Linguistic Anthropology in 2015: Not the Study of Language

  title={Linguistic Anthropology in 2015: Not the Study of Language},
  author={Constantine V. Nakassis},
  journal={American Anthropologist},
  • C. Nakassis
  • Published 1 June 2016
  • Linguistics
  • American Anthropologist
The thesis of this essay is that linguistic anthropology is not the study of language. Rather, “language” functions as a permanently problematic, if indispensable, object for linguistic anthropological analysis and thought. This is because, as I suggest, the critical intervention of linguistic anthropology over the last 40 years has been its ethnographic focus on indexicality, in particular, the ways that indexical processes undermine language as an autonomous object, entangling it with other… 

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