Language and Culture

Fall 1998
Dr. M. J. Hardman



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The central questions we addressed 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:
A very basic introduction to linguistics.
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 and at Japanese.
We read some additional sources for other examples and theoretical perspectives, mostly North American Indian. This included one of the earliest and most original thinkers in the field, Dorothy Lee.

Textbooks
Frank, Francine & Frank Anshen (1984). Language and the Sexes
Hardman, M. J. Aymara Language in its Social and Cultural Context
Hardman, M. J. A Language Sampler for Language & Perception
Lee, Dorothy Freedom and Culture
Russ, Joanna. (1983) How to Suppress a Woman's Writing.
Suzuki, Takao (1978) Words in Context
Elgin, Suzette Haden (1995) You Can’t Say That to Me
Mizutani, Osamu Japanese: The Spoken Language in Japanese Life
Zack, Naomi, ed. (1995) American Mixed Race. Roman & Littlefield

Media:

Video, Suzette Haden Elgin The Universal Translator
Elgin video: Native Tongue & Ë’s language.
A Word in Your Ear
Colville & Fredin
Japanese linguistic postulates
Spirits of the Present #13
Hardman - Stanford Tape
Boarding Schools
In whose honor
Language Includes/Language Excludes

Observations:

Metaphors in black and white
Denial of Agency Pollution of Agency
Double Standard of Content False Categorizing
Isolation Anomalousness
Lack of Models Syntactic ordering
Journalists’Sexist presumptions & #1 DT in nature writing
seminal metaphors, Power Terms & violence metaphors
ranking comparative

Book Presentations:

Elgin Native Tongue, Judas Rose;
Sanday Fraternity Gang Rape
Derivational Thinking Packet
Japanese w/ Sylvia Ashwell
Teen Magazines w/ Addie Sayers


First Set
Black Voices — 8 people
1) Defending Our Name - Loni Guinier, Johnetta Cole, Angela Davis(audiotape)
2) Delaney, Samuel (1977) Jewel-Hinged Jaw p.35L&S
3) 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
4) Wynter, Sylvia Rediscovering 1492: a perspective from the black americas
5) Wynter, Sylvia Columbus and the poetics of the propter nos
6) Jones, William R. "Oppression, Race & Humanism" The Humanist Nov/Dec 1992 w/ accompanying tape available in the language lab
Native American Voices — 4 people
1) Alderete, Wara The Empowerment of Indian Women (Peace & Freedom J/F 92 p. 8)
2) Holm, Tom "Patriots and Pawns: State Use of American Indians in the Military and the Process Nativization in the United States p.345 Jaimes The State of Native America: Genocide, Colonization, and Resistance
3) Jaimes, M. Annetee w/ Theresa Halsey American Indian Women: At the Center of Indigenous Resistance in Contemporary North Americachap XI in The State of Native America Genocie, Colonization & Resistance, Ed. by M. Annette Jaimes, South End Press
4) Mita, Eugenia Condori Man-Woman Dualism in the Andean World
Dorothy Lee — w/ precis of her life — 6 people
1) Lee, Dorothy “Are Basic Needs Ultimate?” p. 70 Freedom and Culture
2) Lee, Dorothy "Autonomous Motivation" p. 15-27 Valuing the Self 1976 Prentice-Hall
3) Lee, Dorothy "Autonomy and Community" p. 28-41 Valuing the Self 1976 Prentice-Hall
4) Lee, Dorothy "Freedom and Social Constraint" p.65-76 Valuing the Self 1976 Prentice-Hall
5) Lee, Dorothy “The Joy of Work as Participation” p. 27 Freedom and Culture
6) Lee, Dorothy "What Price Literacy" p. 42 Valuing the Self 1976 Prentice-Hall

Second Set
Andes
1) Babb, Florence E.(Winter 1980) “Women and Men in Vicos, Perú: A Case of Unequal Development” (Tindale)
2) Hardman, M.J. Review of Susan C. Bourque and Kay Barbara Warren Women of the Andes
3) Hardman, M. J. (1981) “JAQARU COLOR TERMS”, IJAL 47:1
Anthropology
1) Schoepfle, G. Mark, Kenneth Nabahe, Angela Johnson, Lucie Upshaw The Effects of the Great Stock Reduction on the Navajos 1988 p. 58 Diné Be'iina' - A Journal of Navajo Life Winter 1988 Vol. 1, #2
2) Hall, Edward T. “The Navajo and the Hopi” in An Anthropology of Every day Life Doubleday 1991 pp 99-117
3) Martin, Laura "Eskimo Words for Snow" w/ net supplement
Sexism
1) Serbin, Lisa A. & O'Leary, Daniel K. 1975 "How Nursery Schools Teach Girls to Shut Up" pp 57-58, 102 Psychology Today Dcember 1975
2) 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
3) Lakoff, George "Metaphor & War: The Metaphor System Used to Justify War in the Gulf
4) Martin, Emily The egg & the Sperm: How science has constructed a romance based on stereotypical male-female roles 1991 Signs 16:3 pp 485-501
Keller

1) Keller, Evelyn Fox “Dynamic Autonomy: Objects as Subjects” p. 95 Reflections on Gender and Science
2) Keller, Evelyn Fox “A World Of Dofferemcep.158 Reflections on Gender and Science
Tickner
1) Tichner, J. Ann Preface & "Engendered Insecurities" in Gender in International Relations Columbia U Press
2) Tichner, J. Ann "Man, the State, and War: Gendered Perspectives on National Security" in Gender in International Relations Columbia U Press
3) Tichner, J. Ann "Three Models of Man: Gendered Perspectives on Global Economic Security" in Gender in International Relations Columbia U Press

Science Fiction
Le Guin, Ursula K. Left Hand of Darkness
Le Guin, Ursula K. The Word for World is Forest
Tiptree, James Jr. “The Women Men Don’t See”
Vonarburg, Elisabeth In the Mothers’ Land
Tiptree, James Jr. “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?”
Delaney, Samuel Babel 17

Questions for the Final Exam
You will answer four of the following questions, my choice, for the final,
approximately a half hour each. Bring blue books to the exam.

1) How does the material in the Sampler - language structure - lay the groundwork for the rest of the class - the language postulates and worldview? How do the notions of the linguistic postulate and the phoneme interrelate?
2) Using examples, discuss a few of the ways in which the Aymara world-view is distinct from that of English-speakers and how this is represented in that language. Also include examples from other Jaqi languages, from the Sampler, from abstracts, and from lectures.
3) According to Suzuki and Mizutani, how do the Japanese view language? How does this relate to the linguistic postulates of Japanese? How do the culture and languages of the Japanese reflect each other?
4) Discuss Lee’s concept of autonomy. How does she define it? How is her definition represented in the languages and societies you read about in class? How does it relate to other materials we considered in class, such as Keller and other abstracts?
5) We have looked briefly at some North American Indian cultures and at some science fiction to attempt to understand better the interaction between language and culture. How did these sources illustrate such interaction and help in bringing about your understanding? Be specific, cite specific examples, and explain why in each case.
6) Discuss the application of derivational thinking as it helps explain a) the chilly climate for women in science and b) relationship between peoples and nations. How are a) and b) interrelated? How does derivational thinking relate to other materials we considered in class?
7) Based on Russ, Frank and Anshen,Elgin, other class readings, abstracts, audio and video tapes, what misconceptions exist concerning women’s language use in English? In what ways has women's language use been marginalized and by what means? How does women’s language use differ from that of men? How is this different from other languages and societies?
8) If you were to write a science fiction novel, what setting would you choose in relation to the language involved? How would the language impact on the plot?
9) Discuss language contact. Consider what happens when two languages meet giving specific examples. Consider what happens to individuals caught in this contact. How would you relate the readings from the Aymara book with the American Mixed Race book? What do they have in common? What is different? How is language contact related to language and gender and the export of sexism? How can naming be a political act in this context? Include in your discussion the relevant portions of the work of Dorothy Lee, ALSCC, Ticknor, tapes you have listened to, and the abstracts.
10) Why does the concept of mixed race not fit in with American culture? Be sure to describe the relevant linguistic postulates of English as part of your answer.
11) Write an essay in which you discuss what the abstracts have added to the information available to you from this course and to your conprehension of the material.
12) How has your language behavior and your perception of others’ language behavior changed as a result of this course? Be specific, discuss not only the changes but also the background, why the changes. Include Elgin, Russ, as well as the other materials of the course.


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