Those distinctions to every pick up you can

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those distinctions to every pick up - you can presumably think more carefully about the different types, notice patterns among them more easily, etc. - One more way in which language affects thought: metaphor (Robbins 2009:128) - Metaphor: use of a word or phrase that means one thing to refer to something else, suggesting that they are similar - “Joe is a snake”: “snake” is a metaphor, suggesting that Joe has the characteristics we associate with snakes: he is stealthy, merciless, dangerous - “foot of the mountain”: “foot” is a metaphor, suggesting that the lower part of a mountain supports it as does the foot of a person or animal - metaphors apply language and the ideas associated with it from one domain of experience to another domain - this causes us to think about the second domain in a way similar to how we think about the first - key metaphors are metaphors that a society uses frequently, in many different domains of experience - Example: American culture uses war as a key metaphor - we constantly describe things in terms of attacking, defending, conquering, destroying, retreating, regrouping, etc.
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Intro to Cultural Anthro F 2011 / Owen: Language and thought p. 6 - we use war metaphors in sports: “they broke through the defense…” - politics: “the rich candidate had us out-gunned, but he stepped on a land mine”; “Don’t retreat, reload!” (Sarah Palin, 2010) - legal cases: “the defense won the case” - arguments: “that is just a personal attack” - personal relationships: “she was just another of his many conquests” - medicine: “after a long battle with cancer…”, etc. - presumably that encourages us to think about those things in certain ways - to focus on certain aspects, and not others - to jump to certain conclusions more easily than to others - to imagine certain responses more easily than others - basically, to think about many different domains of life experience in terms of opposition, conflict, winners and losers, force or violence… - identifying a key metaphor gives you insight into the ideas that run through the whole culture that uses it - “Americans tend to see everything in terms of conflict and opposition…” - a culture that uses one key metaphor - like warfare for Americans - might be different in many, basic ways from a culture that uses a different key metaphor, - like eating and hunger for the Kwakwaka’wakw - which could lead to different views of - how the world works - how to raise children - how to understand and address problems, etc. - In summary, language might affect thought by: - establishing categories to think with (morphemes) - syntax (grammar) that forces speakers to constantly think about gender, status, time, certainty, etc., or that allows them to routinely ignore those things - providing focal vocabularies that aid in detailed, careful thought about certain domains of experience - using metaphors, especially key metaphors, to transfer meanings from one domain to another - So, which comes first, the language, or the categories and ways of thinking about them? - does language reflect culture and thought? - or does language shape culture and thought? - or is it some combination of both?
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