See below for a list of recent ethnographies on language and gender, which will appeal to educators and students of anthropology, particularly at the undergraduate level, as well as to readers with a general interest in linguistic anthropology. These titles were suggested on the LINGANTH listserv by members of the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, and to make additional suggestions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or post your suggestions to LINGANTH. Ethnographies are listed in reverse chronological order of publication. [UPDATE 11/9/2015: See also suggested titles for recent ethnographies dealing with language socialization on the SLA blog] Click on the images to learn more about each title. Manning, P. (2015). Love
On behalf of William Leap (American University), Co-editor, Journal of Language and Sexuality: The Journal of Language and Sexuality (www.benjamins.com/#catalog/journals/jls) is now in its fifth year of publication. JL&S explores the discursive formations of sexuality, including (but not limited to) sexual desire, sexual identities, sexual politics, and sexuality in diaspora. JL&S addresses linguistic work in the widest possible sense, e.g. sociolinguistics, anthropological linguistics, phonology, pragmatics, semantics, discourse analysis, applied linguistics, and any other mode of language-centered inquiry interrogating discourses of sexuality and their linguistic and social consequences. On a theoretical level, JL&S is indebted to Queer Linguistics as its major influence. Issue 4.1 of JL&S will soon be in print. We
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.
The phrase, “women and children” to mean non-combatants killed by war strikes me as somewhat outdated. Non-combatants are not necessarily women or children, and women and children are not necessarily non-combatant. The phrase might risk a mis-recognition of the nature of political violence and its victims.
In “Lesbian bar talk in Shinjuku, Tokyo” Hideko Abe shows how identity positions are constructed and claimed through language use. One passage, which shows how use of the word futsuu (ordinary) includes homosexual and heterosexual subjects in the same category, bears additional analysis.
This is the first of columns listing links in the news connected to language. These links do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Society for Linguistic Anthropology but are connected to topics that members might be interested in. Reaction pieces and comments welcome. From the New York Times: “Phonetic Clues Hint Language Is Africa-Born” by Nicholas Wade. Fascinating article on where language originally originated. Quentin Atkinson, mathematician from Auckland, New Zealand, hypothesizes number of phonemes in click languages reflects closeness to the origins of language in Africa. “How Language Heals” by Abraham Verghese, book review of One Hundred Names
P. Kerim Friedman, NDHU In her now classic 1989 paper on language and political economy, Judith Irvine talked about situations where language doesn’t merely index political and economic relations in the way that accent is linked to class in Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” but where speech acts are themselves a form of political and economic economic activity. Her example is that of the Wolof griot “whose traditional profession involves special rhetorical and conversational duties such as persuasive speechmaking on a patron’s behalf, making entertaining conversation, transmitting messagesto the public, and performing the various genres of praise-singing.” She discusses how while not anyone can