Human Language

Human Language
Language and Culture
Language: _________________________
Importance of language for human life
1. only animal capable of _______________
2. avenue of communication & thought
concerning abstract concepts, and concrete
persons, places, things, actions, & events
3. _____________of culture aided by _________
Linguistic Anthropology
Focus on language
Generally interested in how language
World economy
Language and Communication
What is the difference between
language and communication?
 Communication: Act of transferring
information to others
Language can be thought of as a way
of communicating
Human Language Distinctive
1. Openness (a.k.a. ________)
_________________ to create totally
novel sentences and a ___________
to comprehend them
A language’s __________________
can be combined into a infinite
number of meaningful sentences
Human Language Distinctive
2. Displacement
Our ability to talk about __________
Due to usage of symbols to transmit
Human Language Distinctive
3. Arbitrariness
between particular linguistic sounds
& particular linguistic meanings
Evidence in the design feature of
language known as
________________ and ______________
Communication Among NonHuman Primates
Primates don’t
Parts of calls are not
___________ to get
new information
Their calls are
Language, Thought, and Culture
Language _________________
Coined by _______________
Mastery of adult grammar
Communicative _________________
Coined by ______________
Mastery of adult rules for socially &
culturally appropriate speech
Language, Thought, and Culture
Noam Chomsky
Set of rules – ___________________________
Human brain contains a limited set of rules for
organizing language
 All Languages = ________________________
Language, Thought, and Culture
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
Idea that different languages produce
English & Hopi languages
Language, Thought, and Culture
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, continued
Initial ideas centered on ‘all thoughts
being constrained, or determined, by
Various studies have:
Language, Thought, and Culture
__________ Vocabulary
Set of words describing particular
domains of experience
Study of language in context of its use
Series of verbal exchanges in
Study of language use:
Relies on ethnography to illuminate
the ways in which speech is both
constituted by and constitutive social
Focus on practice - how are rules of
grammar, cultural values, and physical
action conjoined
Language Revitalization
and fluent
speakers of
Language Revitalization
Hinton’s work in CA: