“If you choose an answer at random, what is your probability of being correct?” The question is, I think, pragmatically ambiguous. It features neither lexical nor structural ambiguity, yet the joke hinges on understanding the question in more than one way.
A table of language-related panels and activities at the American Anthropological Association’s 2013 Annual Meeting
Why am I uncomfortable with talk of evolution in the news? Maybe I’m hearing echoes of Herbert Spencer. A brief exploration of Terry Gross and Daniel Lieberman’s discussion of The Story of the Human Body, and my own discomfort with the necessary simplification of complex ideas
The Committee on World Anthropologies of the American Anthropological Association announces a web-based seminar from the World Council of Anthropology Associations, “Language and anthropological knowledge”, through 15 October.
Recommendations for seeking letters of recommendation to graduate school from Judy Pine, Paul Garrett, Margaret Buckner, Oona Schmid, and Shannon Bischoff
From the American Anthropological Association blog we learn that the 100 articles most downloaded from Anthrosource during 2012 will be ungated for the summer. Anyone interested can read the articles on the Wiley Online Library during this period. The Top 100 list includes a number of terrific articles related to linguistic anthropology.
In this guest post Anna Marie Trester, Director of the MA in Language and Communication (MLC) at Georgetown University, explains how the linguistic theory of deictics can help job seekers think about themselves from potential employers’ points of view.
Elections for American Anthropological Association positions, including President-Elect, Executive Board members, and several committee positions, as well as elections for the Society for Linguistic Anthropology and other sections are open now until 31 May, 2013.
Members of SLA and AAA are issuing calls for papers to join panels for the AAA annual meeting via linguistic anthropology email list LINGANTH. Links to recent calls are here.
Gabriel Arana recently published a defense of creaky voice at The Atlantic. He notes that recent criticism of young women’s use of creaky voice, or “vocal fry”, is part of a long tradition of critiquing the speaking styles of less powerful groups of people. Arana’s conclusion that “normative judgments about linguistic prestige are relative, and merely reflect social attitudes” is absolutely correct and well-known to linguistic anthropologists and other scholars of language. The particular speech patterns he analyses to support his conclusion – up-talk, like, and creak – are somewhat questionable, however.