Culture Language and Perceptions and Point of View

timer Asked: Jan 31st, 2019
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Question Description

Use the article under Information section entitled, Preliminaries, to answer the following questions over Culture, Language and the forming of Perceptions and Point of View (POV). ( The article: see the attached document)

1. What does Sapir mean by ... "language is a guide to social reality" ?

2. What does Whorf mean by ... "linguistic relativity" ?

3. Discuss what is meant by our own language predisposing us to see both reality and other languages through a filter.

4. What effect could these theories have on written text across cultures?

Grading Notes for ALL Papers:

  • Grammar and Structure do matter
  • Pay attention to Tone & Diction, use formal language for academic work unless otherwise instructed.
  • Watch Organization and Structure within each sentence and paragraph.
  • Re-read your work Before you turn it in!
  • You do not need to include a title pg. or headings unless I indicate it in the essay instructions.
  • You must ALWAYS cite your sources, preferably on a separate reference page.
  • When citing, use APA or MLA format. If you are not sure, look them up, or, review them. ASK!
  • I recommend using the format that your major/discipline will use in your work setting so that you begin to learn it.
  • Good reference for citing: Rules for Writers, Diane Hacker & Nancy Sommers

Preliminaries It seems fairly evident that the selection of such simple terms must to a certain extent depend upon the chief interests of a people; and where it is necessary to distinguish a certain phenomenon in many aspects, which in the life of the people play each an entirely independent role, many independent words may develop, while in other cases modifications of a single term may suffice. thus it happens that each language, from the point of view of another language, may be arbitrary in its classification; that what appears as a single simple idea in one language may be characterized by a series of distinct phonetic groups in another. (Boas 1966:22) Boas observed that the effect of this was largely unconscious because the use of language is largely an automatic process which we do not normally pause to reflect on. These observations open the debate in this literature about the relationship between language, culture and thought. To what extent does the particular language we speak determine the way that we think about the world? Perhaps Boas’s most famous student is the anthropologist and linguist Edward Sapir; in the following quotation, we see him proposing the view that the particular language we speak conditions our conceptualization of the world: 2:44 Language is a guide to “social reality”…Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor along in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society…the “real world” is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group. No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached… We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do Because the language habits of our community predispose certain Choices of interpretation…From this standpoint we may think of Language as the symbolic guide to culture. (Sapir 1949b: 162) It seems fair to say that Sapir had a stronger view of the determining role of language than Boas. Stronger still are the views of Benjamin Lee Whorf, a linguist well-known for his work on native American languages, especially the Uto-Aztecan languages of the south west United States and Mexico. Whorf strengthened this idea of the link between language and thought into the notion he called linguistic relativity. Its basic premise is that the way we think about the world is determined by our cultural and linguistic background: 2.45 We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and scribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way – an agreement that holds through our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language. The agreement is, of course, an implicit and unstated one, BUT ITS TERMS ARE ABSOLUTELY OBLIGATORY; we cannot talk at all except by subscribing to the organization and classification of data which the agreement decrees. (Whorf 1956: 213-214) Whorf’s observation is not restricted to word meaning; indeed, he believed that meanings derived from grammatical systems (e.g. notions of number and space in nouns, or aspect and tense in verbs) were even stronger determinants of thought. The idea is that speakers can reflect on word meanings but grammatical systems are largely unavailable to conscious reflection. If this view is correct then our own language predisposes us to see both reality and other languages through its own filter. This would have serious implications for the prospects of a universal semantic theory. It might mean that we could always, with some difficulty and inexactitude, translate from one language to another. But if speaking different languages means that we think in different ways, how could we ever step outside our own language to set up a neutral metalanguage which does not privilege any particular language or language family? Such metalanguages are of course the basis for theories in other areas of linguistics like syntax or phonology. ** taken from: “Meaning, Thought and Reality” pgs. 42 - 43
College-Level Writing Rubric Skilled Able Developing Novice (Way Off) Engaging and full development of a clear thesis as appropriate to assignment purpose. Masterful Competent and welldeveloped thesis; thesis represents sound and adequate understanding of the assigned topic. Mostly intelligible ideas; thesis is weak, unclear, too broad, or only indirectly supported. Mostly simplistic and unfocused ideas; little or no sense of purpose or control of thesis. Shows complete confusion about the topic or inability to grasp it; thus conspicuous absence of thesis and lack of purpose. Consistent evidence with originality and depth of ideas; ideas work together as a unified whole; main points are sufficiently supported (with evidence); support is valid and specific. Organization is sequential and appropriate to assignment; paragraphs are well developed and appropriately divided; ideas linked with smooth and effective transitions. Ideas supported sufficiently; support is sound, valid, and logical. Main points and ideas are only indirectly supported; support isn’t sufficient or specific, but is loosely relevant to main points. Insufficient, nonspecific, and/or irrelevant support. Ideas are extremely simplistic, showing signs of confusion, misunderstanding of the prompt; thesis is essentially missing or not discernable. Lack of support for main points; frequent and illogical generalizations without support. Competent organization, without sophistication. Competent paragraph structure; lacking in effective transitions. Limited attempts to organize around a thesis; paragraphs are mostly stand-alones with weak or nonevident transitions. Organization, if evident at all, is confusing and disjointed; paragraph structure is weak; transitions are missing, inappropriate and/or illogical. Paragraph structure does not exist; or is a single rambling paragraph or series of isolated paragraphs. Audience, Tone, and Point-of View Clear discernment of distinctive audience; tone and point-of-view appropriate to the assignment. Effective and accurate awareness of general audience; tone and point-of-view satisfactory. Little or inconsistent sense of audience related to assignment purpose; tone and point-of-view not refined or consistent. Sentence Structure (Grammar) Each sentence structured effectively, powerfully; rich, well-chosen variety of sentence styles and length. Formulaic or tedious sentence patterns; shows some errors in sentence construction; some non-standard syntax usage. Lacks awareness of a particular appropriate audience for assignment; tone and point-of-view somewhat inappropriate or very inconsistent. Simple sentences used excessively, almost exclusively; frequent errors of sentence structure. No evident awareness of audience as appropriate to assignments; tone completely inappropriate to assignment. Contains multiple and serious errors of sentence structure: i.e., fragments, run-ons. Unable to write simple sentences. Mechanics and Presentation Virtually free of punctuation, spelling, capitalization errors; appropriate format and presentation for assignment. Effective and varied sentences; errors (if any) due to lack of careful proofreading; syntax errors (if any) reflect uses as colloquialisms. Contains only occasional punctuation, spelling, and/or capitalization errors. Few formatting errors. Most errors likely careless. Organization, while attempted, was unsuccessful. Paragraphs were simple, disconnected and formulaic. No evident transitions or planned sequence. Shows almost no awareness of a particular audience; reveals no grasp of appropriate tone and/or point-of-view for given assignment. Sentences show errors of structure; little or no variety; no grasp of sentence flow. Contains several (mostly common) punctuation, spelling, and/or capitalization errors. Several errors in formatting or formatting is inconsistent, Contains many errors of punctuation, spelling, and/or capitalization. Errors interfere with meaning in places. Formatting incorrect in most places. Contains many and serious errors of punctuation, spelling, and/or capitalization; errors severely interfere with meaning. Formatting weak. Exceptional vocabulary range, accuracy, and correct and effective word usage. Good vocabulary range and accuracy of usage. Ordinary vocabulary range, mostly accurate; some vernacular terms. Errors of diction, and usage, while evident, do not interfere with readability. Extremely limited vocabulary; choices lack grasp of diction; usage is inaccurate. Frequent errors in spelling and capitalization; intrusive and /or inaccurate punctuation, communication is hindered. No formatting as appropriate to assignment. Diction and syntax make communication meaningless or very confusing at best. Masterful Skilled Able Developing Focus, Purpose, Thesis (Controlling Idea) Ideas, Support & Development (Evidence) Structure, Organization Vocabulary and Word Usage Novice Saint Mary’s College ~ School of Extended Education (Melanie Booth, Learning Resource Program) Clear absence of support for main points. (Way Off)

Tutor Answer

School: Duke University

Hello, am through. See the attached document

(Insert Your Last Name) 1
Student’s Name

English Discussion 1

1. What does Sapir mean by ... "language is a guide to social reality”?
When Sapir says that "language is a guide to social reality", he means that individuals neither
lives life alone in the world full of social activities nor do they live objectively as it is assumed to
be the case in the ordinary sense. Instead they live ...

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