Linguistic Anthropology

The study of language has been part of anthropology since the discipline started in the 1ate 1870s. This site is a place for linguistic anthropologists to post their work and discuss important events and trends in the field.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Getting started in anthropology

A few weeks ago I noticed that a lot of people who read Linguistic Anthropology are referred here by search engines. Often the search terms are something like "anthropology - getting started". I suspect that the search engines are directing these readers to How Flame Wars Get Started, and guess that this is probably not what they are looking for (though I hope they enjoy it).

I have been thinking about asking contributors to write something on the topic of getting started in linguistic anthropology, but haven't yet done so. In the meantime I note that Rex at Savage Minds has advice on getting into graduate school. This may be closer to what those internet searchers are looking for. Both the post and the comments offer good general advice for applying to graduate school - not quite the same thing as becoming an anthropologist, but an important step.

Let this serve both as a pointer to the advice at Savage Minds and as an invitation for linguistic anthropologists to share their own advice. Comments are open.


Blogger Perez said...

Perhaps a good way to 'get started' would be with some reading? Could commenters suggest some essential texts along the lines of 'Linguistic Anthropology for Dummies'? Piers

8:56 PM  
Blogger Chad Nilep said...

Excellent suggestion. I'll recommend a couple:

Ben Blount's Language, Culture, and Society (1995, Waveland Press) provides a selection of major contributions to American linguistic anthropology from the 1910s-1990s. The pieces are mostly journal articles or book chapters by academic anthropologists, so there may be some sense of jumping in at the deep end.

I love Keith Basso's Wisdom Sits in Places (1996, U. New Mexico Press). Although it doesn't include much 'how-to', it's a nice example of what ethnography can bring to linguistics and vice versa. (It's also not too expensive, and great fun to read.)

I've yet to find an ideal 'intro to ling-anth' text book that can balance accessibility with depth. Alessandro Duranti's Linguistic Anthropology (1997, Cambridge U. Press) opts for greater engagement with important issues in the field but is pretty challenging for novices. I've used Nancy Bonvillain's Language, Culture, and Communication (2003, Pearson), which starts with more basic introduction, in undergraduate courses.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Perez said...

Thanks Chad, this is really a tremendous help.
Can anyone comment on:

Salzmann, Zdeněk. 1993. Language, culture, and society: an introduction to linguistic anthropology. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

6:08 PM  
Blogger pkaustin said...

Bill Foley's Anthropological Linguistics is also a good place to start.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Ronald Kephart said...

Like Chad, I have yet to find a textbook that captures the linguistic anthropology that I learned as a grad student. I do like Foley's book, which is ironic because he's a linguist working anthropologically, rather than an anthropologist working linguistically. Foley's book is pitched a little high for the students I have (all undergrads), though. Lately, I have been moving toward using myself as the textbook and then also having a workbook to draw problems from (I like the Frommer and Finegan workbook myself).

Having said all this, I think the truly best way to "get into" linguistics is to go out into the world and have experiences that linguistics can explain. When I went to Grenada as a Peace Corps Volunteer Spanish teacher, I knew nothing about linguistics or anthropology, but when I returned and entered grad school I found that something I had noticed in Peace Corps was explained or clarified in almost every class period. So it wasn't just a theoretical exercise for me. Maybe I'll write more detail on this in a separate post.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Carl said...

I have been thinking a lot about how culture effects language and also how language use can impact culture. Is this linguistic anthropology?

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:07 AM  
Blogger Rossi Carla said...

Hello everyone! I'm Carla and I'm about to get my degree as a esl teacher and I also an italian teacher as a second language. I'm Argentinian and after a extensive research I noticed that there's almost none opportunity in my country for becoming an anthropologic linguist and it's what I really aim to be (being an esl teacher is just the first step I think), I'd really appreciate some info about where to start my career as anthropologic linguist. Let me tell you that I find fascinating how is considered learning English in another cultures and for what purpose people of all ages and fields learn, since here in my country is merely considered a compulsory subject in schools (usually found boring and unachievable) and a requisite for most jobs. Any info of any kind would be great, this is my email address: Thanks in advance! Warm regards from Argentina!

2:07 AM  
Blogger WilliamRose said...

Can I ask you how? How did you notice that people who read Linguistic Anthropology are referred here by search engines? I think it is just your assumption. I believe there are many of those who come here just to read some updates about Linguistic Anthropology for a good reason. For example, I am a student who study Anthropology at university and sometimes to do my homework I search for necessary information. You just have to admit that people love your community and do not look for dirty trick, okay?

1:52 AM  
Blogger Mary J Tran said...

I was surfing net and luckily went over this site and discovered exceptionally intriguing stuff here. Its truly enjoyable to peruse student in order to buy dissertation I appreciated a great deal. Much obliged for sharing this awesome data.

4:16 AM  
Blogger Harriet Allan said...

Having completed my degree in anthropology, I have realised that I would like to pursue a career as an art teacher. Although I haven't got any formal art qualifications, I have taught myself how to paint and I have continuously painted since the age of 16. I have attended life drawing classes and I have been commissioned to paint by friends and friends of friends. I would like to know if it is necessary to do a second degree in art in order to enter the art pgce course, or get assignment help whether there is another route possible for talented graduates.

4:41 AM  
Blogger Sarah Craigh said...

The essential part of these themes the effective university-level reading, writing, and reasoning —skills.dissertation help on wards help students meantime get it opportunity fir writers writing program.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Laura Martin said...

Get insurance charges for a extra appropriate policy in your vehicle insurance united kingdom, health insurance united kingdom, life coverage united kingdom, home insurance uk, circle of relatives coverage united kingdom and plenty

12:34 PM  
Blogger dissertation Heaven said...

Despite the fact that I haven't got any formal art qualifications, I have taught myself a way to paint and I have continuously painted since the age of 16. I've attended lifestyles drawing lessons and I have been commissioned to color with the aid of friends and friends of buddies. I knew not anything about linguistics or anthropology, but when I back and entered grad school I found that something I had noticed in Peace Corps become explained or clarified in nearly each elegance length. UK Dissertation Service

1:56 AM  
Blogger AinsleyAlexavier12 said...

You need legal sciences. Possibly you should then apply to the FBI or the State Police or the Military Police. This would give you reasonable involvement in criminology and legitimate work. Dissertation Writer

You seem like you are befuddled by your own particular inquiry. You need to utilize your smarts for something near legal sciences. When you are a cop, with cash, a wage, benefits, human services, a genuine test then you can take a gander at taking courses.

2:22 AM  
Blogger EdwardPeter991 said...

Maybe a decent method to 'begin' would Dissertation Writers be with some perusing? Could analysts recommend some basic messages along the lines of 'Semantic Anthropology for Dummies'?

5:40 AM  
Blogger Jumi Tech said...

Wow! You highlighted such an important point; it is really difficult to get your particular knowledge if you are not good at searching. check out our works at
best way to watch live sports on kodi

5:19 AM  
Blogger ionezation said...

Fine Essay Writing

We do academic and content writing with no plagiarism from our highly professional academic writers for different niches
Academic writing, thesis, assignment, research paper, content
Academic writing from professional to get you successful in your exams

11:13 AM  
Blogger Henry said...

I am very much pleased to read the content of the link and it gave me so much useful knowledge. Thank you so much for sharing it.
watch ufc 229 on Roku stick

10:46 PM  
Blogger Alan Martin said...

Thank you for sharing this useful piece of information, I'd be glad and looking for some more new exciting blogs from you. Thanks again. Essay Writers UK

2:18 PM  
Blogger mycoursehelp said...

Thank you for posting such a great blog! I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. Keep up the good work. Thank you for this wonderful Blog!
Visit: Homework Help

12:51 AM  
Blogger Toby Warner said...

Professional Essay Writers is an online academic Write My Essay to help UK Student succeed with their essays. We have a team of writers who are experts in delivering quality Essays within time.

6:16 AM  
Blogger Appsquadz said...

Thanks for sharing this valuable information to the users. Keep it up. I have found a good info regarding Android app development company Have a look over there.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Joe Hammond said...

Have you always been on the outlook for one of the best essay writing services? It is plausible for students to feel burdened, distressed and exhausted owing to their strenuous circumstances. Thus, students must invest their energy in getting in touch with British Essay Writing Service. So, without further ado, contact them immediately.
essay writing services UK

2:44 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is a really nice post and provides some of the best insights into the linguistic Anthropology of the services you need to make the most impact on your education. In fact, it very lucky to consider that UK Essay Writers
is the service we are going to favor

2:02 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home