This essay follows the indexical (context-indicating) clues of linguistic form in spoken Kiksht (Wasco-Wishram Chinookan) and reconstructs the emerging poetic or metrical structures of a long-ago Kiksht-mediated encounter during anthropological linguistic fieldwork, memorialized in a published text. In this way we can hear something of the voice of a Native American speaker coming to grips with the impact of social and cultural change in the American settler state of the turn of the twentieth century.
The Fieldwork Encounter and the Colonized Voice of Indigeneity
Michael Silverstein serves as Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology, Linguistics, and Psychology at the University of Chicago, where he is also Director of the Center for the Study of Communication and Society. In addition to long-term work on indigenous languages and cultures of northwestern North America and of northwestern Australia, with Michael Lempert he has published Creatures of Politics: Media, Message, and the American Presidency (Indiana University Press, 2012).
Michael Silverstein; The Fieldwork Encounter and the Colonized Voice of Indigeneity. Representations 1 February 2017; 137 (1): 23–43. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2017.137.1.23
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