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Anthropology & Language Seminar: Leguy

November 19 2015 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

RAI Anthropology and Language Seminars


Naming and other veiled speaking among the Bwa People of Mali: A contribution to pragmatic anthropology

Professor Cecile Leguy, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3

Thursday 19 November at 5.00 pm

In France, linguistics and anthropology have developed independently of each other. First-generation ethnographers were, however, aware of language issues, under the influence of Marcel Mauss, who can be considered a precursor for his approach to language as a social fact. With the publication of Ethnologie et Langage (1965), Geneviève Calame-Griaule  founded ethnolinguistics as an autonomous scientific discipline, encouraging us to pay close attention to speech, its uses, and its effects on social life. Following this multidisciplinary perspective, I have been particularly attached to uses of veiled speaking and the unspoken in my own work among the Bwa in Mali. I began my focus on proverbial speech, and then begain to look at the naming process, more specifically the use of message-names. In the West African context, where we take into consideration the power and dangers of speech, identifiable discursive strategies are revealing, not only of meaning, but also of social relationships. By paying attention to indirectness and other uses of the implicit in ordinary communication, I seek, more broadly, to demonstrate the necessity of a pragmatic, enunciative approach to language practices for the anthropologist.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to http://cecileleguy.eventbrite.co.uk


November 19 2015
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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