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Linguistic Anthropology

is the study of human language and communication. Linguistic anthropologists study the origins of language in general and the histories of particular languages and language families. They are also interested in the dynamics of contemporary linguistic change, how language is learned, the role of language in systems of thought, and the relationship between language and other aspects of culture (e.g. oral traditions, politics, mass media, and expressive arts such as music and theater). An emerging field within linguistic anthropology deals with the role of language in power hierarchies along lines of class, gender, race and nationality. In common with cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology incorporates a crosscultural comparative perspective to shed light on the elusive line between human nature and human culture.

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