The Whens and Wheres — As Well As Hows — of Ethnolinguistic Recognition

Michael Silverstein


ow can they be real Americans if they don’t/won’t/can’t speak English?” We’ve all heard such questions, and we’ve read similar sentiments in angry letters to newspapers. At least, the feeling must be, that people within a certain political boundary—there’s a “where”—and in public ear- or eye-shot—there’s a “when”—ought to signal their recognition of now being included within the social whole by using the dominant language—there’s a “how”—(and by not using others). Here is language use conceptualized as unavoidably wearing an emblem of identity (or at least of self-identification). And it can go even further in its rationale for the insistence. Evidencing a language-shapes-thought Whorfianism, certain people also reason that those using languages other than ours could not possibly think about the world the way we speakers of English do. (Here, one can substitute any two languages.) With this rationale, editorialists and writers of letters to the editor feel ever more justified in linking the emblematic value of language use to some deep intuition about why ethnolinguistic difference should not be tolerated

An earlier version, entitled “Ethnolinguistic Identity 24/7: The Political Economy of Recognition in the Age of Global Communication,” was prepared for the Yale University Ford seminar, “Translating the World,” held in New Haven, Connecticut, 28 February–1 March 2002, under the auspices of the Yale Center for International and Area Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature. I am grateful to Janet Morford, Michael Holquist, Vilashini Cooppan, J. Bernard Bate, and James Tweedie for the invitation and for gracious engagement on the occasion. Jan Blommaert, Susan Gal, and Elizabeth Povinelli have reacted with stimulating and useful responses to that earlier form.
Public Culture 15(3): 531–557 Copyright © 2003 by Duke University Press


Public Culture

“here” and “now.” Plurilingualism in civil society—taken thus as an index of difference of thought—offends the sense that there can be a social whole transparently instantiating a longed-for common public opinion. Implicit anxieties of subjectivity underlie explicit anxieties of ethnolinguistic identity. Anxieties of identity. Identity on people’s minds. We hear constantly of crises of identity, of the workings of identity politics, of identity work that needs to be done, and so forth. So let us start at the beginning. By identity we can understand a subjective intuition that one belongs to a particular social category of people, with certain potentials and consequences of this belonging. Frequently the intuition suggests participation in ritual occasions and socializing in certain ways in variously institutionalized forms to make our identity clear to ourselves and to others on a continuing basis. This already suggests a kind of temporality to the way identity is, as it were, practiced. Like all social psychological facts, people’s subjective intuitions of identity can be strong or weak, focused or diffuse, persistent or intermittent over various intervals. I am only indirectly concerned here with these intensely individual experiences of identity intuitions, important as they are for literary expression and for each individual biography.1 I am rather concerned with the social conditions in which they come into being as normative orientations among whole populations of individuals, are sustained or discouraged among them, or disappear (in the psychosocial phenomenon called the “loss” of identity in “assimilation”). And in particular, I am concerned with what we term ethnolinguistic identity, that is, people’s intuitions of social categoriality emerging from certain cultural assumptions about language. These construe language as constituting a basis for the divisions among types or kinds of people, especially as people conceive languages to be the central and enabling vehicle or channel of thought and culture. So ethnolinguistic identity is not a mechanical institutional fact; it is a fact of a psychosocial sort that has emerged where people ascribe a certain primordiality to language and a certain consequentiality to language difference. They consider it for one or another cultural reason to be a guide to socially meaningful differences among people and to people’s socially effective membership in groups. Ethnolinguistic identity intuits that there are differential claims to social participation based on differences of membership in what we can term a language community.
1. Note, for example, how such matters constitute one horizon of consciousness in the deeply Symbolist and psychoanalytically informed Bildungsroman Call It Sleep of Henry Roth (1934), or in the autobiography Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982).


in effect licensed to have a certain identity there and in the broader space-time of the court’s jurisdiction. changing intersection of many competing principles of structuring? Groups of people arrogate to themselves such points and intervals as “inside” identity. to shape languages each as an institutional force of group homogenization. they are licensed. it is not hard to see why Anderson would make this conflation. Various interested ethnic and ethnonationalist projects use the institutional paraphernalia of ethnolinguistic identity as an instrument of mobilizing sentiment. What is the shape of such social space-time. A politics of recognition in effect works through these kinds of emergently structured. 1991). yielded the power to inhabit identities and to recruit others to share them. multidimensional framework in which mutual locating can be accomplished. has its naturally associable emblematic language in which to inscribe its own trajectory of destiny. from which and in terms of which they wish radially to project an “outside. But even a purported analyst of the cultural phenomenology of nationalism. writing. from deep within the cultural and political order of always already standardized language communities.” Others may imagine a distinct social space-time in which points and intervals are claimed only when allocated to groups of people for licensed sites and subspaces of ethnonational and ethnolinguistic self-fashioning and self-imagining. it seems. They might. as he does. A good way to think about these matters is to imagine both local and global social space-time — a metaphor of Newtonian or Einsteinian space-time — and how what is at issue are points and intervals in social space-time. the class 533 Ethnolinguistic Recognition . Given the way modern state regimes have actually strained and labored.Thus we can understand its importance in the contemporary era of heightened ethnic and especially ethnonational identity: the modern era. for him. its own transcendent diachrony. in social time. I want to call to attention some of what I see as the prime institutional forces that are right now shaping the way people’s ethnolinguistic identities are being asserted and contested in the politics and economics of recognition in state and wider orders. Such projects constitute a strong force motivating people to linguistic consciousness and concern — at the same time giving experiential concreteness to nationalist sentiment. for example. over long periods. (In the United States. as a matter of course. the complex. seems willy-nilly to conflate the two planes. to forge a sense of a nation-state. the writers and readers of the texts of which participating in a primordial mystical union. so that each genuine nationalism. a kind of pulsating. being. changing flows of power that summon people to such sites and spaces where. be “recognized” through the workings of a court. Benedict Anderson (1983.

For example. Atlantis: The Antediluvian World of Ignatius Donnelly’s 1882 imagination. Observe. how are ethnolinguistic identities being transformed for people increasingly experiencing not only socioeconomic globalization but globalization of consciousness? What spacetime structuring principles are coming into play? What.”) That is to say. Given the complexity of any social space-time that identity now inhabits. partially or completely. there is a structured and frequently stratified system of differences in which subjective identities emerge only diacritically. as suggested by what seems to many to be the autonomous existence of languages — or at least of language — outside of human actors and agents? Or do ethnolinguistic identities in some sense come and go. that the latter-day space adven- 534 . Such identity issues are central to what is termed culture especially in contemporary nonanthropological terms. and even planets and other galactic places of alterity. a product of contact. those babbling “others. Hence. only our own imaginative fantasies would assign to so-called primitive or truly local peoples’ subjectivity a blissfully unself-conscious pre-identarian ethnolinguistic existence. to a now-lost continent. to an island. positively or negatively. across which not only people must move but also the texts that these people produce? The logic of ethnolinguistic identity necessitates that it must be.) They might be recognized by the workings of advanced commodity capitalism. I am interested in asking questions about its conditions. are the characteristic topographies of licensing of ethnolinguistic identity? How are these topographies being instantiated and/or contested in various places? Are ethnolinguistic identities primordial. or of having one’s own tradition. Bali Hai of Roger and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. too. (Observe how literary works give a geographical locatability to the fantasy. like a subjective sense of one’s own culture. a we-centered disk of difference.Public Culture action lawsuit epitomizes such recognition under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. (Even the Hellenes came to a consciousness of themselves as a “we” in relation to the barbaroi. consumption. to the emergent organization of production. ranging from a valley in James Hilton’s Shangri-La in Lost Horizon [1933]. Such a fantasy is a form of our own retroprojective escapism. in mutually reinforcing acts that create and sustain an “us” different from either “you” or “them”—topologically. circulation. out to the limits of known humanity and beyond. providing a transient or punctuated sense of categorizable selfhood in the contemporary world? Are they possibly multiple and superimposed? And with what consequences for the translational suturing together of language communities and the cultures that support them. an identity coming to be linked. more generally. and use.

as well as from researching the past couple of centuries’ European history and discourses about language. that affect languages in their current state are situated in the intertwined fields of politics and economics. always with the implied pragmatic trope of up-toward-the-apex versus down-toward-the-periphery. imagined. but they are all perceived to be elsewhere in relation to the apex. which alone sees itself as licensed for unproblematic — hence. This can be imagined as an n-dimensional conically shaped social space-time. circulation. with a top-and-center and various dimensions of moving down and out. has pervaded communication and consciousness. Those at the top-and-center never have to stop having their own identity. English” adherents with respect to ethnolinguistic minorities in the American nation-state. Top-and-center folks can look downward-and-outward.S. People who are ethnolinguistically at the top-and-center can thus have knowledge of such differences as may constitute others’ ethnolinguistic identities. For example.and monster-themed films of the 1950s. default. though the local effects in different parts of the world are lumpy (as Ethnolinguistic Recognition 535 . “globalization. Here. And this is so even where politicoeconomic problems emerge relating to the recognition of others’ ethnolinguistic identities.ture films. My own ethnographic experience with these matters emerges both from indigenous Native American and Australian Aboriginal fieldwork. and consumption of the texts of culture. to be invariant for all their stratified contact with others. the spatial and temporal metropole of some permanently stratified and spatially conceptualized cultural and linguistic imperium—think for example of the slogan “the West and the Rest”. I conclude on this basis that contemporary students of languages in flux must see that the processes. in realms of production. like recognition. there is the enveloping social space-time logic of metropolitan ethnolinguistic hegemony. the existence of other ethnolinguistic identities within their stratified order presents the occasional question of translating from one language to another. ascribe relational— and hostile—identities directly to the others with whom humans must do battle.” by degrees. in a sense. and ethnolinguistic identities operates. Its terms are ambitious: a definition of oneself negatively and relationally with respect to every possible other. not-A and not-B and so on.) At the very other extreme. This is a point I will return to in later discussion. ethnonational. for those at the top-and-center. or unmarked identity. like alien. hegemonic —24/7-and-everywhere expressibility. we can first locate those at the top-and-center. think of the view of the “U. toward peripheries at various degrees of negatively valued deviation from their imagined full-time. where the political economy of cultural forms like ethnic. as it were. First off.

to be sure. and there are networks of influence that define regional subspaces for various aspects of globalization. presumably in the hope that this will be a spatiotemporally cyclic. And there is even a “community of researchers. We must note that as far back as historical linguistics can go. observe today’s abundance of American flags displayed in locations identifiable with the domestic self (house. In American experience. (Even scholarly events such as meetings create acronyms and logos like the Olympic logos of recent televised ubiquity. any community’s sense of autonomy of culture-language-identity exists in relation to this condition. . are strongly compelled to have a logo ready to hand or at least on a Web site and a T-shirt. in effect carrying different potential messages of deep primordiality or at least importance. if sustained through organizational means. Hence. the emblems of which become logoized for transport. capital itself being only one aspect of the whole. as well as operating so as to create cross-cutting senses of groupness.” on governmental documents) one’s group-orientation to a whole nation-state (and nationality). automobile) to ratify and to perform (as in: “I do swear or affirm .” participating in various group-affirming activities that. Individuals are summoned to want to point to — thereby to express — their own participation in a community’s groupness. But today. to indicate Americanness. joining a viva voce or electronic support group. too. the property of lived or inhabitable groupness (as opposed to demographic category-status) with some relatively autonomous center of cultural normativity.” encouraging display of rainbow signs on automobiles or house-flags just like the way. Indicators of identity frequently recapitulate each other in a dialectic of social differentiation. one displays United States flags.Public Culture Jonathan Friedman [2001] has reminded us).) 536 . one can find evidence of linguistic diffusion—borrowing—indicating that languages have never been isolated as such in either historical or prehistorical time. their “locality. potentially ritually participatory punctuation of social space with this affiliative identity. . the conscious experience of culture-language-identity has definitively become an issue of how peoples all over the world must actively construct. There is a “community of sufferers” of a disease of self or loved one. Globalization pervades this space-time more and less intensely as we locate regions in it. the key folk term in American English for a project of making locality relevant to identity is community.” as Arjun Appadurai (1996) has termed it. not merely construe. For example. Such forces operate fractally at yet more local levels of groupness (community). one can invoke a “GLBT community. This can be appreciated in terms of our space-time view of people’s functioning in the world.

Of course. for example. by degree. A contemporary student of language must therefore be sensitive even to what an ethnolinguistic label. transnational political and economic spheres of influence. disappears in favor of the objectualized stuff of traditional collecting and taxonomizing sciences. (A good parallel here is the legal concept of the divide between citizens’ so-called public and private domains of sociality. its key performative sites have been the class action lawsuit. as we now can discern. relational frames by any people making a claim to it.” and “protections [from]. both positively and negatively. a glottonym. 537 Ethnolinguistic Recognition .” “rights [to or in]. too. always a fragile precipitate of sociocultural process. points to as underlying processes in social space-time. even empires.” that their group has always distinctively had). in the United States. The groupness of selfconscious users of a language. these concepts that read through language to ethnic group to land were the stockin-trade of ideologically useful “Standard Average European” cultural policy sciences of the ages of empire and modernist postcolonialism. classifying terms like language and culture in what have thus become essentially folk meanings in the political economy of ethnolinguistic identity (for people everywhere have learned the objectifying lessons of taxonomic science that they. maps of languages-in-continuous-yet-well-bounded-territory. pluridialectism. and the insertion into public space-time of rituals of memory and memorial affiliation. Politicoeconomically exposed identity groups have to assert such difference with respect to regional polities. nation-states.Such sociocultural locality must be negotiated in larger. plurilingualism. yielding. the organized grassroots political or economic action. whatever the actualities of the matter. “have” a language and a culture—“theirs. and so forth have been the basic verbal competence of peoples in much of the so-called traditional world. Otherwise well-intentioned people use taxonomic. So we can retrospectively understand that. more Romantic or Herderian persuasion who.”) Groupness or locality achieves recognition. sociologists. from both sides in sometimes legal as well as politicoeconomic discourses of “obligations [to or toward]. and others of an older. are disinclined to reexamine their analytic discourses invoking such glottonyms. Languages and cultures in this sense came along with the real estate and were collectible with provenance notes for museums and archives. in dealing with language groupness. meaning that locality has become the grounded assertibility of we-group difference within such larger social formations. of a kind of collective privacy-in-public. as though they referred to some fixed and essential entities. Even some linguistic professionals still think in terms of a directly plottable distinctive geography of discrete languages and cultures. There are many linguists. This is a boundary policed.

are summoned to claim locality in jural terms by having to mobilize precisely such Romantic expert knowledge. we speak of a politics of recognition.” of course) status. in effect wrap social personae. and resistance in the contemporary struggles for localization we observe as one of the realities stimulated by identity politics. I shall return later to such dilemmas of language-and-culture workers. contributed to bringing about. or well intentioned. consider how many Fourth World peoples. (Hence. an identifying quality of person. Such occasions of display are performative. fully discursively compatible with words like community. There is no doubt about the contemporary compatibility of Romantic linguistics with such a situation—that it has. even institutional forms. Negotiating ethnolinguistic locality. It is important to realize that the key identity-relevant attributes of such cultural texts are not necessarily anything like represented “content” as such. cf. Occasions of display manifest cultural texts.) As ethnographers. in and by wearing. Such a vocabulary must be visible and recognizable not only group-internally. moments in social-organizational time. especially verbally centered ones. thus coming to ethnolinguistic groupness— whether to preserve a sense of it. etc. comes into being—here and now—in a framework of categorization that is now made relevant to whatever is going on or can go on. of course. event. Those wanting recognition are thus summoned to demonstrate locality as the very condition of becoming recognized to have it — that is. and 538 . Povinelli 2002). but perhaps ethnographically naive. freedom. but rather all the verbal and nonverbal signs that. also Merlan 1998: 231 – 40. social spaces. struggling for political recognition. singing. interestingly enough. All such situation-transformative displays are in effect anchored to an origin point where the display takes place. or to reconstruct it after a hiatus—necessitates using a semiotic vocabulary—a set of indicating resources — to articulate or perform first-person groupness (we-ness) in ways the relevant framing institutions understand. in both the diplomatic and conceptual senses. to reenergize it. with “in-group” (versus “out-group. saying. seemingly politically correct. but especially also in the larger institutional contexts that license its use. to have had it all along! Think for example of the demands made on indigenous people pursuing United States federal recognition of their heritage through legal process (the image of the Mashpee trial discussed by James Clifford [1988] coming to mind here. displayed by and around the self.Public Culture Such Romantic usage is. place. eating such-and-such. we can study the processes of a group’s visibility and recognizability by attending to what I like to see as the sociocultural scheduling of emblematic identity displays. For example. to be sure. But Romantic linguistic study does not usefully contribute to analytic understanding of what is going on in most situations.

the trickster-transformer of the age before people. performing thus a little embedded ritual act of emblematic identity marking. summoning all the pregnant cultural meanings called up by use of the special term. for example. gevalt!” the would-be WASP society matron shouted out when she tripped. Wasco and Sahaptin identity. a speaker uses special linguistic expressions of a particular language as identity markers. and. for the myth actor Coyote. here : there.” Ethnolinguistic Recognition 539 . shared cultural knowledge on each occasion of use. so she thought. So such acts of usage can be groupness-affirming acts of rich.”) The local anchoring of such ritual acts of ethnolinguistic identity in these reservation communities is clear even when young people. comfortable. where the group’s we-ness — instantiated in the first-person display — lives. this : that. to the language of a matrix text. she immediately added.) Sometimes. Note the pregnant interlingual pun on the somewhat off-color. and private meanings of belonging. one of the physiognomically Aryan [blond 2. as opposed. respectively. where. Wasco and Wishram heritage people on the Warm Springs or Yakama Reservations in Oregon and Washington states.2 getting into mischief. Because use of such terms invokes special. compared to a threatening majority language. Even while speaking local English. will say of some young man that he is “Sk’uly-ing” around. or they can constitute threats to “passing” for those wanting to remain in the ethnolinguistic closet. especially connoting sexual adventures and other adventures of crafty appetite. “— whatever that means!” Recall also Woody Allen’s brilliant joke in Sleeper [1973]. for whom Kiksht or Sahaptin are distant heritage languages. tam—and is so much more evocatively fulsome and juicy—zaftig—to the affective processes. So their use performs. This alludes to the myth-age character and to the Sahaptin verb derived from Coyote’s name —[i]spilyáywisa (to engage in crafty antics [recalling Coyote])— ˇ from which also the creatively hybrid local English forms must derive. the terms present those in the communicative act with the opportunity or anxiety of acknowledgment by a response that recognizes this fact. recovering her balance. their minority language has so much more “flavor”—in Yiddish. (Sahaptin-language heritage folks will use the corresponding denominative verb “Spilyay-ing. using the Kiksht (WascoWishram) word. of being in the performed center of a group. Ethnolinguistic minority speakers always report that. for the addressees in the in-group. Sk’úlia. use the local English phrase coyote-ing around to describe this kind of social behavior. (“Oy. vernacular “screw-ing around. respectively. making an error. (The radial spatialization is just like that of so-called deictic categories of language such as English now : then.they project a kind of radial geometry around the origin point. and.

Those at the apex of regimes of superordinate versus subordinate languages do.” He was using the anthropological term for one of Edward Sapir’s [1929: 138–41] large historical linguistic groupings of the indigenous languages of North America. descent. “Shutup and eat your shiksa!”— as in “Shiksa complex” and Philip Rothian sexual fantasy. assign rationality. or race. and communicative efficiency to the superordinate language or style of usage. He had been a key witness in a 1953 treaty adjudication in both federal court and Congress. “We’re a Penutian people. even naturalized terms such as geohistorical provenance. Both to insiders and to outsiders.Public Culture and blue-eyed] actors in a recuperative therapeutic simulation of the hero’s Brooklyn Jewish childhood says to him. “Lo-o-ong ago. By contrast.” He went on to enumerate some of the other “Penutian” peoples in the Northwest. so that each recognizable (and recognized!) type of groupness has a particular kind of existence in the social organization of a more global social formation. The group’s locally understood difference depends on the particular modalities of sociological existence within social space-time. Thus. feeling.) There is a perduringly consistent social field of performable identity-orientations in the contemporary state of languages in the First World. Now the conventions for expected or even normative manifestation of such identity-displays across all such occasions inscribe a structure of interdiscursivity across identity-events. to exist. From the film audience’s perspective. its qualities of difference are frequently understandable in ideologically essentialized. a who. the group itself appears—reflexively as well as to others—to perdure. and a where to ethnolinguistic identity conceived of as a large-scale fact. the conditions of which differ widely for different labeled glottonyms. This has contributed in no small measure to what is now termed modernity. and folk inefficiency to the subordinate language or style. he knew 540 . (“Oh yes!” a very senior public figure among the Warm Springs Wascoes said to me in passing in 1971. “we [note!—MS] came down the eastern side of the Cordilleras—the Rockies— and here onto [the] Oregon side of the [Columbia] River. There is. and even matter. even as they may—at arm’s distance — celebrate the earthy genuineness of ethnolinguistic insider folk art in the original. kinship. look at how many layers of in versus out ethnolinguistic—and ethnic— group membership are being played with. in fact. we might say. There appear to be structures of interdiscursive display that carve out an institutional form in which paradigms of ethnolinguistic difference are countenanced. emerging from a set of experiences of identity-displays. technical precision. in short. a when. they assign irrationality or emotionality. even including approved high art for the local imagination of the abstract sublime.” my interlocutor revealed.

consider the effects of this on language considered in the more usual way. a performance of ethnolinguistic self-identification reflexively on display. education. Malayalam. and occasions of display of national identity are assimilated to. too. that is. etc. Think of the intersection of class. just like sociolectal variants of languages such as Ebonics and Broadcast Standard American English. and assimilate. the very particular translational sensibility involved in the enregisterment of language difference. of course. and for whom. what gets translated. these other kinds of sociological status. whole languages. by. using a word identifiably of language A instead of language B: seen within a larger economy of communication such usage constitutes what we term a register phenomenon (a contextindicating variant way of “saying the same thing as could otherwise be communicated”). Most of the labels for what are considered languages—glottonyms like English. But contrariwise. Language is. or even using a word or expression or other formal feature in the course of communicating. deployable as what is termed a denotational code. is an essential part of scheduled recognition. Using language A instead of language B. or Berber — intend to pick out this kind of code. as a code for “saying something. Being a member of a nation is likened to family membership.whereof he spoke in the groupness-ratifying technical names of the superordinate society’s anthropological and legal experts. Yiddish.. is an emblem of local identity. 541 Ethnolinguistic Recognition . Even in America. If using a particular identifiable denotational code. for narrating events that take place in those real and imagined worlds. Observe. The old gent had read much of the rest of the corpus of European nineteenth-century literature in Yiddish translation as well. by this measure. So language usage can be studied as an indicative praxis.” People use it for representing “real” and “imagined” worlds. I recall the report of a Stuyvesant High School classmate in the early 1960s that his grandfather was reading Alexandre Dumas fils’s Le comte de Monte-Cristo in Grandpa’s first language. to racial continuity. 1991) account of the essentializing and naturalizing bases for a cultural phenomenology of nationalism and ethnonational identity under it. and for explicating how and why things work the way they seem to. and ethnicity—let alone raw figures of print circulation in the simplest market computation — in which this kind of translation was not only possible but a continuing fact of life of how and where two languages and their textual production came together. are brought together as registers in a performable cultural imaginary of difference actually or potentially in contrast one with another as alternative forms for the same social actors. is swept up into this scheduling principle and the problematics of ideological rationalization of difference.) Compare here Benedict Anderson’s (1983. it. then. when. to autochthonous panchronicity. Hence. Here.

in French. But that act of rendering has changed the local language community as well — in fact. Mr. were participating. So the literalisms — calques from English idiom — and outright bad morphology and syntax in the translated texts were taken to be the authoritative Christian Word in Worora. Here is a case in point. being much more like English in syntax and diction. and this best-selling translation was in brisk circulation as a culture-artifact. a new register for the community to assimilate to its system of register variation. Mr. the structure of relationship changed profoundly. is a force of assimilation to English denotational code at the same time as it appears to render English into a local language of higher register-value. Within a stratified political economic structure of ethnolinguistic identity. hardly a textartifact — among adults. with connotations of sacredness and closeness to the—in their experience—anglophone Christian world. By the time of my fieldwork forty-ish years after Love. The message of the distinctive refinement of cultured Latinity is loud and clear. The translation. living in a relatively autonomous universe of the political economy of culture. The latter is more like the identity act in which readers of the Latin translation Winnie ille Pu (Milne 1960). Love. since the Rev. one aspires to “culture” at the level even of Dumas’s work in English or. however. the gospels of Mark and Luke were used in church services. in fact—enregistered as not standard American English. by the way!— as both a frivolous act of affirmation of belonging and as an ironic challenge to those who aspired to it. one that people experience with both upward and downward effects. rather than Winnie the Pooh (Milne 1926). with real “distinction” (Bourdieu 1984). from the Northern Kimberleys. in the direction of language loss. not children. the translations had becomes highly influential among the older. and these were not archaisms. Australia. the translations manifested many grammatical and phraseological errors from the perspective of (secular) norms of Worora as I could discover them. translated from English into Worora by an Anglican missionary. the Rev. translation itself is a fraught cultural praxis. As it turned out. When Yiddish definitively became an ethnolinguistic minority language—a heritage language.Public Culture Grandpa’s generation had constituted a multilingual audience of a certain constancy of class and educational characteristics. For them. they seemed to be composed in a special church register of Worora. in America. multilingual Worora speakers. Love’s own grammatical notes agreed with my consultants’ speech. Among the Worora ethnolinguistic group in the Mowanjum Community of Australian Aboriginal people (with whom I lived in 1974 and 1975). (Recall here Walter Benjamin’s “The Task of the Translator” [1923] in 542 .

and ethnolinguistic identity has been taking place. The group is licensed to enact ethnic private space somewhere in town. or graphic). in the United States. much as. plastic. Many of the traditional or former identitarian enclaves are now evacuated of heritage ethnic and especially ethnolinguistically identified folk (who have moved to the suburbs. national self-recognition ritual is distributed “throughout the land” on the Fourth of July every year (cf. ethnonational. reserved to such-and-such group as ritual sites in the social organization that anchors language to identity in group-particular ways. and its textual “expressive culture” (genred aesthetic production. I think that this becomes obvious to anyone who has been stuck in traffic in a major American city as that day’s ethnic pride parades or street festivals make their claim on functional public space. cloth- Ethnolinguistic Recognition 543 . and modalities—whether positively by prescription or negatively by proscription. just as the day commemorating the Stonewall incident has become central to when the Gay Pride parade occurs (though taking place in what is now identified on the civic map as the gay enclave). In this logic. institutional sites. Dearborn Street in the Loop—past Daley Center — is the parade route of choice for every ethnonational identity on occasions like the old country’s independence day or a similar founding historical moment. Hence. It is licensed in exactly the same way as are a group’s emblematic style of dress. a kind of localizing museologization of ethnic.which he worries about the dialectical mutuality of source. Rosaldo and Flores 1997). in which items of emblematic value — such as arts and crafts. ethnolinguistic.) Within a stratified conical order. ethnonational.and target-language versions of a text. then. a highly enclaved and multifariously “identified” city. inevitably coming to be meaning lenses one on the other. a downtown plaza. and other group that participates in the paradigm of politicoeconomically recognized identity. (Of course. small. use of an ethnolinguistic group’s denotational code or register is licensed for certain times. predominantly ethnic towns and villages have always celebrated their own local ethnonational heritage for themselves. In my own city. whether verbal. 17 March. to use a street. Patrick’s Day. And certain schedulings are. places. sometimes re-creating at a different level of socioeconomic integration the spatial particularity of the city).) But there is now a total spatiotemporalization of display for every ethnic. Columbus Day has become the property of ItalianAmerican Chicagoans. Chicago. food. in effect. food and its mode of preparation or consumption. Perhaps the historical model in large cities — one would have to check this — is St. or the run of a traditional ethnic enclave at some definite point or interval in the overall civic calendar. The identity “owns” that date and has rights floridly to display itself.

Public Culture ing. In historical process. consumable or wearable ethnic logos. a distinct country-of-origin ethnonational consciousness. not merely a category or kind of people. that the language of the ethnolinguistic group—especially a heritage language— is maximally present. if any. music. Perhaps an older relative still lives in the ethnic enclave—if gentrification hasn’t driven the taxes up through the roof—and families. In larger social formations. Even in the context of Native American reservations. ritual sites in the spatiotemporal public sphere for a particular identity-conferring language or register. on occasions of the community’s civic cyclic time as well as at life-cycle transition rituals. It is on such occasions. one hears long-moribund languages. as we might term it (I shall return to this below). But there are at least five or six different dialectal standardizations of Western Hemisphere Spanish. to be sure. People of that heritage can make a weekly or monthly pilgrimage back to the enclave (or one determined by liturgical calendar). 544 . can be seen to be a particular adjustment of the scheduling of ethnolinguistic identity such that there are few. for example. and actual museums—recuperate the location as a spatial and temporal renvoi. what is termed assimilationism. as one says. in formulaic speeches. even significant swatches of kin. recitations and songs. and in such places. One is at home in the old neighborhood. or even at other calendric intervals. with a complex internal relative cultural stratification (cf. eucharistically consuming the ethnicity as an act of personal reaffirmation as well as of commensality with kindred others. of course. Note that it is not simply the matter of commodification of identity insofar as it is identity paraphernalia commoditized. Assimilation can be by degrees. it is a dominant urban modality of experiencing one’s heritage and feeling affirmed in one’s participation in a group. 182–84). They can purchase items that become — in Anderson’s nice phrasing—ethnic logos (here. the neighborhood becomes a secondary locus to whatever it referred back to. return to this domicile on ritual occasions (think of the liturgical year of an associated religion). Zentella 1996) as well as. for the living—are especially laden with language that otherwise is not seen or heard in ordinary life. They frequently are invited to participate in meals that turn into rituals of consubstantiality. For example. in a kind of rhizome (punctuated network) model of spatiotemporalization. with their backwardlooking tropic forms befitting the normatively old-deceased — notwithstanding they are. to whatever degree people are competent in it. in contemporary America the Latino ethnolinguistic identity is affiliated rather promiscuously by outsiders with any and all New World Spanishes. Funerals. It increasingly operates to license an ethnolinguistic identity useful to a paradigm of political and economic allocations. or more literal cultural texts) (Anderson 1991: 175.

and not fundamentally distinct orders of the political economy of language and culture. the Province of Quebec within the nation-state of Canada considered transforming English-French asymmetric bilingualism into a pedagogical program to achieve universal symmetric bilingualism. especially white. the degree to which the current squaw controversies. In the logic of a politics of recognition. which encourages mass multilingualism in American English and at least one other ethnonationally identifiable language [see Adams and Brink 1990. even though the protest is couched in terms of traditional ethnolinguistic pride and its denigration. wife. because identity emblems of a minority that is assimilating pass out of an erstwhile in-group to the larger social formation’s societal memory. This lies behind the contemporary English-language term. We might point here to proposals for making everyone multilingual within a polity with a minority as well as a majority denotational code as alternative. perhaps even expansively constituted ones that invite wider participation not under the licensing sign of specific ethnolinguistic identity. 1965.) Observe that as ethnolinguistic assimilationism versus ethnolinguistic multiculturalism are construed from the top-and-center. moreover. Crawford 1992]. or historical consciousness.” of course. cognate forms in the seventeenth century were just the words translatable as “woman. if perhaps not fully equivalent.What is termed multiculturalism. Baron 1990. the protests by Native American people against using place-names containing that lexical form. they are different adjustments of parameters of licensed language usage. If scheduling in social-organizational sites is the correct way of looking at the contemporary dynamics of locality in its impact on language. squaw. can be seen to be a scheduling such that there are many ritual sites licensed for presentation of identity-indicating language. registers. At one time in the 1960s. this never happened [see Dunton et al. are based on such a history of assimilative forces. that is in semantic contrast with woman and more strongly in contrast with lady (suggesting refined. by contrast. woman). Note. This then becomes the consciousness of the in-group as well. for example. they are asymmetrically irreversible. I want to highlight 545 Ethnolinguistic Recognition . The contemporary Native American consciousness of the term is an assimilated one. Note even the taco—ethnically bleached as it ascends the class stratification as the “wrap”— and do not forget the assimilated bagel — de–“New York”–ified with blueberries and cinnamon and other Leviticusine abominations in many places—in the American fast-food experience. (Observe that the English Only movement in the United States has found at least one response in the English Plus movement. For various Algonquian language communities. It was clearly Europeans who enregistered usage from outside. 1967–70].

Second. Their communicative envelope of scheduling identity-marking cultural and linguistic material is stretched over multiple orders of chronotopicality. The experience of identity is thus multiplex for anyone who functions at once at both extremes. First. people can be very much locked into different orders of chronotopicality —being in (social) space-time—in the different aspects of their lives that depend on these different media. and “consumption” of texts now create them and move them about with great speed as their circulation subtends great. even global.and video-recorded artifacts and the like. on intermittent scheduling. Reenergized Linguistic Minorities Modern technologies for production. Digitized and pixel-based electronic transmission among computers is now overlaid on an older regime of analog electromagnetic broadcast transmission. For example. Contrast with those who participate in continuously global electronic communication people in an ethnolinguistic community whose access to verbally mediated culture is exclusively viva voce. Let me briefly discuss each one. Technology-mediated communicative access—generally implying correlative facts of people’s socioeconomic integration and class — thus deeply affects any ethnolinguistic identity issues in the perspective of the conical model. in turn both overlaid on durable and circulatable text-artifacts like printed and photographed material. circulation. And finally. this differentiation by communicative mode and access distinguishes historical types of immigration or mobility. ethnolinguistic praxes articulate themselves under pressures of functionalist ideologies of tier-shift or museologization of language and culture (fractal “disks”). there was 546 .Public Culture three trends of globalization that are affecting the topographies and the kinds of scheduling of ethnolinguistic identity. phonograph and later generation audio. increasingly the “connected” ethnolinguistic groups have heightened diasporic (“rhizomic”) linguistic and cultural sensibilities. in two such very different spatiotemporal orders of effective simultaneity with communicating others in a connected population. distances. or print-mediated. that ethnolinguistic identity of a local in-group can now take place in the chronotope of global. gesturing to some examples I have in mind. Traditionally. self-localizing processes of identity seem to operate in tiered or fractalized re-regionalization of politicoeconomic frames (competing “conics”). As is implied by all these overlaid regimes of communication. These trends seem to sharpen the crises of demand for recognition that we linguists remark and report. Mediated Diasporas. In places like the United States. ethnolinguistic 24/7-dom has the effect of putting some languages—and their users—on a very different footing with respect to others.

Tokyo. At these levels of connectivity are new kinds of cultural and linguistic elites. consequently. What is created is not so much a so-called diasporic selfimagination (as is consistent with highly directional cultural and linguistic flows from historical centers of outmigration) as a new virtual locality at the highest planes of connectedness and mobility. People at the stratificational top-and-center reschedule ethnolinguistic identity by the logic of the rhizomic connection. and they are making language communities visible to politicoeconomic recognition as new kinds of localities. And by mobility across political boundaries. reversing the traditional inverse relationship between schedulings of class and ethnicity. there has emerged a rather open accessibility to formerly highly local cultural and linguistic forms among connected people separated by vast distances in the straightforward geographical or geopolitical senses. and Zurich. Reenergized in this way. as I term it. occurring in this way in the United States. have the same punctate. emblematically realized in standardized American English. For the time being. There is. identity-reinforcing experience of simultaneityaround-the-globe as currency traders connected by capital flows through electronic accounts posted in virtual simultaneity in London. once politicoeconomically marginal and contained ethnolinguistic enclaves can no longer be dealt with through intermittent and peripheral schedulings of identity.upward-and-inward assimilation of erstwhile ethnic minorities. in the figure of a rhizomic growth that replicates the demographic plenitude of a heterochthonous language. Indeed. Hindi-Urdu. This is combined with temporary as well as emigrant flows of actual people across these distances. Language communities in this state can. New York. local populations affiliated with such languages are reenergized by (re)connected nodal centerings of identity. Polish. this is now giving way to ethnolinguistic identities anchored to global elite maintenance of fully standardized multilingualism. the significant addition of such cosmopolitan—and highly connected—global elites to traditional de-ethnicizing postimmigrant populations in the First World has reenergized erstwhile ethnic languages like Chinese. or Arabic. then. Such stratificational mobility required their movement toward the ethnonationally neutral. in principle. Cultural materials at all levels of distinction are available far from historical centers of outmigration within nearly coincident intervals of scheduling. a kind of elite re-ethnicization. whose distinction—to use Pierre Bourdieu’s (1984) term—is to make ethnic languages visible to Euro-Western ethnonational institutions and consciousness in rather new sociological configurations. topand-center 24/7 ethnolinguistic identity. With global communication. Hong Kong. 547 Ethnolinguistic Recognition .

And the institutional envelopes of scheduling by which ethnolinguistic identities are mapped as demographic realities are. even African American political and cultural figures were in effect summoned to public media outlets. Asian American Studies. to be sure (see references above). the increasingly dense emergence of chairs and programs or departments of “[Glottonym or Ethnonym] Studies” signals that an ethnolinguistic group clamors for recognition in the licensing sites of high culture. being noticeably transformed. or at least bourgeois. not a new phenomenon. locally expressed but globally occurrent) plurilingualism that I see as akin to the crisis of control over multinational corporations and transnational capital. even as a phonetic interference in spoken English. East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Jewish Studies.. and so forth.Public Culture The state as a political form thus faces what can be a crisis of rhizomic. and other Sunbelt. or Persian. One result in an assimilationist would-be nation-state like the United States is jittery attempts at repression. African American Studies. Observe how the naming patterns as a key to the negotiation of recognition going on: Native American Studies. (One might add here the nervous suspicions with which have been greeted the public visibility and audibility of anything like Arabic. re-ethnicization. I believe we should understand the reaction against African American Vernacular English (a.k.a. Note the English Only campaigns involving both federal and state constitutional amendments. Urdu. “glocal” (i. so as to police the schedulings of nonEnglish languages (and as well of nonstandard sociolects) that become too visible under a more traditionally and locally negotiated ethnolinguistic politics of recognition. legitimating— recognition of sociolectal diversity within the overall language community.e. Florida. The patterns are very different from Romance Languages and Literatures. since the tragically successful terrorist action of 11 September 2001. Notice how they are frequently supplanting governmentand foundation-supported areal studies centers and programs as a function of 548 . “Ebonics”) when the Oakland Combined District School Board in December 1996 proposed using students’ competence in this nonstandard register as a starting point for literacy and language arts. In this light. one by one. In the manner of dealing with a pollution-taboo that has been violated in sacred precincts of standard English (elementary school classrooms). to denounce this official—hence. but accelerated and intensified (Woolard 1989) in California. for example. as well. particularly hispanophone sites of elite. too.) So new orders of mobility and of text-transmission and circulation seem to be transforming ethnolinguistic identity and its modes of possible recognition within a politicoeconomic order such as ours. it was feared. Arizona. In universities.

In the modern regime of recognition. Between these firsttier nodes are second-tier nodes. metropolitan centers of organization.aspirations of and funding by ethnolinguistically and ethnonationally internal constituencies. then vernacular languages that energized notions of standard and its teaching. between Philadelphia and Baltimore is Wilmington. Capital has become globalized in the way that longitude finally was in 1911: usable in calibrating any space-time on earth with any other — and even radially. The reticulation is such that between nodes at tier n there are nodes at tier n + 1. D. So emblems of universal cultivation yield to emblems of particular identity. Linguistic and Cultural Recognition in Tiers 549 Ethnolinguistic Recognition . conversely. The situation should be familiar to anyone in the northeastern United States. for example between New York and Washington is Philadelphia.C. interconnected one with another in various kinds of direct flow. organized in a tiered or hierarchical fashion such that there are what have been termed global cities (Sassen 1991) at the first tier. locality of language and culture is scheduled with respect to such a hierarchy. both political power and economic commodities and wealth seem to flow to local language and culture bearers via nodal points. anybody wishing to be nonlocal. the philology of texts in first sacred and classical. emerging from the earlier secularization of sacred and high languages. out into space. The northeast is radially anchored to a single metropolitan area. It is the inside. to escape locality in a trajectory of self-mobilization. It should also be noted that these new kinds of programs are likely to deal with languages as heritage matter rather than in the fashion of the older “department of language and literature. though New Haven was once the interstice in the railroad days. Boston and Washington. identity-laden versus outside. Notwithstanding. It was. there is a network structure of metropolitan centers of capital. in terms of which ethnolinguistic recognition is constituted. Hence. a group’s visibility and recognition at any tier need not translate into such at higher levels.” This was the universal high-cultural mode for university-recognized languages. New York City. it is a culturally organized tiered structure of discrete nodes of subtended influence and allegiance. after all. So you can see that this is not a social formation in a merely continuous smear of alternatingly denser and more rarefied population and associated economic and political institutional forms. Between Philadelphia and Washington is Baltimore. Between Boston and New York is Hartford (with air travel). disciplinary construal of topical subject matter. Increasingly there are forces shaping this kind of reticulation of global spacetime not only in matters of capital but in those of culture and language. flanked by the two endpoints.

” using utterances like “no problemo” and “grassy ass” in contexts of otherlowering joking and opprobriousness. Within each of these fractal orders. (There is also a significant repopulation of many parts of rural America. New York. Observe then the advantage to the politicoeconomics of recognition of a language group that connects diasporically to a high-tier node of capital and cultural flow. standardized via broadcast Americana or through at least seasonal work-related presence in Los Angeles. abandoned through the urban migration of their erstwhile inhabitants. languages and cultures are summoned to positions in a functional hierarchy of locality defined by a radial geometry around and anchored to tiered nodes. 2001) has written about anglophone Americans’ use of what she terms “mock Spanish. But note there is no equivalent effect (in the United States. recognition or nonrecognition are favored politicoeconomic tools made more complex in the contemporary situation by the number of levels across which such recognition of legitimate locality has to reach.” Such is the indifferently homogenizing consciousness of the region’s actual welter of languages. but acquiring English. In this way. Hill claims. there is heterogeneity in the politicoeconomics of recognition. viewed from the metropoles. people in the American countryside fluent in Zapotec and speaking limited Spanish. As seasonal agricultural labor transforms into settlement. they have relative rights to subtend chunks of the globe’s geopolitical and socioeconomic space-time as maximal realms to which their recognition can aspire.) From relatively more primary nodal points of such fractally tiered intergroup relations. non-English-speaking immigrants recapitulate a history familiar in earlier generations—for example. outside-and-above such a tier. vice-president Dan Quayle in referring to the “Latin” spoken by all the people of “Latin America. Such usage.) The point is that. or slightly lower-tiered metropolitan areas. 1998. Chicago. (One recalls the splendid. This parallels the long-term pressure within the United States for all speakers of Spanish to be recognized as Latino. both indigenous and colonial. If recognition is a perspective that situates both the recognizers and the rec550 . Observe how in places like rural central Mexico. faux pas of then–U. They are doing so for English.S. ethnolinguistically “Indian” people with aspirations to significant mobility are not abandoning local languages at this point only for a Mexico City–standardized Spanish.Public Culture can achieve this by degrees over tiers. at least) of using a word or phrase of “mock French”: Americans recognize French speakers in a nodally equal-to-superior position of cultural flow (as do the metropolitan French. indexes a certain white. ethnolinguistically apical outsider stance. Jane Hill (1995. only areal experts know that there is internal difference. if extreme. of course).

Havana. failed to achieve separate recognition as a language. and (2) while “Italian” in the larger sense. It remained a dialect. were invisible even as languages. A language used only in the oral-aural channel. many Native American ethnolinguistic groups have determined to assert their recognizability in schedulings through the print medium. in Euro-American folk consciousness. as opposed to mere dialects. such as the superordinate cultural group institutionally demands for language-hood. if not thousands of dialects used by indigenous American or Australian peoples at first European contact. Buenos Aires. then recognition must be by degree. assimilated projectively to the cultural model that emerged from the urbancentered standardizations of European vernaculars. with nary a language among them. Long ago Leonard Bloomfield (1927) wrote of how such unwritten Native American languages as Menomini. for indigenous people to come to recognition in such an institutionally embodied culture of language. For in the United States. Imagine the case of a speaker of a nonstandard(ized) form recognizable as “Italian. the standardized language of the politicoeconomic realm. Ojibwa. for example.” but only under the double negative of being (1) not American English. like the amount of accurate placement of others in Saul Steinberg’s New Yorker map of the world.ognized in such a tiered structure. of the hundreds. and Winnebago (now. Ho-Chank) of the Siouan family. even childhood speakers of relatively standard versions of New World Spanish—Mexico City. One still hears talk.” in spite of the witty remark attributed to Max Weinreich that a language is a dialect with an army and navy. (See Bender 2002 for an account of contemporary Cherokee writing in North Carolina. for languages of immigrant ethnolinguistic minorities within such a nation-state.” Only this makes a language a “language. here. thus failing to come to print-centered institutional formedness. among those innocent of any sociolinguistic science. as every political. A language — and of course its speakers’ legitimated use of it — could be recognized only where there was a print-based standard. and economic institution in the European experience of nation-statehood had long been articulating. the pen still is mightier than the spoken word.—were devalued in the eyes of the anglophone policymakers. still not standard and especially print-compatible Italian from the perspectival horizon of those who live in a culture of “languages” so defined. And to be sure. The practical point is. etc. cultural.) The case is no different. For a long time (the situation is now changing). the educa551 Ethnolinguistic Recognition . as for example those cited by Bloomfield. where variability across the space of nonmetropolitan landscapes is captioned by the folk-term dialect. they must embrace the paraphernalia of the culture’s “languages. mutatis mutandis. Cree of the Algonquian family.

to Slavists. no less than attempts to standardize in the form of institutionally sponsored linguistic paraphernalia (textbooks. laid out in James Clifford’s [1988] account. the compilation of archives of words. Representations or even presumptions of ethnolinguistic groupness can incorporate the logic of facticity in the image of expertise brought to the bar in legal and administrative procedure. At one point. has had effects on recognition claims. we might add. of ethnonationalist identity claims within these politicoeconomic orders. or denied comes about through a structure of institutional sites that have different reach for shaping both languages and our consciousness of them in relation to issues of identity. spellcheckers). then. all Fourteenth Amendment—equal protection clause— legal actions such as the Lau case of 1974 (mandating bilingual education) or the Ann Arbor Board of Education case of 1979 (mandating special schooling remedies to children speaking only African American Vernacular English).) Note the classic Andersonian case of Horace Lunt.) Whatever the professed descriptive aims of the cultural sciences. to be sure. whose doctoral dissertation (1952) described the Macedonian regional variant (dialect) of what had been. then. usage guides. just as it valued Paris-standard French or Berlin-standard German. or for their suppression. and texts. 1991). has gestured toward the role of grammarians. fulfilled. federal recognition.S. fluent native speakers of these New World Spanishes were remediated in American high school foreign language classes. Compare here. Such activity under the sign of disinterested and dispassionate science cannot but become the basis for scheduling claims to groupness. grammatical forms. philologists-folklorists. (See Gal 1995. So recognition aspired to. Bulgarian.Public Culture tional system valued Madrid standard as the same-tier nodal other. too. lexicographers. taught the language through “proper” grammar and pronunciation.” his descriptive account becoming a prescriptive one under the sign of separatist identity longings. These rest on such descriptive expertise that scientifically recognizes and taxonomizes ethnolinguistic difference sufficient to suggest unequal treatment of a category of people. nowhere protected in federal law—though the denotational content or equivalent (the “what one says”) of what constituNeoliberal Functionalist Ideologies in an Age of Identity 552 . (See the florid failure of realization of this logic by the experts in the infamous “Mashpee” case seeking U. Language as such is. and. and other language-and-culture workers in the furtherance of imperial as well as statist nationalisms. Lunt is now a Macedonian ethnolinguistic and hence (ethno)national hero for “giving us our language. 2001 for a case history in re Hungarian. Benedict Anderson (1983. among others.

Does the group emerge from creating and implementing the paraphernalia of standardization. provenance. culturally salient identity-conferring forms. identity-indexing genres of textuality (cf. Grimmschen Märchen in nineteenth-century Prussia). with all its appeals to the same rights and privileges as the language of the regionally anchoring metropole at the relevant tier of reticulation? Does it result in an advanced prose composition course in. like courts and agencies. So it is not just focus on the language as such that is involved here. is recognized for its concentration on denotational codes in the image of standard languages precisely to find an issueexternal natural grounding for identity claims to recognition. to transmission of language and culture over time and space? Such an establishment of tradition through a reference collection 553 Ethnolinguistic Recognition . and perfection-of-specimen. with governmental power. This is a very uncomfortable voice with which we are asked to speak. because they provide targets especially for intellectuals and other elites in struggles over recognition. For observe that our bracketed “science”—by the terms of its participation summoned to a constructed ideological dispassion on the image of standard languages and timeless cultures—must thereby violate a good deal of what it knows about such sociocultural things as languages are. the knowledge encapsulated in our work as linguists and ethnographers. then. The other organizational sites central to identity are the museum and archive. and so forth. say. a group’s historical consciousness is created in the form of texts of ethnic history (see Glazer 1997). or international-tier university? Or does the group emerge from constituting a museum and archive with its appeal via concern for pedigree. the state college. national-. on which are brought to bear all kinds of standardizing views of language and verbally mediated. or at least kept. As well.tionalists call “speech” is. suggest recognition to bodies. as a matter of legally relevant fact. And our work projects especially into two kinds of identity-effectuating organizational sites. in which are displayed. though that is a major factor of linguistics as a policy science. So it is the linguistic expertise of discernment and scientific categorization that can. or a local. In this kind of regime of identity claims. A language in every archive and a culture in every museum. Such organizational forms have profound influence on linguistic self-consciousness in a politics of group language and culture. reference collections of identity-constituting value turned objectual. These institutionalizations of collectanea insert themselves as privileged sites of self-recognition within regimes of history and of diasporization no less than sites of recognition by others within a larger framework of difference. One is the classroom and its penumbra. Cree or a course in Cree literary masterpieces at the community college.

I understand. But in which of them does the larger politicoeconomic establishment have an interest? In which. externally. We. can culture. We must position ourselves in some at least potential trajectory of the (re)scheduling implications of our work in undertaking it and in presiding over or acceding to its use. directly or indirectly. 554 .” And innumerable local museums. emerged from cultural science within liberal political orders.. the intellectuals or knowledge workers of our societies. historically. and others’. with the intellectuals and elites of the currently recognized as well as “wannabe” groups. near the Kah-Nee-Tah Lodge is the Tribal Museum. language. for example.Public Culture provides the authority of continuity in a way that bespeaks current value of unchanging or essential heritage. In many instances. thence. D. There is no neutral or dispassionate translation work possible regardless of the notion of denotational faithfulness in the narrowest sense that may anchor the work to its context of value. The Tribal Museum has a role both internally and. it is an “attraction” with a certain economic and. using the full panoply of organizational sites that have. and with it. Notice that there is such a collection for all Native Americans now abuilding on the Mall in Washington. Only then should we be entrusted to intervene in the ethnolinguistic identity projects of others. must engage. disinterested linguistic or ethnographic collecting and describing. identities. both avenues of recognition have been launched. in the long run. It should be clear from the ubiquity of role of the classroom (broadly speaking) and the museum/archive in the identity of peoples that there is. of course. in sparking postdiasporic tourism or other culture industries? On Warm Springs Reservation in central Oregon. whatever the explicit intent of the linguist or anthropologist. including one in the Mashantucket Pequot casino. no neutrally dispassionate. for example. distinct from the National Museum of Natural History in which languages and cultures find their repose according to the sense of “science. with much referencing of ethnolinguistically pregnant words for culture items. as. we must come to terms with our own self-orientations to others’ projects of ethnolinguistic recognition. In the process of working on languages. be commodified as marketable diversity.C. via tourism. We must understand where they are positioned in the dynamics of scheduling their. also assert local group essentialisms in terms of which heritage identity comes to venues of selfrecognition and claims recognition by others. in which the story of the three historically component “tribes” is told. political leverage in the regional state consciousness.

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