A Wolof in Sheep’s Clothing Monday, Mar 8 2010 

That is probably the absolute cheesiest title ever.  I really, really apologize but there are minimal puns to be had with the word “Wolof.”  And, evidently, a pun needed to be had.  Anyways, this post is very much related to the Wolof language study grant for which I applied and am currently trying (and failing) not to obsess about.  For those of you not up on your indigenous West African languages (shame!) Wolof is the most widely spoken language in Senegal.  It is an Atlantic branch of the Niger-Congo language family, and is the native tongue of the Wolof ethnic group (found in Senegal, Gambia and Mauritania).  It also, in its own way, was affected by something which for the purposes of this entry I shall be referring to as “linguistic colonialism.”  Below the fold, find my second-rate attempt at Chomskyism.



Metaphor and Religion Saturday, Feb 27 2010 

It should come as little surprise to many of you that, as a die-hard word-nerd, linguistic anthropology should be an area of significant interest to me.  The particulars of language can carry powerful symbolic (or, for you fellow pointy-headed social scientists, “semiotic”) import.  Language can be sexy; we talk of “pregnant” pauses or “copulative” verbs.  From the time humanity began to orally communicate as well as set ink to paper, our identities and perspectives have been shaped in part by our use of language (more will be blogged on that part at a later date.  Also, yes; I know I just split an infinitive.  More on that at a still later date).

I understand if many of you find a post about language dryer than a Sauna in Tuscan.  If Tuscan were relocated to the Sahara.  Click on the link, then, if you dare.