“He doesn’t speak Spanish”: Cruz, Rubio and meaning in the Republican debate

Why was I drawn into a news-story that Spanish was a part of last night’s presidential election? Was it because I am a weird linguistic anthropologist? Yes. But there’s more. It was also click bait for me and many others that would not normally tune into the Republic debate because languages other English seem antithetical to the Republic… Read More “He doesn’t speak Spanish”: Cruz, Rubio and meaning in the Republican debate

My Bike: The Linguistic Anthropology of Gentrification

What is the meaning of an utterance? Who has power? And most importantly, what is gentrification? No seriously, what the hell is the referent of gentrification? Yesterday, exiting the YMCA I had a choice encounter that literally overwhelmed my little linguistic anthropological brain with potential answers to these questions. I did not record the encounter because… Read More My Bike: The Linguistic Anthropology of Gentrification

Define and conquer

What is “language”? Here on Speech Events we’ve stated that we’re interested in what people do through language (Saussure’s parole), rather than linguistic form (Saussure’s langue, Chomsky’s grammatical competence, or universal grammar). We pay attention to what language practices do, what they mean socially, ideologically, and politically. Today I find myself asking what is “English… Read More Define and conquer

A glance inside the social change toolbox

By engaging in the discipline of educational linguistics we’ve made it pretty clear– we care about social realities, about people, power-structures, parole, and how they intertwine. We’re out to make the world– or at least the multilingual classroom– a better and more equitable place. Across academia there are plenty of scholars who would say they’re… Read More A glance inside the social change toolbox