Saturday, February 12, 2011
Linguistics and the Study of History
From the anthropological perspective, linguistics cannot be separated from history. In fact, language cannot be understood to any true resolve without considering the history surrounding it. As linguist and father of the “linguistic relativity” concept, Benjamin Whorf (1897–1941), said a century ago, “studying language and studying culture is the same thing.” Yes, linguistics, in the broad sense of the term, does mean the physical components relating to “sound production,” i. e., place of articulation, manner of articulation, phonetics, and morphology, but none of that has real relevance without cultural context. And since every culture is dynamic and ever changing, the past (both written and oral tradition) must be factored in. Read more . . .