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Linguistic Anthropology at the End of the Naughts: A Review of 2009

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ABSTRACT  Here I consider some of the major themes that emerged in linguistic anthropology in 2009, focusing on intersections with other disciplinary fields. Research on globalization, citizenship, publics, footing, and register formation shows how linguistic anthropology has developed a distinctive set of tools to address broad questions in the human sciences. The subdiscipline remains centrally concerned with the semiotic qualities specific to language and the forms of social life that these qualities enable. “Language” has not yet dissolved into a weak adjective in quite the same way that “culture” or “society” seem to have done, and much of the most sophisticated conceptual work on the semiotics of life lived collectively continues to focus on the concrete aspects of this multifaceted phenomenon. Linguistic anthropology maintains a relatively stable theoretical core compared to its subdisciplinary siblings, even if few of us would agree on what constitutes the limits of the field.

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