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This essay maps to the following learning outcomes:

  • Assess how the concepts, approaches, and methods of linguistic anthropology explain communication in changing cultural environments, recognizing how language both shapes and is shaped by culture.
  • Examine how language is a form of social action that varies cross- and intra-culturally to explain power and other social differentials.
  • Identify and rectify communication points to communicate effectively in diverse speech communities.

Using the S-P-E-A-K-I-N-G and then the M-A-R acronyms, analyze a specific communication event in which there was a rich point or a possible rich point. This may be an event that you experienced in person, witnessed on television, or read about in your course materials or elsewhere. Consider also where there may have been miscommunication involving a speaker of your ancestral language.

As you analyze the situation, consider also difference in status or power among those involved and what role this may play in the communication event.

In your analysis, address each factor into two mnemonics (SPEAKING and MAR) and identify the factor (s) that you feel were the cause of the rich point.

Some years back I lived in an Indian rural community as a scholar from America, learning ancient fashioned anthropology, in a secluded village with the aim of studying how the general public dialogue, their believes, and what they engage in on daily basis. I was ready to go out of the rural community at noon and visit another rural community approximately 3 miles away. The chef packed some lunch for me to eat during the journey. He arranged a few slices of bread on a fabric that resembled a white paper handkerchief with some vegetable. He tied the fabric to make a bundle I could carry and then placed a small piece of charcoal on lunch package…


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