Linguistic Anthropology Roundup #1

March 18, 2010 6 Comments Leila SLA, Uncategorized , , ,

Welcome to the inaugural Society for Linguistic Anthropology Roundup Blogpost that will briefly summarize some of the current interesting linguistic anthropology related materials available on the web. Three of us, Alex Enkerli (SLA Web Guru), Chad Nilep (a regular blogger on this site), and myself (Leila Monaghan, SLA Digital Content Editor), will share the duties of doing the Roundups. We welcome suggestions about interesting current news links or good websites—feel free to post them in the Feedback Boxes at the bottom right of every page in this blog or make a comment in response to this Roundup. We will also

Wyoming Language, Culture and History Conference

March 18, 2010 5 Comments Leila Uncategorized

We got so many interesting paper proposals that we have extended the conference for an extra half day so we could fit them all in. The Wyoming Language, Culture and History Conference now runs from Thursday, July to Saturday, July 3. See full blog post for the preliminary program

Toyota and Japanese orthography

March 1, 2010 1 Comment Chad Nilep Uncategorized , , ,

A radio quiz program suggested that Toyota uses a character written with eight strokes, while Toyoda uses one with ten, and that eight is a more auspicious number. This is strange for at least two reasons.

It turns out that BBC News contributor Kathryn Westcott published an article last week addressing the question, “Why is the car giant Toyota not Toyoda?” which does a pretty good job explaining the apparent inconsistency.

CFP AAA: Circulating Discourses of Past and Present: Linguistic Anthropology and History

February 27, 2010 No Comments Leila Uncategorized , , ,

History traditionally was part of linguistic anthropology but in more recent years much of the focus of the field has been on close analysis of specific events rather than ideas of the past and historical patterns. This panel aims to bring many notions of history back into circulation within the field of linguistic anthropology and will explore the connections between language and history from multiple viewpoints. Papers already in the session include work on the ethnohistory of colonial Mexico and the history of linguistic anthropology. Papers should focus on analyses of language and discourse within an (ethno)historical context and the

An orphan by any other name…?

February 20, 2010 No Comments Chad Nilep Uncategorized , ,

I know very little about adoption practices in Haiti, and all I know about events in that country since the earthquake last January I have learned from the news media. Still, I wonder whether the thing that American missionaries call an orphanage is really the same as what most Haitians think of as an orphelinat. It appears that Haitian orphanages are quite different from my own image of an orphanage.

SLA Call for Invited Sessions

February 10, 2010 No Comments Leila Uncategorized


It’s that time of year again: The Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) invites your submissions for the American Anthropological Association’s 2010 Annual Meeting, to be held in New Orleans, on November 17-21. As this year’s SLA Section Program Editor, I am writing to encourage you to submit invited sessions, volunteered sessions, and volunteered papers and posters so that we can have an exciting meeting in New Orleans this November. The theme of the 2010 Meeting is “Circulation.” I hope that you will consider orienting your panels to the conference theme, although you do not have to do so.

Code switching and language alternation

A colleague writes to ask:

I read your article ‘Code Switching’ in Sociocultural Linguistics. What I wonder is [why] you didn’t write something about the author Grosjean (1982, Life with Two Languages). He also used the term Code Switching as one of the first. And I can’t get the differences between ‘ language alternation’ and ‘ code switching’? Can you describe the differences?

These are excellent questions.

Language, Culture and History Conference

Vedawoo Recreation Area
Language, Culture and History conference
Call for Papers, Abstracts due March 1

Official Website: http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/anthropology/info.asp?p=19234


Department of Anthropology
Co-sponsored by the journal Ethnohistory
University of Wyoming
July 1-2, 2010

Joint Call for Papers for Society for Linguistic Anthropology and Council on Anthropology and Education

January 12, 2010 1 Comment Leila Uncategorized , , ,

Charting Multilingual Confluences within Education Eric Johnson (ejj AT tricity.wsu.edu) Building on the “Circulation” theme for the 2010 AAA meetings, the committee on Multicultural and Multilingual Education within the Council on Anthropology & Education would like to invite presentation proposals to be considered for participation on an “Invited” session panel. The general aim of this panel is to emphasize the multifaceted and dynamic nature of language within contexts surrounding education. The following questions represent potential avenues of inquiry for this session: 1. How do languages co-exist and circulate within a classroom, school, or district? 2. Are languages viewed in terms

A quick overview of sign languages

January 5, 2010 4 Comments Leila Uncategorized

Basic Background:

Sign languages are different from both spoken languages and from each other. There is no universal sign language. Because Deaf people can’t hear the spoken language of the country, a sign language like American Sign Language has a different grammar from spoken language. It is also different from other sign languages—even British Sign Language—because of the separate histories of American and British Deaf communities. Sign languages are also not spelled out words, although fingerspelling can be used if you want to translate a written words like the name of an unfamiliar town into sign language.

Constructed languages on film

December 19, 2009 4 Comments Chad Nilep Uncategorized ,

According to Ben Zimmer, various aliens in Star Wars spoke Quechua, one of the most widely spoken indigenous languages in South America, and Haya, a Bantu language spoken in Tanzania.
The new film Avatar features Na’vi, a constructed language said to “out-Klingon Klingon.”

Monkey Grammar?

December 13, 2009 No Comments Leila Uncategorized , , ,

An article passed on by Ken Ehrensal from the New York Times on Campbell’s monkeys having grammar. The grammar is pretty simple but looks like it might be more complex than Vervet monkeys’ efforts. [Link to article.] The full length article it is based on can be found here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0007808 and discusses the flexibility of monkey calls and the different kinds of calls including “hok” “hok-oo” and “boom.”  Some audio clips accompany the article.

The AAA Meetings were a great success

December 7, 2009 1 Comment Leila Uncategorized , , ,

Welcome back home! The Philadelphia meetings were a great success and it was wonderful to see so many old friends and colleagues. The Society for Linguistic Anthropology meeting was standing room only. The SLA organization as a whole is very healthy with an expanding journal and more sessions this year than last year, including four invited sessions. This updated website was enthusiastically received by the membership. Now is the time, though, to convert enthusiasm into words and actions…Please submit summaries of your sessions, news about your recent books and publications, essays on questions important to language and culture or other