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.
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 [...]
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.
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.
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
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
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 [...]
The Economist picks Tuyuca, an Eastern Amazon language as the world’s hardest language for its 50-140 noun classes http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15108609 (Thanks to Alexander King and Sierra for the link).
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.
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.”