#1 Have you ever observed people using “baby talk” when communicating with an infant? How do people in your cultural environment interact with a pre-verbal child? Which way of interacting with a pre-verbal child seems better to you, the one displayed by Katie’s mother or the one used by Bage’s mother (both described in Ahearn, chapter 3)? Make sure to address all parts of the topic in your post.
1) I grew up with many younger siblings and as with most Middle Eastern families, so did my friends, so I have been around babies my entire life. I have noticed that men and women interact and talk with babies differently. For example, women tend to make their voice squeakier or more high pitched than it normally is. I did notice that this happens more frequently in However, I have noticed that men often do not do this and simply continue talking to babies in their normal voice. Of course, not everyone is like this and different people have their individual ways of interacting with children.
I think it is important for people to interact with babies, even if they do not understand. Katie’s mother is a better way of interacting with children than Bage’s mother. The more babies are exposed to language, the more likely they are to recognize and understand words as they grow. I think it is also important for children to be exposed to different dialects, accents, tones in the voice, and facial expressions. Children who are exposed to different tones, such as anger with specific words or joy with specific words. This also helps children to understand the emotional state in which certain words are used to expressed those emotions. Facial expressions are also important because they help children distinguish different emotions and help them practice expressions to help them communicate when they are older.
2)I’d have to say in my experience, while most people I’ve seen interacting with babies will use a higher pitch than normal, most don’t make baby noises, which is what I’ve always thought of as “baby talk.” Children will often babble, coo, mimic, or make up silly sounds, but the adults mostly will use full English, just with a cutesy voice. I don’t think there is a “better” and certainly not a “best” way of interacting with a pre-verbal child, although I am partial to the style of Katie’s mother.
My mom used to run a daycare out of our home, and there was one boy that had severe speech impediments all because his mother never let him speak for himself, and when he did speak, she would just accept whatever he said, rather than teaching him. That seems like the example of Bage’s mother taken to an unhealthy extreme, but it’s the closest I’ve come to personally witnessing that style. I’d have to say that style doesn’t work at that point, but my example is after the child was verbal, while the example from the book said that once the child is verbal, the mother pushes him to interact with others. From my experience in other courses, I’d have to say that’s the important part of language acquisition. It’s not so important how the family and community interact with the child, it’s just important that the child is exposed.
#2 Have you ever written or received a hand-written love letter? Do you think it is a dying genre that will be entirely replaced by electronic media or is there still a place in today’s world for love letters and letter-writing?
1) I have never received a love letter, as far as I can remember, or written one before, but I think it’s a real cool way to show support and care. Even though I have not received a love letter before, I know my mom has. To me, love letters are very respected especially when there is much effort put into them, but I do believe it is a dying genre. Electronic media has taken a very large toll in today’s society and has replaced a lot of message delivery. Nowadays, people can easily send an email, private message, Facebook, text, and many other messages through the Internet and other electronics.
I think that it a true lost that hand written letters are not as popular or not a large form of message delivery. I think there is something special about a hand written letter in general whether it’s a love letter or not. During my sophomore year, I was studying on campus and as I about to sit down I saw a folded paper that said “Dear Stranger” on the seat, and being curious I opened it and read through the whole letter. It was from an anonymous person who wrote to the letter as a way to show their affection and support for the reader. I still have this note to this day, and it is filled with encouragement with a line that states, “All will be well. You have a wonderful future ahead of you.” It also mentions that it was met for me and that this person would be thinking and “holding their breath in anticipation for your happiness.” Signed as Wings
So I can say that letter writing does hold a purpose and that whoever does write out a letter has put effort into it. It may be lacking in today’s society, but letter writing in general is something creative, especially if it’s for a loved one.
2) Love Letters? What are those???? I may only be 20 years old but I can say I never received a hand written letter in the mail let alone love letter. I think it is sad that my generation of kids was the beginning of technology and then todays generation of kids is taken over by technology. I absolutely believe writing letters in general is a dying genre that will 100% be replaced by electronic media.
When I was in middle school me and my friends used to write letters to each other. They were not real letters they were about our everyday middle school drama and we would write little love notes to our boyfriends but I would not consider that a love letter. Now kids today text and snapchat each other. I have two little brothers who are in middle school and they probably do not even know how to properly write a letter and that is sad. Now, even I, just text people what we want to say and they get the message and most of the time respond immediately. I wish writing letters in general was still a thing. I think it would be cute to send your friend a letter and be excited to get one in the mail. I find love letter to be romantic and sweet and my generation and the generations after me will never get to experience that.
We see all these movies that have handwritten letters like “The Notebook” and “Dear John” and we see how romantic that can be but that is not reality because no one does that anymore. I think the only the love letter legacy will carry is through the military and when couples write each other but even then I think a lot of that will go away with email. Only time will tell but as for now I think it is definitely a dying genre.
#3 In your post address one of the two topics listed below. Make sure that your post addresses the topic and questions it includes:
1. Do you speak more than one language? If you do, do you think differently in each of the languages you speak? In what ways? For example, my native language is Polish yet it is easier for me to talk about anthropology in English. I got my PhD in anthropology at Brandeis U. where I studied and, later, did my research in English, which makes it easier for me to use that language for anthropology. What about you? Are any topics easier for you to talk/think/write about in one language than the other?
2. Many states in the US adopted English Only laws. In your post, give two reasons in favor of English Only legislation and two reasons against it. Which ones do you find more compelling? Looking forward to your thoughtful posts!
For multilingualism, look up Ahearn, Chapter 6.
1) Chapter four of the course book talks about how language influences a person`s thought process. This means that thinking and having a strong grasp of a particular language influences one`s predisposition on certain things in life.
Personally, I speak more than one language, and English and Arabic are the two languages. Arabic is my native language, but I use English quite often. Before I enrolled in this class, I did not think much about how my thought process is organized but I can now related to the role played by language in the thought process.
I tend to find it easier to think in English rather than in Arabic when studying. This is may be because most of my course books are in English and even most of my instructional materials are in English. Besides that, I tend to believe that thinking in Arabic and then translating that to English while writing would be difficult for me since there are things that would not retain the same meaning if translated directly from Arabic to English..
In fact, if I chose to think in Arabic and write in English, I believe that I would make many errors since the two languages are not compatible in terms of structure.
That said, when doing the informal writing I do not really take into consideration which language I think in because my main concern is usually to get a message across rather than be grammatically correct. So when discussion family matters, politics or religion with friends and family, my native language serves just well when thinking as well as talking.
2) For this post I will be focused on the first topic questions.
I am bilingual in English and in my native language which is Navajo. With English, I can speak casually and easily because with English there are simpler terms and with today’s society, almost anything can become a word (i.e. smol, doggo, bae, etc.) unlike Navajo, when there is something new we can’t just come up with a simple word. Our language is very descriptive and any new item is given a name based off of other words that we already have. As an example for English we have the word “chair” translated to Navajo it becomes “bikáá’ dah asdáhí” which with the real English translation is actually “an object on the surface of which one sits at an elevated position.” Each part of a Navajo word has it’s own meaning and it’s own history as to how that word came to be.
Not to mention the way a sentence is arrange where English will mostly, if not always, starts with a noun, place, and includes a verb that already has a form of tense whether past, present, or future. With Navajo it becomes more complicated with the place set at the end of a sentence, and depending on the amount of people included in the sentence the verb will change. To be a little more specific there are actually nine forms of one verb, and it depends on how many people are included in the action, if it’s just the speaker, just two people, or a group of three or more. With these three categories it is them set apart by who is talking about whom and what tense everything is happening.
When I do speak Navajo I usually do it with close family and friends, especially elders who many only speak Navajo. With friends it’s easier to use Navajo in a more joking manner, but with adults, I would speak with a more serious tone because our language is said to be sacred and pure without any words of profanity.
The main topic that I talk to people in Navajo would be about our native traditions and ceremonies that can’t easily be explained in English. Some of these traditions include songs and stories that can only be mentioned during certain times of the year. Like in the Winter we tell stories of moral and education through animal tales of the Coyote and other creatures.
Personally, I love my language for its rich history and uniqueness, but it can become quite difficult to speak. That is why English is my preferred language, but as tradition says, you can never know who you truly are if you don’t know your own language
#4 As you know from reading about Jane Hill’s research on “Mock Spanish,” Hill argues that “Mock Spanish” usage (Ahearn, Chapter 10) ends up racializing Spanish speakers, regardless of whether it has been the intention of the person using “Mock Spanish” or not. Rather, argues Hill, the usage is racist because it feeds into racializing ideologies and social institutions that support them. Do you agree with Hill? Explain and justify your position.
Can you think about facetious usages of languages other than Spanish in the States (or elsewhere)? Are they also racist?
1)I thought that Hill’s reaction was a little overboard. I don’t think most people who say “hasta la vista, baby” are in any way, implicitly or explicitly, saying that Spanish speakers are treacherous, and I think it’s even more of a stretch to say that it was even an aspect when the phrase was used in the Terminator movie. Every example Hill gave in the book, I felt, exemplified the merging of English and Spanish languages and cultures rather than any kind of racism. I’m not trying to say that people never use Mock Spanish in order to actually mock Spanish speakers, I’m just saying that the majority of English speakers that throw one or two Spanish words into a conversation do it because they are showing off their Spanish speaking skills. As someone who is learning a second language, there are words, phrases, and ideas that do not have easy English equivilents, and once these are learned, expressing them can only be done in that language. For example, “Tut mir Leid” and “Entschuldigung” are both German phrases that are translated into English as “I’m sorry” but “tut mir Leid” is “I’m sorry that you stubbed your toe and are now in pain but I understand that it’s not my fault,” where as “enschuldigung” is “I’m sorry that I stepped on your toe and am the cause of your pain” In English, a common exchange would be “This sucky thing happened” “I’m sorry” “Oh, it’s not your fault” “I know, but I still feel bad for you.” I can’t imagine someone hearing me say “tut mir Leid” and in righteous indignation accuse me of making fun of the German culture. I only know the phrase because I love the culture! And I think that it is the same for many people who use “manana” in place of “tomorrow” in their every day speech. The intention is not to make fun, and intent has to be a consideration before racism is accused.
The most apparent example I can think of that shows racist usage of facetious language is the picture that floats around every so often that says “Learn Chinese” and then it says something like “Sum Ting Wong = That’s not right” The intent is to make fun of a culture and a people, and the words aren’t even real, they just “sound” Chinese-y. This is totally racist.
2) I totally agree with Hill on her ideas about “Mock Spanish.” This is because “Mock Spanish” is mostly used by elite whites who understand what these Spanish terms mean yet they ignore their correct use.
Further arguments by Hill indicate that “Mock Spanish” is used to stereotype Spanish speakers which is, of course, racist.
Personally, I think that “Mock Spanish” undermines the Spanish language by making it seem inferior to English. Besides that, Hispanics are expected to adhere to the linguistic norms of the English language while the Americans continue to ignore important grammatical aspects of the Spanish language.
There are many languages spoken in the United States, and facetious usage of Chinese and Italian languages is also a common thing. However, “Mock Spanish” is more common because Spanish is the second most spoken language after English in the US.
In regards to whether facetious usage of Chinese and Italian languages are racist will depend on the person on the other end of the conversation. This means that for a Russian or an Italian, this usage of their language may seem racist especially if it seems undermines their language
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