About This Chapter
Language and Communication - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Use this chapter to get an introduction to linguistics, the field of study concerned with language forms and usage. We'll help you take a closer look at linguistic subfields focusing on the way we pronounce words and the meanings we attach to them. You can also discover why linguists study changes to language over time and find out how all this relates to the field of anthropology. Lessons included here are designed to teach you about the following:
- Differences between descriptive, historical and sociolinguistics
- The evolution of writing and the alphabet
- The dispersal of languages and dialects
|Language and Language Regions: Definitions & Dialects||Examine the geographical distribution of regional dialects.|
|Historical Linguistics and Anthropology||Learn why anthropologists are concerned with the historical development of language.|
|The World's Major Languages: Development & Diffusion||Follow the development and dispersion of the world's major languages.|
|The Invention of Writing||Discover the regions in which writing emerged, and learn about some of the advantages it provided to ancient societies.|
|History of the Alphabet: From Cuneiform to Greek Writing||Trace the evolution of cuneiform into symbolic phonemes and alphabetical characters.|
|The World's Major Written Languages: Letters & Symbols||Distinguish between languages that use alphabets and languages that use symbols. Examine the geographical distribution of both types.|
|Understanding Sociolinguists: Social and Linguistic Variation||Learn why sociolinguists study the relationship between society and language use.|
|What Are Descriptive Linguistics? - Purpose & Process||Explore the field of linguistics concerned with the morphology and phonology of language.|
1. Language & Language Regions: Definitions & Dialects
Do you know what lolly water is? How about gym boots? In this lesson, you'll consider how word choices, accent and pronunciation are all part of our use of language and how this varies by region.
2. The World's Major Languages: Development & Diffusion
Can you guess the most widely spoken languages in the world? This lesson will explore the evolution of languages and how linguists aim to understand them.
3. The Invention of Writing
Writing, the original IT: This lecture covers the limitations and obstacles of aural transmission. It describes the invention of Cuneiform in the fertile crescent. Finally, it explains how writing enabled literate societies to dominate their pre-literate neighbors.
4. History of the Alphabet: From Cuneiform to Greek Writing
This lecture follows the development of writing, from the pictographs of proto-cuneiform to the symbolic phonemes of cuneiform and hieroglyphics. Then from the abjads of the Phoenecians, Minoans, Hebrews and Arabs to the complete alphabets of the Greeks. It explores the limitations and strengths of each development and draws modern parallels.
5. The World's Major Written Languages: Letters & Symbols
In this lesson, we explore how written language is expressed in different areas of the world. You'll see examples of other languages that operate with their own characteristics to document information important to that culture.
6. Understanding Sociolinguistics: Social and Linguistic Variation
This lesson will seek to explain the study of sociolinguistics and the concept of ethnography. It will highlight the variations that region, class, relationship, and gender cause in language.
7. What Is Descriptive Linguistics? - Purpose & Process
This lesson will seek to explain the field of descriptive linguistics. In doing so, it will highlight the terms phonology, morphology, and syntax while discussing examples from around the globe.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the Anthropology 101: General Anthropology course
- Introduction to Anthropology
- Theoretical Perspectives of Anthropology
- The Molecular and Chromosomal Basis of Inheritance
- Transmission/Mendelian Genetics
- Population Genetics and Evolution
- DNA Damage, Mutation, and Repair
- Physical Anthropology
- Geologic Time and Anthropology
- Archaeology and Anthropology
- The Origin and Dispersal of Humans and Culture
- Effects of Population on the Environment
- Domestication of Plants and Animals
- Ethnicity and Geography
- Geography of Land Resources
- The Nature of Culture
- Art and Anthropology
- Spatial Processes
- Settlement Patterns
- Societies in Anthropology
- Economic Systems
- Marriage, Family, and Kinship
- Political Organization
- Modernization and Application of Anthropology