Schieffelin, Bambi B.
2007 Langage et lieu dans l’univers de l’enfance. Anthropologie et Sociétés, 31, 1:15-37.
Found in translating: Reflexive language across time and texts. In Consequences of Contact: Language Ideologies and Sociocultural Transformations in Pacific Societies, ed. M. Makihara and B. B. Schieffelin. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 140-165.
Cultural processes and linguistic mediations: Pacific explorations. In Consequences of Contact: Language Ideologies and Sociocultural Transformations in Pacific Societies, ed. M. Makihara and B. B. Schieffelin. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-29. (with M. Makihara).
2008 Speaking only your own mind: Reflections on confession, gossip, and intentionality in Bosavi (PNG). Anthropological Quarterly 81,2:431-441.
Tok bokis, tok piksa: Translating parables in Papua New Guinea. In Social Lives in Language: Sociolinguistics and Multilingual Speech Communities, ed. M. Meyerhoff & N. Nagy. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 111-134.
2009 Enquoting voices, accomplishing talk: Uses of be + like in Instant Messaging. Language & Communication 29,1:77-113. (with G. Jones).
Talking text and talking back: “My bff Jill?” from boob tube to YouTube. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 14, 4: 1050-1079. (with G. Jones).
2010 Anthropological linguistics/Linguistic anthropology: An introduction. In Anthropological Linguistics: Critical Concepts in Language Studies, Volumes I-V, ed. B. B. Schieffelin and P. Garrett. London: Routledge (with P. Garrett), pp 1-10.
2011 When friends who talk together stalk together: Online gossip as metacommunication. In Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media, ed. C. Thurlow & K. Mroczek. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 26-47. (with G. Jones & R. Smith).
The theory of language socialization. In The Handbook of Language Socialization, ed. A, Duranti, E. Ochs, and B. B. Schieffelin. Malden, MA: Wiley- Blackwell, pp 1-21. (with E. Ochs).
2007 Consequences of Contact: Language Ideologies and Sociocultural Transformations in Pacific Societies, ed. M. Makihara and B. B. Schieffelin. New York: Oxford University Press.
2010 Anthropological Linguistics: Critical Concepts in Language Studies, Volumes I-V, ed. B. B. Schieffelin and P. Garrett. London: Routledge.
2011 The Handbook of Language Socialization, ed. A. Duranti, E. Ochs, and B. B. Schieffelin. Malden, MA: Wiley- Blackwell.
Current News / Major Projects Updated August 2013
Questions about the intertwined dynamics of cultural and linguistic change, and the various factors that motivate such change, e.g., developmental, generational, and/or sociohistorical, continue to guide my research projects and publications. I completed two comparative projects, which were done collaboratively with scholars who inhabit different continents and times zones. The research has been synergistic and dialogic, and has made me appreciate modern communication technologies more than ever.
The first project, carried out with linguistic anthropologist Alan Rumsey on Ku Waru (Australian National University) and linguist Lila San Roque on Duna (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics) focused on child language acquisition in three Papua New Guinea communities where different ergative languages are spoken. Ergative languages are ones in which the subject of an intransitive verb behaves like the object of a transitive verb, and differently from the agent of a transitive verb. (English follows a nominative-accusative pattern, that is, agents of transitive verbs and subjects of intransitive verbs behave the same, and differently from objects of transitive verbs). These differences raise interesting questions about notions of transitivity and agency, and their linguistic expressions.
Drawing on our respective ethnographic and linguistic fieldwork data on children’s everyday speech practices, we each analyzed how young children in these societies acquire and use the morphological, syntactic, and pragmatic resources of their respective languages to differentiate and mark key categories: agents, subjects and objects. This was followed by a three way cross-linguistic singular comparison to determine patterns of similarity and difference across these languages. Our findings contribute to broader conversations among linguists and psycholinguists interested in cross-linguistic patterns of language acquisition across typologically diverse languages, and what such patterns suggest about the intersection of language structure, sociality, and cognition. Our chapter, entitled “The acquisition of ergative marking in Kaluli, Ku Waru and Duna (Trans New Guinea), appears in The Acquisition of Ergativity, edited by Edith L. Bavin and Sabine Stoll, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
The second project developed during my visiting professorship in Social Anthropology at the National Museum, Rio de Janeiro (August 2010), during which time I had the opportunity to work collaboratively with cultural anthropologists Aparecida Vilaça (National Museum, Rio de Janeiro) and Joel Robbins (University of Cambridge). Our article, “Evangelical conversion and the transformation of the self in Amazonia and Melanesia: Christianity and the revival of anthropological comparison,” is anchored in our respective social and linguistic investigations of the introduction of Christianity and first generation Christians in Bosavi, Urapmin and among the Wari’, and offers a comparative framework for studying processes of Christianization. It has been accepted in Comparative Studies in Society and History.
As a consequence of the introduction of Christianity, Bosavi people also reformulated notions of place, a central construct in how they remember, as well as think and talk about themselves and others. I analyzed some these changes in a paper I presented at the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research conference on The Anthropology of Christianity (March 2013). With seventeen other participants, the intense and lively discussions of theoretical unity, diversity, and new research directions in this area were enhanced by excellent food, wine, and scenery in Sintra, Portugal. My paper, entitled “Christianizing language and the dis-placement of culture in Bosavi, Papua New Guinea” will be part of a special issue of Current Anthropology, edited by Joel Robbins, the conference organizer.
The Handbook of Language Socialization (Wiley-Blackwell 2011), edited with A. Duranti and E. Ochs, has just been published in a more affordable paperback. Introduced by an essay written by Ochs and myself, and followed by 28 original invited essays, it offers current research in this theoretically exciting area. It should be of interest to scholars in linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, applied linguistics and developmental psychology.
For those wishing to read Language Ideologies: Practice and Theory in Spanish, it is now available: Ideologías lingüísticas. Práctica y teoría, ed. Bambi B. Schieffelin, Kathryn Woolard, and Paul Kroskrity. 2012 Madrid: Los libros de la Catarata/serie ensayos Unesco Etxea.
Work on my book project under contract with University of California Press for the series, Anthropology of Christianity, continues. Based on ethnographic and sociolinguistic research in Papua New Guinea, the book analyses the impact of fundamentalist Christian missionization on the linguistic and cultural lives of Bosavi people.
The New York Linguistic Anthropology Working Group, which is collaboratively organized and hosted at NYU, provides a lively forum for scholars to present work in progress. We look forward to lively meetings and post-meeting exchanges through the coming year. In addition, the Working Group in Urban Sociolinguistics, co-organized by linguistic anthropologists and sociolinguists, and sponsored by New York University, schedules workshops and seminars offered by leading scholars working on language use in urban settings.