DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

Broadly conceived linguistics is the study of human

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Broadly conceived, linguistics is the study of human language and a linguist is someone who engages in this study. Linguistic inquiry is pursued by a wide variety of specialists, who may not all be in harmonious agreement. According to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis , linguistic habits determine not only how people describe the world but also how they experience it and think about it. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis was devised by the American language scholars Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf on the basis of their work on the indigenous languages of North America. According to Sapir, "Human beings do not
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live in the objective world alone but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached." A lexicon is the vocabulary associated with a language. Scholars believe a society's culture is reflected through it's lexical content (vocabulary). Phonetics is the study of the different sounds that are employed in a language. Whereas, phonology is the study of patterns of a language's basic sounds. The study of how words combine to form grammatical sentences is known as syntax . At the same time semantics is the study of the literal meaning of words (lexical semantics), and how these combine to form the literal meanings of sentences. A number of contemporary linguists claim that speech is more important to linguistic study than writing . Perhaps this is because speech appears to be a human universal, whereas many cultures without writing have been discovered . Pragmatics is the study of how utterances are used (literally, figuratively, or otherwise) in communicative acts. Archaeology is the study of human activity, primarily through the study of its material remains , which includes structures still standing. It is the most important method for the study of human pre-history. Moreover, since the historical (i.e. written) record is incomplete, archaeology provides a vital contribution to the study of human history. The material remains of human activity often have aesthetic, political, and monetary value. Consequently, many people identify archaeology with the collection of political or economic treasures . This is promulgated, for example, in popular movies dealing with the exploits of fictional archaeologists, e.g. Indiana Jones or the archaeologists in the recent film The Mummy and those in the book King Solomon's Mines. In archaeology, especially in the course of excavation, the phenomenon of stratification is of major interest and significance where archaeological finds are below the surface of the ground (as is most commonly the case). Evidence of populations is usually found in 'layers' belonging to a particular period of settlement. In other words, the
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Broadly conceived linguistics is the study of human...

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