Language and Communication 1. Nature and Development of Language 2. Structure of Language 3. Language and Culture 4. Nonverbal Communication Nature and Development of Language •Nature of Language-a symbolic system of sounds that when put together a certain way convey meaning. •Some words have totally arbitrary meaning. –*i.e. Cow-doesn't have anything to do with fourfooted animal that gives milk. Diversity of Language •Linguists estimate that approximately 6,000 discrete languages exist. •Examples: – Indo-European 150 languages. –Amerind over 600 languages Indo-European Amerind CommunicationHuman vs. Non-human •Open and Closed Systems –Open system-humans can put different sounds together to make new meanings. Infinite amount of messages. –Closed system-when an animal cannot combine elements of two or more calls in order to develop a new call. •Displacement –human characteristic to convey information about a thing or event that is not immediately present. Teaching non-human primates sign language. • Chimpanzees – http://www.cwu.edu/~cwuchci/bios/main_bio. htm • Gorillas – http://www.koko.org/friends/index.html • Also, bonobos (pygmy chimps) computer communication skills. – http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwlrc/biographies/pbp z.html Development of Language •Early Hypotheses– Egyptian pharaoh reared two infants without letting them hear any voices, figured they would speak original language. –King James IV of Scotland tried the same thing and said thy spoke hebrew-go along with biblical scholars. –Swedish philospher of 17th century believed otherwise. In the Garden of Eden-God spoke Swedish, Adam and Eve spke Danish, and the serpent spoke French. Development of Language •Scientific hypotheses–Human language requires that the larynx be farther down in the throat than other primates. –Archaeologically this is hard to preserve, muscle and cartilidge. –Broca's area of the brain-sets speech aparatus in motion. Evolution of speech •Very gradual, but probably came with H. Erectus (ca. 1mya) for several reasons. –position of larynx assoc with flexion at base of skull, skull with flat base assoc with high larynx as in primates. •Australopithecus-flat base, H. habilis not enough evidence, H. erectus some flexion, Archaic H. sapiens full flexion. Structure of Language •Building blocks of language-phonology and grammar. •Phonology-sounds of a language, individual sounds are called phonemes. •Grammar-rules unique to each language. Governed by two aspects: Morphology and Syntax. –Morphology-the combination of phonemes to form meaningful units. These units are morphemes-the smallest units of speech that convey meaning. –Syntax-the principles guiding how these words are arranged into phrases and sentences. Language and Culture •Culture influences language-particularly with vocabularly, any language will emphasize important words. •Language influences culture-or even determines a culture, actually shapes our thoughts and perceptions. –Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis •Sociolinguistics –The study of how people speak to one another in any given society. The relationship between language and social structure. –Diglossia –Dialects Nonverbal Communication •Hand Gestures-we use them everyday, gesturing while we're talking or pointing. Some are crosscultural, others are not- such as OK symbol. •Eye Contact-varies from culture to culture. U.S./Japan/Arabic groups •Touching-Some cultures are high-touch, while others are low-touch. High-touch=E. Europeans, Jews, and Arabs. Low-touch=N. Europeans such as Germans and Scandinavians. American Gestures • COMMON GESTURES – Americans are a not touch (touch/not touch)oriented. – In normal social situations, Americans generally stand about 30 inches apart from one another, which is also considered their personal "comfort zone." – At sporting events or the theater, Americans usually slide into a crowded aisle while facing forward (forward/the people). RIGHT, WRONG, OR RUDE • • • • • • • • • Handshake - Although generally adopted around the world. Southeast Asians press together; Japanese bow; Middle Easterners and many Asians favor a gently grip. DIRECT EYE CONTACT - Asians, Puerto Ricans, West Indians, African American, Native Americans considered it to be rude, or disrespectful, or intimidating, or may indicate sexual overtones. WAVING - "No" to most Europeans. Europeans raise the arm and "Bob" the hand up and down at the wrist." BECKONING - Europeans and Asians raise the arm, palm facing down, and make a scratching motion with fingers. In Australia and in Indonesia, curling the index finger is used for beckoning animals. "V" FOR VICTORY--In England, palm facing inward toward the face is an obscene gesture. THE O.K GESTURE--In France it means zero. In Japan it means money or coins. In Brazil, Germany, and the former USSR., it is obscene gesture. THUMBS UP --Also used for hitch-hiking in American. In Nigeria a rude gesture. In Australia, if pumped up and down is an obscene gesture. In Germany and Japan, the signal for "one." WHISTLING--Throughout Europe, whistling at public events is a signal of disapproval, even derision. NODDING AND SHAKING HEAD--Opposite meaning in Bulgaria, parts of Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Iran, and Bengal.