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Structuralism, ” "Ethnoscience and Cognitive Anthropology

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“Structuralism,” "Ethnoscience and Cognitive Anthropology"

Goals of cognitive anthropology and how is componential analysis important in reaching these goals?

Cognitive anthropology focuses on the intellectual and rational aspects of culture, often through the study of language use. Humans’ information and knowledge shared through words and stories often answers many underlying questions about a culture. It also addressed the ways in which think about events and objects in the world. It hoped to be able to form a link between human thought processes and the multiple aspects of culture The study of language use in Cognitive anthropology can be first be linked to Lockes empiricism and Kants rationalism. This breeds a correlation between psychology and anthropology built around the structure of experience and environment creating knowledge. Mid 50’s was when Cognitive anthropology was first recognized as a field of study thanks to the ethnoscience studies at Yale. Ethnographic studies proved that different data can be gathered by studying the same people studied by different theorists which caused the anthropological community to question the accuracy and reliability of all ethnographic research methods. With the Goal of increasing validity of ethnography, new techniques’ were used largely inspired spawned off of linguistic phonemic analysis. Componential analyses or contrast analysis, developed out of this when Goodenough and Lounsbury attempted to break semantic structures of a language into basic units of meaning to parallel linguistic analysis based on the smallest meaningful units of sound. Componential analysis is a method that is built on structural semantics or the analyzation of the structure of a words meaning. Componential analysis reveals the culturally important features by which speakers of a language distinguish different words in the...

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