Cultural Anthropology Chapter 4

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Describe how anthropologists study language.
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Discuss the relationship between language and culture.
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Distinguish between human and nonhuman systems of communication.
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Describe how nonverbal communication supplements verbal communication.
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Descriptive linguistics
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The part of anthropological linguistics that focuses on the mechanics of language
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Phonology
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The general study of the sounds used in human speech
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Phoneme
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The smallest unit of sound in speech that will indicate a difference in meaning
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Morpheme
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The smallest combination of sounds in human speech that carry a meaning.
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Syntax
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The manner in which minimum units of meaning (morphemes) are combined.
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Historical linguistics
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The study of the history of languages including their development and relationship to other languages.
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Ethnolinguistics
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A field of study in linguistics that analyzes the relationship between a language and culture
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Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
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A hypothesis about the relationship between language and culture that states that language constructs perceptions
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Recursion
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A feature of language that allows for the generation of variations in sentences by using embedded or added clauses and phrases
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Sociolinguistics
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A subfield of linguistics that analyzes the relationship between language and culture with a focus on how people speak in social context
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Displacement
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The ability of humans to communicate symbolically about distant time and place
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Lexigrams
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Geometric figure symbols used to teach apes symbolic communication
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Silent language
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All of a culture’s nonverbal symbolic systems of communication, including kinesics and proxemics
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Kinesics
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The use of the body to communicate– gestures, posture, and facial expressions.
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Proxemics
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The study of the use of space in communication
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Cultural time
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Example: 5 min in american time is like 15 min in Arab time
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Ritualized Phrases
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Some words or phrases may have meanings other than the formal, generally recognized ones. Ex. \”See you later\” doesn’t always mean I will physically see you later
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Silence
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A form of nonverbal communication. Ex. In America, most of the time high-ranking individuals talk more and low-status individuals are more silent.
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Material culture
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Artifacts and features that are also part of silent language. Ex. can Identify an Ag student by their jeans, belt buckle and hat.

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