Essay Sample on Linguistic Anthropology

Published: 2023-10-15
Essay Sample on Linguistic Anthropology
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Linguistics Anthropology
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 619 words
6 min read

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Language helps human beings communicate in ways that are not evidenced in other types of animals. Linguistic anthropology is the study of language concerning how people understand themselves, their world, and their culture. Besides, linguistics is used to show a person’s experience of the world and with other people. As such, linguistics is a vital part of human symbolic creativity in his world.

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The Main Characteristics of Human Language that separate it from Call Systems

Many features separate human communication from that of call centers. First, language is arbitrary, and thus there exists no link between particular lingual sounds and meanings. Therefore, there is no relationship between the features of the language and its purpose. Moreover, language exhibits the trait of openness. This feature of transparency enables people to decode the same message from different points of view. Another main characteristic that separates human language from the call system is the duality of patterning. The duality of patterning is putting together words to bring out a sound that has meanings in communication. Besides, displacement also helps to create the difference between human interaction and that from call systems. Displacement allows people to talk about absent and past objects or future events as easily as they speak about present events. Human language is also semantic because it uses signals to communicate, and thus it associates linguistic cues concerning the societal or cultural environment. Lastly, human language can be used for prevarication, a way of avoiding, telling the truth, or saying what one thinks.

How Cultural Contexts Play a Role in Linguistic Anthropology

Language is a bio-cultural phenomenon. Communication plays a huge role in identifying people socially, being a member of a particular group, and establishing cultural beliefs. Language is also used to transmit cultural norms as it expresses culture and identifies those living within the culture. Anthropologists have identified that languages use arbitrary symbols that stand for other things, so learning a new language is challenging. An example is when an Indian woman working in the British cafeteria, asks if patrons want "gravy." This was not seen as a problem but instead as an encounter that resulted from personal clashes or taken in the light of racial categories which tended to worsen relations that were already bad.

Male-Female Miscommunication

Men and women are believed to communicate differently, and thus they are from different social, and linguistic backgrounds. Therefore, the miscommunication between men and women has nothing to do with their biological status. Therefore, although men and women communicate all the time, they play different roles in interaction, even when not flirting. People often assume that other people exhibit the same communication culture as them, which is why misunderstandings happen.

Examples of Male-Female Communication Patterns

First, women show a greater tendency to ask questions. Most women are seen to ask questions which are aimed at maintaining the routine of social interaction. Also, women show a more significant tendency to use minimal responses such as "mm" and are more likely to use such comments to the end. Women are also more likely to adopt a strategy of silence than men when engaged in a friendly conversation.

Why the Author Believes Males and Females Miscommunicate

The author believes that human beings come from diverse cultures, having been taught to rehearse things in different ways as in communication. When they engage in conversations with each other, cultural miscommunication results, even when they seemed as equals. The author attributes miscommunication to personal biological qualities and culture because men and women are brought up to communicate differently; thus they are from different sociolinguistic backgrounds and has nothing to do with their biological status as male or female

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