Anthropological linguistics

This course is part of the programme
Master's Degree Programme Humanities Studies

Objectives and competences

The course's main focus are the basic concepts of anthropological linguistics. Understanding of the relation between language and culture. Understanding the influence of Ideology, culture, and social relations on the development and workings of language.


In order to successfully participate in in-class discussions and to follow the lectures, the student should take the introductory linguistic courses.


Development of anthropological linguistics
History of anthropological linguistics
Linguistic relativity: F. Boas, E. Sapir in B. L. Whorf. Current views on linguistic relativity.
Language and traditional culture
Linguistics of folklore and oral traditions
Ethnolinguistics in the USA and in Slavic area.
Ethnolinguistic approaches: N. I. Tolstoy (Moscow); J. Bartminjski (Lublin).
Language and the conceptualization of reality
Universal and culture-specific properties of language.
Language and the conceptualization of extralinguistic reality: language and space, language and time, color terms …
logical analysis of language
Lexicon and culture
Cultural properties of the lexicon.
Naming as a cultural act - common names and personal names.
Naming as a value system
Naming as conceptualization of the world.
Discourse and culture
Social Družbena pogojenost diskurza
Language and power
Critical analysis of discourse: language and politics, race, class
Language of the media
Gender and ethnic stereotypes in the language of media
Language ideology
Metalinguistic consciousness
Core ideological constructs: language purism, authority
Discourse-internal conflicts
Language and politeness
Theories of politeness
Positive and negative politeness
Politeness and gender
Politeness across cultures
Some methodological questions
The role of the researcher and the listeners in the process of discourse shaping
Differences between studying your own versus some other culture
Material discussed in lectures also forms the main part of recitations, where more time and care is devoted to the main issues. Emphasis is given to practical knowledge and actual analysis of language data.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course the student will have command over the anthropological methods used in linguistics, and will be capable of conducting individual research using them and other research methods used in humanities.


  • Jillian R. Cavanaugh, Living Memory: The Social Aesthetics of Language in a Northern Italian Town. John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2012 E-version
  • Jillian R. Cavanaugh, Language Ideology Revisited. IJSL 2020; 263: 51–57 E-version
  • Kathryn A. Woolard, Singular and Plural: Ideologies of Linguistic Authority in 21st Century Catalonia. Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Duranti, Alessandro (ur.) 2001, Linguistic Anthropology: A Reader. Malden, MA: Blackwell. E-version
  • Duranti, Alessandro, Sociocultural Dimensions of Discourse, Handbook of Discourse Analysis 1, T. V. Dijk (ur.), London 1985, 193-230. E-version
  • Hall, Kira and Bucholtz, Mary, (ur.) 1995, Gender Articulated: Language and the Socially Constructed Self. New York: Routledge. E-version
  • Hill 1988: Jane H. Hill, Language, Culture, and World View, in Linguistics: The Cambridge Survey, No. IV: Language: The Socio-cultural Context, F. J. Newmeyer (ur.), Cambridge, 14-36. E-version
  • N. Fairclough, Discourse and Social Change, Cambridge 1992. E-version
  • N. I. Tolstoj 1995, Jezik slovenske kulture, Niš.
  • Slovenska mitologija, enciklopedijski rečnik, Beograd 2001.
  • Woolard, Kathryn 1998: Introduction: Language Ideology as a Field of Inquiry, Language Ideologies, Practice and Theory, Schieffelin, B. B., Woolard, K. A., Kroskrity, P. V. (ur.), New York - Oxford.
  • Irvine, J. T., Hill, J. H. 1993, Responsibility and Evidence in Oral Discourse, Cambridge. E-version
  • Tonči Kuzmanić 1999, Bitja s pol strešice, Ljubljana E-version


Attending lectures, a term paper, oral examination, active participation in in-class discussions.

Lecturer's references

Tanja Petrović is a full professor working at ZRC SAZU.

PETROVIĆ, Tanja. Political parody and the politics of ambivalence. Annual review of anthropology. 2018, vol. 47, str. 201-216. [COBISS.SI-ID 43425069]
PETROVIĆ, Tanja. Naša krmača and the politics of humor in 1990s and early 2000s Serbia. Slavic and East European journal. Print ed.]. summer 2021, vol. 65, no. 2, str. 272-290. [COBISS.SI-ID 85790979]
PETROVIĆ, Tanja. Improving female researchers' careers through gender equality plan actions : experiences from a Slovenian research institution. Viešoji politika ir administravimas. 2021, vol. 20, nr. 1, str. 45-57. [COBISS.SI-ID 62404611]
PETROVIĆ, Tanja. Fish canning industry and the rhythm of social life in the Northeastern Adriatic. Narodna umjetnost : hrvatski časopis za etnologiju i folkloristiku. 2020, vol. 57, no. 1, str. 33-49. [COBISS.SI-ID 21719811]
PETROVIĆ, Tanja, MIHAJLOVIĆ TRBOVC, Jovana. Agency, biography, and temporality : (un)making women's biographies in the wake of the loss of the socialist project in Yugoslavia. Wagadu : a journal of transnational women's & gender studies. Fall 2020, vol. 21, str. 1-30. [COBISS.SI-ID 40306179]
PETROVIĆ, Tanja. Political parody and the politics of ambivalence. Annual review of anthropology. 2018, vol. 47, str. 201-216. [COBISS.SI-ID 43425069]
PETROVIĆ, Tanja. Linguistic creativity : a view from the periphery of the Serbian linguistic space. Belgrade English Language & Literature Studies. 2018, vol. 10, str. 299-325. [COBISS.SI-ID 43561517]