Linguistic Anthropology

Department specialists in linguistic anthropology include Miyako Inoue and James A. Fox. Inoue, who works on Japanese linguistic ideology and is a former co-editor of Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, is currently working on a book-length project on the social history of “verbatim” in Japanese. She traces the historical development of the Japanese shorthand technique used in the Diet for its proceedings since the late 19th century, and of the stenographic typewriter introduced to the Japanese court for the trial record after WWII. She is interested in learning what it means to be faithful to others by coping their speech, and how the politico-semiotic rationality of such stenographic modes of fidelity can be understood as a technology of a particular form of governance, namely, liberal governance. Fox works on comparative Mayan and Mixe-Zoquean historical linguistics and Mayan epigraphy, and does field linguistics documentation of moribund languages in Mesoamerica. Fox is also interested in the biology and evolution of language and in linguistic approaches to the environment.

The Department of Anthropology has a close relationship to the Department of Linguistics, and affiliated Professor Penny Eckert of that department works on the dialectology and sociolinguistics of California and the Pyrenees. We do not have a formal track in linguistic anthropology, but do help students design language-oriented programs within any of the current Anthropology tracks.