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Linguistic Anthropology Roundup #7

Arizona on Our Minds

Arizona lawmakers have been on our minds, recently. In Roundup #5, Leila talked about their ban on ethnic studies classes and move against teachers with accents. As should be expected, that same “accented speech” issue has attracted the attention of the good people at Language Log, for instance in this recent blogpost. Among other things, this issue could help us discuss the perceived relationship between accent and fluency. Judgments about speech are often connected to judgments about speakers and accent perception is a fascinating (though often troubling) dimension of this connection.
In Roundup #6, Chad provided us with insight on Arizona’s immigration laws from the perspectives of members of the Muscogee nation and the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. More recently, Chad wrote a full blogpost on a letter sent by University of Arizona linguists about the “heavily accented” teachers.

Census, Language, and Social Justice

Speaking of letters, the SLA’s own Committee on Language and Social Justice sent one to the US Census Bureau about the term “linguistically isolated” and other language issues from the census. This letter is available through the AAA site. Contextual information about this letter has been sent on this very blog.

Engaging SLA Members

That same Committee on Language and Social Justice has been busy collecting teaching resources which we hope to make available through this site. As is often the case, the process of setting up a method to share resources in one domain makes a broader resource-sharing system easier. In other words, once these teaching resources contributed by the Language and Social Justice folks are put up, it should be easy for us to expand this system to other fields related to the anthropology of language.
In fact, with the relatively reasonable workload some of us are able to enjoy during the summer, it might be an especially good idea to prepare a broad set of teaching and other resources to help prepare for the new academic year.
In the meantime, there are several ways for anyone to collaborate with us. If you send an email to this SLA Web Guru address, it will be my pleasure to discuss ways of enhancing and contributing to the visibility of our field.
You may also “mention” @SocLingAnth on Twitter (send “@replies” to us) and we can start conversations this way. You may also add things to the SLA’s Facebook page and strengthen our social media presence.
If some of you are interested in directly contributing about issues surrounding language and culture, we would certainly welcome more colleagues joining us as contributors, so that Leila and Chad aren’t the only ones posting updates.
Another thing which can be done is to start discussions through the Linganth mailing-list. In the past, this mailing-list has been the place for many an interesting discussion about language in an anthropological perspective. While some of us may have switched part of our focus away from mailing-lists and into several social media possibilities, mailing-lists remain a useful for hash out several issues affecting, directly or indirectly, mailing-list participants.