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Mufwene, S. Throughout the class period, the ESL teacher interacted with the students solely in English. During this same lesson the project research assistant, AL , a fluent bilingual, had been working with another student on a similar vocabulary activity. She would pose her questions in English, but allow the student to reply with answers or questions in Spanish or English.

At one point, shown in the next example 4b , MV and a new girl approach AL , in order for MV to introduce the new girl:. We can see in this exchange that the Sanderson students — like the Farmer students — have metapragmatic as well as metalinguistic knowledge in their primary languages, which they use in organizing interaction during classwork. The exchange resembles example 3 , depicting Korean as used at Farmer Elementary, in this regard: When the use of the primary language was interactionally-enabled by speaker demographics, the children would use both languages, for social interaction as well as pedagogical tasks.

Normatively, however, Spanish was never a licensed part of the classroom at Sanderson Elementary. The predominant pattern at Sanderson was as shown in example 4a , with interaction restricted to English. The pattern was consistent in the half dozen ESL lessons we observed. In addition, the principal of the school, as well as two of the classroom teachers whose classrooms we studied, articulated very clearly their commitment to English Only instruction. Under this language regime, that is, in these linguistic circumstances, the Spanish-speaking students were much quieter and restricted themselves to brief exchanges in English.

An initial question is why the ethnolinguistic difference of Korean students at Farmer was viewed as a resource to be used in learning English, while the ethnolinguistic difference of Mexican students at Sanderson was viewed as a hindrance to learning the same language. In appreciating this puzzle, we should also recall that at Farmer the teachers, including the ESL teacher, did not know Korean, whereas at Sanderson some of the teachers did claim to know Spanish, though they did not use the language in classroom activities.

It seems that we are not dealing with objective linguistic or cultural differences, but rather with how differences are perceived. Such stereotypes often have some basis in social realities, though as typifications they inevitably simplify and skew the realities they frame. The Korean students at Farmer did come from professional, middle class families, while the Mexican students at Sanderson were from working-class families, but these socioeconomic contrasts were bundled together with assumptions about safe and problematic language and kinds of student.

In brief, their language difference was seen as a resource for learning and thus was licensed in some school settings. In contrast, the working-class Mexican migrant students in ESL at Sanderson were not seen as model minorities. The school principal warmly endorsed the ethos of hard work and family cohesion that she and members of the teaching staff perceived as traits of the Mexican migrant families, but she and members of staff also said that because of language differences, the parents were not able to help their students with schoolwork.

Given the differing responses to language diversity in classroom ESL lessons, and the staff perceptions of student languages and family backgrounds as resources or barriers to learning, it seems that a model minority stereotype is operating. I suggest that it contributes to the advantages Korean speaking students in ESL classes encounter at one school, by drawing on their existing linguistic and social resources, and to the disadvantages Spanish-speaking students in ESL classes encounter at another school, by excluding their existing linguistic and social resources.

These are processes that align atomized individuals into collectivities; in the case at hand, they align students into ethnicized versus racialized ethnolinguistic categories URCIUOLI, Lest connecting widely-circulating cultural stereotypes to state processes seems far-fetched, we should bear in mind that the model minority stereotype arose in reaction to the demands of the s Civil Rights movements. Those movements mounted collective demands for redress from state and national governments, based especially on African American, Latino and Native American organizations, mobilizations, and civil disobedience.

In the preceding case, we have seen that in order to understand literacy or language policy as a social practice, it is necessary to examine how policy operates across multiple levels, from national legislation to face-to-face interaction in classrooms. In order to conduct such multi-leveled analysis, a conceptual focus is necessary, and I have argued for a focus on hegemony and state effects. Hegemony encourages us to examine, as Hymes noted, how class stratification and cultural assumptions about language converge in the school.

The Gramscian rejection of the dichotomy between state and civil society, between public and private spheres, poses new challenges for the study of state processes and powers and enables more supple conceptions of relations between the official and the popular, such as those between official definitions of language problems and widely circulating stereotypes of kinds of minorities. All of the preceding analyses have shown that alertness to indexical meaning in language use and its layering into local and broader-scale ideologies of language and person are ways of exploring the social and the linguistic.

Tests are de facto language policy in schools, and essentially become policy for language education when curriculum and teaching are aligned to the tests. I have built upon this insight by analyzing several state effects, dispersed through a variety of sites and social scales, in which a semiotic processes of category formation and indexical-inferential processes connecting language use to social regularities both create and reflect social realities.

This dialectic between creativity and presupposition, performativity and normativity, is a broader social-semiotic movement at whatever scale it operates, whether it concerns the treatment of dialect differences in reading groups, or the treatment of different languages in ESL classrooms. Both the nation-wide controversy over Ebonics in school and the national implementation of a policy category, English Language Learner, evoke and presuppose language ideologies that link varieties of language to kinds of person.

In so doing, they evoke and obscure significant cultural and historical relationships to inequality. Inequality is a feature of all known human societies FOLEY, , but economic inequalities are fundamental in capitalist societies. Understanding the complex relations of economic inequalities to quotidian capacities for communication and thought, including schooled forms of literacy, remains a pressing challenge for the anthropology of education.

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Language Contact 1

Modern train distances as a proxy for travel time have been linked to the amount of Standard Japanese vocabulary in dialects across the mainland [ 62 ], but the focus lies on two capital locations Tokyo and Kyoto as a starting point rather than a location-by-location comparison. Moreover, as land and sea travel have been show to affect the diffusion of linguistic features differently [ 8 ], further exploration of historical travel and trade practices—and how they have changed over time—can provide additional insights into the patterns of linguistic diversity we find today. To conclude, we have shown that cultural processes—language diversification—are influenced by geography in ways similar to biological processes—species diversification.

We examined the role of geographic configuration in diversification and showed that: I mainland languages display a typical isolation-by-distance pattern, with gradually increasing diversity over geographic distance, as a result of the higher potential for sustained contact, while II island languages display a typical isolation-by-colonisation pattern, where diversity is a reflection of time since divergence, as a result of limited contact due to the geographic isolation of islands.

Language variation and change is, of course, influenced by other historical and socio-political factors as well, and a more global and multi-dimensional concept of distance—comprising spatial, temporal, and social factors—is needed to help us understand patterns of language diversification. Our results show that the geographical configuration of a language area is one important component of a more comprehensive distance concept to explain language variation and change. Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field.

Abstract Like the transfer of genetic variation through gene flow, language changes constantly as a result of its use in human interaction. Methods Linguistic data We created a new comparative dataset based on the item Swadesh List [ 32 ]; see also Table 1 —a list of what are considered to be basic concepts, such as body parts and everyday actions.

Download: PPT. Linguistic diversity Various methods of quantifying linguistic distance have been used in previous research. Colonisation history The time-depth and phylogeny of a language family reflects its colonisation history [ 46 ] and as such, we used that as a basis to code a time since divergence variable.

Analysis We began by verifying the commonly accepted subgroupings of Japanese and Ryukyuan within our data. Fig 2. Linguistic distances within Japanese blue , within Ryukyuan orange and between the two language areas grey. Fig 3. Linguistic distance over geographic distance in Japanese blue and Ryukyuan orange with Loess smoothing. Geography and linguistic diversity across the Japanese mainland Mantel tests confirmed that geographic distance, time since divergence, and separation by water are related to each other across the Japanese mainland Table 2.

Table 2. Simple Mantel correlations between time since divergence, geographic distance and separation by water for Japanese. Table 3. Partial Mantel correlations between linguistic distance, time since divergence, geographic distance and separation by water for Japanese.

Table 4. Results for predicting linguistic distance in Japanese using multiple regression over distances matrices. Table 5. Results for predicting linguistic distance in Japanese using linear mixed effect modeling. Geography and linguistic diversity across the Ryukyu Islands Mantel tests confirmed that the predicting factors of linguistic distance are correlated for Ryukyuan as well Table 6. Table 6. Simple Mantel correlations between time since divergence, log geographic distance and separation by water for Ryukyuan. Table 7. Partial Mantel correlations between linguistic distance, time since divergence, log geographic distance and separation by water for Ryukyuan.

Table 8. Results for predicting linguistic distance in Ryukyuan using multiple regression over distances matrices. Table 9. Results for predicting linguistic distance in Ryukyuan using linear mixed effect modeling. Discussion It is clear that geography influences linguistic diversity, just as it influences biological diversity.

Conclusion To conclude, we have shown that cultural processes—language diversification—are influenced by geography in ways similar to biological processes—species diversification. Supporting information. S1 Supporting information. Locations included in the study. S1 Appendix.

Geography and linguistic diversity in the Japonic language family. S2 Appendix. Simulation of geographic and linguistic distances. Acknowledgments We would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for comments on an earlier version of this paper. References 1. Blair D, Collins P, editors. English in Australia.

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Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppansha; Whitman J. Unger JM. Shibatani M. The languages of Japan. Pellard T. The linguistic archeology of the Ryukyu Islands. Handbook of the Ryukyuan languages: History, structure, and use. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton; Inoue F, Kasai H. Dialect classification by standard Japanese forms. Japanese Quantitative Linguistics.

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Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact

Bayesian phylogenetic analysis supports an agricultural origin of Japonic languages. Molecular Biology and Evolution. The fine-scale genetic structure and evolution of the Japanese population. PloS ONE.