Blog Review: Linguistic Anthropology

The blog reviewd her is ‘Linguistic Anthropology‘. As the name suggests this is a blog about anthropology focusing on language. There is a welcome post on November 30th 2006 with a generous invite for readers to leave their comments including the possibility of becoming a permanent member with the ability to write posts on the blog. Interestingly on the left hand pane, at the time of writing there were 23 contributors. The blog is one of the easiest to navigate that I have come across as links to all of the posts are provided on the left hand pane. The authors have varied and engaging styles of writing and the material is varied and interesting. Here are a few of the posts that I found particularly interesting:-

In this post, there is a list of suggestions for topics and in this post there is as I interpreted it, a response with a post on sign language and deaf culture. In this post there is an interesting discussion of the relationship between technology and vocabulary with some fascinating insights into how some of the words within a language are used. The author of this post discussed the Amazon piraha tribe that communicate with whistles, singing or humming and apparently do not have vowels or consonants. The concept of framing in which language is used to create a ‘conceptual structure used in thinking’ is discussed in this post. In this article , quantifying the rate of change of words in a language is discussed and can lead to valuable insights into the origins and developmnts of languages. This article looks at some evidence which suggests that there are periods of punctuated evolution of languages. In other words, languages may develop suddenly. The argument is based on some assumptions about how languages develop along with some evidence about the lexicons (or vocabulary).

There are also posts on conferences and awards. While linguistic anthropology isn’t directly related to psychiatry it does give valuable insights into culture and language which themselves are related to illnesses in various ways. The blog is updated frequently, is easy to navigate and contains lots of interesting material.


You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast).


If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail


The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


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