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Linguistic Ethnography Lab

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Ways of Using Space (and defining space with language)

What makes something an “office,” a “classroom” a “park,” a “community garden,” or a “playground”? Often, the way we use a space, and the way we use language when we are in that space define it as fulfilling some humanly recognizable function. Sometimes we simply smack a label on it: “Outdoor Classroom,” and hope saying…

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Ways of Talking about Language

Language controversies are everywhere in our daily life. Words and phrases that seem innocuous to some people may be offensive to others–and this can lead to extended talk about language! For example, one of my friends, who is Asian, walked into a glasses shop to buy a pair of glasses. She tried on a few…

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Ways of Being Multilingual Everyday

Everybody’s doing it Everyone uses multiple languages everyday. Really! Even if you exist primarily in an English-speaking milieu, you probably hear or see other languages around you all the time. This morning, for example, a column on the sports page in my Big US City Newspaper featured this sentence: “If we’re talking dominoes, this guy…

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