Project update

The first half of 2022 has been a relatively quiet period for our project, with project members either taking time off for family circumstances (Stef) or focusing on thesis completion (Daniela).

However, we will return full force in the autumn with a new workshop series, several conference presentations in August and a related pilot project that takes our research questions yet another step further.

If you have been taking part in our online workshop or are contributing to our project’s edited volume, you will receive further announcements soon!

Related event: Decolonising the anthropocene

Stef will take part in the following panel at the University of Helsinki’s Tiedekulma (Think Corner) next month. It is shaping up to be an exciting event, please help spread the word! (The announcement below was written in collaboration with Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen.)

De­col­on­ising the An­thro­po­cene: Indigenous and language-ori­en­ted perspect­ives

Thursday April 28th at 13–15 

Think Corner, Stage (Yliopistonkatu 4) 

The term, the ‘Anthropocene’ roughly denotes the most recent 12,000 years of history in which humans have significantly impacted our planet’s climate and ecosystems. Various starting dates for the Anthropocene have been put forward, ranging from the beginning of the agricultural revolution to the first atomic blast in 1945. Although the term has not yet been formally adopted by the International Union of Geological Sciences, it has gained traction in environmental policy circles.

Indigenous scholars, among others, have questioned the universality of the term “Anthropocene”, considering that its framing is largely Western-biased and anthropocentric. Critics have argued that the term dangerously misrepresents all human actions as being inherently destructive, and that it fails to recognize the long-term positive interactions between Indigenous Peoples and their environments. This event aims to re-conceptualise the Anthropocene by discussing Indigenous views of human-environment interactions, and how such connections have shaped –and continue to shape–our planet’s climate and ecosystems. 

The event draws on long term co-research of Indigenous languages, knowledge, and practices. It uncovers the diversity of narratives about humans’ roles in the natural world, and the myriad ways in which human–nonhuman interactions are conceptualised and evidenced in Indigenous languages. In the first year of UNESCO’s Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022–2032), this event also brings together Indigenous Studies scholars addressing the deeply intertwined relations between biological and linguistic diversity.  

The speakers include: 

Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, associate professor of Indigenous Studies. She has worked extensively with Amazonian Indigenous societies, namely Arawakan-speaking Apurinã and Manchineri, addressing Amazonian human-environment complexes, deep past, and Apurinã language revitalization. 

Stef Spronck, postdoctoral researcher in General Linguistics. He has worked with several Aboriginal communities in north-western Australia, primarily recording language under the instruction of Ngarinyin elders with the aim of understanding aboriginal ways of talking about speech and thought and contributing to local language teaching.

Outi Laiti, postdoctoral researcher in Indigenous Studies of University of Helsinki. Her field of research is education and computer science with focus on Sámi culture in video games and programming.

Victoria Soyan Peemot, postdoctoral researcher in Indigenous Studies of University of Helsinki. Her research addresses language and bonds of horses and herders in the Sayan-Altai Mountain Region of Inner Asia.

Álvaro Fernandez-Llamazares, HELSUS postdoctoral researcher. His research areas are ethnoecology and biocultural diversity, largely focusing on the study of the knwledge systems of the Tsimane’ people in Bolivia, and the Daasanach community in Kenya.

Aung Si, postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Linguistics of the University of Cologne. He is a Myanmar citizen, who grew up in India. He completed Doctorates in Biology and Linguistics at the Australian National University, and currently carries out research on the biological knowledge of small language communities. 

Coffee and snacks are served after the event. 

Buresboahtin! W E L C O M E ! 

Welcome to the Think Corner or watch online 

Facebook event

Organised by the projects: Anthropocene in onto-ethico-lingistic perspective in Amazonia and Language endangerment and wellbeing: Questions for a sustainable linguistics.

Call for papers: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on Quoting and Speech Reporting (October 2022, Brussels)

We would like to draw your attention to the following call for papers for a conference on Crossdisciplinary Perspectives on Quoting and Speech Reporting to be held in Brussels later this year. The conference includes a workshop on speech reporting in African languages and the event is organised by collaborators and participants of the online workshop series within our Helsinki-based project. It promises to be an exciting occasion!

Because of the overlap in theme we have decided to cancel our planned Summer workshop in Finland and would like to encourage anyone to submit your abstract to the Brussels conference by the 31st of March instead.

The full call for papers, including details on how to submit can be found here:

Reading group sessions and ‘writing clinic’ (sessions 14, 15 and 16)

April and May saw our workshop moving into slightly new territory again with two ‘reading group’ sessions and a ‘writing clinic’ in connection with an edited volume on reported speech, many workshop participants are contributing to.

On 22 April we discussed a forthcoming paper by Tatiana Nikitina, Ekatarina Aplonova and Leonardo Contreras Roa on interjections in reported speech, which addressed many recurrent topics in the workshop but also explored some exciting implications for the analysis of the grammar of discourse more widely.

6 May we met to discuss any queries that have arisen in the preparation of our chapters for an edited volume on reported speech that is planned to appear with Language Science Press in 2022.

On 20 May Sonja Gipper gave an interesting preview of her data session on Yurakaré. A longer session on Yurakaré will be scheduled after our summer break but Sonja raised a very interesting question about how to interpret verbs occurring in clauses introducing reported speech constructions as opposed to those occurring in Matrix clauses. During this session we also discussed a paper coming out of our Helsinki project on extended reported speech: expressions that are/diachronically derive from reported speech constructions but that do not clearly reflect a meaning of speech.

On 3 June we will have our final two data sessions this academic year. Bethany Lycan will discuss the Californian language Pahka’anil and Mostafa Morady Moghaddam will talk about indirect speech in Persian.

Please join us for our last session of the workshop series in 2020-2021!

– Stef

LangNet Winter School Poster Presentation: Extended meanings of Reported Speech

During the LangNet Winter School 2020 I had the opportunity to present the current stage of my research on meaning extensions of reported speech constructions in a poster.

It was a wonderful learning experience and a good opportunity to exchange ideas with my peers and more senior researchers alike. The presentations were held through Zoom, and I received many interesting questions.

The main topics I addressed during my 5min presentation were two examples of languages from my sample that have meaning extensions of RSCs, the methods I use for qualitative and quantitative analysis using an extension package in R, and finally that meaning extensions of RSCs are not limited to geographic areas or language families.

The questions I received addressed the data collection and also how RSCs are classified in my analysis.

This brief presentation and discussion provided useful and constructive feedback that I will implement in my thesis and analysis. Stay tuned! You can access the poster here.

– Daniela