Re: Linguistic issues and anthropology

Mr. E (jackechs@EROLS.COM)
Sun, 11 Feb 1996 20:34:20 -0500

But Rubster ... this is the very question I asked you that you ignored and
later labeled in your lofty wisdom as feminist-baiting. While Mr. Kephart
was gracious enough to answer in a very timely manner. May I ask what your
goal in teaching is ... if it's not to teach? When one of your students
asks a question do you jump up and point your finger at their heart growling
"feminist-baiter" begone? Or do you instruct them?

At 05:57 PM 02/11/96 -0500, Ruby Rohrlich wrote:
>Your statement could not have been better phrased. Of course, that is
>why linguistics is one of the four fields of anthropology. What's
>amazing is the number of anthropologists on this list who seem to have
>had no training in linguistics, or if they have had, didn't internalize
>it and apply it to everyday communication, and to the significance of the
>fact that as culture changes, so does language. The resistance to
>accepting changes in language that accord with culture changes is what's
>incredible in anthropologists. Ruby Rohrlich
>On Sun, 11 Feb 1996, Ronald Kephart wrote:
>> In message <> "Mr. E" writes:
>> > The anthropological point to this ... how does "contemporary linguistic
>> > issues" relate to anthropology directly? While it is obvious to me that we
>> > should be sensative and conduct ourselves in such a matter in our
>> > interactions with our peers in civilized society; I do not clearly see
>> > anthropology directly relates to this. Why it's an anthropologists
>> > responsibility to do so outside of being a human in itself. Any ideas?
>> Linguistics issues, contemporary and otherwise, relate to anthropology
>> language is (to paraphrase Derek Bickerton: see his recent Language and Human
>> Behavior) the secondary representational system which allows humans to
>> culture (as opposed to chimp proto-culture). As such, language gives us
>> representations which can we can manipulate internally ("thinking") and
which we
>> can also share with others ("communication"). Those representations
include the
>> labels we use for ourselves and others. To ignore linguistic issues is to
>> ignore the thing that most defines us as Homo sapiens sapiens; in my opinion,
>> anthropology cannot afford to do that and still call itself "the science of
>> humankind."
>> Ronald Kephart
>> Department of Language & Literature
>> University of North Florida
>> Jacksonville, FL 32224
>> ph: 904-646-2580
>> e-mail:

respectfully submitted,

Anthony Dauer

"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources
of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." Bertrand
Russell, Earl Russell (1872-1970) An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Franklin Delano
Roosevelt (1882-1945) First Inaugural Address [March 4, 1933].

"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly (1913-1973), Pogo

Copyright 1996 Anthony Dean Dauer. All rights reserved.