Course Description: This course examines the relationship between language and culture. Every human group on record possesses both language and culture. Thus, our exploration will range from the universalistic question of what it means to be human to more particularistic examinations of language use in particular cultural contexts. We will explore questions such as: Do the categories of our language have an affect on the ideas and values we project upon the world? Does our habitual use of language reinforce and recreate social and political relationships? Do languages and patterns of language use vary significantly across cultures, or across different media environments? What role does language play in cultural change? We will pay particular attention to how one goes about studying language use in context, with each student involved in hands-on practicum exercises in the analysis of the role of language use in social life close at hand.
Professor: M. Eleanor Nevins
Office: AB 503