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LIR100-03

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Jamin Pelkey

on 29 September 2018

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Transcript of LIR100-03

LIR 100
GLOBAL MODELS
IN INTERCULTURAL RELATIONS

Global Mappings 2: Verbal Communication
WEEK 3
CULTURAL & LINGUISTIC RELATIVITY
Franz Boas (1858-1942)
Born and Educated in Germany
Ethnographic fieldwork in British Columbia
Professor at Columbia University
Cultural/Linguistic Relativity
Cultural Relativism
Linguistic Relativity
not good; not bad; just different... (??)
In order to understand the practices or beliefs of another group, it is necessary to understand their social, cultural and historical context.
Differences in vocabulary and grammar are entangled with differences in culture and worldview.
say it differently? see it differently!
Food
Customs
Hamburger (Ground Beef)
Cheval (Horse Steak)
Chitlins (Pork Intestines)
Chou Dofu (Fermented Tofu)
Facial Tattooing
Polygamy
Child Beauty Contests
Arranged Marriages
Ethnographic Observation
Observation Assignment:
Space and Proxemics
(Chinatown)
Method: Participant Observation
Approach: Unobtrusive; Layered
Mode: Written Documentation
Goal: Cultural Understanding

Assignment Aspects
Spatial Relationships
People and Objects
Bodily Measurements
Three Venues
External Contrast
Due: October 4
Other Issues in Linguistic Relativity
Cultural Keywords
Mono-, Bi- and Multi- Lingualism
(Zhu 2014)
Ubuntu

(Nguni) 'personhood'; common in African languages
Li
(Chinese) 'politeness/appropriateness'
Toska
(Russian) 'yearning/melancholy'
Cultural
Focal Points
for understanding core values and beliefs
Strong vs. Weak versions of Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
Strong
version: Linguistic Determinism (Language
controls
thought and culture)
Weak
version: Linguistic Relativity (Language
influences
thought and worldview)
Paying attention to
similarities
vs.
relationships
EXAMPLE:
Curing Sickness

WARFARE
? or
EATING
?
Speech practices in different languages reveal widely different ways of thinking about the same phenomenon.
CROSS-CULTURAL METAPHORS
Canada
Nepal
More Research Needed!
The hidden benefits and complications of multilingualism vs. monolingualism
http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20161028-native-english-speakers-are-the-worlds-worst-communicators
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-morality-changes-in-a-foreign-language/
But, as always, we have good evidence for both relativity AND Universals
Full transcript