Language & Culture

Exam Review

Spring 2004

Dr. M. J. Hardman

Kerry Ham


The central questions we addressed this semester were: Do we, as human beings perceive reality directly? To what degree does language put for us a filter between ourselves and reality? Is it possible to perceive without the filter of language?


The course consisted of the following topics:

How the English language influences and guides the interaction between women and men and how this influences science.

As an extended look at another language and culture as a counter example we looked at the Aymara of South America.

We read some additional sources for other examples and theoretical perspectives, mostly Japanese and Native [First Nation] North American. This last included one of the earliest and most original thinkers in the field, Dorothy Lee.


We have covered the following materials this semester. As you prepare for your exam, be sure that you are able to cite each source at least once in at least one answer.



Elgin, Suzette Haden Language Imperative Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA 2000

Silver, Shirley & Wick R. Miller American Indian Languages U. of Arizona 1997

Hardman, M. J. Aymara Language in its Social and Cultural Context  (Andean Press)

Lee, Dorothy Freedom and Culture Prentice-Hall 1959, reissued 1987 by Waveland Press

Mizutani, Osamu Japanese: The Spoken Language in Japanese Life

Russ, Joanna. (1983) How to Suppress Women's Writing. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Suzuki, Takao  (1978) Words in Context. Akira Miura: Kodansha International

Zack, Naomi, ed. (1995) American Mixed Race.  Roman & Littlefield

Hardman, M. J. - Derivational Thinking Packet:

“Cover Page: Why We Should Say ‘Women and Men’ Until it Doesn’t Matter Any More”

“The Sexist Circuits of English”

“Gender Through the Levels”

“Derivational Thinking, or, Why is Equality So Difficult”

“And if We Lose Our Name, then What About Our Land?”

“Andean Ethnography”



Video, Suzette Haden Elgin The Universal Translator
A Word in Your Ear

Boarding Schools
Colville & Fredin

Spirits of the Present
Japanese linguistic postulates
In Whose Honor
Yoruba Talking Drums


Guest Speakers:

Dr. Ron Kephart – Creoles, ‘Standard English’, and culture.

Glen Owen and Rafiki Sebonde – A Poem in English and Swahili




[Owens] Lakoff, George "Metaphor & War: The Metaphor System Used to Justify War in the Gulf

[Smith] Le Guin, Ursula K. “Left Hand of Darkness” and “Presenting Myself”

[Williams] Miller, D. Gary “Tripartization, Sexism, and the Rise of the Feminine Gender in Indo-European”

[Harper] Martin, Laura "Eskimo Words for Snow"



[Paelmo] Babb, Florence E.(Winter 1980) “Women and Men in Vicos, Perú: A Case of Unequal Development”

[DiBenedetto] Collins, Jane “Translation Traditions and the Organization of Productive Activity: The Case of Aymara Affinial Kinship Terms”

[Collado] Hardman, M. J. (1981) “JAQARU COLOR TERMS”, IJAL 47:1

[Bradley] Hardman, M. J. “One Thousand and One Years of the Spanish Language”, Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress, Fall 1983.


Native American:

[Sebonde] Whorf, Benjamin “A Lingusitics Consideration of Thinking in Primitive Communities,” in Language, Thought and Reality, Carroll, J. (Ed.)

[Bussey] Holm, Tom "Patriots and Pawns: State Use of American Indians in the Military and the Process Nativization in the United States” in p.345 Jaimes The State of Native America: Genocide, Colonization, and Resistance.

[Yoo] Kesinger, K. How Real People Live.

[Owen] Basso, K. “Cibecue and Whitemen” Portraits of the Whiteman.

[Augustin] Basso, K. “Joking Imitations of Anglo-Americans” Portraits of the Whiteman.

[Lara] Hall, Edward T. “The Navajo and the Hopi” in An Anthropology of Every day Life Doubleday 1991 pp 99-117

[Pond] Whorf, Benjamin “The Relation of Habitual Thought and Behavior to Language,” Language, Thought and Reality, Carroll, J. (Ed.)

[Oakes] Witherspoon, G. Language and Art in the Navajo Universe, chapter 1 – Creating the World through Language.



[Middleton] Martyna, Wendy “The Psychology of the Generic Masculine” Women and language in literature & society Sally McConnell-Ginet, Ruth Borker, Nelly Furman 1980, Praeger p 67-78

[Chan] Russ, J. “This is Your Life”

[Higgins] Serbin, Lisa A. & O'Leary, Daniel K. 1975 "How Nursery Schools Teach Girls to Shut Up" pp 57-58, 102 Psychology Today December 1975



[Benkert] Lacour, Claudia Brodsky Doing Things with Words: "Racism" as Speech Act and the Undoing of Justice in Race-ing Justice, En-Gendering Power ed. Morrison, Toni

[Lopez] Jones, William R. "Oppression, Race & Humanism" The Humanist Nov/Dec 1992 w/ accompanying tape available in the language lab


Science Fiction:

[Owens] Nestvold, R. “Looking through Lace”

[Chan] LeGuin, U. “Solitude”

[DiBenedetto] LeGuin, U. “The Matter of Seggri”

[Smith] LeGuin, U. “Paradises Lost”

[Bussey, Lara, Sebonde] Tiptree, J. “Houston, Houston, Do You read?”

[Yoo, Collado] Tiptree, J. “The Women Men Don’t See”

[Paelmo] LeGuin, U. The Left Hand of Darkness

[Williams] Cherryh, C. J. Foreigner

[Pond] Aranson, E. A Woman of the Iron People

[Middleton] Hopkinson, N. Midnight Robber

[Bradley] Hopkinson, N. Brown Girl in the Ring

[Higgins] Moon, E. Remnant Population

[Oakes] Slonczewski, J. A Door into Ocean

[Owen] Butler, O. E. Parable of the Sower

[Lopez] Elgin, S. Native Tongue

[Benkert] Vance, J. The Languages of Pao

[Augustin] LeGuin, U. “The Birthday of the World”


Book Presentations:

Thomson, Amy The Color of Distance

LeGuin, Ursula Always Coming Home

Oyewumi, Oyeronke The Invention of Women



Metaphors in black and white
Denial of Agency

Pollution of Agency
Double Standard of Content

False Categorizing

Lack of Models

Ranking comparative

Seminal metaphors & Violence metaphors

Passive Exonerative

Syntactic ordering

Online Resources:

Sample Lack of Models papers

Sample Language Ecology papers

Sojourner Truth’s "Ain’t I a Woman" speech

Other resources from Dr. Hardman’s homepage