This field examines language, and other semiotic systems, as practices through which social relations, consciousness, and culture are constituted. Rather than solely examining linguistic structures in isolation, we address their enmeshment in social life. Courses are offered both within the Department of Anthropology and in cooperation with the Department of Linguistics. They examine language and the emotions; ritual and performance; language shift and multilingualism; connections between language, ethnicity, nationalism, and political systems; and the analysis of media forms. Geographically based courses examine in detail dominant, minority, and endangered languages with particular regional reference to Asia, The Pacific, and Europe. We stress the analysis of linguistic form and practice as a means by which to understand human diversity and social transformation.