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the practice of tacking back and forth between various linguistic styles depending on contexts and interlocutors.
the transfer of information from a sender to a receiver; can be voluntary or involuntary, simple or complex.
a form of language specific to a particular region.
folk taxonomies
systems of categories that people use to organize their knowledge of the world.
a gene on chromosome number seven that is found in many vertebrates; sometimes called “the language gene” because the human mutation seems to be associated with language.
a patterned set of phrases or sentences used to compel a magical result.
a complex, systematized form of communication involving the use of vocal or gestural units (words or signs) that can be combined and recombined in larger structures (sentences) that can convey an infinite array of complex meanings.
language acquisition
the process of learning a language.
language ideologies
specific ideas about language that are widespread in a culture, including how language is acquired, how it varies across social groups, how it changes over time, etc.
language revitalization
the process of reviving an endangered or dormant language using strategies such as immersion schools and master-apprentice programs.
language socialization
the social contexts in which language is learned as well as the role of language in social learning.
linguistic relativity
the way that language varies across cultures, reflecting different environmental, historical, and sociocultural conditions.
linguistic universals
common elements found in all human languages, attributable to human anatomy, perception, and cognition.
a linguistic idiom using something concrete to think and talk about something more abstract.
mirror neurons
special brain cells that seem to enable mimicry.
naming ceremony
a public ritual that officially grants personhood by bestowing a name.
the functional power of language to make things happen.
a very simple set of gestures or utterances that may have preceded the development of human language.
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
the theory that the particular language you speak influences how you think about reality.
speech community
a community of speakers sharing a common grammar and vocabulary, as well as a set of understandings about how language is used in different situations.
dialects that are not necessarily regional but associated with specific social categories such as groups based on ethnicity, age, or gender.
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