This module introduces linguistic anthropology and a critical exploration of the relationship between language, culture, and social organisation. Indicative topics covered are: language and thought in the history of anthropology; the rudiments of linguistic description; language as a social phenomenon; oratory and ritual speech; the significance of the written word and literacy; speech variation; the links between language; social structure and culture; linguistic aspects of symbolism; the relationship between words and categories; colour classification and universalist versus relativist theories.
Total contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 126
Total study hours: 150
BSc Anthropology and associated programmes
BA Social Anthropology and associated programmes
Method of assessment
Essay, 2000 words (20%)
Examination, 2 hours (80%)
Reassessment instrument: 100% coursework
E. Ardener (ed.) Social anthropology and language.
R. Bauman and J. Sherzer (ed.) Explorations in the ethnography of speaking.
R. Casson (ed.) Language, culture and cognition.
W. Foley, Anthropological Linguistics, A. Duranti, Linguistic Anthropology.
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 demonstrate a broad outline knowledge of anthropological approaches to the study of language;
8.2 competently assess evidence and articulate theories concerning the relationship between language, culture, and social organisation;
8.3 evaluate critically arguments and data in the field of anthropological linguistics.
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