Lecture: Sociolinguistics, Colonial and Postcolonial: an Integrational Perspective

Tue, 01/26/2016 - 12:00pm
1418 Van Hise Hall
Speaker and Affiliation: 
Sinfree Makoni, Pennsylvania State University

In this presentation I explore and describe the emergence of languageness in order to evaluate the adequacy of an integrationist paradigm in explaining experiences in colonial and postcolonial contexts. Integrational linguistics addresses epistemological linguistics in western contexts; and its examples, by and large, are also drawn from the same contexts. In this presentation I explore the putative relevance of integrational linguistics to non-western colonial and postcolonial contexts. Using colonial linguistics as a framework for my description, I argue that the pre-colonial communication systems and contemporary non-institutionalized systems (urban youth vernacular use, online language use) conform to a view of a language and communication as theorized within integrational linguistics. To a large extent, in pre-colonial Africa there was no sense of ethnic and language awareness as understood in western contexts. Theoretically, integrational, language and action are inextricably intertwined. This is in sharp contrast to the conceptualization of the same relationship in colonial and postcolonial contexts. In these contexts the relationship between language and action is strictly separate because speech is regarded as unreliable; hence the importance of inferring meaning and intentions from social action even though speech ,particularly eloquent speech, is highly valued.  

Dianna Murphy
Language Institute and Doctoral Program in Second Language Acquisition