ANTH 110 - Speech & Experience: The Anthropology of
Language (3 Credits)
(Spring 2011) TTh AQU 108
Dr. Jon W. Anderson
Office: Marist 14
Office Hours: W 1-3 or by appointment
"no one would talk much in society, if he knew how often he misunderstands others." - Goethe
Language puts names on things. Linguistics puts names on features of language and communication, and the anthropology of language examines their social correlates and contexts. This course is about how to identify the features of communication where culture, imagination and social experience come together. The course introduces basic concepts of linguistic analysis, theories of language and the study of communication in anthropology, including how languages are structured, used in social relations and provide models for cultural analysis. It focuses on relations of speech, experience and understanding, and on what those settings tell about sociability and imagination in everyday behavior.
Nancy Bonvillian. Language, Culture & Communication. Prentice-Hall, 5th edition 2008.
George Lakoff & Mark Johnson. Metaphors We
Tannen. You Just Don't Understand!
Additional material, some required, some for further reading, are on the BlackBoard for this course, in which all registered students are automatically ‘enrolled’.
The goals of this course are to acquaint you with the formal study of language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics), its social use (what our speech reveals about us), how it shapes imagination and experience, and how languages change over time. By the end of this course, you will know how to recognize features of sounds used in languages, how words and sentences are built, meanings structured, the basics of sociolinguistics and the ethnography of communication that can be used to analyse conversations, extended discourse (explanations, narratives, negotiations, etc.), accounts of feelings and other ways we interact through language, including systematic failures of communication.
This course is about the topics covered in Anthropological Linguistics and is one of the fundamental courses for Anthropology majors. For all others, it fulfills the Social Science distribution requirement.
Format and Requirements.
This course will be a mixture of lecture, in-class discussion and application of concepts to everyday examples of speech, which students will collect in diaries. Graded work includes the diaries, a mid-term and a final exam.
Diaries are where you record instances of linguistic usage, speech acts, forms and expressions for feedback from the instructor. Each week, you should record one or more instances of two phenomena or concepts discussed in the readings for that week. These must be handed in on the last class meeting each month. This work will be graded, and the final (average) grade for diary work will be 30% of your course grade.
The mid-term exam will be short-answer and identification of concepts, phenomena and terminology in Bonvillian, Lakoff & Johnson and introduced in class. 30% of your course grade
The final exam will cover all of the material in the course. 40% of your course grade
Instead of a final exam, students may analyze the text of a dialogue using concepts introduced in the course. The dialogue must be ‘natural’ (recorded, not fictional or authored), chosen in consultation with the instructor before the end of February, and posted on the Blackboard for the course, where you will also place your analysis. Note that this is a public document on which you will be able to receive feedback from others in the class.
Consistent attendance and timely completion of assignments is expected. Material introduced in class that is not in the texts will be on the exams, and late assignments (the diaries) will be graded down one-half letter grade the first day, one letter grade thereafter.
What's in a name? The “parts of speech” Bonvillian, ch. 1
I. FORMAL PATTERNING & SEMANTIC CONTENT
Formal properties: phonology, morphology. Bonvillian, ch. 2
- On the Blackboard (Course Documents): Points of Articulation in American English, Consonantal Phonemes of English, Vowel Phonemes of English
Syntax, Semantics & modeling the mind. Bonvillian, ch. 2
President’s Inauguration. NO CLASS
Non-verbal communication. Bonvillian, ch. 2
Meaning in Language: Categories & the Linguistics of Labeling. Bonvillian Ch 3. (Diaries for January due)
Meaning in Language: Metaphors, “Extended” Meaning. Lakoff & Johnson (all)
From Language to Speech: Doing Things with Words. Bonvillian, ch. 4 – 5
- On the Blackboard (Course Documents): Religious Rhetoric in Political Oratory
Sociolinguistics: Language ‘marking’ - class & race. Bonvillian, Ch 6
“Administrative Monday” NO CLASS
Review (Diaries for February due)
Speech to Experience: Gender-marked speech. Bonvillian, ch. 7, Tannen (all)
Expressing Inner States in Social Interaction
- On the Blackboard (Course Documents) “Emotion and Sincerity in Persian Discourse”
Language Learning & Communicative Competence. Bonvillian 9-10 (Diaries for March due)
- On the Blackboard (Course Documents): Before “like” there was “OK”
Narrative Speech / Telling Stories / Folklore
- On the Blackboard (Course Documents): "A sojourner's truth," “In vain, I tried to tell you”
Multilingual Idealities: Speech Communities & Language Ideologies. Bonvillian 11-12
- On the Blackboard (Course Documents): “Language Ideology & Linguistic Differentiation”
Multilingual Realities: Code-switching, Code-mixing, Creoles & Pidgins. Bonvillian 12
- On the Blackboard (Course Documents): "Hasta la vista, baby! Southwest Anglo-Spanish”
Easter Break. NO CLASS
Institutional & Professional Speech Communities: Knowing the Code. Bonvillian, 13
- On the Blackboard (Course Documents): Geekspeak, Religious Language
Communication in the Information Age: Strangers & Other “Friends” (Diaries for April due)
- On the Blackboard (Course Documents): Cellphones in
Final Exam, as scheduled for T 3:35 classes (Diaries for April due)
Expectations and policies
Academic honesty is expected of all CUA students. Faculty are required to initiate the imposition of sanctions when they find violations of academic honesty, such as plagiarism, improper use of a student’s own work, cheating, and fabrication.
The following sanctions are presented in the University procedures related to Student Academic Dishonesty (from https://mail.cua.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://policies.cua.edu/academicundergrad/integrityprocedures.cfm): “The presumed sanction for undergraduate students for academic dishonesty will be failure for the course. There may be circumstances, however, where, perhaps because of an undergraduate student’s past record, a more serious sanction, such as suspension or expulsion, would be appropriate. In the context of graduate studies, the expectations for academic honesty are greater, and therefore the presumed sanction for dishonesty is likely to be more severe, e.g., expulsion. ...In the more unusual case, mitigating circumstances may exist that would warrant a lesser sanction than the presumed sanction.”
Please review the complete texts of the University policy and procedures regarding Student Academic Dishonesty, including requirements for appeals, at http://policies.cua.edu/academicundergrad/integrity.cfm and http://policies.cua.edu/academicundergrad/integrity.cfm.
Timely completion of assignments:
are due on the dates and in the
formats indicated, either on paper at the beginning of class or as email
In the classroom:
The Anthropology Department has an established policy regarding behavior in class. Barring emergency, students will remain seated during class, not getting up to walk out and return. Bathrooms are available for use before and after class. The use of cell phones or other electronic devices such as iPods, Playstations, Palm Pilots, Blackberries or game machines is disruptive, discourteous, and prohibited during class. Kindly turn these off.
Accommodations for students with disabilities:
Any student who feels s/he may need an
accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor
privately to discuss specific needs. Please contact Disability Support Services
(at 202 319-5211, room 207