COURSE DESCRIPTION

Research Methodology in Anthropological Linguistics


Programme:

Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

Modul:
Anthropology: Understanding Worldmaking Practices

Course code: 65

Year of study: Not specified


Course principal:
Karmen Kenda-Jež, Ph.D.
Prof. Borut Telban, Ph.D.

ECTS: 6

Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminars 30 hours

Course type: general elective

Languages: Slovene, English

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, seminars

 

Course Syllabus

Content (Syllabus outline)

1. Introduction to Anthropological Linguistics:

  • Anthropological linguistics as an interdisciplinary science;
  • Starting points of linguistic research: links with the methods of sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, ethno-linguistics, cognitive linguistics, pragmatics, discourse analysis and conversational analysis;
  • Main directions of the research.

 

2. Research into linguistic practices:

  • Linguistic practices and social communities: language/speech community, community of practice, social networks;
  • The status of language varieties: prestige vs. stigmatisation; standard (written language – literary language – standard language) vs. nonstandard varieties (dialect, sociolect, ethnolect); functional differentiation of language, public and private communication; minority, local, national and world languages; language of individuals, idiolect, the mental dictionary; artificial languages;
  • Multilingualism and multiculturalism: individual and community multilingualism, languages in contact, diglossia, linguistic interference, code-switching, borrowing; globalisation of communicative practices, language decline and language death;
  •  Linguistic ideologies: language and nationalism, language, and social/cultural disparity, language ideology and language planning – language culture, purism, linguicism.

 

3. Methodology of anthropological linguistic research and manifestation of language forms:

  • Researcher as a participant: the impact of language and communicative competence of the researcher at the course and the results of the anthropological linguistic research;
  • Research into the spoken language: observation techniques; formal, informal, spontaneous speech; recording (selection of transcription principles) and analysis of speech, interpretation of extra-linguistic elements;
  • Research into written texts: literacy, written practices, textual patterns (documents, private correspondence);
  • Between the oral and the written – analysis of electronic texts, written text as a conversation.
  • Language documentation as a method of language maintenance and revitalisation

 

4. Methods of textual analysis:

  • Discourse analysis: observation of discursive practices, analysing techniques; critical discourse analysis (CDA); language and power/politics/race/ethnicity/class/gender;
  • Conversation analysis: dialogue as a basic form of human speech activity; structure of dialogue; theory of politeness;
  • Work with language corpora: corpora as a source of anthropological-linguistic research.

 

5. Anthropological linguistic research and ethics:

  • Protection of personal data – the individual in the community;
  • Positive and negative impacts of research procedures on the community researched.

 

Readings

  • Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2015. The Art of Grammar: A Practical Guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Bathia, Tej K. in William C. Ritchie (ur.). 2013. The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism. Blackwell Publishing.
  • Bernard, Russell H. 2011. Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Plymouth: AltaMira Press.
  • Brunn, Stanley D. in Roland Kehrein, 2020. Handbook of the Changing World Language Map. Springer. (Izbrana poglavja.) https://link.springer.com/referencework/10.1007%2F978-3-030-02438-3
  • Coulmas, Florian, 2018. An Introduction to Multilingualism: Language in a Changing World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Duranti, Alessandro (ur.). 2004. A Companion to Linguistic Anthropology. Blackwell Publishing.
  • Eckert, Penelope in Sally McConnell-Ginet. 2013. Language and Gender. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Evans, Nicholas. 2009. Dying Words: Endangered Languages and What They Have to Tell Us. Chichester: Willey-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Fishman, Joshua in Ofelia Garcia. 2010-2011. Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity: 1 – Disciplinary and Regional Perspectives, 2 – The Success-Failure Continuum in Language and Ethnic Identity Efforts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Milroy, Lesley in Mathew Gordon. 2003. Sociolinguistics: Method and Interpretation. Blackwell Publishing.
  • Podesva, Robert J. in Devyani Sharma (ur.). 2013. Research Methods in Linguistics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sallabank, Julia, Attitudes to Endangered Languages: Identities and Policies. 2013. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Schilling, Natalie, Sociolinguistic Fieldwork. 2013. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Thomason, Sarah G. 2015. Endangered Languages: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Verschueren, Jef. 2013. Ideology in Language Use: Pragmatic Guidelines for Empirical Research. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Wodak, Ruth in Michael Meyer (ur.). 2009. Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: SAGE

 

Objectives and competences

In anthropological linguistics the methodological research framework is understood as a dynamic integration of (linguistic) research methods and tools. These methods and tools enable an analysis of the structure and use of language to allow insight into its social and cultural context, as well as revealing its role in setting up, maintaining and transforming social relationships within the community. This course therefore aims to present a wide selection of single methodological approaches and the opportunities for their use and integration into specific areas of anthropological linguistics. In accordance with the specific needs of the students, it presents individual research techniques and procedures, along with their appropriate or inappropriate applications on analysis of different language material.

 

Prerequisites

None required.

 

Assessment

Short written assignment (20 %), presentations (20 %), final examination (written/oral) (60 %)

MODULE GENERAL ELECTIVE COURSES

Anthropology of Consciousness and Practices of Awareness ǀ

Assist. Prof. Maja Petrović Šteger, Ph. D.,

ECTS: 6

Anthropology of Fertility ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Duška Kneževič Hočevar, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Cosmology of Mesoamerican Societies ǀ

Prof. Ivan Šprajc, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Epistemological pluralism and “decolonizing” methods in ethnographic research ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Laughing Politically: Toward the Anthropology of Humor ǀ

Prof. Tanja Petrović, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Public anthropology, social engagement and activism ǀ

Assist. Prof. Ana Hofman, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Research Methodology in Anthropological Linguistics ǀ

Karmen Kenda-Jež, Ph.D.,

Prof. Borut Telban, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Space and Movement: Towards Anthropology of Locations and Migrations ǀ

Assist. Prof. Nataša Gregorič Bon, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Prof. Borut Telban, Ph.D.

Coordinator of Anthropology Module. Research Adviser, Institute of Anthropological and Spatial Studies, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Office: ZRC SAZU, Novi trg 2/II, No. 301
Tel.: 01 4706 492
borut@zrc-sazu.si
Office hours: Wednesday 10 – 12

Education: 

B.Sc. Pharmacy (University of Ljubljana, 1983)

M.Sc. Biology (University of Zagreb, 1989)

Ph.D. Social Anthropology (The Australian National University, 1994)

 

Fieldwork:

  • Papua New Guinea, Hagahai and Melpa people, 18 months (1986–1987);
  • Vanuatu, Epi Island, 3 weeks (1990);
  • Papua New Guinea, Ambonwari village, East Sepik Province, 18 months (1990-1992), 2 months (1997), 2 months (2001);
  • Russia, north-eastern Siberia, Yakutia, 1 month (2003);
  • Papua New Guinea, Ambonwari village, East Sepik Province: 1 month (2005), 2 months (2007–2008), 1.5 months (2008), 10 months (2010–2011), 3 months (2017). 

 

Research interests:

  • Melanesian life worlds;
  • Cosmologies and religions;
  • Social organization and kinship;
  • Cultural construction of space and time;
  • Ritual and other practices surrounding birth, growth and death;
  • Language, poetics and society;
  • Relationship between visual and auditory perception and expression;
  • Decolonization of practices and thoughts in small-scale non-European societies;
  • Comparative ethnographic studies (Melanesia, Amazonia, Aboriginal Australia);
  • History of anthropological thought and theoretical approaches;
  • Phenomenology, existentialism, American pragmatism.


  • Research Student, Biology Department, University of Papua New Guinea (1986–1987);
  • Leach/RAI Fellow, University of Manchester (1995–1996);
  • Visiting Professor, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna (2003);
  • Fulbright Scholar, University of California, San Diego (2006–2007);
  • Research Scholar, The Cairns Institute, School of Arts and Social Sciences, James Cook University (2010–2011, 2012);
  • Visiting Professor, École de Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), CREDO, Université Aix Marseille (2014);
  • The Royal Society of Edinburgh Visiting Research Fellow, University of St. Andrews (2014–2015). 
  • Visiting Fellow, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University (many times, the last affiliation 2016-17);
  • Visiting Professor, École de Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and Université Aix Marseille, CREDO (2017).

  • Editor-in-chief, Anthropological Notebooks, the journal of Slovenian Anthropological Society;
  • Member of the Board of the European Society for Oceanists;
  • Member of Editorial Board of a book series Thought, Society, Culture: Slovenian and South Eastern European Perspectives. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang;
  • Member of Editorial Board of a book series Studies of the European Society for Oceanists. Oxford: Berghahn Books;
  • Member of Advisory Board: Ethnos, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, Mitteilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien. 

  • Telban, B. 2017. Commands as a form of intimacy among the Karawari of Papua New Guinea. In: Aleksandra Y. Aikhenvald and Robert M. W. Dixon (eds.). Commands: A Cross-linguistic Typology (Explorations in linguistic typology). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 266-282.
  • Telban, B. 2017. Seeing and holding time: Karawari perceptions of temporalities, calendars and clocks. Time and Society 26(2):182-202.
  • Telban, B. 2017. The intoxicating intimacy of drum strokes, sung verses and dancing steps in the all-night ceremonies of Ambonwari (Papua New Guinea). In: Chrysagis, Evangelos and Panagiotis Karampampas (eds.), Collaborative Intimacies in Music and Dance: Anthropologies in/of Sound and Movement. Oxford: Berghahn, pp. 234-257.
  • Telban, B. 2016. Places and Times in a New Guinean Landscape (in Slovenian). Ljubljana: ZRC.
  • Telban, B. and D. Vávrová. 2014. Ringing the living and the dead: Mobile phones in a Sepik society. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 25(2): 223–238.
  • Telban, B. 2014. Saying, seeing and knowing among the Karawari of Papua New Guinea. In: Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon (eds.), The Grammar of Knowledge: A Cross-linguistic Typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 260–277.
  • Telban, B. 2014. The poetics of the flute: Fading imagery in a Sepik society. Folklore 125(1): 92–112.
  • Telban, B. 2013. The power of place: Spatio-temporality of a Melanesian religious movement. Anthropological Notebooks 19(3): 81–100.
  • Telban, B. and D. Vávrová. 2010. Places and spirits in a Sepik society. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 11(1): 17–33.
  • Telban, B. 2009. A struggle with spirits: hierarchy, rituals and charismatic movement in a Sepik community. In: Pamela J. Stewart and Andrew Strathern (eds.). Religious and Ritual Change: Cosmologies and Histories (Ritual Studies Monograph Series). Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, pp. 133–158 (translated and published in 2010 in Chinese, Taipei, Taiwan: Linking Publishing, pp.187–220).
  • Telban, B. 2008. The poetics of the crocodile: changing cultural perspectives in Ambonwari. Oceania 78(2): 217-235 (Special Commendation for 2009 AAS Best Essay Prize, Awarded at The Australian Anthropological Society Annual Conference 2009, Macquarie University, Sydney, 9 – 11/12/2009).
  • Telban, B. 2004. Fear, shame and the power of the gaze in Ambonwari, Papua New Guinea. Anthropological Notebooks 10(1): 5–5.
  • Roscoe, P. and B. Telban. 2004. The people of the lower Arafundi: tropical foragers of the New Guinea rainforest. Ethnology XLIII (2): 93–115.
  • Telban, B. 2001. Temporality of post-mortem divination and divination of post-mortem temporality. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 12(1): 67–79.
  • Telban, B. 2000. Andaypa: Essays on Death in a New Guinea Community (in Slovenian). Maribor: Obzorja.
  • Telban, B. 1998. Body, being and identity in Ambonwari, Papua New Guinea. In: V. Keck (ed.) Common worlds and single lives: constituting knowledge in Pacific societies. Oxford: Berg Publishers, pp. 55–70.
  • Telban, B. 1998. Dancing through Time: A Sepik Cosmology. Oxford: Oxford University Press (Gold Award for excellence in research for the year 1999, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts).
  • Telban, B. 1997. Being and ‘non-being’ in Ambonwari (Papua New Guinea) ritual. Oceania 67(4): 308–325.

MODULE GENERAL ELECTIVE COURSES

Anthropology of Consciousness and Practices of Awareness ǀ

Assist. Prof. Maja Petrović Šteger, Ph. D.,

ECTS: 6

Anthropology of Fertility ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Duška Kneževič Hočevar, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Cosmology of Mesoamerican Societies ǀ

Prof. Ivan Šprajc, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Epistemological pluralism and “decolonizing” methods in ethnographic research ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Laughing Politically: Toward the Anthropology of Humor ǀ

Prof. Tanja Petrović, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Public anthropology, social engagement and activism ǀ

Assist. Prof. Ana Hofman, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Research Methodology in Anthropological Linguistics ǀ

Karmen Kenda-Jež, Ph.D.,

Prof. Borut Telban, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6

Space and Movement: Towards Anthropology of Locations and Migrations ǀ

Assist. Prof. Nataša Gregorič Bon, Ph.D.,

ECTS: 6