This presentation considers how medievalists can intervene in ecolinguistics, a burgeoning interdisciplinary field attending to the dynamic relationship between language and environment (physical and cultural). On a conceptual level, ecolinguistics rethinks implicit biological metaphors that ground disciplines of philology, linguistics, and literary study (linguistic “trees” and stemma); thinking about languages as mobile organisms rather than a rooted plants offers a more flexible approach to how languages behave in complex adaptive systems or transform over time. In this talk, I examine how medieval linguistic theory speaks to modern-day approaches to "language death" and indigenous language preservation. I also ask how ecoloinguistics alters our understanding of the "deep time" of linguistic origins and the animacies of language itself.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Jonathan Hsy, "Ecolinguistics in Theory and Practice"
Jonathan Hsy, "Ecolinguistics in Theory and Practice." Reception to follow. A description of the talk is below.