[X] Anthropological Linguistics

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Vol. 54, no. 4 (Winter 2012)


Contents

Talking to Pets in Arara Isaac Costa de Souza and Steve Parker 313

The Unexpected Role of Schooling and Bilingualism in Language Maintenance within the San Lucas Quiaviní Zapotec Community in Los Angeles Gabriela Pérez Báez 350

Arousing and Mastering Feelings of Alien Inspiration in One’s Own Speech: Pragmatics of the Shamanic Songs of the Suruí of Rondônia (Southern Amazonia) Cédric Yvinec 371

Book Reviews

Language Complexity as an Evolving Variable (Geoffrey Sampson, David Gil, and Peter Trudgill, editors) Jeffrey Heath 401
Sociolinguistic Typology: Social Determinants of Linguistic Complexity (Peter Trudgill) Jeffrey Heath 404
An Introduction to Classical Nahuatl (Michel Launey; Christopher Mackay, translator) Michael McCafferty 407
Erratum: William L. Merrill, “The Historical Linguistics of Uto-Aztecan Agriculture” 410
Publications Received 411

Abstracts

Talking to Pets in Arara

Isaac Costa de Souza
Associação Linguística Evangélica Missionária and SIL International

Steve Parker
Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics and SIL International

Abstract. In this article, we describe the phonological behavior of a unique series of fourteen language games in Arara, a Cariban language of Brazil. These are known mainly by elderly speakers only. The primary sociolinguistic function of the language games is to express solidarity and friendship with different pet animals, including dogs, birds, and various kinds of monkeys. Each language game is used when talking to or with a particular species of animal (or a closely related class of animals), and is characterized by a different formative (morpheme) added to the normal Arara base word. The formatives include prefixes, infixes, and autosegmentalized features such as nasalization and murmuring; some of these are not attested in the language other than in this context. We provide an informal analysis of the morphophonemic processes exhibited by a wide range of Arara forms to which each of the fourteen language games is applied in turn. We thereby document an interesting yet endangered aspect of the linguistic interaction between one specific group of indigenous people and their (potentially) nondomesticated pets.

The Unexpected Role of Schooling and Bilingualism in Language Maintenance within the San Lucas Quiaviní Zapotec Community in Los Angeles

Gabriela Pérez Báez
Smithsonian Institution

Abstract. This article analyzes language shift from San Lucas Quiaviní Zapotec to Spanish among adults in Los Angeles, California, and a subsequent language shift reversal. These patterns correlate with schooling in San Lucas. Initially, established migrants assisted Zapotec-monolingual newcomers in learning Spanish by shifting to it in the home domain. This occurred between close relatives such as spouses, parents and their children, and siblings. As Spanish education became available in San Lucas, migrants were increasingly Zapotec-Spanish bilinguals, language shift in the home relaxed, and Zapotec was again favored in adult conversation. This highlights the relevance of plurilingualism in supporting linguistic diversity.

Arousing and Mastering Feelings of Alien Inspiration in One’s Own Speech: Pragmatics of the Shamanic Songsof the Suruí of Rondônia (Southern Amazonia)

Cédric Yvinec
Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale, Paris, France

Abstract. This article argues that the spiritual inspiration required, according to the Suruí shamans, to utter their supposedly immutable songs, may be traced back to specific linguistic features of these songs: prominent prosodic structure, syntagmatic structure that follows complex principles, indeterminacy of the reference of some deictic pronouns, and paradoxical use of evidential markers.


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