ANTH 340 Language and Culture

Language, the complex symbolic system of our species, has the power to index, refer to, frame and reframe social reality. Cultures, shared symbolic and interactional systems, both shape and are shaped by language and its use. This course will explore speech communities around the world, their social practices and the language schemata which ground them: the quotidian instance of asking for a drink in Indonesia, the ritual of trading insults in inner city Detroit, the routine of formal and phatic greetings among the Kuna.