Annual Review of Anthropology

Published by Annual Reviews
Online ISSN: 0084-6570
Publications
Article
This review focuses on studies of selected themes and theoretical issues relating to women's status published by anthropologists within the subdiscipline of cultural anthropology/ethnology from 1977 to 1987. The first section of the review seeks to determine what advances have been made in understanding the universality of gender asymmetry by looking at women's status in a cross-cultural manner. The next major section highlights major areas of concern in the ethnographic literature of the decade 1977-87, including economics, studies of sexuality, women's family roles, women's political activities, women's rituals, and women's culture. The third section reviews the development of the concept of women's "status" and looks at universal determinants of women's status such as differences from men in aggressive behavior, in strength, and in reproductive and economic roles. The next section reviews developing gender theory that moves beyond reproductive determinism to "deconstruct" gender concepts. A number of common themes that run through the various approaches to this research are identified. These include the fact that gender must be examined in its historical, economic, social, and conceptual framework. Ultimately, these themes require that the old and simple determinants of status, along with the concept itself, be viewed as complex, multidimensional processes.
 
Article
"This review outlines the biological basics of menopause and then places menopause within the context of a dynamic lifespan. The basic tenets of the lifespan approach maintain that, for each individual, aging and development are lifelong processes from birth to death; biological, psychological, and sociocultural trajectories interweave across the life course; the entire lifespan serves as a frame of reference for understanding particular events or transitions; and the life course can be affected by environmental change.... This review also points to the gap between population-level studies of menopause and studies carried out at the biochemical, cellular, or organ systems level. Filling this gap...offers the most interesting directions for future anthropological research."
 
Article
Human reproductive ecology pertains to reproduction biology and changes due to environmental influences. The research literature relies on clinical, epidemiological, and demographic analysis. The emphasis is on normal, nonpathological states and a broad range of ecological conditions. This review focused on the importance of age and energetic stress from ecological conditions rather than dieting or self-directed exercise in changing female fecundity. The literature on male reproductive ecology is still small but growing. J.W. Wood provided a comprehensive overview of the field. Natural fertility, as defined by Henry, is the lack of parity-specific fertility limitation. There is evidence that fertility can vary widely in natural fertility populations. There are consistent age patterns among different natural fertility populations. Doring found that there was higher frequency of anovulatory and luteal insufficiency in cycles during perimenarche and perimenopausal periods. Infertility studies have shown declines in pregnancy rates in women over the age of 30 years. Ovum donation evaluations have found both uterine age and ovarian and oocyte age to be related to the probability of a successful pregnancy. Basal follicle stimulating hormone and the endometrial thickness are important predictors of ovarian capacity and related to age and declining fecundity. Much of the literature on fecundity is derived from women with impaired reproductive physiology. In Lipson and Ellison's study of healthy women, average follicular and average luteal estradiol values declined with increasing subject age. Low follicular levels were correlated with smaller follicular size, low oocyte fertilizability, reduced endometrial thickness, and low pregnancy rates. Comparisons across populations have shown that populations experience declines in luteal function with age, but levels of luteal functions varied widely. Chronic conditions which slow growth and delay reproductive maturation may impact on lower ovarian function throughout adult life. There is a range of ovarian function along a continuum due to energetic stress. Evidence from the Lese in Zaire, the Tamang of Nepal, and Polish farm women outside Crakow suggest that workload affects ovarian function. Luteal function and ovulatory frequency is lower when women are losing weight. Among the Tamang losing weight between seasons there was evidence of lower ovarian function during the monsoon season. Polish farm women who work very hard in summer had lower ovarian function. The effect of lactation on amenorrhea appears to be due to the energetic stress on the mother in the intensity and duration of suckling. Women in poorer nutritional status may require more intense suckling. Seasonality of energy balance may be related to seasonality of female fecundity and conceptions.
 
Article
In this professional memoir I trace my career and the changes that occurred after World War II in the biological anthropology studies of human populations. I describe my academic training at the University of New Mexico and Harvard University and my research training at the US Climatic Research Laboratory. During my academic career at The Pennsylvania State University, I directed two multidisciplinary research efforts as part of the International Biological Programme and Man in the Biosphere Program. These were the high-altitude studies in Nunoa, Peru, and the migration and modernization studies of Samoan communities. I describe my participation in the development of these international science programs as well as the effects on the discipline of biological anthropology. In conclusion, I reflect on the growth and development of biological anthropology, particularly in human population biology.
 
Article
A number of developmental issues has emerged in the migration literature, most notably relationships between migration and urbanisation, industrialization, agriculture, family structure, gender roles, and ideology. The review focusses on ethnographic studies of these issues, and assesses the resulting theoretical and substantive advances. -after Author
 
Article
"In this review I draw upon statistical demography and, to a lesser extent, reproductive endocrinology to formulate a coherent strategy for investigating fertility and reproduction in anthropological populations. The object, it must be emphasized, is not to reduce anthropology to demography or endocrinology, but rather to acquaint anthropologists with a powerful set of tools with which they can address issues of anthropological interest." The author first discusses the concept of natural fertility. Next, he summarizes the most significant generalizations concerning variations in fertility among preindustrial societies using the concept of proximate determinants developed by John Bongaarts. Finally, he outlines an alternative approach that might be more suited to the analysis of such fertility variations.
 
Article
John F. Marshall and Steven Polgar, eds. Culture, Natality and Family Planning. Chapel Hill: Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, 1976. xiii + 301 pp. Tables.Bernice A. Kaplan, ed. Anthropological Studies of Human Fertility. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1976. v + 146 pp. $8.95.
 
Article
This chapter reviews the current state of knowledge concerning the demography of primates. It compiles demographic systems (mortality and fertility estimates) for four broad grades of primates: New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, chimpanzees, and humans. The characteristics of each system, including its demographic stability, are presented and discussed. The environmentally induced variation in human and nonhuman primate vital rates are explored whenever possible. Findings include (a) that more data are needed particularly with respect to nonhuman primate fertility, (b) that human demographic systems are the least stable, and (c) that Pan troglodytes demography is probably evolutionarily derived from the general primate pattern.
 
Article
The human body--and its parts--has long been a target for commodification within myriad cultural settings. A discussion of commodification requires that one consider, first, the significance of the body within anthropology and, second, what defines a body "part." After exploring these initial questions, this article outlines dominant theoretical approaches to commodification within anthropology, with Mauss and Marx figuring prominently. The discussion then turns to historically well-documented forms of body commodification: These include slavery and other oppressive labor practices; female reproduction; and the realms of sorcery and endocannibalism. An analysis here uncovers dominant established approaches that continue to drive current studies. The remainder of this article concerns emergent biotechnologies, whose application in clinical and other related scientific arenas marks a paradigmatic shift in anthropological understandings of the commodified, fragmented body. The following contexts are explored with care: reproductive technologies; organ transplantation; cosmetic and transsexual surgeries; genetics and immunology; and, finally, the category of the cyborg. The article concludes with suggestions for an integrated theoretical vision, advocating greater cross-fertilization of analytical approaches and the inclusion of an ethics of body commodification within anthropology.
 
Article
Human cognition is characterized by enormous variability and structured by universal psychological constraints. The focus of this chapter is on the development of knowledge acquisition because it provides important insight into how the mind interprets new information and constructs new ways of understanding. We propose that mental content can be productively approached by examining the intuitive causal explanatory "theories" that people construct to explain, interpret, and intervene on the world around them, including theories of mind, of biology, or of physics. A substantial amount of research in cognitive developmental psychology supports the integral role of intuitive theories in human learning and provides evidence that they structure, constrain, and guide the development of human cognition.
 
Allele frequency change over time under a directional selection model (a) and a balancing selection model (b). In the case of directional selection, different modes of inheritance of the advantageous allele are considered.
The impact of selective sweeps on patterns of neutral variation tightly linked to an advantageous mutation. Neutral mutations are shown as blue circles, whereas advantageous mutations are shown as red circles. Gray bars indicate the results of recombination events involving a chromosome not carrying the advantageous mutation. Black line boxes mark mutations segregating at a high frequency; a large number of such mutations is a strong signal of selection.
Article
Patterns of DNA sequence variation in the genome contain a record of past selective events. The ability to collect increasingly large data sets of polymorphisms has allowed investigators to perform hypothesis-driven studies of candidate genes as well as genome-wide scans for signatures of adaptations. This genetic approach to the study of natural selection has identified many signals consistent with predictions from anthropological studies. Selective pressures related to variation in climate, diet, and pathogen exposure have left strong marks on patterns of human variation. Additional signals of adaptations are observed in genes involved in chemosensory perception and reproduction. Several ongoing projects aim to sequence the complete genome of 1000 individuals from different human populations. These large-scale projects will provide data for more complete genome scans of selection, but more focused studies aimed at testing specific hypotheses will continue to hold an important place in elucidating the history of adaptations in humans.
 
Article
"This review summarizes dynamic processes in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission. A brief overview of current trends in the HIV epidemic is followed by a discussion of the basic components of HIV transmission. Several epidemiologic models are then described that seek to delineate how HIV transmission is structured by human relationships and the implications of those structural relationships for the evolving epidemic."
 
Article
Abstract Evolutionary ecology of human reproduction is defined as the application of natural selection theory to the study of human reproductive strategies and decision-making in an ecological context. The basic Darwinian assumption is that humans-like all other organisms-are designed to maximize their inclusive fitness within the ecological constraints to which they are exposed. Life history theory, which identifies trade-off problems in reproductive investment, and evolutionary physiology and psychology, which analyzes the adaptive mechanisms regulating reproduction, are two crucial tools of evolutionary reproductive ecology. Advanced empirical insights have been obtained mainly with respect to the ecology of fecundity, fertility, child-care strategies, and differential parental investment. Much less is known about the ecology of nepotism and the postgenerative life span. The following three theoretical aspects, which are not well understood, belong to the desiderata of future improvement in evolutionary human reproductive ecology: (a) the significance of and the interactions between different levels of adaptability (genetic, ontogenetic, and contextual) for the adaptive solution of reproductive problems; (b) the dialectics of constraints and adaptive choices in reproductive decisions; and (c) the dynamics of demographic change.
 
Article
A review of methods used to estimate past population trends and the theoretical models implicit in these methods is presented. The review is concerned both with efforts to estimate the size of a target population at a given moment in time and with efforts to examine population growth over time. Topics covered include paleo-demography, the study of artifacts and food remains, habitation space, resource potential models, and trend analysis.
 
Article
In the past several decades, biological sciences have been revolutionized by their increased understanding of how life works at the molecular level. In what ways, and to what extent, will this scientific revolution affect the human societies within which the science is situated? The legal, ethical, and social implications of research in human genetics have been discussed in depth, particularly in the context of the Human Genome Project and, to a lesser extent, the proposed Human Genome Diversity Project. Both projects could have significant effects on society, the former largely at the level of individuals or families and the latter primarily at the level of ethnic groups or nations. These effects can be grouped in six broad categories: identity, prediction, history, manipulation, ownership and control, and destiny.
 
Article
In the last 15 years, anthropology and other disciplines have begun to treat migration as a system. The article reviews the findings of the growing body of literature on return migration, attempting to synthesise the various typologies of return migrants, reasons for return, adaptation and readjustment of returnees, and the impact of return migration on the migrants' home societies. -J.Sheail
 
Article
The topic of human reproduction encompasses events throughout the human and especially female life-cycle as well as ideas and practices surrounding fertility, birth, and child care. Most of the scholarship on the subject, up through the 1960s, was based on cross-cultural surveys focused on the beliefs, norms, and values surrounding reproductive behaviors. Multiple methodologies and subspecialties, and fields like social history, human biology, and demography were utilized for the analysis. The concept of the politics of reproduction synthesizes local and global perspectives. The themes investigated include: the concept of reproduction, population control, and the internationalization of state and market interests (new reproductive technologies); social movements and contested domains; medicalization and its discontents; fertility and its control; adolescence and teen pregnancy; birth; birth attendants; the construction of infancy and the politics of child survival; rethinking the demographic transition; networks of nurturance; and meanings of menopause. The medicalization of reproduction is a central issue of studies of birth, midwifery, infertility, and reproductive technologies. Scholars have also analyzed different parts of the female life-cycle as medical problems. Other issues worth analysis include the internationalization of adoption and child care workers; the crisis of infertility of low-income and minority women who are not candidates for expensive reproductive technologies; the concerns of women at high risk for HIV whose cultural status depends on their fertility; questions of reproduction concerning, lesbians and gay men (artificial insemination and discrimination in child rearing); the study of menopause; and fatherhood. New discourse analysis is used to analyze state eugenic policies; conflicts over Western neocolonial influences in which women's status as childbearers represent nationalist interests; fundamentalist attacks on abortion rights; and the AIDS crisis.
 
Chapter
Linguistic anthropologists investigate how language use both presupposes and creates social relations in cultural context (Silverstein, 1985; Duranti, 1997; Agha, 2006). Theories and methods from linguistic anthropology have been productively applied in educational research for the past 40 years. This chapter describes key aspects of a linguistic anthropological approach, reviews research in which these have been used to study educational phenomena, and illustrates how researchers can analyze educational data from this perspective. Readers should also consult Chapter 28, "Language Socialization," by Kathleen Riley, later in this volume, for a discussion of linguistic anthropological research in the language socialization tradition. The linguistic and paralinguistic signs that compose educational language use communicate both referential and relational messages. When educators and learners speak and write, they communicate not only about the subject matter they are learning but also about their affiliations with social groups both inside and outside the speech event. These affiliations, some of which are created in educational events and institutions themselves, can shape students' life trajectories and influence how they learn subject matter. For both theoretical and practical reasons, then, educational researchers need to understand how language use both creates and presupposes social relations during educational activities.
 
Early Homo timeline. 
KNM-ER 3220. Note the taphonomic damage to the teeth. Image copyright by the National Museums of Kenya.
Article
Several recent studies have stressed the role of dietary change in the origin and early evolution of our genus in Africa. Resulting models have been based on nutrition research and analogy to living peoples and nonhuman primates or on archeological and paleoenvironmental evidence. Here we evaluate these models in the context of the hominin fossil record. Inference of diet from fossils is hampered by small samples, unclear form-function relationships, taphonomic factors, and interactions between cultural and natural selection. Nevertheless, craniodental remains of Homo habilis, H. rudolfensis, and H. erectus offer some clues. For example, there appears to be no simple transition from an australopith to a Homo grade of dietary adaptation, or from closed forest plant diets to reliance on more open-country plants or animals. Early Homo species more likely had adaptations for flexible, versatile subsistence strategies that would have served them well in the variable paleoenvironments of the African Plio-Pleistocene.
 
Article
This article reviews recent research in sociocultural anthropology that has been conducted in and about the United States. I show that anthropologists of the United States have been concerned to locate the anthropological field in three ways: spatial investigations of region, community, and territory; epistemological and methodological projects of cultural critique and defamiliarization; and reconsideration of the place of Native North America in the anthropology of the United States. Emergent inquiry into settler colonialism and the politics of indigeneity has the potential to strengthen the anthropology of the United States by accounting for the ways that being a settler society structures all American lives.
 
Article
I much appreciated being invited to write a contribution for this journal, but initially presumed that what was required was a comprehensive review of some major issue in biological anthropology. Indeed I drafted a contribution on the history of the subject during the second part of the twentieth century. I was then firmly told that this was not what was wanted, rather something much more autobiographical. Well that is what you have got: an extremely personal account of my own research career over some 50 years in biological anthropology. I have summarized the results of what I consider the main projects I and my colleagues have undertaken and tried to document successes and failures. I cannot claim any earth-shattering discovery but hope that we have contributed in a substantial way to the further understanding of the nature of human variation, a main concern of biological anthropology in the second half of the twentieth century.
 
The global growth of protected areas. 
Article
This review examines the social, economic, and political effects of environmental conservation projects as they are manifested in protected areas. We pay special attention to people living in and displaced from protected areas, analyze the worldwide growth of protected areas over the past 20 years, and offer suggestions for future research trajectories in anthropology. We examine protected areas as a way of seeing, understanding, and producing nature (environment) and culture (society) and as a way of attempting to manage and control the relationship between the two. We focus on social, economic, scientific, and political changes in places where there are protected areas and in the urban centers that control these areas. We also examine violence, conflict, power relations, and governmentality as they are connected to the processes of protection. Finally, we examine discourse and its effects and argue that anthropology needs to move beyond the current examinations of language and power to attend to the ways in which protected areas produce space, place, and peoples.
 
Article
Anthropologists have long studied tobacco, what is today the world's greatest cause of preventable death. Their publications have garnered modest attention, however, even as the academy is increasingly interested in global health, transnational commoditization, pharmaceuticals, and the politics of life and death. We take stock of anthropology's tobacco literature and our discipline's broader appetites. We review how colleagues have studied health issues related to tobacco and engaged with theory and policy pertaining to the production, consumption, and regulation of drugs. We assess ways scholars working at the interface of anthropology and cigarettes have analyzed gender and ethnicity, corporate predation and industry-related harm, governmental management of disease, and the semiotics of misinformation. We discuss why anthropology has not more broadly and ardently engaged the study of tobacco. And we identify areas for further research capable of illuminating more fully tobacco's analytical potential and toxic effects.
 
Article
Reviews the author's career, aspirations, endeavours and reflections over a period of remarkable change in the fortunes of anthropology and archaeology in the US.-J.Sheail
 
Article
This review of Chicano studies in anthropology over the last 15 years illustrates how, from an earlier, rather acerbic, criticism of Anglo publications on Chicano societies, which seemed to imply that only Chicanos could properly interpret Chicano culture, research has moved to the mainstream - studies of youth, the aged, folklore, wage workers, and gender - drawing in a significant way upon a wide body of relevant literature.-after Editors
 
Article
A major preoccupation of archaeologists over the last 50 years has been to trace the historical trajectories by which societies in the Southeast developed. Although such an understanding remains elusive, this part of the United States continues to be viewed as an ideal place for study. -J.Sheail
 
Article
The performance-centred approach to folklore has been recognised as the leading theoretical force in contemporary folkloristics. It has led to the reconceptualisation of the traditional concepts of 'folk', 'folklore', and 'tradition'. At the heart is an imbedded rethinking of culture, society and the individual. -after Authors
 
Article
The literature published over this period, focussing on ecological, legal and symbolic anthropology has contained proposals for regrouping. Specialisation required separation; liminality involved interdisciplinary alliances. The distinctiveness of the domains, and perhaps their success, seems to have been followed by moves toward reincorporation. The re-entry phase may provide real challenges for the currently self-isolating domains. -after Author
 
Article
Peruvian archaeology is an international field in which divergent schools of research coexist. The following is an overview of the various currents and accomplishments of research in Peruvian archaeology over the last decade (see also 138, 199, 279, 320, 336). Because of the different national traditions of archaeological practice in Peru, the situation is particularly complex. Most projects authorized by Peru's Instituto Nacional de Cultura are initiated by investigators from the United States, but the archaeology carried out in Peru has remained resistant to many of the theoretical trends in processual Anglo-American archaeology. Nomothetic laws and ecological and evolutionary "explanations" of culture change never generated the enthusiasm in Peru that they did in the United States. The alleged dichotomy between "scientific archaeology" and historical inquiry championed by Binford and others likewise found little support among archaeologists working in Peru. As currently practiced, much of Peruvian archaeology has a distinctive character derived from its unique subject matter, particular intellectual history, political context, and the dominant figures who have shaped it. In his classification of regional archaeological traditions, Bruce Trigger (358) distinguished between the imperialist type of archaeology, characteristic of the contemporary United States and Britain, and the nationalistic type, widespread in the Third World. In Peru, as in Mexico, the foundations of autochthonous archaeology were nationalist, and this tradition continues to shape much of the archaeological research. Ever since the pioneering work of Julio C. Tello and Luis Valcarcel, Peruvian archaeology has been linked to history and sociocultural anthropology and, though rarely stated, one of its goals has been the forging of a shared national identity and the strengthening of patriotic
 
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
 
Article
This examination of anthropology in cities during the 1980s is limited to work in English, largely by US, British, Indian, and Scandinavian anthropologists. It covers comprehensively fieldwork-based ethnography published in books, including those in three series that pay particular attention to urban anthropology. It also includes articles published in the two leading journals of social and cultural anthropology, American Ethnologist and Man. The review is restricted, with minor inconsistencies, to the work of anthropologists, and does not deal with allied and relevant work from sociologists, social historians, or "native' documentarians. For several reasons, this review does not examine discussions of "what is the city' or definitions and typologies of urbanism. Anthropologists devoted considerably fewer pages to such meditations in the 1980s than in the 1960s-1970s, and any sound review of these themes would have to extend to work in history, geography, political economy, ecology, and archaeology. -from Author
 
Article
This review examines literature on indigenous movements in Latin America from 1992 to 2004. It addresses ethnic identity and ethnic activism, in particular the reindianization processes occurring in indigenous communities throughout the region. We explore the impact that states and indigenous mobilizing efforts have had on each other, as well as the role of transnational nongovernmental organizations and para-statal organizations, neoliberalism more broadly, and armed conflict. Shifts in ethnoracial, political, and cultural indigenous discourses are examined, special attention being paid to new deployments of rhetorics concerned with political imaginaries, customary law, culture, and identity. Self-representational strategies will be numerous and dynamic, identities themselves multiple, fluid, and abundantly positional. The challenges these dynamics present for anthropological field research and ethnographic writing are discussed, as is the dialogue between scholars, indigenous and not, and activi...
 
Mainland Southeast Asia in the first millennium a.d. Adapted from Hall (1985, map 1, p. 22) with permission from Univ. Hawaii Press.
Article
Southeast Asia's earliest states emerged during the first millennium A.D. from the Irawaddy River of Myanmar to the Red River delta of northern Vietnam. Developments during this time laid the groundwork for the florescence of the region's later and better-known civilizations such as Angkor and Pagan. Yet disciplinary and language barriers have thus far precluded an anthropological synthesis of cultural developments during this time. This review uses a landscape focus to synthesize current knowledge of mainland Southeast Asia's earliest states, which emerged in the first millennium A.D. Research from archaeology and history illuminates articulations between physical and social factors in several kinds of Early Southeast Asian landscapes: economic, urban, and political. Social and ideological forces that shaped these first-millennium-A.D. landscapes are discussed as integral aspects of early state formation.
 
Article
Discusses recent developments in the social anthropology of aboriginal Australian culture. Gives a brief overview of the historical dimension of the study of aboriginals, enumerates a number of aspects in which critical work and theoretical argumentation have brought forward renewed interest in old problems, and discusses some general ethnographic and theoretical issues as they relate to anthropological interpretation.-Author
 
Article
An account, spanning 50 years, of how I became an anthropologist, my graduate education at Columbia University, and my academic positions at Brooklyn and Queens College and at Duke University. I discuss my fieldwork among the Chippewa of Wisconsin and among modern Greeks in Boetia and Athens. I comment on the new ethnography as it applies to modern Greek studies and discuss how and why I turned to gender studies. I comment on teaching, university administration, and trends in contemporary anthropology and make a recommendation for a future thrust of the field. Reconnecting biology and cultural anthropology is, I believe, a necessary step if anthropology is to continue to be useful for ameliorating the human condition.
 
Article
Globalization, including the global flows of people, is clearly linked to disease transmission and vulnerability to health risks among immigrant populations. Anthropological research on transnational migration and health documents the implications of population movements for health and well-being. Studies of immigrant health reveal the importance of the social, political, and economic production of distress and disease as well as the structures and dynamics that produce particular patterns of access to health services. This review points to underlying political, economic, and social structures that produce particular patterns of health and disease among transnational migrants. Both critical and phenomenological analyses explore ideas of alterity and community, which underlie the production and management of immigrant health. Research on immigrant health underscores the importance of further attention to policies of entitlement and exclusion, which ultimately determine health vulnerabilities and accessibil...
 
Article
This review considers research on language and affect, with particular attention to gender, that has appeared in the past two decades in ways informed by the recent effloresence of work on affect in feminist, queer, (post)colonial, and critical race studies. The review is selective: It focuses on a few key ways that recent research is responding to gaps identified in earlier research and opening up promising areas for future research. This review thus attempts to connect linguistic anthropological and discourse analytic studies more fully with contemporary debates in feminist, queer, antiracist, and postcolonial studies. In general, I look at the rise of more fully historical approaches; in particular, I look at (a) affect in imperial and other global encounters; (b) language, neoliberalism, and affective labor; and (c) terror and hate, compassion, and conviviality in public speech. It also considers why we are, at this particular moment, witnessing such interest in affect.
 
Article
The evidence of informant inaccuracy ought not to lead to complaints or despair among researchers. It ought instead to lead to a rich, relatively unexplored arena of inquiry. Informants are not to blame for being wrong. People everywhere get along quite well without being able to dredge up accurately the sort of information that social scientists ask of them. If the latter have a great deal of inaccurate data, then they have only themselves to blame. The instruments of their craft have been used too uncritically. - J.Sheail
 
Article
A critical link in the primary form of human communication is the translation of the acoustic stream produced by a speaker into the phonetic code con­ structed by a listener. In this chapter we review a range of phenomena and theories that have been considered in attempts to understand the acoustic­ phonetic translation process. Given the breadth of the field and space limita­ tions, we necessarily focus on only selected aspects of the problem. We have chosen to concentrate on studies of basic, simple stimuli and omit the important influences of lexical, syntactic, semantic, and prosodic factors. Within the vast literature within our scope, we will cover only four of the most active areas of research on acoustic-phoneti c issues in speech percep­ tion. A recurring issue in our review is whether explanations of speech perception can be based on general acoustic (or psychoacoustic) properties of the signal or whether they require postulating speech-specific phonetic mech­ anisms. Section I reviews two acoustic-phoneti c phenomena--categor ical percep
 
Article
This review examines crosslinguistic research that has increased our understanding of the acquisition process over the past 15 years. It begins by outlining different aspects of the study of first language acquisition, for example, infants’ preverbal attention to language and strategies in segmenting language input. A major section of the review stresses the importance of ethnographic studies because acquisition must be considered in relation to language socialization patterns in the particular culture in which the language is acquired. Another section examines crosslinguistic research and the impact of Slobin’s work, as well as factors that seem to influence the child’s mastery of formfunction mappings in spatial, temporal, and gender domains. Examples from diverse languages are used to illustrate that children use different clues, depending on the system being acquired. The final section of the review examines findings of a crosslinguistic research project designed to collect and analyze narrative data;...
 
Top-cited authors
Penelope Eckert
  • Stanford University
Brian Larkin
  • Columbia University
Bambi B. Schieffelin
  • New York University
Richard Bauman
  • Indiana University Bloomington
Liisa Malkki
  • Stanford University