VII language, culture and society. Contents. 7.0 Introduction 7.1 Language and culture 7.2 Language and society 7.3 Cross-cultural communication 7.4 Summary. 7.0 Introduction. Language, culture and society Language and culture: Cross-cultural communication
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Contents 7.0 Introduction 7.1 Language and culture 7.2 Language and society 7.3 Cross-cultural communication 7.4 Summary
7.0 Introduction • Language, culture and society • Language and culture: Cross-cultural communication • Language and society: Sociolinguistics
7. 1 Language and culture • The anthropological orientation in the study of language • Bronislaw Malinowski and John P. Firth in England. • Franz Boas, Edward Sapir, and Benjiamin Lee Whorf in North America. • Anthropological study of linguisitcs: Malinowski: wood in the speech community on the Trobriand Islands. • The “canoe” meaning can be heavily situationally or culturally specified. • This paved way for a cultural or a contextual study of lg in Britain.
CONTEXT OF SITUATION • Firth, the close relationship between lg use and its co-occurrent factors: • A. the relevant features of the participants, persons, personalities: (i) the verbal action of the participants; (ii) the non-verbal action of the participants B. The relevant objects C. The effect of the verbal action. • “who speaks what lg or lg variety to whom and when and to what end.
Sapir-Whorf Hypotheses • Our lg helps mould our way of thinking and, consequently, different lgs may probably express the speakers’ unique way of understanding the world. • Lg may determine our thinking patterns; similarities between lgs is relative. • For to different speech communities, the greater their cultural differentiation is, the more diverse their conceptualization of the world will be. • Linguistic Determinism and Linguistic Relativity
Sapir-Whorf Hypotheses: two versions • The strong version:emphasize the decisive role of lg as the shaper of our thinking is patterns • The weak version: there is a correlation between lg, culture and thought, but the cross-cultural differences thus produced in our way of thinking are relative, rather than categorical. • run—very runs (Hopi):languages differ from each other • Brent Berlin & Paul Kay: a cross-cultural study of color system: • White/black—red---green/yellow—blue—brown—purple/pink/orange/gray • Dani: white (warmness)---black(coldness)
Culture in linguistic study • Watergate • -gate: 1. productivity in American English 2.pejorative implication to refer to “the disclosure of misconduct in high places” (Barnhart & Barnhart 1981:2364) 3. a variety of processes can be explained in the study of the productivity of the compounding form • conclusion: -gate as a pejorative –long while in English --Structural status stable through derivational processes --Semantic implicature will remain for quite a long time. --New development:艳照门
Culture in lg teaching classroom • A good understanding of structural things in some case has much to do with a conscious understanding of the cultural background of the target lg for lg learner. That is to say, successful mastery of a given lg has much to do with an understanding of that culture.
7.2 Language and society • Monistic / autonomous pursuit • Dualistic pursuit • Linguistic variations: --Socially institutionalized:先生－老公－男人 --Stylistically governed
Social factors that influence lg behaviour: • “you are what you say.” (Lakoff 1991) • class, gender, age, ethnic identity, education background, religious belief. • Class: • William Labov: The Social Stratification of English in New York City (1966)： --Relation between social status and phonological variations • Fourth floor
Gender • How differently do women speak from men --Fancy color terms --Less powerful curse terms --More intensifiers --Tag questions --Rising tone with statement --Linguistic behaviour is more indirect, polite • Why is this so? --Women’s place in society --Women register • Sex--gender
How to conduct Sociolingusitic study • Structural things and their uses in a sociocultural context: • 1. The description of the phenomenon (what): how they are related: we want to look at structural things by paying attention to lg use in a social context • 2. The explanation for the phenomenon (why): Why this is so: we try to understand sociological things of society by examining linguistic phenomena of a speaking community. • Difficulties in sociolinguistic study: • 1. Pluralism and diversity • 2. Over-lapping with other types of scientific research
Two studies • Sociolinguistic study of society: gaining knowledge of a given society or community by examining the linguistic behaviour of its members, a macro level of study: bilingualism, lg attitude, lg choice, lg maintenance, lg planning and standardization, education, etc. • Sociolingusitic study of language: gaining knowledge about some variation in lg use by turning to potential sociocultural factors for a description and explanation. Micro linguistic phenomenon, structural variants, address forms, gender difference, etc.
Practical sociolinguistics • Sociolinguistics in language classroom: to train the student as grammarian or as competent, active and successful lg user? • Communicative competence • Sociolinguistics has contributed to lg teaching(Berns 1990:339): • 1. A change of emphasis in the content of lg. Teaching • 2. Innovations in the material and activities for the classroom • 3. A fresh look at the nature of lg development and use • 4.more fruitful research in this field. • Sociolingusitics in law court • Sociolingusitics in clinic setting
7.3 Cross-cultural communication • Language plays a decisive role when we communicate with others, but he diversity in lg and culture makes cross-cultural communication a highly risky mission. • Rogers (1961): 1. Try to look at things from other person’s point of view 2. Try to sense their feeling to a given issue 3. Try to understand their way of knowing the world • Principles in cross-cultural communication 1. See, feel and understand issues from the speaker’s point of view 2. Speaker and hearers know each other’s intention 3. Two parties adopt a dynamic dialogue pattern
Case studies • 你－－您 • You—thou • I’m Mr. Green. • I’m Green. • I’m John. • Greeting in English and Chinese: weather—food/health
Sensible interpretation and prediction of what the other party will think, feel and behave when some crucial things occur can be challenging. • 1. Your linguistic knowledge in the target lg. • 2. Your understanding of the target culture • 3. Your consciousness of the nature of the target nation • 4. Your caution to the occurrence of rash and risky assumptions
Summary • Important figures of anthropological study of language • Context of situation • Sapir-Whorf hypothesis • Factors that influence language • Two studies of sociolinguistics • Practical sociolingusitics • Your own experience