Part II Language: has its own classes of units (vowels and consonants; nouns and verbs; statements and questions) used to classify and categorize various aspects of the world People do not always classify things the way scientists do folk taxonomies # scientific classifications folk etymology- way of classifying a certain part of reality so that it makes some kind of sense to those who have to deal with it. Typically, taxonomies of the flora and fauna Frake’s study of folk taxonomy: account of the terms that the Subanun (southern Philippines) use to describe disease considerable amount of disease among the Subanun, discussed at length (d. of the skin). a variety of categories when discussing a particular set of symptoms nuka can refer to skin disease in general but also to ‘eruption’. further distinguished as a beldut ‘sore’ rather than a meŋabag ‘inflammation’, or buni ‘ringworm’, and then the particular beldut can be further distinguished as a telemaw ‘distal ulcer’ or even a telemaw glai ‘shallow distal ulcer’ a hierarchy of terms with a term like nuka at the top and telemaw glai at the bottom. Also used to explore relationship between different languages and cultures. The color spectrum- physical continuum that doesn't show any breaks. Still, humans divide it into bits and assign names to the component parts: green, blue, yellow, red. Are color terms arbitrary, or is there a general pattern? If there is a pattern, what are its characteristics? All languages make use of basic color terms. A basic color term must be a single word (blue or yellow) and not some combination of words (light blue or pale yellow). It mustn't be a sub-division of some higherorder term (crimson (dark red); scarlet (bright red)- higher-order term is red). A basic color must also have a general use- it mustn't be applied to a narrow range of objects (blond- only for color of hair and wood). L. with 2 color terms- equivalent in English black and white. 3rd is red. The 4th and the 5th- yellow and green. The 6th and the 7th are blue and brown. And then: gray, pink, orange and purple relationship between the extent of color terminology in a l. and the level of technical complexity of that society: not technologically advanced communities- fewest color terms, e.g. the JALÉ of New Guinea: words corresponding only to black (dark) and white (light). Technologically advanced societies have terms corresponding to all eleven mentioned above. Societies in intermediate stages have intermediate numbers, e.g. the TIV of Nigeria (3 terms), the GARO of Assam and the HANUNÓO of the Philippines have 4, while the BURMESE have 7 BLACK- seen in its cold and negative aspect: black comedy, WHITE- associated with purity, innocence, chastity, recognition, cowardice, defeat: white Christmas, white black economy, black eye, black look, black magic, black sheep (of the family), black mood, the pot calls the kettle black (rugala se sova sjenici). elephant (expensive, but not useful), white lie, white hair (old person, also euphemistic), white handed (honest man), white horses (waves white at the top), white magic (used to do good), white wedding (traditional Christian marriage in a church at which the woman wears a white dress). RED- symbolically related to fire, blood, love, spirit, beauty, strength, health, energy, joy, sex, success, anger, courage, and patriotism: red-letter day (special, important), red tape, red-blooded (energetic, sex-loving), red-hot (successful), red-light district, in the red, paint the town red, see red. Rosch: concepts are best viewed as prototypes: a ‘bird’ is not best defined by reference to a set of features that refer to such matters as wings, warm-bloodedness, and egg-laying characteristics, but rather by reference to typical instances, so that a ‘prototypical bird’ is something more like a robin than it is like a penguin, ostrich, or even eagle. This is the theory of prototypes. People classify objects according to what they regard as being typical instances (a chair is a typical item of furniture, an ashtray is not; apples and plums are typical fruit, coconuts and olives are not) Hudson: prototype theory has much to offer sociolinguistics Language- used to express things, but avoid saying certain things as well. Certain things are not said, because people refuse to talk about those things→taboo if those things are talked about, they are talked about in very roundabout ways→euphemism refers to things that are simply not talked about- one way in which a society expresses its disapproval of certain kinds of behavior believed to be harmful to its members, either for supernatural reasons, or because such behavior is thought to violate a moral code Tabooed subjects: sex, death, excretion, bodily functions, religious matters and politics In some cultures they even include names of animals when someone breaks the rules, it might cause problems, although maybe not as much today as in the past (Shaw's use of bloody in Pygmalion, or damn in "Gone With the Wind" Taboos- violated to claim free speech, draw attention to yourself, Freud: breaking a taboo (a sex one) is a form of verbal seduction-"talking dirty". The penalty for breaking a linguistic taboo can be severe- blasphemy and obscenity are still crimes in many jurisdictions (but hardly likely to cost you your life) violation of certain non-linguistic taboos (e.g. incest ones) might have severe consequences in certain places in the world. Haas: certain l. taboos arise from bilingual situations: the Creeks of Oklahoma- as they use more English, they avoid Creek words resembling English taboo words: fakki (soil), apiswa (meat), apissi (fat). Similarly: Thai students learning English avoid using words like fag (sheath) in the presence of Anglophones; also avoid using yet and keysound like the Thai words jed (to have intercourse) and khîi (excrement). Even personal names might cause embarrassment in a different l. environment: the Vietnamese name Phuc in an anglophone group Euphemism (Gr. eu=well, pheme=speak)- a metaphorical or metonymic use of an expression in place of another expression that is offensive. Eupheme- originally a word or a phrase used in place of a religious word or phrase that should not be spoken aloud (unspeakable names for a deity, such as Nemesis or Yahweh). By using euphemisms, the speaker was believed to please gods and stay in their good fortune. e.g. medvjed- the term avoids the association with a beast by describing it as a "honey eater”. used to deliberately cloud an issue or to misdirect attention used to "dress up" certain areas of life and neutralize the unpleasantness (sex, bodily functions, dying, unemployment, criminality and many others) allow us to give labels to unpleasant tasks and jobs in an attempt to make them sound almost attractive number of areas in which we can find e. is increasing all the time (being fat, getting old-especially in the States). Nadel: the Nupe of West Africa- the most prudish people in the world (sharp distinctions between expressions that are suitable for polite conversation and that are not) constantly resort to circumlocutions and euphemisms to avoid direct mention of sex, body parts or bodily functions. They have developed indirect ways of referring to tabooed matters (rich system of metaphors). the Nupe have developed indirect ways of referring to tabooed matters, ways they can employ on these occasions when it is possible to free themselves from normal constraints, e.g. in certain kinds of story-telling or on specific festive occasions. terms of foreign origin (copulation, perspire, urinate) abbreviations (SOB-son of a bitch, BS-bullshit, TStough shit) abstractions (it, the situation) indirections (sleep together, privates, go to the bathroom) mispronunciations (goldarnit-God damn it, freakin'-fucking) plays on abbreviations (barbecue sauce-BS, sugar honey ice tea-SHIT, Maryland Farmer-MF) The English l. has many e. related to death, dying, burial and the people and places which deal with death. This is connected with the magical belief that to speak the word 'death' meant inviting death. Some colloquial euphemisms: pass away, pass on, meet the maker, go to sleep, go to the other side, go to rest, go to the final reward, go West, croak, kick the bucket, bite the dust; of pets: put away, put to sleep; gangsters' jargon: deep six (six feet under), rub out, erase, waste, make sb. sleep with the fish intellectually challenged, slow- stupid differently-abled- handicapped needy, under-privileged, disadvantagedpoor people underdeveloped, developing, emergent, Third World- poor countries darn-damn heck-hell life insurance-death insurance dentures-false teeth ethnic cleansing-genocide collateral damage-killing of innocents perspire-sweat bathroom-toilet social disease-venereal disease A1- amphetamine ingested illegally AC/DC- behaving both heterosexually and homosexually B- bloody, as in B fool; bitch, as in silly B BO- body odor C- cancer, as in the big C; cocaine; crack D- damn, damned, damnable; big D is death DCM- notice of dismissal from employment (Don't come Monday) G- gee, jeez, Jesus; G-man- federal agent working for the U.S.Government H- hell (what the H?); heroine M- marijuana N- nigger, (the N-word) O- not oxygen, but opium P- piss, p off What distinguishes doublespeak from other euphemisms is its deliberate usage by governmental and military institutions. Commentators such as Noam Chomsky and George Orwell have written a lot about the dangers of allowing such euphemisms to shape public perceptions and national policy. Examples of doublespeak:casualties for deaths; taking friendly fire for being attacked by your own troops; "the Final Solution" for Nazi's plan to murder the world's Jews. the Croats laugh and scorn euphemisms more than the Americans do- there are fewer ethnic and social group in Croatia and it isn't absolutely necessary to be politically correct. some of the new euphemisms (particularly those invented in the USA) are silly and unnecessary: vertically challenged- short person; carnal knowledge- sexual intercourse; service the target- kill the enemy; immortally challenged- dead. Euphemisms can influence memory as well as perception after seeing a film of a multiple-car accident, 50 subjects were asked: How fast were the cars going when they hit?, and 50 were asked: How fast were the cars going when they smashed? The hit subjects averaged 8 miles/h, and the smash subjects 11 miles/h. Both groups were also asked: Did you see any broken glass? (There was none in the film.) Of the hit subjects, 7 said yes, and of the smash subjects 16.