Suggestions needed: a good linguistic ethnography

Linguistic anthropologists (et al.): I’m looking for a suggestion for  a different ethnography for my undergrad Language and Culture class.   I’ve been using Basso’s Portraits of “the Whiteman” and while it’s  great, it’s almost 40 years old now.  What I need:

– (Relatively) short (<200 pages of text)
– In print and for sale for <$20 or so (or widely available used, or a good ebook edition)
– Ideally, focus on a non-English context
– Accessible to and of interest to juniors/seniors
– Appeal to both anthro and linguistics majors (could be more  sociolinguistic, or more linguistic anthro, but needs to have something  that looks like linguistic data)

Author: schrisomalis

Anthropologist, Wayne State University. Professional numbers guy. Rare Words: Blog:

5 thoughts on “Suggestions needed: a good linguistic ethnography”

  1. I looked through book reviews in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology for books that would meet the combination of length and price criteria, and came up with this list of options (note: I read “Wisdom Sits in Places” in my own undergraduate course on linguistic anthropology, so can personally recommend it as well). This was a fun exercise for me while taking breaks from packing my apartment!

    1) Keith Basso, “Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache” (University of New Mexico Press, 1996)

    2) J. Joseph Errington, “Shifting Languages: Identity and Interaction in Javanese Indonesia” (Cambridge University Press, 1999)

    3) David W. Dinwoodie, “Reserve Memories: The Power of the Past in a Chilcotin Community” (University of Nebraska Press, 2007)

    4) Paul Manning, “Love Stories: Language, Private Love, and Public Romance in Georgia” (University of Toronto Press, 2015)

    1. Thanks! I’m really looking to move away from Basso altogether (just a little worn out, I think, rather than a problem with the source material). I have been thinking seriously about Manning 2015 already although I haven’t read the full book myself.

  2. Have you read Guests of the Sheik by Fernea? That may meet your requirements.

    I’ve only just discovered this site, and am really enjoying it. Thank you!

  3. It is pretty difficult to suggest, my friend Peter’s suggeste books could be yours one,,and Paul’s book- Love Stories: Language…I found it really enjoyable and easy to get through….

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