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Comments (14)

A linguagem na prática antropológica
Os textos apresentados durante o seminário foram, a meu ver, muito importantes para pensar sobre a dimensão lingüística da prática antropológica. Aliás, a língua é central no trabalho com os colegas antropólogos, mas também na construção das relações entre o antropólogo e as pessoas das comunidades com a quais vamos trabalhar. A utilização de uma determinada língua implica um posicionamento do especialista a partir do qual se realça o caráter ideológico e mesmo político das “escolhas” lingüísticas. Eu acho que este seminário foi uma oportunidade interessante para lançar um olhar critico sobre estas práticas num cenário global e multilíngüe.

Muito obrigada e parabéns aos organizadores do seminário!
#14 - María Agustina Morando - UBA-FFyL - 10/25/2013 - 12:28
Languages as colonial legacies #7
Languages are colonial legacies and tools for interlocution
"até que ponto as línguas de países que já tiverem um império colonial (espanhol, francês,etc.) estão sendo utilizadas dentro de relações neocoloniais?" asks Rodrigo #7 .
The three languages of the webinar (English, Français, Português), as well as Spanish, are spoken on various continents in part as a result of their former imperial role. In that sense, they are 'colonial legacies'. This means that, among others, these are languages in which "neo-colonial relationships" may be maintained. However, these are also languages in which neo-colonial relationships may be contested.
As "colonial legacies", languages are not only oppressive, they are also are constitutive of the very identity of those who speak it (as first, second or third language), and can be appropriated in many ways. Portuguese in East Timor is the language of the former colonial power, but also a language of liberation in relation to Indonesia. In other words, the history of power relationships leaves its mark on languages, and the relationship between them, but does not preclude creative appropriations. It is also necessary to take into account the local forms of those languages: the rural Pernambuco variant of Portuguese spoken by my interlocutors in the field defines a specific universe of interlocution, marked by its relationship to 'legitimate' Portuguese and by a certain autonomy. It is also a situation of diglossy.
#13 - Benoît de L'Estoile - CNRS - 10/25/2013 - 03:51
Multilingualism and monolinguism
Multilingualism is of course not a uniform phenomenon. I can be differentiated depending on degrees of competence in the languages involved, depending on how the relevant population structure constrains usage of the different languages a speaker knows (which can influence levels of competence in the different languages a speaker knows), and depending, among other factors, on the ethnographic functions associated with the particular languages a speaker in some communities is expected to be able to use. The reasons why some languages may endanger others should vary depending on the type of multilingualism that is involved. One will find out that English and other European colonial/imperial languages are not always the culprits (if the languages themselves had any agency in the process!), as the conditions of language coexistence are not the same from one part of the world to another. Invocations of economic (world-wide) globalization have also often overlooked the fact that this process has sometimes further marginalized some populations and may have triggered a negative attitude toward the hegemonic or expanding language. My rule of thumb is that a language will endanger another only when both have the same ethnographic functions and the ethnographically weaker one is made redundant.

Regarding "monolinguism," the world is not uniform and there are still numerous isolated marginalized communities where monolingualism is the norm, especially when the relevant populations cannot afford to travel far, to places where other languages are spoken. (I am assuming that "monolinguism" has been used to mean something different from "monolingualism"!) A problem with how language endangerment has typically been approached is that the vitality of a language is assessed by the number of its speakers, in abstraction of a wide range of other factors that may account for the sustainability of a demographically small language. I don't intend hereby to deny that a population that suffers demographic attrition risks losing its language and culture, but then one may also worry about a once demographically and economically powerful ethnoglinguistic group whose members are shifting linguistic allegiance to the benefit of another demographically and economically, not to forget politically, powerful group. For instance, there are in China minority and endangered languages spoken by tens of millions of people. Such a number would mean that a language has a lot of vitality in a different polity.
#12 - Salikoko S. Mufwene - University of Chicago - 10/22/2013 - 10:27
Pensar através da diferença. A linguagem da colabor ação antropológica
A construção das relações entre o antropólogo e as pessoas da comunidade na qual ele pretende realiza suas pesquisas é uma das tarefas mais difíceis. Ao mesmo tempo que o diálogo constrói relações ele pode destrui-las, por algum mal-entendido. Aprender a perguntar é outro processo importante que se constrói ao longo do tempo por meio de erros e acertos. Até que ponto a compreensão da pergunta e a da resposta é a mesma para ambos!? Até que ponto o registro das notas de campo corresponde ao que foi observado, e o que foi uma interpretação do observador a partir de sua própria linguagem e até que ponto essa "tradução" é fiel? São questões difíceis de serem respondidas. Mas que devem ser debatidas
#11 - Rodrigo Conçole Lage - UNISUL - 10/22/2013 - 08:17
Comment for the text of Christine Jourdan “Transformations and linguistic alienations”
In scientific communication, particularly in my scientific area - linguistic anthropology, truly, the English language dominates. Texts in other languages and their authors often remain unknown outside the spread of this language, although no one doubts that the non-English-speaking scientific traditions are not less valuable theoretically and methodologically. It seems to me that in this situation it is important just TO DO SOMETHING. For example, my colleague from Eastern Washington University (USA) and me decided to write an article "Russian-Based Ethnolinguistics and North American Linguistic Anthropology" and offer it to the scientific community IN BOTH LANGUAGES for "mutual scientific acquaintance" .
Prof. Alena Rudenka, Belarusian State University
#10 - Alena Rudenka - Belarusian State University - 10/21/2013 - 03:02
Response to comment addressed to me during the webinar
During the webinar, I had the following comment addressed to me:

"Thank you for a very interesting paper and presentation. I have a question about the risks of using a language as a tool for analysis and at the same time the subject of the study, especially when we consider the "notion of participation", as you said, as a precondition of being able to answer some anthropological questions relating to language and keeping in mind our inevitable ideological position. What are the potential risks and what should we keep in mind when producing ethnographic knowledge about the language in this case and during analysis (e.g., discourse analysis), and in order to produce reliable etnographic accounts?"

I'd like to take this opportunity to respond:

Thanks for your question, and I'm sorry we didn't have time to answer it while online. It's interesting to reflect on the fact that we would not ask this same question about studying English through English. The reason for this is of course that we don't think that our (linguists'/anthropologists') uses of English have an impact on English--that is, we view English as existing above/outside our uses of it. While this is not true, there's also no doubt that this kind of effect is magnified in minority language contexts like the Corsican one, where speakers are few, and using the language in public domains is marked. This means that individual public users of Corsican play a more visible, and statistically greater role in constituting the language in particular sociolinguistic/ideological/political ways. So it's true, my choice to use Corsican, especially in some of the public domains I described, becomes part of the sociolinguistic context that I am also studying. Is this problematic? I don't think so, but I think you are right that it has to be acknowledged. That is part of what I was saying in my essay, that it impossible to not take a position in these kinds of contexts. If I use French, I am also defining public space through language choice--or, to put it another way, participating in the creation of indexical relations between particular kinds of places, genres, spaces and language(s). I might also add that the object of my study is not so much to produce ethnographic knowledge about Corsican as a code, but to produce ethnographic knowledge about how Corsican is used, socially defined/evaluated, implicated in identity politics etc. So the reliability of ethnographic accounts with this orientation is grounded in the analyst's metadiscursive sensibility (and the necessary reflexivity that your question implies).

Alexandra
#9 - Alexandra Jaffe - CSULB - 10/19/2013 - 16:53
Relação Antropologia e Linguagem
Infelizmente, aqui no INPA devido problemas na REde não consegui acompanhar a discussão online do dia 15/10.

MAS os textos e as propostas do Evento foram extremamente relevantes para pensar a relação Linguagem e Cultura e o diálogo que deve ser permanentemente estimulado entre Antropologia e Linguística. O trabalho antropologico é permeado por eventos de linguagem, nossas relações no campo também.

Parabéns os organizadores do evento.

Ana Carla
#8 - Ana Carla Bruno - INPA - 10/17/2013 - 06:53
Transformações e alienações linguísticas
Em diferentes épocas da história vamos ter uma língua hegemônica: o grego, o latim, etc. Assim, não temos como saber se um dia o inglês deixará de exercer esse papel, o que não é impossível. Mas, seria interessante pensar na questão do crescimento da importância de outras línguas e o quanto esse crescimento pode alterar a situação. Outra questão interessante é até que ponto as línguas de países que já tiverem um império colonial (espanhol, francês,etc.) estão sendo utilizadas dentro de relações neocoloniais.
#7 - Rodrigo Conçole Lage - Institution (if any) - 10/16/2013 - 19:19
Multilingualism
I do wonder whether the term "multilinguilism" can be reductionist. Are there not different forms of multilingualism? The multilingualism of a scholar who learns additional languages versus the multilingualism of communities who due to colonization and (often forced) assimilation being pushed from one language (or a balanced multilingualism) to a unilingualism that is invariably that of the language of the state.
#6 - Michel Bouchard - UNBC - 10/15/2013 - 09:01
Communities of Practice
A. Jaffe´s paper, in particular, where she highlights issues of communities of practice and competing circuits of knowledge helps me to ´mainstream´ a project that I started over 10 years ago, precisely reflecting on these issues that motivate this webinar. I started a web platform in three major languages --English, German and Spanish, all competing in some way, all with very compelling roles in the history of anthropological discourse about the linguistic minorities that are the focused of the platform (www.binal.ac.pa/panal).
In 2005 I managed to transfer the platform to the server of the National Library of Panama, a very courageous move from the Directors, and no minor detail, if you consider that the library´s main catalogue and see that you can choose between Euskera, Catala, French and English.... In 2012 I officially transferred the site to a university institute at the University of Panama. It has not been updated since then, and bureaucratic reasons have hindered the migration to the new server. I have written some about the theories and epistemology behind this project. I haven't bother to publish to much, because the site itself kept me so busy, but because so far there wasn't enough interest in these aspects of anthropological work. At any rate, in the Spanish version of the site, you can still retrieve an old somewhat outdated paper written for the educated public, justifying why such a site. Look under the button Objetivos at the paper Sobre las Minorias Linguisticas. The more theoretical aspects are concentrated in another paper which I presented in Panama in 2011. I´d be glad to share it with anyone who´d like to take a look. I think it informs the proposed discussion from the perspective of a `multiple insider` and a `multiple Other` as well.
#5 - Marta de Gerdes - Affiliated Centro de Investigaciones Antropologicas, Universidad de Panama, y docente en Alemania - 10/14/2013 - 13:03
O monolinguismo é uma doença
A noção de monolinguismo simplifica uma realidade muito mais complexa. Ao olharmos a questão, apenas no que se refere as línguas minoritárias, nós construímos uma imagem imprecisa da realidade, como o texto muito bem demonstrou.
#4 - Rodrigo Conçole Lage - UNISUL - 10/13/2013 - 13:11
Monolinguism is a Disease
In this globalised world and dominated with the new technologies and social networks that influence quite.

In what the minority languages are abandoned and brought to its extinction in which is a shame and we must bear in mind that all languages are equal and have the same importance on our planet
#3 - vicente javier arias gomez - UNED - 10/10/2013 - 08:36
Bem-vind@s
Quero dar as boas-vindas a tod@s as participantes. Leiam os textos e comentem :-)
#2 - Miguel Vale de Almeida - ISCTE Lisboa - 10/03/2013 - 03:49
The seminar is open
With apologies for the delay, the papers are now posted and so the seminar is now open. We welcome your comments here.
#1 - Rohan - NomadIT - 10/02/2013 - 02:19
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