Letter to the Census Bureau from the SLA Committee on Language and Social Justice

January 21, 2011 No Comments Leila AAA, In the news, Language and Social Justice

January 5, 2011 David S. Johnson, Division Chief Housing and Household Economic Statistics U.S. Census Bureau 4600 Silver Hill Road Washington, DC 20233 Dear Mr. Johnson, Thank you for your Dec 22, 2010 response to our May 27, 2010 letter concerning the Census Bureau’s use of the term “linguistically isolated.” Speaking on behalf of the Association and its Task Group on Language and Social Justice, I am very encouraged to learn that you have been considering alternatives to this inaccurate classification, and hope that the elimination of this term will be implemented in next year’s data cycle. Thanks to your

IP Addresses Not A Proxy For Language Ability

January 18, 2011 2 Comments kerim Uncategorized

As Mark Allen Peterson wrote in his post on “Developing Expertise,” we have been having a discussion about the importance of bringing anthropological knowledge to the social web. For this reason I called upon people who follow me on Twitter (@kerim) to bring their anthropological expertise to the new question-and-answer forum, Quora. While there are a lot of questions which could easily be answered by using Google or Wikipedia, there are a lot of good questions as well; questions which it would be good for anthropologists to answer. But after using the website for a while, trying to help out

Second CfP: Conference on Language, Interaction, and Social Organization (January 31 Deadline)

January 7, 2011 1 Comment Diego Arispe-Bazán (SLA Web Assistant) Call for Papers, Events

SECOND CALL FOR PAPERS *Please give widest distribution* Please note that the abstract submission deadline for this conference has been extended to January 31, 2011. THE 17TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON LANGUAGE, INTERACTION, AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATION University of California, Santa Barbara May 12-14, 2011 Presented by: The Language, Interaction, and Social Organization (LISO) Graduate Student Organization at UCSB ~ & ~ The Center for Language, Interaction and Culture (CLIC) Graduate Student Association at UCLA PLENARY SPEAKERS Virginia Teas Gill Illinois State University Sociology Alexandra Jaffe California State University, Long Beach Linguistics Julia Menard-Warwick University of California, Davis Linguistics Jennifer Roth-Gordon University

Lost, and Translation

January 4, 2011 3 Comments judy Uncategorized , , ,

The Chinese language phrase book I picked up in my first week in the city of Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China, asserts in a blurb on the back cover that travelers to China experience “instant illiteracy” and certainly this was a significant aspect of my first extended stay in that country. I have never before visited a place where I not only did not speak the language but also could not even sound out and guess at the meaning of signs, menus, ads in hotel rooms and the like. I was painfully aware of my dependence

Developing Expertise

By Mark Allen Peterson (MiamiU) Journalist Alix Spiegel’s feature story “When Did We Become Mentally Modern?” on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered in August 2010 raised a wide-ranging discussion on the Linganth listserv about the expertise of linguistic anthropologists. While a well-intentioned effort, its descriptions of language and semiotics were… simplistic—to be generous. The story claimed human language was “entirely composed of these arbitrary symbols”—even when many of the examples used were non-arbitrary indexes. Spiegel did interview an anthropologist—Dr. Allison S. Brooks of George Washington University, a respected paleoanthropologist who often contributes to debates on when homo sapiens originated.