Talk:Anthropological linguistics

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[Untitled][edit]

The merging with linguistic anthropology was done with some blind cut-n-pasting. I have absolutely no authority on either field so there I may have inadvertantly done something silly. -- Kowey 11:44, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)


David Nettle, in Linguistic Diversity (1998), notes "the amazing fact that the map of language density in the world is the same as the map of species diversity: i.e. where there are more species per unit of area, there will be more languages too." Thus to increase linguistic adaptation and respect for diversity may also be to conserve habitat and increase biodiversity.

This is most certainly bogus result – places with hot climate (with high biological diversity) used to be much more densely populated that the temperate climate zone (with lower biological diversity), which has seen population explosion only after developement of agriculture. As this have happened relatively recently (in linguistic scale), languages of their population can be traced to common origins, and the language diversity of temperate zone is substantially lower than that of other zones.

In cold climate, which has even less biological diversity, language diversity is even greater than in the tropics. Taw 21:30, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

the work under 'recent work' is not very recent anymore... 1996? 1998?--212.87.102.237 16:41, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Linguistic anthropology[edit]

someone split off Linguistic anthropology with an unwikified article saying it is different... I don't know... but, I figure I should link to it so that someone can look. gren グレン 22:08, 9 June 2006 (UTC)


Merge with Linguistic anthropology[edit]

I don't believe the distinction between anthropological linguistics and linguistic anthropology can be upheld in its current form. The distinction as it is written now is a distinction of the term "anthropological linguistics" as used in american linguistics in the early 20th century - but this term is now antiquated and the field of study is simply called Linguistics. The term anthropological linguistics as it is used now adays is mostly used almost synonymously with what is called linguistic anthropology in the present article - that is the sudy of human behavior and culture through language. (see for example William Foleys introduction to Anthropological linguistics). BAsically I propose that thevtwo articles be merged and completely rewritten.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 10:32, 28 March 2007 (UTC)


I most strongly disagree! The issue is simple to delineate: Are we studying Anthropology? or are we studying Linguistics?. The distinction between the two foundations is clearly demonstrated in the the two entries that exist here in Wikipedia. In such a brief note as this, I would suggest that whereas the latter attempts a differential diagnosis based upon a form of binary analysis, the former originates in a more holistic, systems based and inclusive approach. The results yielded from each approach are radically different. They should of course reinforce each other, in much the same way as the study of biology and the field of chemistry do. Clearly no-one would suggest merging these?

LookingGlass 10:46, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Good job![edit]

Just a high five for breaking this topic out and making it more than a stub!Levalley (talk) 00:50, 6 April 2009 (UTC)LeValley

What the Heck?[edit]

There are no published references or citations.

Features of Language[edit]

This section is just a feature of human languages in general, and isn't especially connected with anthropological linguistics. It was added to this article when moved from the article on cultural anthropology, where it was out of place as well. I'm including it below in case a better case for the section and way of integrating it into the article is possible. Ergative rlt (talk) 20:23, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Features of language

  • Duality of Pattering: A system of sounds with a system of meaning. (exp- cat/act/tack have similar phonemes but expressed in different order to convey different meaning)
  • Productivity: A finite set of symbols and rules combined to create an infinite set of novel ideas.
  • Interchangeability: Any human and native speaker of that language can send or receive any message in their language.
  • Arbitrariness: There is no fundamental association with word and its meaning.(exp: cat is in reality larger than a microorganism but word is much smaller)
  • Displacement: Language can be used to talk about topics not currently being experienced.(i.e.-yesterday a cup of the table tipped over and spilled)
  • Specialization: Language only serves the purpose of communication
  • Cultural Transmission: Specifics of language must be learned anew by each person.