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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
Transcript of LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
about the nature of things and people that we learn when we become members of social groups.
Socially acquired knowledge (
: The particular language we learn through the process of
provides us with a ready-made system of
the world around us and our
There are conceptual distinctions that are
(expressed as a single word) in one language and not in another.
"The structure of our language, with it predetermined categories, has an influence on how we perceive the world".
Biological (male/female species)
Social (man/woman in terms of their social roles)
: group with certain features in common.
: inherited set of category labels. These are words for referring to concepts that people in our social world have needed to talk about.
LANGUAGE AND EXPERIENCE
Evidence from the world's languages suggests that the
organization of external reality actually varies to some extent according to the language being used to talk about it
: some languages may have lots of different words for types of "rain" or kinds of "coconut" and other languages may have only one or two.
Sapir - Whorf hypothesis
- 20th Century
- The languages of native Americans, such as the Hopi, led them to view the world differently from those who spoke European languages
- "We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native language"
- Our language reflects our concerns.
- We inherit the ability to manipulate and be creative with that language in order to express our perceptions.
- The human manipulates language, not the other way around.
- As a way of analyzing cognition we can look at language structures for clues.
"Language determines thought"
there can be differences between words used by men and women in a variety of languages: Words for men are "normal", words for women are "special additions" (hero/heroine)
Pitch, intonation, tag questions
: hierarchies, turn-taking, back-channels.