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[Xmca-l] Re: Jan Blommaert - Meaning as a non-linear phenomena



Greg,
I enjoyed the article "Translatability and the Uses of Standardization"
using the format of a conversation between Michael Silverstein, Jef Van der
Aa, and Jan Blommaert. I agree it is exploring the same themes explored by
Raymond Williams as the relation of fixidity and fluidity.
I will highlight the point being explored on page 2 in Jef's phrase
"SO preceding the idea of language AS a cultural construct, there was an
idea that one could elicit things directly."
Jef's answer came after this exchange from Michael:  ".... - certainly not
semiotic objects - and they are not obviously just inter-translatable at
some kind of metalinguistic level which we can assume that everybody has.
SO if you don't have a notion of what we now call the semanticity of
language, AS A CONCEPTUAL SYSTEM, that's applied to the world as it were
...."

To repeat, Jef completes Michael's thought with his response:
"SO preceding THAT idea of language AS a cultural construct, there was an
idea that one could elicit things explicitly"[elicit things contextually -
LP]

Jan Blommaert jumps in to the conversation with this observation of the
contextual prior to the conceptual when he comments:

"SO when you [Michael] say that you had to change the culture of these
local people, you changed it by means of another culture, and you already
hinted that it's a culture in which we ASSUME from within our tradition
that this denotational STRUCTURE is the structure of language. And also
this idea of translatability, SO, you, I almost everyone here at this
conference has been trained in A SYSTEM in which we had to translate all
the time. So, say the stock, the books in our bags, every day at school
included a dictionary and a grammar. SO we ASSUME that this is universal.

Michael jumps in at this point with the comment:
"Instruments of oppression! - they are, you know.

Greg, on the one hand is the SYSTEM of language as understanding as
performance, [a system of praxis] and on the other hand *understanding* is
transformed in the philosophical SYSTEM that Michael, Jef and Jan are
talking about [the system of conceptual translatability]

So the contrast between "contextual" and "conceptual" SYSTEMS that Rod was
describing.

Then Michael makes a fascinating comment:
The more you look at Hindu theories of use of language, you are see that
what you are talking about IS a SYSTEM of praxis, i.e. it's all about
performativity"

The key seems to be different notions of *understanding* and what is meant
by the term [languaging]

I do see that this ties in with Raymond Williams notion of *structures of
feeling* and John Shotter's dialogical contextual notion of speech
performance
Larry

On Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 7:21 AM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Cool Mike,
> That was real cool...
> cool,
> -greg
>
> On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 11:01 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>
> > Cool. That is, when the temperature during my morning walk drops below 52
> > degrees?
> > Cutural mediation is a non-linear phenomenon and so far as meaning is a
> > form of cultural mediation......
> > maybe?
> >
> > mike
> >
> > On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 2:16 PM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com
> >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > There is a flurry of threads that seem to be dealing with the issue of
> > > "meaning" and how to conceive of meaning.
> > >
> > > I just thought I'd mention that there is a cadre (I prefer "gang" but
> > > alas...) of folks who are doing work that runs in close parallel to
> these
> > > local conversations, namely the linguistic anthropologists.
> > >
> > > One of my favorite is Jan Blommaert (University of Ghent). He has a
> > > fascinating conversation with Michael Silverstein about language
> ideology
> > > that points to the historical and cultural origins of Western language
> > > ideologies that, imho, are at the heart of the problems about language
> > > instruction that have been discussed on XMCA recently. Here is the link
> > for
> > > that conversation (to access this paper, you may need to join
> > academia.edu
> > > and follow Jan first):
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://www.academia.edu/7654748/Michael_Silverstein_in_conversation_with_Jan_Blommaert_and_Jef_Van_der_Aa
> > > ​
> > >
> > > In addition, he has a lovely paper on academia.edu that speaks to
> these
> > > issues as well. Th paper is titled "Meaning as a Non-linear Phenomenon
> -
> > > The Birth of Cool". Accessible here (again, you may need to join
> > > academia.edu first and follow Jan):
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://www.academia.edu/8208677/Meaning_as_a_nonlinear_phenomenon_the_birth_of_cool
> > >
> > > ​​Happy to chat more if anyone is interested but I didn't want to
> > distract
> > > from the other fascinating conversations that are on-going (and in so
> > many
> > > different directions I wouldn't even know where to post this!).
> > >
> > > Cheers,
> > > greg
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > > Assistant Professor
> > > Department of Anthropology
> > > 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > > Brigham Young University
> > > Provo, UT 84602
> > > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
> > object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>