SubjectsSubjects(version: 867)
Course, academic year 2019/2020
Language and culture: an introduction - AAA130195
Title: Language and culture: an introduction
Guaranteed by: Department of the English Language and ELT Methodology (21-UAJD)
Faculty: Faculty of Arts
Actual: from 2019 to 2019
Semester: summer
Points: 0
E-Credits: 3
Examination process: summer s.:
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:0/2 C [hours/week]
Capacity: unknown / 13 (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Additional information:
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
Teacher(s): Eva Maria Luef, M.A., Ph.D.
Annotation -
Last update: PhDr. Gabriela Brůhová, Ph.D. (09.12.2019)
Linguistic anthropology studies the relationship between language and culture, as well as the linkages between language, culture, and cognition. Language is defined as the common human condition, which is also a fundamental mode of diversity across communities, and considered an integral part of culture – the sum of knowledge and practices shared by members of a community. This course provides an overview of important and current topics in the field and focusses on the question of how linguistic variation and categorization can be investigated from an anthropological perspective. In addition, research methods, including digital means to study culture and language, will be discussed. Students will become familiar with philosophical ideas, sociolinguistic models, and anthropological theories that have inspired the anthropology of language. An up-to-date review of the latest theories and findings in all the key areas will be presented alongside famous and influential studies that have shaped anthropological approaches to language in the past.
Course completion requirements -
Last update: PhDr. Gabriela Brůhová, Ph.D. (09.12.2019)

-          Short oral presentation in class (weeks 10, 11)

-          Midterm exam (week 7)

-          Final exam

Literature -
Last update: PhDr. Gabriela Brůhová, Ph.D. (09.12.2019)

Dunbar, R. I. M. (2004). Gossip in evolutionary perspective. Review of General Psychology, 8/2, 100-110.

Duranti, A. (2003). Linguistic anthropology. Cambridge, UIK: Cambridge University Press.

-          The scope of linguistic anthropology (chapter 1, pp. 1-22).

-          Ethnographic methods (chapter 4, pp. 84-121(

-          Transcription: From writing to digitized images (chapter 5, pp. 122-161).

Duranti, A. (2009). History of linguistic anthropology. In A. Sujoldzic (Ed.), Linguistic Anthropology: UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. Oxford, UK: Eolss Publishers.

Everett, D. L. (2008). Don’t sleep, there are snakes: Life and language in the Amazonian jungle. New York: Random House.

Freeberg, T. M., Dunbar, R. I., and Ord, T. J. (2012). Social complexity as a proximate and ultimate factor in communicative complexity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 367, 1785-1801.

Jones, T. (2015). Toward a description of African American Vernacular English dialect using “Black Twitter“. American Speech, 90/4, 403-440.

Kamwangamalu, N. M. (2003). Globalization of English, and language maintenance and shift in South Africa. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 164, 65-81.

Lupyan, G., and Dale, R. (2016). Why are there different languages? The role of adaptation in linguistic diversity. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20/9.

Martin, L. (1986). Eskimo words for snow: A case study in the genesis and decay of an anthropological example. American Anthropologist, 88/2, 418-423.

Sacks, H., Schegloff, E. A. and Jefferson, G. (1974). A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language, 50/4, 696-735.

Salzmann, Z. (2004). Language, culture, and society. Oxford, UK: Westview Press.

Syllabus -
Last update: PhDr. Gabriela Brůhová, Ph.D. (09.12.2019)



Required Readings



Preview of the course: goals, readings, requirements, grading

Introduction to linguistic and cultural anthropology

Duranti, 2003: 1-22



The beginnings of modern linguistic anthropology

Duranti, 2009: 263-278



Language, culture, and worldview

Martin, 1986

Everett, 2008: 209-223



Debating the effects of social, physical, and technological environments on language

Lupyan and Dale, 2016



The ‘Social Complexity Hypothesis‘: A cognitive perspective on the development of compositionality

 Freeberg et al., 2012



The primordial scene of socio-cultural life: Conversational exchanges from an anthropological viewpoint

 Sacks, Schegloff & Jefferson, 1974

Dunbar, 2004



Midterm exam



Fieldwork in linguistic anthropology

Duranti, 2003: 84-161



Digital linguistic anthropology: The case of AAVE

Jones, 2015



Ideal and real speech communities: In the field and on social media


Students present


Creating social identities through literacy practices, oral folklore, and spoken art


Students present


Language vitality, death, and revitalization: The role of English

Kamwangamalu, 2003



Linguistic anthropology in the contemporary world

Salzmann, 2004: 292-308

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