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Sorry About That

By Edwin L. Battistella

Sorry About That "explores why we apologize or don't and how our apologies succeed or fail."


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Sociolinguistics from the Periphery

By Sari Pietikäinen, Alexandra Jaffe, Helen Kelly-Holmes, Nik Coupland

Sociolinguistics from the Periphery "presents a fascinating book about change: shifting political, economic and cultural conditions; ephemeral, sometimes even seasonal, multilingualism; and altered imaginaries for minority and indigenous languages and their users"


Summary Details


Query:   for Query:10.1673 Ling vis-a-vis Socio-economic development
Author:  Niladri Sekhar Dash
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Sociolinguistics

Summary:   FIRST OF ALL I WOULD LIKE TO THANK TO ALL THOSE PERSONS WHO HAVE RESPONDED TO OUR QUESTION REGARDING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND LANGUAGE USE WHICH I PUT IN THE LINGUIST LIST ON WEDNESDAY, 3 NOV., 1999. SO FAR WE HAVE RECEIVED RESPONSES FORM 8 PERSONS. I SUM UP THE RESPONSES. I APOLOGISE BEFOREHAND IF ANY ONE IS MISSED FORM THE LIST.

DR. ROB PENSALFINI, LECTURER IN LINGUISTICS, DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH, THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND, BRISBANE, QLD 4072. AUSTRALIA IS CURIOUS ABOUT OUR PROJECT AND DOUBTS WHETHER THE ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND METAPHORS HAS ANYTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. WHAT HE UNDERSTANDS FROM OUR QUERY IS THAT THE ''SPEAKERS OF LANGUAGES ASSOCIATED WITH SOCIOECONOMICALLY ADVANCED (OR EXPLOITATIVE) CULTURES WOULD BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE METAPHORS OF UNDERDEVELOPED SOCIETIES BETTER THAN THEY UNDERSTAND OURS''. UNFORTUNATELY IT WAS NOT OUR HYPOTHESIS. MOREOVER, TO SUPPORT HIS DISAGREEMENT HE HAS CITED TWO METAPHORS ('I HAVE IT IN MY EAR' AND 'THE BROTHER IS IN THE KNEE') FROM THE JINGILI PEOPLE OF CENTRAL AUSTRALIA, AN OPPRESSED AND ALMOST EXTINCT ABORIGINAL PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA. FINALLY HE CONCLUDES THAT METAPHORS REQUIRE AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE CULTURE THAT GIVES RISE TO IT. HE DESERVES THANKS FOR SENDING A QUOTATION FORM KING LEAR (''SPEAK WHAT WE FEEL, NOT WHAT WE OUGHT TO SAY.'') THAT GIVES ME THE FLAVOUR OF MY BY-GONE COLLEGE DAYS.

JOHANNES REESE STRONGLY DISAGREES WITH OUR ASSUMPTION. HE IS IN THE OPINION THAT ''ON THOSE ISLANDS, THERE IS NO WINTER'' AND ''METAPHORS ARE SOMEHOW IDIOMATICALLY RESTRICTED IN ANY LANGUAGE OR AT LEAST ANY CULTURE''. HE BELIEVES THAT ''ANY METAPHOR HINTING AT CONCEPTS LIKE THESE MUST FAIL TO BE UNDERSTOOD BY OTHER CULTURES''. HE AGREES THAT OF COURSE, THERE IS AN IMPACT, BUT THE IMPACT IS NOT TO BE TECHNICAL OR EVEN COGNITIVE, BUT TOWARDS A UNIVERSAL ENGLISH-BASED CULTURE, AND ''THIS IS THE OUTPUT OF CONTACT PLUS PREPONDERANCE OF ENGLISH NATIONS, PREPONDERANCE BEING THE CRUCIAL FACTOR''.

PETER T. DANIELS'' IS UNFORTUNATELY VERY MUCH HASTTY AND HARSH IN DRAWING CONCLUSION WITHOUT CONSIDERING THE GRAVITY OF THE PROPOSITION. TO HIM ''THIS SORT OF RACIST BULLSHIT WAS VERY POPULAR DURING THE 19TH CENTURY.'' NO MORE COMMENTS ON IT.

PROF. R.K. AGNIHOTRI, UNIV. OF DELHI. INDIA ALSO DISAGREES WITH OUR PROPOSITION. HE IS AFRAID THAT WE ARE ''ABSOLUTELY ON THE WRONG TRACK''. HE THINKS THAT ''YOU FIRST DECIDE THE STANDARDS, THEN CALL THEM OBJECTIVE AND THEN MEASURE THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE WITH THOSE STANDARDS''.

HE INFORMS THAT TRIBAL LANGUAGES HAVE METAPHORS BUT THEY ARE NOT FROM THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

ROBERT ORR HAS ENCLOSED REVIEW OF DIXON, THE RISE AND FALL OF LANGUAGES, PLUS THE BOOK ITSELF, BOTH IN RTF AND WORDPERFECT FORMAT CONSIDERING THEM RELEVANT FOR OUR QUERY: (177K) (DOWNLOAD WITHOUT SCAN - SCAN WITH MCAFEE) AND (165K) (DOWNLOAD WITHOUT SCAN -- SCAN WITH MCAFEE).

PROF. SUZETTE HADEN ELGIN HTTP: PROVIDES US THE ADDRESS HTTP://WWW.UIA.ORG (WEBSITE OF THE UNION OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS), WHERE ONE CAN FIND A HUGE REPOSITORY OF MATERIALS ON PRECISELY THE TOPIC WE ARE GETTING READY TO WORK WITH. THE UIA METAPHOR PROJECTS, INCLUDING METAPHORS OF GOVERNANCE, ADDRESS OUR PROBLEM IN ABUNDANT DETAIL. FINALLY SHE WISHES US GOOD LUCK WITH OUR PROJECT.

M. J. HARDMAN IS ''SORRY TO SEE ANYONE WASTE TIME AND MONEY AND EXPERTISE JUSTIFYING PREJUDICE. IT IS VERY SAD AND WILL BE USED AGAINST THE PROFESSION DOWN THE LINE.'' HE HAS MANY EXPERIENCES OF HIS STUDENTS LISTENING DUMBFOUNDED TO PEOPLE SAYING METAPHORS IN ENGLISH THAT THEY HAD NO CLUE AS TO THE MEANING OF. THEY WERE BEING TRANSLATED OUT OF OTHER LANGUAGES''. HE CONSIDERS THAT SOMETIMES THE PEOPLE SAYING THEM DID NOT HAVE MUCH MONEY.

THANKING YOU ALL AGAIN WHO HAVE RESPONDED OUR QUERY.

NILADRI SEKHAR DASH
COMPUTER VISION AND PATTERN RECOGNITION UNIT
INDIAN STATISTICAL INSTITUTE
203, B. T. ROAD.
CALCUTTA - 700 035.
INDIA.
MAIL :

LL Issue: 10.1802
Date Posted: 26-Nov-1999
Original Query: Read original query