On Language 1-2


* It means to share our thoughts beliefs and feelings with others through commonly agreed words of objects phenomena for abstract concepts. For example green is a word that describes certain frequencies of light. Communication can be verbal or non verbal like body language or symbols. 

* Non verbal human communication

    * Facial expression. Body gesture. Tone of language. Sign and symbols. Equations. Painting. Dancing. Music. Writing.

    * Even silence can communicate resentment or discontentment or boycott

    * In India sex is not talked about so HIV infection is spreading fast because people cannot communicate effectively on this topic. Creating challenge for medical anthropologists. Lambert 2001. 

    * Facial expressions convey Happy sad angry discussed with eyebrow lips nose eyes.

    * Varies from culture to culture. Japanese expressions change in presence of authority figures day tied to mask their negative feelings. Some cultures nod to give yes while others nod to mean no 

    * Kinesics is the study of nonverbal communication. 

    * Paralanguage is sounds like laugh giggle grunt moaning. 

    * It happens all with verbal language not isolated. 

    * American symbol language

* Non human communication. In koko the Gorilla, kanzi The ape - rumbaugh,  nim chimsky. Dance among the honey bee two direct thread or source. Chemical smell communication of ants.  

    * Vervet monkeys have symbol like call for eagle pythons and leopards.

    * Human languages infinite and discrete. Animal languages closed and finite. They do not connect. Human grammar is complex rules and can be produced in infinite ways. Ascher 1964. 

    * Alex the parrot can talk. 

    * Helps understand origins of and evolution of language. 

Origin of language.

* evidence. Cranial capacity. Complex technology and artefacts. Art and paintings. Anatomy of the throat.

* Noam chomsky language acquisition device. Biological feature. children acquisition of language can help us understand origin of language and basics of its structure and properties. Your language can also help.

* FOXP2 gene mutation likely candidate. 

Creole and pidgin language.

Acculturation - Dominance of a community main push people towards dominant language. Native language becomes lost. Sometime dominant language shifts towards new language. Which is different from both dominant and native language. During colonial Times labourers from multiple places talked with their masters and each other in simplified way using linguistic features of many languages where vocabulary was mostly from masters language. Akmajin 2001. These are called pidgin language. initially it is simplified but when children use it it becomes grammatically more complex. Then they are replaced by creole languages which has multiple vocabulary and grammar mixed. Bickerton 1983. It has unique accent, double negatives, past and future are grammatically similar. This is seen in all cruel languages. 

Can language be saved from extinction.Yes Hebrew. Crystal 2000. Holmes 2001. Native languages are dying because they are not passed on to the children. Political and economic dominance of Western languages. Schooling is done in dominant language. Children prefer culture which has dominance or higher prestige. Michael Krauss linguist estimates 90% of world's languages are endangered in the current century. Hebrew was considered a dead language but today 5 millions speak it so it can be revived.need to provide literature, radio television TV serials programs on endangered language. In education work administration art music it can be used. Google project to save language. Endangered languages project.

striking grammar resemblance of language throughout the world which means humans may have inherited grammar biologically.

Children's acquisition of language. Genie the fetal kid Susanne Curtis. 6 month old infants can distinguish between 600 consonants and 200 vowels. But by the age of one they recognise sound clusters and features of of their language while less adept at distinguishing other languages. Miller 2004. even symbolic languages are learnt in the same manner. Universal grammar evidence.

By the age of 2 years they can talk in telegraph form of language using only important words. Language of children is consistent with creole language grammar notes bickerton. 

Robert sapolsky. During infancy there comes a time when there is sudden increase in in language learning and neutral development. 

Migrant retain their mother tongue when they are tightly net communities which retained religious rituals and focus on festivals and visited homeland. Schrauf 1999. 

Descriptive linguistics

Grammar is unconscious principles that predict how people talk. It is not the standardized form of language but innate and biological form of human language. Noam chomsky.  

Unconscious rules are of different types like. Phonology. rules that protect how sound are made or changed. Morphology sound sequences to convey different meaning and words. syntax for how the words are joined together to form phrases and sentences.

Phonology. Russian use Z and d more. English speakers don't. First day transcribe the sounds and then identified phonemes which are set of sounds that make a difference in meaning in that language. Lake and rake are different because of l and R button Samoan language l and R can be used interchangeably. Phonemes consists of meaningless variations of sound which do not have any difference in language. Children learn phonemes at six months of age.

Next linguistics discover II unconscious rules of sound sequences. English language rarely starts with non vowel sounds but when it does it starts with s like strike and scratch. Linguists discover why languages vary in sound rules. Samoans almost always put vowels between consonants. 

Recent cross-cultural study predicts that three predictors of this variation of vowels and consonants. Warm climate more consonant vowel syllable. second is literacy because languages that are written have fewer consonant vowel syllables. Third is strongest degree to which babies are held by others. Society with more baby holding has more consonant vowel syllables. Associated with red make life. 


Sequences of sound that have meaning. Words. The mind inserts the spaces between words. Smallest unit is morph and one or more morph creates morpheme. Un + clear brings meaning of not clear.  Cow+s is cows.  By the age of 7 children have mastered many forms of morphs even irregular ones. Free morph has its own meaning like walk. Bound morph has no meaning of itself like ED of worked. 


Creating new phrases and sentences. It stickers have intuitive grasp over syntax and which is rules that predict how phrases and sentences are generally created. 

Historical linguistics. How language changes and forms over time. Meaning of words, expressions sayings change over time. Divide language into groups.reconstructed ancestral languages are called proto languages. They are probable languages of the past. languages that derived from proto language are called language family. There are 30 families. It English is from Indo European. 50% of the world speaks indo-european language. Sino Tibetan. historical linguistics started with 1786 William Jones who noted similarities between Sanskrit and greet Latin languages. Grimm brothers 1822 collected folktales of of Europe. Language origin can be traced by the words that are cognates which is words that are similar in sound and meaning which present Maybelline refer to the plants and animals that were present in the original homeland. on this basis it was estimated that eastern Ukraine was the homeland of proto Indo European language Frederich 1970. Colin Renfrew things that anatolia of Turkey was the basis based on archaeological evidence and study of Indo European civilization.  assume that place of origin has more linguistic diversity than recently occupied place. England has more direct diversity than newzealand Australia. 

Linguistic divergence 

when people of the same language used communication due to physical or social separation they begin to accumulate small changes in phonology morphology and syntax. They become dialects. They become languages eventually like German and English are now. Geography barriers in different languages. Khalapur North India study by John Gumperz differences in speech between untouchables and other groups. Because of social isolation. New dialect develops. 

Cultural contact and colonization brings new words like paraya and nawab. Pork and beef are derived from French words.  

Generally boring of morpheme is more then boring of grammar. Kaufman 1988. 

Language and culture. both interact with each other. Language is a vehicle of culture and culture is a vehicle of language. Affects the structure and content of language. 

Culture influence of language

Culture brings the vocabulary of a language through its experiences events and objects. Basic words for colour plant animals behaviour 8 music. Colour is blue green yellow in English. Multiple languages have different words for colour. languages of basic colour words like English as white black red green yellow blue brown pink purple orange and grey. It includes single morph. Other colours derived their quality from these basic colours. Everyone agrees on basic colours. 

Berlin and kay suggest that numbers of basic colour increase with technological specialisation. Brown has found that development of lexicon also extends to plant and animal forms where higher order classification emerge. Fish then Salman or tuna then subtypes of tuna. Complex societies have large number of lifeform terms. Therefore social complexity increases vocabulary. 

Culture and grammar. Navajo life is nomadic so they emphasize movement and specify the nature direction and status of such movements in detail. It is is expressed in the myth and folklore. Concept of have is present in speakers of a society where private property or personal ownership of resources is present. So it affects grammar. 1977 webb. 

Interaction with other cultures also influences grammar. Creole language.

Effect of language on culture. Sophia wharf hypothesis. English language categorises discreteness with regard to time and space but hopi language does not. But today it is not accepted that language courses thought but there is evidence that particular features of language may facilitate certain patterns of thought. Denny 1997

Hebrew language puts most emphasis on gender and all nouns are either masculine or feminine. even second person and plurals are differentiated on gender. English emphasis is less on gender. Finnish emphasizes gender the least. Yucatec Mayan language has less emphasis on number. Some languages have emphasis on direction and ego while others don't. 

Ethnography of speaking.

Social status and speech.John fisher. Children pronounce words like singing and finishing during formal conversations and fishin and singin during informal conversation. Social context changes language. children from hai status kept the words full but children from low status for African Americans drop the ending g. Detroit African Americans use double negatives. Higher class people speak standard English.

clifford gates noted that in Java speech, vocabulary was sharply divided among peasants, townspeople and aristocrats. Language changes as per class. There are words like saiki which is used by present and the roughest form of word. Townsmen would use saniki which is more elegant and aristocrats use samenika.  

personal relationships have nick names and first name used but in formal relationships for business dealings it is used as last name.

Gender and speech 

in Japanese males and females use different words for various concepts like water is mizu and female version ohiya. Females add the prefix o to be polite. Holmes 2001

African American women are less likely than men to use double negatives. Chambers 2002. 

Women have Rising inflections in English and they tend to add questions to the statements. Girls are more likely to behave acceptability to adults than boys. Cultural thinking light expressing politeness, anger influences use of language. In communities where women break the rules women speak more directly and express anger more often. 

women may be trying to improve their status by conforming to the standard speech. Aur main bhi because bhi main more cooperative due to their culture. they may be trying to advance the conversation because questions create more conversation. 

 depending on culture men and women talk about different things. Deborah tannen argues that women talk about someone else's trouble and focus more on feelings but men offers solutions point men do not usually ask for directions but women do. Women talk a lot in private settings for men talk allowed in public settings. because girls play in small groups and talk frequently intimately. Boys play with large groups and status and attention are more concerned. 

Multilingualism and code switching

Many countries have linked lingual diversity. Singapore has four official languages English Mandarin Tamil and Malay. globalisation is increasing diffusion of languages but also endangered languages as dominance increases.

Code switching. when persons switch words or sentences in the middle during bilingual conversation. code switching happens when topics turn to different situations. Different aspects of culture Elite social talk turning towards school work. when talking to a stranger the language becomes formal but when talking to a friend it becomes informal and mixed. 

Status and code switching. Germans of Transylvania speak in German because they think Romanian is low status language. Language of political dominant group becomes linguistically dominant.  

language in written or oral form conveys knowledge, attitude, please, values and features of that culture.