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Linguistics Seminar - Wesley Y. Leonard, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma & University of California, Riverside: "Toward a Native American Linguistics"

Event Type
Department of Linguistics
wifi event
May 10, 2021   4:00 - 5:00 pm  
Wesley Y. Leonard, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma & University of California, Riverside
Aida Talić
Originating Calendar
School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics Calendar

Abstract: Despite increased focus on Native American and other Indigenous language community needs and values in the discipline of Linguistics, an ongoing frustration experienced by members of Indigenous communities is that linguists often privilege colonial assumptions, approaches, and goals in research, teaching, and service (see Errington 2008; Hermes et al. 2012; Davis 2017, Leonard 2017, 2018, 2021; Mellow 2015). For example, prototypical linguistic analysis often isolates, fragments, and dissects language in ways that can be alienating to people for whom language is conceived of relationally, not as a structural or cognitive object that can be analyzed separately from culture or peoplehood. In response, I offer “Native American Linguistics” as an alternative framework of doing linguistics that privileges Native American and other Indigenous needs, intellectual traditions, approaches to research, and definitions of language. In this talk, I will outline key tenets of this approach and how it can improve linguistic science while also addressing contemporary calls for social justice in language disciplines and beyond.

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