Linguistic Anthropology Essay
Ever since I was seven years old, I’ve wanted to be a writer; more specifically, a poet. I think for my chosen profession, linguistic anthropology would benefit me better than any other field of anthropology. According to the Department of Anthropology of California State University, “Linguistic anthropologists are interested in how many languages there are, how those languages are distributed across the world, and their contemporary and historical relationships.
We are also interested in language variation, why variations exist, how the variations are used (i.e. , do you say ‘tomAto’ or ‘tomahto’?! ), and what they mean when they are used in various contexts. ” (University, C. S, 2013). In order to be a truly great writer, I believe that one must travel the world and see different locations in order to see how people communicate differently from myself. Meaning, how people form their verbs, etc. on a daily basis.
The more I know about a culture and a language, the easier it will be for me to come up with a setting and/or to develop a character’s personality based on a type of dialect. (i. e. whether I would want a character to speak in slang or very proper) A good example of this is my interest and love for the French language. I took three years of it in high school. Laura K. Lawless explains the differences between French and English languages.
“French and English are related languages in a sense, because French is a Latin language with German and English influence, while English is a Germanic language with Latin and French influence. Thus there are some similarities between them, most notably the same alphabet and a number of true cognates.
” (Lawless, 2013). Here are some examples of how the two languages differ: When it comes to stressed and unstressed syllables, the French stress at end of each rhythmic group, while the English tend to stress syllables in each word, plus stress on important word. The French language also uses certain verbs that require prepositions, while the English language uses many verbs without prepositions. (Lawless, 2013). A cultural lens would be helpful in my chosen profession because, as writer Layng Wong so eloquently puts it:
“As writers we can weigh in on the discussion. Walking in someone else’s shoes and seeing the world through their eyes cultivates humanity. Historical and cultural details add emotional intensity and further deepen your characters. Awareness builds understanding. ” (Wong,2013). I agree with Wong whole-heartedly on this point in order to get a true feeling of what subject one’s writing about, the author, even a poet must study and immerse themselves into a culture in every way possible.
Bibliography Lawless, L. K. (2013). Differences between french and english . Retrieved from http://french. about. com/od/lessons/a/differences. htm University, C. S. (2013. ). Linguistic anthropology.
http://www. csulb. edu/colleges/cla/departments/anthropology/linguistic-anthropology/ Wong, L. (2013, March 16). Looking through the cultural lens. Retrieved from http://laynewong. com/looking-through-the-cultural-lens/