Q4. Evaluate the statement, "Some languages that are spoken today are older than others," using material from Language Myths (I suggest looking at chapters 1, 9, and 19), and/or lectures. To what extent is it possible to identify the age of a language?
Languages play an instrumental role in the communication of communities as well as the preservation of the culture and traditions of the people. Words are believed to be in the process of evolution as human beings evolve, which is an instrumental aspect of any community that uniquely identifies them as unique (Heggarty, 2007). Today, about 7000 languages in total are spoken in the world today with the words belonging to different language families and estimated to have started thousands of years ago (Belew & Simpson, 2018). Before languages, humans used sounds and gestures that were primitive in nature as a means of communication (Heggarty, 2007). Therefore, some languages spoken today are older than others, which depend on the oldest record of the word ever discovered. However, some languages which were not recorded earlier than others can be disadvantaged by this method used to date languages.
The ages of languages are determined by the time they appeared in written text and the use of the word in the present (Heggarty, 2007). The cuneiform script represents the earliest language on record ever discovered in the world, and it was found in Mesopotamia and believed to have been recorded in the 8th millennium BC. The age of languages is determined by different methods that range from the dating of the earliest forms of communications ever documented and also the use of scientific methods such as estimating the anatomical and genetic features evolution associated with language or speech production (Heggarty, 2007).
Different modern languages have been developed in alignment with the growing technology which has been instrumental in the dating of different styles. Apart from using the earliest records of a word to date the languages and establish the age of writing the use of the phonemic diversity and cognates can be used to compare and date the age of different styles (Perreault & Mathew, 2012). The use of phonemic diversity and cognates helps to resolve the existing challenge in language dating which is marred with uncertainty due to the use of genetic dating with the discovery that even Neanderthals possessed speech genes in humans today which makes the gene dating approach inefficient in dating languages (Perreault & Mathew, 2012). Besides, the phonemic diversity is a better dating method because it can be used to measure the age of different languages which is limited in the case of genetic and earliest record method (Perreault & Mathew, 2012). In some cases, recording of words depended on the availability of writing technology and not basically on the age of the word, which makes the method flawed with opportunities for errors.
The phonemic diversity method of dating languages depends on the units of sound consonants tones and vowels in a style which varies from one language to another depending on the time that the word has been evolving (Perreault & Mathew, 2012). The phonemic diversity also proves as an excellent method of dating languages because it is statistically supported by containing different statistical signal. The phonemic diversity varies from one style to another, and also phonemic diversity varies depending on the population size that communicates a specific language (Perreault & Mathew, 2012). These elements, in addition to the fact that phonemic diversity evolves in line with culture and very slowly makes it an essential modern language dating system. The use of phonemes instead of cognates, which are highly shared between languages, makes it possible to date languages which may have diverged from a common ancestral language (Perreault & Mathew, 2012).
Q7. Describe what pseudowriting is and why it was used in this specific instance. Using the concept of indexicality, explain why a writer use a simulation of a writing system that neither the reader nor the writer understands.
Pseudo-writing refers to the use of characters that have the appearance of writing, but they are not readable in any script (Andrassy&Kammerzell, 2009). This can include the incorporation of the characters in general literature or a specific system of characters. Pseudo-writing resembles writing but does not convey any linguistic information and can be used in writing to improve the aesthetics of the writing, such as the incorporation of the ancient language characters or choreography. Pseudo-writing in ancient cultures such as the Egyptian and Chinese dynasties used the method as a sign of prestige and also aesthetic beauty in which the writings were hanged in houses to show class and affluence (Haring, 2018). Pseudo-writing in the ancient times did not require specific or actual text because, at the time, there was a low literacy level, and it was used for only writing purposes and not ideally to convey information. Pseudo-writing was also encouraged at the pre-literate levels where children were encouraged to make scribbling emulating ancient characters in preparation for actual literacy (Andrassy&Kammerzell, 2009). The origin of writing is highly associated with pseudo-writing, which involved the use of graphics that did not have any particular linguistic meaning. For instance, in Egypt, the hieroglyphics were used for aesthetic purposes and encouraged the development of linguistic instigated graphics later. In some cases, pseudo-writing was used in the places of worship, cemeteries, and even marking sacred areas. In the case of the Zoo, hieroglyphics were used to denote the Africanness of the animals in the Zoo and indicates the culture and also a time in civilization, which creates an Egyptian identity.
Indexicality refers to the words that can take different meanings depending on the author because in the extensive extent writing is used to denote specific context that is best known to themselves alone (Jaffe &Coupland, 2016). Indexicality connects to the circumstances and the context of the author at the time of the writing. In the case of the Zoo, the author uses hieroglyphics that neither he nor the audience understands as an approach of creating beauty and invigorating the reader attention. The hieroglyphics adds beauty to the drawing and also gives the picture an Egyptian background because the hieroglyphics are typical in Egypt (Haring, 2018). The author aimed at adding the context of the drawing for the Zoo visitors, which is a representation of the Egyptian history and creates an explicit description of the Egyptian culture and identity.
Q9. Ask a thoughtful question about the relationship between language and culture to which you do not currently know the answer. This question might be related to an issue raised in class or in one of the texts. Using the analytical and conceptual tools of this course, discuss (in general) how someone might go about finding a satisfactory answer to the question.
In general, culture is defined as the behavior and customs of a specific group of people within the community. Therefore, they get identified by how they conduct daily activities. Cultural values and beliefs are taught from generation to another so that future generations can know their origin and ancestry. Culture shapes the morals of a particular group of people by distinguishing what is right from wrong. It also incorporates and dictates the social and religious values of a community. Each category of people has adopted a precise technique of conducting activities; thus, it gets easy to give value socially.
Language, on the other hand, gets adopted dependent on the region in which a person is born. Therefore, researchers have conducted various studies to prove the relationship between language and culture. A word is also a form of self-identification with a particular group. People use it as a tool to find a sense of belonging to society. For example, people of the same ethnicity speak the same language, and that is how they group themselves when it comes to matters concerning ethnic groups.Practically, writing has a great relationship with gestures and symbols that society gets to associate to ensure proper communication (Tsui & Tollefson, 2017). Note that culture overpowers language because it provides the basis for the word to get developed effectively. Therefore, the discussion involves depicting the relationship between language and culture and how they get designed expertly.
The different values in culture provide the context of pronouncing and giving meaning to separate words. For instance, in Europe, a good day is used to describe a sunny day. Note that in other parts of the world it is majorly interpreted as a prosperous or peaceful day. Individuals that want to promote the usage of local lingo have better reasons to examine how the cultures operate in the first place before applying the words. Therefore, plans can be made to maintain the use of the data and resources to ensure the spread of the particular can get acquired to ensure the language is effectively embraced (Quinn, 2016). Therefore, the studies for language and culture, thus, require proper facts before certain words get a different articulation and meaning in the process of creating a better basis for its spread. When a communicative event occurs, individuals diverse to a local integration where cultural flows prevail and individuals become free to socialize in the manner, they were used to in the upbringing process. Language and culture can be separated since style can create different realities without the intervention of culture. In the psychological perspective, the two concepts are indivisible because people carry the experience they had throughout their learning and remain with it even if they move to different nations.
Languages can get analyzed out of its context in culture because people articulate the words differently depending on the location. Moreover, words contain different meanings, depending on how it is pronounced. It could be concluded that culture and language have a relationship. However, the argument has different information since researchers have varied data from the findings of current studies. Individuals should; however, practice culture to ensure other generations are not misled from engaging in the right activities. The discussion of language and culture requires proper research because individuals have different views on the topic.
Q10. Using the concepts of metalanguage and indexicality developed in this course, explain this unusual Western cultural and linguistic practice of permanently marking your body in a language you don't understand.
Hanzi Smatter blog was dedicated to individuals that misuse characters of Chinese in the culture of Westerners. Therefore, the concept of meta-language is portrayed in the discussion because the Chinese are offended when individuals from the West copy their tattoos, which may have an impact on their lives. As a community, they have cultural reasons for placing the characters. The people from the West are placing the symbols for fun since they think it is a trend of a way of getting recognized by society. The term seems complicated, but it stands for words or symbols for speaking about a specific language. Note that it is rationally understood as words used in defining the style. Hence, considered essential in communication and embracing the different aspects of language (Davey & Zhao, 2019).
For students, Meta-language assists in correctly understanding the information, a teacher is passing. Therefore, the discussion involves explaining the Meta-language concepts and exposing why Western cultura...
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