Anthropology Chapter 4

From a linguistic perspective in anthropology, can one way of speaking be better than another? Explain, why or why not?
Linguistic perspective, one way of speaking is as good as the next. All the statements are fully logical and comprehensible, and communicate the information the speaker desires. Speech often identifies the speakers ethic background, social, class, geographical locations, and other aspects of their life. Any judgment made on the based on someone’s speech is really a judgment of the PERSON, not of the language itself – as all languages communicate meaning to those who understand the language spoken.

Communication involves more that the content of the words spoken or the grammar. What does the Western Apache ‘joke’ about how white men communicate reveal about differences between Western Apache and mainstream ‘white’ cultures? Be specific.
The joke shows that an underlying understanding of culture is needed to really comprehend the meaning of the words.
Western Apache’s do not refer to others as friends in public; they do not ask how someone is feeling in public. Apache’s do not make a big deal of entering or leaving a room, rather they are unobtrusive. In Apache culture, one does not ask if someone is hungry or touch them in a social setting. Also, the Apaches do not talk about misfortune for fear of bringing misfortune on.

White men, especially American white men consider all of the above mentioned items social courtesies and appropriate for conversation.

What is sociolinguistics? What do sociolinguists study? Give examples.
Sociologists study of the relationships between language and culture.

Sociologists study speech performance and attempt to identify, describe, and understand the ways in which language is used in different social contexts. They look at who is speaking, who is listening, what the purpose of the speech is and other factors to see how we use language in different social contexts.

What does the study of language reveal about power relations in hierarchical societies?
All languages are equally sophistical and serve the needs to their speakers equally well, and every human being speaks with equal grammatical sophistication.
Hierarchical societies, the most powerful group generally determine what is “power” in language.

How does Labov explain the fact that the language of those at the bottom and top of the social hierarchy tend to show less variations than the language of members of the lower- middle class?
Lavov found that speakers often vary their vocabulary and pronunciation in different contexts and the degree of such variation is related to their social class.
At the bottom and top the social hierarchy, there is little variation because the people who are the richest and the poorest have little concern or chance of changing their position on the social ladder. Middle-class people, however, use casual, vernacular speech around family and close relations in order to be the same as their peers, but they use similar speech patterns to the wealthy in situations where they are concerned with raising their social status.

What is Ebonics or AAVE? What was the national controversy over Ebonics in the 1970s? From a sociolinguistic, is AAVE slang, bad English, inferior? Explain.
AAVE is simply a variant of Standard English, neither better nor worse than any other; it stands for African American Vernacular English. Since the 1970, controversy other Ebonics has frequently been politicized. Many Americans misunderstand the Oakland school Board as encouraging the teaching of Ebonics, and this misunderstanding ignited a national fury because, in general, people who speak only Ebonics are at a significant disadvantage because they are stereotyped as being ignorant.

What is the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?
Sapir- Whorf hypothesis says that perception and understandings of time, space, and matter are conditions by the structure if a language. In other words, because language is critical to how one understands the world, that people who speak different languages must understand the world differently. The way we talk about the world affects how we perceive the world.

What is the difference between pidgin and creole? Give examples.
A Pidgin is a hybrid language formed when two societies with different languages meet and develop a new language with features of both original languages. They are often limited to the words appropriate to the seats of interactions engaged in by the people speaking it. As culture depends and fine posses, pidgins are sometimes list, and people speak only the language of dominant power.

Creole is a language composed of elements of two or more different languages. But unlike a pidgin, people do speak Creoles as their first languages, and the vocabulary of these languages is as complex and rich as any others

What is code switching? Give examples.
Code switching is a moving seamlessly and appropriately between two different languages.
This ability is often central to their identities and their introductions inside and outside of their commutes.
One example of this is students in predominately black high schools who speak SSAE in the classroom and AAVE with their friends.

In the video “Jeopardy with a Twist” what approach to non-standard English does the teacher take with the students? Be very specific.
Yes, he plays a game and the students has fun, but you have to go beyond that and identify the specific lesson that is being taught. What is the rationale for taking this approach?