“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

Keeper of hospitality-ness (“Diatiguiya”)

Just 5 days ago the NYtimes ran an article about Mali’s successful response to its first confirmed case of Ebola. Unfortunately the congratulatory tone seemed a bit premature; Mali had a second seemingly separate outbreak emerge just days later. From the Times’ perspective one of the interesting things that Mali’s outbreaks highlight is the fact… Read More Keeper of hospitality-ness (“Diatiguiya”)

RFI and Voice of America learn Manding

African languages such as Swahili and Hausa have a long history of being used by foreign broadcasters such as the BBC, Radio France International (RFI) and Voice of Russia (formerly known as Radio Moscow). That said, despite its massive spread across West Africa and historical and current status as a lingua franca, none of them have offered Manding… Read More RFI and Voice of America learn Manding

Mozilla and Localization Efforts: The Economist’s “Cookies, caches and cows”

The Economist recently published an interesting article, “Cookies, Cache and Cows” from Bamako, Mali on Mozilla’s localization efforts for its web-browser and its (soon-to-be?) mobile operating system. I did some follow-up investigating to better understand Mozilla’s localization (also known as L10n) efforts and in particular those going on for Manding.… Read More Mozilla and Localization Efforts: The Economist’s “Cookies, caches and cows”