Piecemeal Comments on Language and Gender (or PCs)

November 10, 2010 2 Comments Lindsay Bell Uncategorized , ,

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 in childhood language socialization practices turn into consequential communicative differences in adulthood. Of course, for graduate students no reading can be complete without a ‘critique’. In Tannen’s successful attempts to bring the linguistic construction difference to popular audiences, some of the nuances and ambiguities in

Complex orthography and advertising

November 5, 2010 1 Comment Chad Nilep Uncategorized

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.

Multikulti in context

October 21, 2010 1 Comment Chad Nilep Uncategorized

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.

Guy Deutscher responds

September 19, 2010 3 Comments Leila In the news, Linguistic Relativity, Uncategorized

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 been offended, I’m posting it here: Dear Prof. Woolard, Yesterday I was sent a link to your blog on the Linguistic Anthropology list, and I was saddened to see that my NYT article has caused offence to linguistic anthropologists. I had no intention whatsoever of

More on Haitian Kreyòl and the education system

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 whose first language is Catalan, Swiss dialect, Cebuano or Karanga but have to study books written in the language of the majority (Spanish, German, Tagalog, Shona)? For younger kids, immersion works,In Africa, the teacher speaks slowly and explains things in the local language when they

Bad Words

August 6, 2010 7 Comments judy Uncategorized

Why I find “geek”, when used as a slur, more offensive than words which may commonly be viewed as quite foul and offensive.

The Making of the AAA Meetings

July 28, 2010 4 Comments Lindsay Bell AAA, Uncategorized

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 was great to see the “backstage” spaces of the organization and to understand the labour process of putting together the meetings. Staff members, Jason Watkins and Carla Fernandez, had already been hard at work preparing for Dr. Monica Heller, Dr. Rob Albro and myself to

South African languages

July 13, 2010 1 Comment Leila Uncategorized

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’.

Linguistic Anthropology Roundup #8

June 26, 2010 1 Comment Leila Uncategorized

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 Everyday Lives of Families including those of Elinor Ochs. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080101093852.htm More on Elinor Och’s work, marriage, and the phrase “Hi Honey, I’m home!” http://www.boston.com/jobs/news/articles/2006/02/12/repeat_after_me_welcome_home_dear/ Multi-lingualism and schools While ever more news comes out about Arizona trying to ban linguistic diversity, a couple of other

University of Arizona Department of Linguistics’ letter to state lawmakers

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.

SLA President announces new JLA editors

On behalf of the SLA Executive Committee and the JLA editorship, I’m very pleased to announce the appointment of the incoming JLA editorial team for the term of January 2011 through December 2013. Alexandra (Misty) Jaffe, Professor of Linguistics at Cal State University, Long Beach, will serve as Editor. Misty brings to the position 6 years of experience as Co-editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Elsevier journal Linguistics and Education. Paul Garrett, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Temple University, will serve as Associate Editor. I thank Misty and Paul for agreeing to take on these duties. I also want to thank our

Linguistic Anthropology Roundup #5

Fifth linguistic anthropology roundup, by Leila Monaghan

Linguistic Diversity

Linguistic diversity has been in the news in the last few weeks in a couple of different guises.

First, there was an article about the many languages of New York City (particularly Queens)

Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages

The chances of overhearing a conversation in Vlashki, a variant of Istro-Romanian, are greater in Queens than in the remote mountain villages in Croatia that immigrants now living in New York left years ago.
Just starting are Twitter adventures: Twitter.com

As you have only 140 characters per tweet, twittering has some very arcane ins and outs.

Celso Alvarez Caccamo on Catalan Language Policies

March 22, 2010 1 Comment Leila Uncategorized

Celso Alvarez Caccamo had such an interesting response to my first roundup that I have pasted it in full so anyone seeing the blog will see it. I was tempted to remove the Altalang.com link but will leave it (and its evidence of my utter lack of knowledge about Spanish dialects and Iberian penninsula languages) so y’all can inspect its weaknesses for yourselves. Thank you as well, Celso, for the discussion of Catalan language policies. Please feel free to write more about them any time you wish! From Celso: Sorry to say that one of the links in this post,