In the news
Kathryn Woolard, SLA President The question of linguistic relativity is the topic of an August 29, 2010 New York Times magazine article, “You Are What You Speak” Many linguistic anthropologists were surprised by the article’s representation of Benjamin Lee Whorf’s ideas and by the scant reference to the longstanding tradition of research in linguistic [...]
Comments by Michel DeGraff on responses to his petition on Haitian Kreyòl As it turns out, these responses echo age-old arguments about the (mis)use of language in Haitian schools and in Haitian society at large. Yves Dejean and many others have addressed such arguments in previous publications. See, for example, Yves Dejean’s 2006 book _Yon [...]
Stanley Fish notes that critics of the so-called ‘Ground Zero mosque’ see the terrorist attacks of September 11 as an act committed by Islam, for which all Muslims are responsible. In contrast, the stabbing of a cab driver by an attacker who reportedly asked the driver if he is Muslim is seen as “the act of a disturbed individual,” not a representative of an anti-Islamic position.
A lengthy excerpt from Guy Deutscher’s new book examines current evidence for linguistic relativity: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/magazine/29language-t.html?src=me&ref=homepage
From: Leila Monaghan, University of Wyoming, 8/25/10 Interesting article in the New York Times on changing peer review process on articles. Makes me think about whether this blog might be a good place for previewing articles in front of our peers, asking for comments on particular pieces of work before we send them to journals [...]
Repost of an article by H. Samy Alim and Imani Perry originally written for the The Grio blog: http://www.thegrio.com/opinion/why-the-deas-embrace-of-ebonics-is-lost-in-translation.php When the headlines appeared this week that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had issued a request to hire up to nine linguists proficient in Ebonics, it appeared it might be yet another cruel joke about the [...]
Reposted from Celso Alvarez Cáccamo 2010/08/24 at 3:13 am Catalonia’s educational system is one of immersion in Catalan. Catalan- and Spanish-speaking children alike (as well as immigrants from other countries) learn mandatorily in Catalan; Spanish is also taught. Spanish is not “the language of the majority” in Catalonia (or Galiza, for that matter). Be as [...]
Sometime in the early 17th century in Northern Peru, a Spaniard jotted down some notes on the back of a letter. Four hundred years later, archaeologists dug up and studied the paper, revealing the first traces of a lost language.
“It’s a little piece of paper with a big story to tell,” says Dr. Jeffrey Quilter, who has conducted investigations in Peru for more than three decades, and is director of the archaeological project at Magdalena de Cao Viejo in the El Brujo Archaeological Complex, where the paper was excavated in 2008. Quilter explains this simple list offers “a glimpse of the peoples of ancient and early colonial Peru who spoke a language lost to us until this discovery.”
Some interesting comments on the education system in general in a New York Times Editorial on Haitian Education These comments were posted in response to the Petition to have textbooks in Kreyòl in the schools (the last post on this SLA Blog): Nancy Reyes says Are you implying that Haitian kids are dumber than kids [...]
Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chairman of BP, has apparently upset some Americans with his reference to “the small people.” My first reaction when I heard Svanberg’s remarks was that he must have been aiming for “the little guy” and produced a near miss.
Arizona on Our Minds Arizona lawmakers have been on our minds, recently. In Roundup #5, Leila talked about their ban on ethnic studies classes and move against teachers with accents. As should be expected, that same “accented speech” issue has attracted the attention of the good people at Language Log, for instance in this recent [...]
The word socialism seems to be much in vogue in the United States recently, primarily as an epithet for one’s political opponents, especially for representatives of the Obama Administration or the Democratic Party, but also for “the Media” collectively.
I was therefore pleasantly surprised to find two recent blog posts pointing out how this usage differs from the traditional definition of socialism as a political position.
Fourth linguistic anthropology roundup, written by Alex Enkerli
Linguistic Anthropology Roundup #3
The Boston Globe’s “The Word”, Conversations with Ron Scollon, Monkeys with Internet Access, Voting Osage, and more
In a followup to my post from last week about the language section in the Snopes database of online myths and hoaxes, I’d like to share this link to the language section of TVtropes.org. The TV Tropes website was featured on the NPR radio show, On the Media, which explained that the show, which “catalogs [...]
NPR has a nice profile of the couple which runs Snopes.com. Having long ago convinced most of my contacts to stop forwarding chain e-mails, I rarely check Snopes anymore, but inspired by the NPR story I went back and was pleased to see that they have an entire section devoted to language. This, in turn, [...]