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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: A Mayan ontology of poultry: Selfhood, affect, animals, and ethnography
Author: Paul Kockelman
Institution: Barnard College, Columbia University
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: Kekchí
Abstract: This article has three key themes: ontology (what kinds of beings there are in the world), affect (cognitive and corporeal attunements to such entities), and selfhood (relatively reflexive centers of attunement). To explore these themes, I focus on women's care for chickens among speakers of Q'eqchi' Maya living in the cloud forests of highland Guatemala. Broadly speaking, I argue that these three themes are empirically, methodologically, and theoretically inseparable. In addition, the chicken is a particularly rich site for such ethnographic research because it is simultaneously self, alter, and object for its owners. To undertake this analysis, I adopt a semiotic stance towards such themes, partly grounded in the writings of the American pragmatists Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and George Herbert Mead, and partly grounded in recent and classic scholarship by linguists, psychologists, and anthropologists. (Linguistic anthropology, political economy, ontology, affect, selfhood, animals, chickens, Mesoamerica, Maya, Q'eqchi')


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 40, Issue 4.

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