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What Is Linguistic Anthropology?

Part of the Anthropology For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Language is the system humans use to communicate. Linguistic anthropology studies human language, and these points highlight humanity's distinct way of transmitting information:

  • Human infants aren't born with language already in mind, but all healthy infants are born hard-wired to acquire any of the uniquely complex rules (grammar) of any human language.

  • Each language has a unique grammar, a complex set of rules that tell how to properly order the words in a sentence; children normally learn the outline of this grammar by about 3 years of age.

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