solidarity, lessens the blow by implying S & H as equals “It would be great if you could take my dog out for a walk while I’m at work.” Negative Politeness – keeps social distance; emphasizes on S’s respect toward H “I know you are busy, but could you take my dog out for a walk while I’m at work?” Off-record or indirect – tactful; S gives chance for H to appear caring of S “Aww… I won’t be able to take my dog out for a walk while I’m a work. Hrm…”

Delicate situations (or threatening ones) require an increase of politeness and of indirect communication. Social distance – symmetric relations between S&H
Power – asymmetric relations between S&H
Ranking – Assessment of the degree of imposition entailed by the “threat”

Hierarchical politeness system (+Power, +Distance)
Deferential politeness system (-Power, +Distance)
Solidarity politeness system (-Power, -Distance)
* Conversational Style
Topic: personal; shift topics abruptly; introduce topics without hesitance; persistence Genre: stories; internal evaluation (dramatized); emotional experiences Pacing: fast rate of speech; inter turn pauses avoided (silence = no rapport); fast turn taking; overlap and participatory listenership Paralinguistics: expressive phonology; pitch shifts; marked voice quality; strategic within-turn pauses

Communicative Interactions
Theories of politeness
Direct conversation
Personal experiences
Interruptions and overlaps
No introduction to new topics
Perception of impoliteness to outsiders

An Ethnography of Communication
How do students communicate at a Gator football game?
Try and view it as an outsider; a student of culture and language?

Sept. 25, 7-11PM
UF vs. Kentucky
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Student Section
How is the stadium divided?
Socioeconomic status
Skyboxes vs. “nosebleed” seats
Degree of association/relationship with universities
Students, visitors, band, Bull Gators, alumni

Orange and blue
White button down shirt
Orange and blue tie
Khaki pants/shorts
Sun dresses
Gender roles enforced?
Physical/Emotional state
Drunk, hot, dehydrated, excited

All Part of a Larger Ritual: Game day
1. Mass consumption of drink and food
2. Games
3. Socializing
4. Changes with technology
5. Changes in speech patterns: bad = good

Ritual and Liminal Moments
A time of transition, celebration, in between moments
Rules become fuzzy, suspended
Social lines are blurred; sense of community
Behaviors that would otherwise be unacceptable are OK

Partying to celebrate a victory or to forget a loss; assetion of identity and communitas Song of the South
Dance party
To the bars, parties


Forms of Communication
1. Ritualized communal chants, cheers
Two Bits
Orange – blue – orange – blue
Kickoffs: Let’s Go Gators!
Subversive variation:
You suck A**holes!
Gator jaw clap
Key jangling
We are the boys from Old Florida
2. Individual spontaneous comments
That wasn’t Brantley’s fault!
What is your f*(*king problem?
You suck!
He is awesome!
Give it to Demps for F*&%s sake!
Watch the fake field goal!!!!!
Tend to be on the extremes
Vulgarity acceptable, syntax negotiable
Choose from a stock of acceptable statements and themes
3. Nonverbal communication
High 5, double high five: approval, elation
Head grasp, head shake: despair
Bouncing, hands clasped: anxiety
Firs down, no good, it’s good: parroting official gestures 4. The Roar of the Crows
Individual spontaneous use of noise
In response to actions on the field,
Cultural norms
Becomes collective
Boo! (negative) follows bad call by referee; elongated, score by opponent Yay! And variations of positive evaluations
Why “Make Noise?”
Show support to team
Inhibiting the ability of other team to communicate their plan for action Solidarity with others through common rituals
Team specific: go gators!
General: jump around
Celebration: show of approval
Individual comments (i.e. “What the f*&k is their problem?”) Speakers must know their message cannot be head by the recipient. Individual function: social release through yelling
When do you use silence?
Offense on field (quiet)
Offense in huddles (more quiet)
Prior to extra point, potential score (extremely silent)

There’s Something About Virtual Space
The physical and the virtual are morphing into one
Another way to do what people have always done: socialize

Blogs and (Vlogs)
What is a blog?
Why do you think that people blog?

Analyze the web: Ethnography of the Internet

* Micro blogs
Short Posts
Faster mode of communication
Less time consuming
Less though processing
A prolific blogger can update their blog once every few days; a micro blogger can do it at various times in one day User intentions
Daily conversations (@)
Sharing information
Reporting news
User categories
Information source
Information seeker

Naaman et al Is it Really About Me?
Common types of messages
Relation between users and type of messages
Users vs. types vs. other characteristics

Common Types of Messages
Top 4 types of messages
Me now (ME)
Statements and random thoughts (RT)
Opinions/Complaints (OC)
Information Sharing (IS)

Users and Types of Messages
Informers – 20% of users
Have more friends (followers)
Higher proportion of mentions of other users in their messages Conversational
“Meformers” – 80% of users
seemingly self-indulgent
May serve as a way to help maintain user relationships (Phatic communication) To consider…
Formal to Informal
How is information being shared?
It may be writing, but it not only verbal
Geographical differences?


What kind of shoes do you wear?
Do your shoes “say” anything about you?
Do you wear certain shoes for comfort and certain shoes for style? Does every shoe you wear make a statement?

Language Performance: Are you what you speak?
Language is a performance
We “make dramatic pauses”
We gesture
We use tones to our advantage
We perform in accordance to the settings, our goals, and the participants involved *
* Language as Social Action
People use language to carry out specific activities of their lives Accomplish things by means of language
Perform action rather than reporting on it
Socialization (Blum – insertion in hierarchy)
Politics & power (reinforces power differences)
Religious ritual (Quaker, preachers)
Emotion (language used to create emotion)
History (inform on an individual’s history)


Religious Ideology
Amen and Hallelujah (Ch.38)
African American preaching
Importance of orality
Performers: preacher and congregation
Feeling of inadequacy if call-response fails
Spiritual fillers to increase, and rhythmic markers

Preaching as a Narrative
1. Preacher tells the congregation the sermon was provided by God 2. Preacher identifies the theme of the sermon, followed by a Bible quotation 3. Interpretation of scripture literally and then broadly

4. Each unit of the sermon contains a secular vs. sacred conflict (move between abstract and concrete) 5. Sermon is left open-ended

Ch. 38 Methods
6 preachers and congregations
worship style
call response
“holy dancing”
speaking in tongues
preaching as narrative (as Davis, 1987)
Use of vernacular, spontaneity and climax

Preacher – Congregation
Textual boundary markers
Text type changes (e.g. narration to evaluation)
Topic boundary
Topic continuity (return to a previous topic)
Spiritual discourse maintenance marker
“spiritual filler” – Amen
Rhythmic Marker
Strengthens the rhythm of a set of utterances
Keeps in tune with the congregation
Call-and-response marker

Ch. 44 Quaker Ideology
Rejection of hierarchy
Silence acceptable in various contexts
Language should only be used to express God-given insights
Contrast to carnal speaking

Rejection of Hierarchy
Informal thou/thee; Formal you/ye
Rejection of the pronoun you/ye
“Business meetings”
* Silence
limitation of speaking, not a full rejection of it
to suppress one’s self and self-will

Glasgow Quaker meetings modes of behavior
“…everything from the initial silence to the final handshake is to be regarded as worship” “silences are crucial”
“business method is thus one of attentive listening”
“in particular, we do not attempt to speak while the clerk is trying to draft a minute” “we do not speechify, hector, or attempt to filibuster”
“never become a debating club”
“…if documents are brought to the meeting, they may be referred to, but should not be read unless the Clerk or meeting asks for them.” Orality

Ch. 39 – Courtroom Questioning
Chinese court proceedings
Prosecuting attorneys attempt to get confessions and admission of guilt, previously assumed.

Patterns of Questioning
Repeating key questions
Use of different strategies (intonation and changing question types) Invalidating excuses or accounts
Through heuristic or common sense
Through moral standards
Evidence becomes indisputable
Asking unanswerable questions
Double barreled questions (a series of questions without a chance to answer) Shaming questions
Supplying answers
Paraphrasing defendants’ responses
Through the use of paraphrasing the intent is to change the nature of the defendant’s actions, at times through exaggeration

Uses of Persuasive Questioning
Permits the prosecutor and judge to control the questioning sequence to guarantee a confession or feeling of guilt High expectations of morality leads to public shaming
Possible help in deterring crime

Presidential debates example
Follow a specific pattern of topics
Tones in speech and the code (formal SAE)

Something to Think About
Choose your favorite animated movie from your childhood (or now) Pick a character and think of the ways in which the accent and manner of speaking contribute to the character and plot

Popular Perceptions and Rankings
Dutch is separate language from German, but Swiss German is a dialect of German African American English is ‘slang’ or an accent, but Cockney and Gullah are English dialects

Everyone has their own distinct way of talking
There is no actual “standard” language, but rather many
Dialects of a language: mutually intelligible forms of a language that differ in systematic ways Lexicon, syntax, phonology
Dialects tells other people information about our class, education, and where we come from *
* American Dialects
There is a variety of dialects that have historical roots
Although there is a perceived “standard” American way of speaking There is a difference between accent and dialect
People speaking different dialects
Phonological, syntactic, or lexical differences

Accents and Dialects
Tend to be ranked in accordance to popular perception
L1 accents:
Differences restricted to the phonology
Diffrences in phonology and morphological structures, syntax, lexicon Languages
Differences in accents, morphology, syntax, lexicon with distinct histories, orthographies and geo-political boundaries L2 accents:
Non native speaker using native language phonology in target language

Phonological Differences
Regional phonological variations – accent
“Pahk the cah” (R deletion) NE USA

Differences in Lexicon
We have different words to describe things, unique vocabularies US/England

What is a Standard Language
No regional accent
But found in Midwest/Far West – in American English
Above average education
Broadly spoken by educators or broadcasters
Not sloppy in pronunciation or grammar
Understood by all

Nuthin’ but a G Thang, Morgan
In hip-hop music (and in other areas) language is more than a means of communication. Series of choices that represent beliefs and have consequences, an ideology Based on AA norms, values, and pop culture constructed against dominant cultural and linguistic norms

Hip Hop Language Ideology
Artistic styles are constructed within a basic language ideology: Highlight AAE and working class regional features
“Cast lexical havoc”
semantic inversion—AAE word means opposite of dominant culture definition; “down” ill: from negative meaning (“sick”) to positive “good” semantic extension
wacky to wack
ill to illin’ (adj to verb)

The “uppity” President
“That boy’s finger does not need to be on the [nuclear war] button.” (Rep. Geoff Davis) Referring to the Obama family – “they’re a member of an elitist class individual that thinks they’re uppity.” (Rep. Lynn Westmoreland) “I forgot he was Black tonight, for an hour.” (Chris Matthews)

normative, hegemonic, unmarked racial position
the dominant society that is protested in HH music
standard speech
can you be too white?
Nerds: stigmatized social category: intellectual overachievers, social underachievers *
* Nerds
Superstandard English
No slang: deliberate alternative vocabulary that sends social signals Speak with written form of English
Careful speech associated with extensive education and high intelligence Remember how AA English was associated with intellectual inferiority in the 1960s

Rejection of coolness
Black origins of many “cool” elements of youth culture
Continuum of coolness (p.288)
Nerds -> popular white students -> black students
Braniac – AA whose display of intellectual ability indicates capitulation to European American values (Fordham 1996)

Gender vs. Sex
Biological attributes
Chromosomal differences; hormonal profiles; sexual organs
Social construction
What is masculine behavior vs what is feminine behavior

Are there biological differences in speech between men and women? Adam’s Apple
Cultural difference?

Is there a difference in how and why men and women talk? (The Garifuna in Honduras) St. Vincent and Honduras
Garifuna People: Historical Context
Arawaks—Caribs (period: year 120 – 1200)
Islands Caribs – West African (period: year 1635-1796)
Exile to Honduras

Garifuna Language: Historical Approach
CaribsMale (trade language)
Island CaribsFemale
West AfricanMale
Garifuna language is 75% an Arawak based language (Language of the female) Women are teaching the children, so most of the female language is being learned and used

Females tend to be trendsetters of vocal patterns
Use of hedges
Like, “like”
Quotative like – I was like oh my god and he went like whoa Uptalk
I live in Lakewood Villas?
Versus: I live in Lakewood Villas. Do you know where that is? Vocal Fry
The lowest of the vocal registers; results in a low popping sound Music!

Function of Talking
Women talk too much?
Referential, informative: info and opinions
Supportive and facilitative: encouragement
Gender as Performance
Competitive vs. cooperative
Power vs. powerless

Gender as Performance
Research shows that men generally talk more than women
In public talks, classrooms, and formal meetings
Enhance status; men tend to be more concerned with asserting status and power than women Women = men in private contexts
Purpose: to establish/maintain social contact

Social Confidence
Familiarity or expertise affect the amount a person is willing to contribute to a particular discussion When equally well informed, men speak more to women than women speak to men

Gender Roles Expressed
Nobody is really biologically programmed to talk more or less, this is related to social factors Socialization into gender roles
Talking enhances status of men
They are rewarded for conforming to gender expectations
Outspoken women are considered an affront to gender roles – “aggressive,” “bitchy” Those who gossip and talk about shopping are considered to be in line with gender roles

Katherine Felton
Second Presidential Debate audience member
Asked a question regarding inequalities in the workplace
A “study” shows how she is a “party girl debate questioner who loves joose, hates cops…” *
* Women’s Language or Powerless Language?
Studied courtroom interactions for men and women
Noted instances of “women’s language” (WL) features
“It is sort of hot;” “I guess…”
Super (polite) forms:
“…if you don’t mind.”
Empty adjectives:
“charming,” “lovely”
Their study was kind of, you know, important… it was lovely

Demonstrated that “women’s language” is better understood as “powerless language: High social status and courtroom experience (=status in the court) associated with low WL features across sexes Low social status associated with high WL features across sexes

Gender Expectations
Socialized into gender roles
Men assert their status through speech
Hedges: “sort of,” “like”
Super-polite forms: “if you don’t mind”
Empty adjectives: “charming,” “lovely”
Gives the impression of insecurity

Performing Gender Identity
“Feminine” and “masculine” are not what we are or traits we have, but effects we produce by way of particular things we do. Gender is Performative
Gender must be constantly reaffirmed and publicly displayed by performing particular acts in accordance with cultural norms

Structure and Agency
Gender is regulated by social norms
But, people are conscious of these structures and may resist, subject, or accept

Gender roles (what is feminine and what is masculine) are directly related to sex (physical characteristics) Heterosexuality is the norm.
Homosexuality as abnormal.
Challenged by Queer Theory
Sexuality throughout the world does not always align with the idea of male/female

Wine (alcohol), women, sports…

Performing Masculinity (Cameron)
Sports – across racial/ethnic lines, strangers/friends, age groups. Alcohol and women – domestic arrangements, groceries, everyday chores

The Antithesis of Man
Special attention given to those who deviate from their gender role How they perform their masculinity – “Gay”
“the most effeminate guy I’ve ever met”
“blond hair, snide little queer weird shit”

Cooperative vs. Competition
Marked by hedges: “like,” “you know”
Imply engagement with participants, involvement
Originally studied in female conversations (Coates)
Dominant speakers
* The Lavender Lexicon* *(Leap 1990)
The existence of lesbian & gay language
Loan words from the lavender lexicon to the larger normative language (e.g. drag) Use of language is similar to the use of dialects used in other cultural and ethnic groups Increase social cohesion

Queered Language in LGBTQ Art Forms
Linguistic Component
Secret Language
Double entendre
Identifying individuals
Strategic evasions
Dropping pronouns
Performing (and overperforming) sexuality

Bakla Identity
Swardspeak can identify the speaker as a member of a group
Linguistic play

Linguistic Play in Swardspeak
Kapatid (sibling in T)
Hello (E)
Inverting letter order
Bayu (lover)
Onomatopoeic puns
Antipatika (unpleasant)
Pop culture
X-men – coming out; from masculine to effeminate

Polari Language
Language goes back to the 19th century (16th)
Originally sailor Lingua Franca
Due to the marginalization of homosexuals, the subculture adopted the slang to discuss gay subjects without being discovered Example
Fruit - queen
Drag - clothes
Ogle - look
Troll – to walk about

Gayle Language
Afrikaans based language
Loanwords from Polari (UK based gay argot)
Distinctive in its use of alliterations of female names
Gayle – gay
Priscilla – police
Hildi – hideous
Beulah – beautiful

Debate Points
Is the English language under threat?
What are some of the economic pros and economic cons of English Only Policies? How does losing one’s culture (through language loss) affect an individual’s psychological health, self esteem and overall happiness? Should non English Only policies seek to make Native English speakers competitive outside of the US (through multilingualism)? How? Most first generation immigrants will not Learn English (older; hard to learn); second and third generations learn the language and even create their own dialects. However, when the second and third generation stays in their community they will chose to speak their native language, specially with the elders. Might switch to English, especially with their peers. Comment on the perception it creates.

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