Summer Linguistic Institute for Youth Scholars

OSU’s Department of Linguistics is offering a new program for summer scholars. The Summer Linguistic Institute for Youth Scholars, or SLIYS is a week-long event designed for high school students interested in the study of language. This summer’s program focuses on giving participants the tools they need to become better foreign language students. The institute is open to students from entering sophomores to seniors who are interested in foreign languages. The deadline for applications is April 17. E-mail Julia McGory at for more information.

New Article: ‘On communicative competence…in the field’

A new article of mine, ‘On communicative competence…in the field’, is now available on the website of Language & Communication. For many linguistic anthropologists, fieldwork entails working with and in a language or languages we do not master. However, little has been written on field language communicative competence, the development thereof, or the influence it has on the research questions we ask and how we answer them. I describe ways in which I addressed research challenges posed by limited field language competence, developed communicative competence while engaged in research, and made the two endeavors mutually enriching. I call for further discussion of field language communicative competence and our repertoire of practices for managing and improving limited field language while in the field. The article will appear later this year in a special issue ‘Reflections on language and culture fieldwork in the early 21st century’, edited by Suzanne Wertheim and Jocelyn Ahlers.

Native Theories of Child Development

Anthropologist of childhood David Lancy is coming to OSU to give a talk on the enormous variability that exists in folk theories of child development. His presentation, liberally illustrated with photos of children and their parents from around the world, will consider how such folk theories impact the child’s experience with formal education. Professor Lancy has done fieldwork in Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad, Sweden and the United States. He is the author of several books, including Studying Children and Schools: Qualitative Research Traditions, Playing on the Mother-Ground: Cultural Routines for Children’s Development, and his new book from Cambridge, The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, and Changelings. The talk is sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Center for African Studies. You can view the ppt with voice-over here.

11 am to 1 pm, Friday, March 13th, in the Martha King Center (Ramseyer 200), reception to follow.