Chapter_06_IM_9e.FINAL.doc - CHAPTER 6 LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION Chapter 6 Language and Communication Learning Objectives After reading and studying

Chapter_06_IM_9e.FINAL.doc - CHAPTER 6 LANGUAGE AND...

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CHAPTER 6 // LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION Chapter 6 Language and Communication Learning Objectives After reading and studying Chapter 6, your students should be able to: 1. Discuss the importance of language in human culture, especially as it relates to humans’ ability to adapt to a wide variety of environments. 2. Understand the arbitrary nature of language and the characteristic of displacement. 3. Recognize the differences between phonology, morphology, and grammar. 4. Understand the symbolic nature of language. 5. Appreciate the diversity of languages in the world. 6. Understand that no language is superior to others in expressing abstract ideas. 7. Recognize that size of and specialization in vocabulary reflects adaptive importance to a culture. 8. Discuss the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and the difficulties of testing it. 9. Comprehend the speed with which some languages are becoming extinct. 10. Recognize that languages are constantly changing. 11. Understand that linguists use the notion of family to show relationships between languages. 12. Recognize how communication technology is altering the way people communicate in the 21 st C. 13. Discuss how a language reveals a culture’s basic value structure. 14. Recognize that different cultural groups have different linguistic styles. 15. Explain the meaning of diglossia, describe when it occurs, and contrast diglossia with the use of dialects and other forms of code switching. 16. Recognize the symbolic role of language in the development of national and ethnic identities. 17. Explain the importance of non-verbal communication, including hand gestures, posture, and touching, for humans and the possibilities of cross-cultural misunderstanding. 44
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CHAPTER 6 // LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION Chapter Outline The ability to create and use language is the most distinctive feature of humans. The capacity to adapt to the physical environment is made possible by language and it is largely through language that our cultural heritage is passed from one generation to the next. I. THE NATURE OF LANGUAGE A. Language is a symbolic system of sounds that, when put together according to a certain set of rules, conveys meanings to its speakers. 1. Languages are arbitrary. 2. Human languages are characterized by displacement. 3. Human languages are transmitted alrgely through tradition and not experience. B. Diversity of Language 1. The criterion for a language is mutual unintelligibility, but there are differing degrees of intelligibility. 2. Considerable variation in the number of languages of the world and in the size of the different language communities 3. 95 percent of the world’s people speak fewer than 100 of the approximately 6,000 different languages 4. Linguists concerned about the last 5 percent of the world’s languages, which are in danger of disappearing 5. Perhaps as many as 90 percent of all world languages will be extinct or moribund within a hundred years.
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