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Shakespeare in the Bush

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Aneekha Habeeb,

Linguistic Anthropology Assignment


Shakespeare in the Bush

The author goes to Tiv in Africa and while she is there she tells the people a story that she thought is a great piece of literature in her society, which is also ours. People who belong to the same society as her would understand the story which she shared with the people, which was Hamlet, it is a very famous and ancient piece of literature that is thought in every school and language institute till this day. All thought, not every society follows or understand or interpret stories or events the same way like ours do, culture and language plays an important role in that. When she was done telling them the story, the elders said they liked it but they also mentioned that the story got some errors according to their language, beliefs and culture. In their culture they don’t really believe in spirits or ghost so when the author mentioned that the spirit of King Hamlet came back they thought it’s rather a kind of warning sent by a witch. (Bohannan, 1966).

I believe this article falls into descriptive linguistics, because descriptive linguistics is the study of how languages are constructed. And this article one of the big reason the elders thought that the article had an error because of the meaning of the words that’s been used in the story had a different meaning for them, comparing to us and our culture. When I read the read the title of the article, I thought it is going to be hard for me to understand, because I was not familiar with Hamlet, but I found it very straight forward, it was to the point, and didn’t had any hidden meaning. What I found interesting about this article was the idea it shared, before reading this article I would have never sat down and thought to myself that same story might have a different meaning to other people just based on the language and culture. If I was the author I would try to make the article a little short, just because it was hard to keep up, I had to go back over and over again because of too much information. (Ember, 2015).

How Languages Shapes Thought

According to this article, the author states that she strongly believes, language influences or determines the way we think and view things in this world. She mentions that a five year old girl from Pormpuraaw, with confidence pointed to north when

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