This piece does not reflect the official opinion of the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, its officers or its individual members. The Linguistic Society of America’s “LSA Ethics Discussion Blog” has posted a draft Code of Ethics for Linguists in Forensic Linguistics Consulting. The authors seek comments on the draft policy, primarily from members of the […]
Recently some scholars in language acquisition and education have posted links on Facebook to the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood (henceforth CCFC), which is asking the US Federal Trade Commission to stop the company Your Baby Can Read (YBCR) from advertising its products. According to CCFC, YBCR sells a system that promises to teach […]
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. […]
According to an article in the New York Times, American Sign Language is now the fourth most-studied language among US college and university students. While enrollment in foreign-language courses generally has held steady or increased only modestly, enrollment in ASL courses increased more than sixteen percent between 2006 and 2009. Instructor Amy Ruth McGraw suggests […]
I currently have the privilege of TAing Intro to linguistic anthropology at the University of Toronto and in the previous weeks the students read and discussed connections between language and gender. As the course is a very short introduction to core concepts, students read a piece by Deborah Tannen in which the ideas about difference […]
I continue my observations on Japan’s complex writing system with notes on two texts: the cardboard covers enclosing two six-packs of happoshu, or low-cost beer.
Ingrid Piller at Language on the Move looks and English-medium news coverage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent declaration, “Multikulti ist absolut gescheitert.” Piller says that the English language press largely seems to misunderstand the comments.
My commute to my new job at Nagoya University this morning revealed that macarone is alive and well among Japanese taggers.
New York Times reviews the latest research on baby babbling:
and an article on children’s use of irony. Tape recording of naturally occurring speech, but not laboratory experiments, reveal even quite young children can understand irony.
Discussion of the revitalization of and resistance to Romansh, the fourth official Swiss language related to Latin used during Roman times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/29/world/europe/29swiss.html?_r=2&hp
Kathryn Woolard, SLA President In response to my original posting on this website, I received the following email message a few days ago from the author of the NYT article, Guy Deutscher, who was concerned that he inadvertently offended linguistic anthropologists. Because Dr. Deutscher asked me to share his message with anyone who might have […]
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 […]
Posted for: Michel DeGraff, MIT Linguistics & Philosophy
Dear friends and colleagues,
We ask that you please take time to read, sign and distribute Professor Yves Dejean’s urgent public petition about school reform in Haiti.
The petition is available online at:
Why I find “geek”, when used as a slur, more offensive than words which may commonly be viewed as quite foul and offensive.
This year’s AAA meetings have the highest number of registrants on record. As one of the student assistants on the Executive Program Committee, the level of interest was both reassuring and daunting. Last month, I traveled to Washington DC to the AAA offices to help with the enormous task of scheduling the academic program. It […]
About the vuvuzela term: first, the suffix -ela is an “applicative” extension in isiZulu. The suffix “ela” means “an action… performed for, on behalf of, or in the direction of something or someone” (Mbeje 2005:229). Second, there are a large number of ideophones in isiZulu (in fact, the term was first invented as a grammatical category for the linguistic analysis of isiZulu). An ideophone is basically type of onomatopoeia. Thus the term “vuvuzela” can be understood as ‘the thing with which you make the vuvu sound for someone or something’.
Taping marriages One of the most frequent uses of linguistic anthropology is to help us understand how people in marriages communicate with each other. Article on people “learning to be married” and the importance of using videotapes to understand how people interact with each other. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/18/AR2010061804509.html?sid=ST2010062404889 This article is on studies from UCLA’s Center for […]
The Arizona Department of Education is asking school districts to remove teachers who speak “heavily accented or ungrammatical” English from classrooms where students are learning English. In response, the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona has drafted a statement summarizing research on language variation and its effects on language acquisition.
In this edition of our bi-weekly Roundup: the satirical journal Speculative Grammarian tackles fieldwork; the Muscogee (Creek) Nation is discussing a resolution condemning Arizona’s new immigration law; work summarized in Science Daily suggests that loss of hearing in one ear affects children’s scores on language tests.