Anthropology (ANTH) 354

Language and Culture (Revision 8)

ANTH 354 Course website

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None. ANTH 275 is recommended.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Anthropology Studies home page

Téluq equivalency: LIN 1001

ANTH 354 is not available for challenge.

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Anthropology 354: Language and Culture is a three-credit course that investigates topics found in the field of linguistic anthropology and linguistics—one of four subfields of anthropology. (The other three subfields are cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and archaeology.) Culture cannot be studied without language, but linguistic anthropology provides much more to anthropology than the means to study culture. It covers the entire scope of humans and languages, from the biological basis of language to the role of language in culture, and describes the major techniques and methods used by linguistic anthropologists to study languages in cultures all over the world.

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the various levels of linguistic analysis and apply these levels to such topics as language classification, language history, language change, and sociolinguistics.
  2. Critically discuss the relationship between language and worldview, and how languages vary in the ways they categorize cultural experience.
  3. Understand and describe the complexities in the relationship between speech and the social context in which it is generated.
  4. Discern the role of language in forming social identity and expressing group membership.
  5. Discuss and evaluate the various theories for language acquisition


ANTH 354 is divided into the following 13 units:

  • Unit 1: Linguistic Anthropology and Linguistics, and Methods of Both
  • Unit 2: Nature of Communicatio
  • Unit 3: Origins of Human Language
  • Unit 4: Language, Culture, and Thought
  • Unit 5: Phonetics
  • Unit 6: Phonology
  • Unit 7: Words and Sentences
  • Unit 8: Nonverbal Communication
  • Unit 9: Writing and Signing
  • Unit 10: Semantics and Pragmatics, and Discourse Analysis
  • Unit 11: Sociolinguistics
  • Unit 12: Language Acquisition
  • Unit 13: Language Change, Language Disappearance


To receive credit for ANTH 354, you must achieve a minimum of 50 percent on the final examination and a minimum composite course grade of 50 percent.

The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Quiz 1 10%
Essay 1 25%
Quiz 2 10%
Quiz 3 10%
Essay 2 25%
Final Exam 20%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Rowe, Bruce M., and Diane P. Levine. A Concise Introduction to Linguistics. 5th  edition. New York, NY: Routledge, 2020

Other Materials

The course materials also include a course manual and a study guide.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 8, August 10, 2018.

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