Chand, Vineeta, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Indian English Ownership, Status and Variation,' supervised by Dr. Janet Shibamoto Smith
VINEETA CHAND, then a student at University of California, Davis, California, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Indian English Ownership, Status and Variation,' supervised by Dr. Janet Shibamoto Smith. This research addressed the Indian English (IE) socio-cultural linguistic setting, examining the relationship between structural variation, identity, attitudes and personal history for New Delhi English bilinguals. Informed by the fields of sociolinguistics, anthropology, and South Asian studies, the research uses quantitative and qualitative analytic linguistic methodologies, in conjunction with close ethnographic observation, to address socio-cultural questions. Modern alternative multilingual settings raise important theoretical questions about applying variationist methods in new contexts, and interrelationships between language change, shifts in linguistic ideologies, and sociolinguistic identity. Drawing on 50-plus hours of informal conversations and ethnographic fieldwork, significant links were uncovered between linguistic practices, ideologies, and evolving historical backdrops, wherein gender, age, ethno-linguistic background, and domestic mobility are each foundational elements of individual urban identity, and collectively are significant for understanding systematic IE language practices. These findings challenge the assumption that oft-considered 'basic' social factors, widely used in variationist studies, are adequate to account for alternative, third-world settings, underscoring the importance of ethnographic and qualitative data for interpreting language practices. This project also examined processes and results of globalization and localization, demonstrating that IE's development as a distinct English dialect is intertwined with the emergence of a locally valuable, urban Indian identity.
Gal, Dr. Susan, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid workshop on linguistic anthropology research, 2001, Chicago, in collaboration with Dr. Bruce Mannheim
'Linguistic Anthropology Research Consortium,' 2001-2003, Chicago, Illinois -- Organizers: Susan Gal (University of Chicago) and Bruce Manheim (University of Michigan). The Linguistic Anthropology Research Consortium was organized to promote intellectual synergy among linguistic anthropologists in the Great Lakes region, enhance the research of its members, and jointly develop areas of theoretical advance within linguistic anthropology. The group met nine times in three years. Each meeting was devoted to the work in progress of two members, followed by broader theoretical debate. Papers were distributed ahead of time. A sense of joint effort emerged, along with a convergence of theoretical frameworks for investigating the ways in which language and text are commodified, how discursive practices circulate in global flows, and how linguistic practices are social differentiated. In addition to the single-authored publications developed through this series of meetings, a 'Midwest nexus' of linguistic anthropology emerged. Consortium members have begun to seek further funding to institutionalize their collaboration in the form of yearly conferences and websites.
Hittman, Dr. Michael, Brooklyn, NY - To aid preparation of personal research materials for archival deposit with Special Collections, Univesity of Nevada Libraries, Reno, NV - Historical Archives Program
Kratz, Dr. Corinne A., Tesuque, NM - To aid preparation of the personal research materials and professional papers of Dr. Ivan Karp, for archival deposit with the National Anthropological Archives, Suitland, MD - Historical Archives Program
McShane, Patrice McCrann, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Ethnic Insult as Conflict Prevention in Burkina Faso,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine
Preliminary abstract: In this dissertation project, I will explore cultural beliefs about dakire, the exchange of ethnic insults in Burkina Faso. Dakire is highly theorized by Burkinabè people, who attribute many societal boons to it: the facilitation of candor in a deferential society; the minimization of inter-ethnic power differential; the catharsis of ethnic tension. Many Burkinabè people believe that dakire is key to the smooth functioning of society, and that it serves to prevent violence between ethnic groups. For these reasons, dakire is a point of local pride and salience. I suggest that ethnic jokers ideologically and semiotically reify concepts of 'ethnicity' and 'nation,' through interactional, linguistic practice. I will examine how different political movements have influenced modern beliefs about dakire. Although dakire has existed in Burkina since pre-colonial times, I hypothesize that its heightened salience is a new phenomenon. Dakire, in its modern conception, serves to unite ethnic groups into a network delineated by national boundaries, making it an attractive nation-building tool for the Burkinabè state. I also explore how dakire is motivated by an iconic relationship to kinship-based joking. This metaphorical extension of familial behavioral norms onto inter-ethnic behavioral norms reinforces the 'naturalness' of modern ethnic categories and inter-ethnic affiliation.
Adair, Dr. Mary, U. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS - To aid preparation of the research materials of Dr. Robert Squier for archival deposit with the Biodiversity Institute at the U. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS - Historical Archives Program
Rodriguez, Juan Luis, Southern Illinois U., Carbondale, IL - To aid research on 'Rhetorical Strategies and Gift Circulation in the Politics of The Orinoco Delta, Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan David Hill
JUAN LUIS RODRIGUEZ, then a student at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Rhetorical Strategies and Gift Circulation in the Politics of the Orinoco Delta, Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan D. Hill. This study analyses political discursive strategies and gift circulation in the Orinoco Delta, Venezuela. This is a semiotic and discourse-centered study on how the Warao indigenous population interacts with political representatives from the Venezuelan government. This study is based on a yearlong fieldwork focusing on political speeches and observing how political gifts are circulated. Research focused on public political events in which politicians, governmental representatives, and communal council's members perform public political discourses. During this year, the grantee followed the constitutional referendum of December 2007 and the organization of the 2008 regional election in the Orinoco Delta, as well as the development of the Morichito communal council in the Lower Delta. This helped in evaluating how gift circulation and political discourse intersect as semiotic strategies. The purpose of this research is to further advance the discourse-centered approaches to cultures developed in South America by addressing the ways in which discursive sign vehicles interact with other semiotic forms, especially political gifts. This type of analysis is central to understand recent political processes occurring among the Warao, as well as the general political climate of Venezuela since 1998 (the rising of President Hugo Chavez Frias).