WP48 Indexicalities of language contact in an era of globalization: Engaging John Gumperz? legacy



In this paper, I discuss Gumperz?s statements regarding indexicality in different phases of his work: The ?Introduction? to Directions (1972); a framing essay in Rethinking linguistic relativity (1996); and a recent series of interviews and essays in Language and social interaction (Eerdmans, Prevignano & Thibault, 2002). Situating his treatments vis a vis other work in Linguistic Anthropology on dimensions of indexicality (Silverstein, 2003; Urciuoli, 1996), the paper discusses how indexical concepts such as ?ordering?, when paired with Goffmanian participation analysis, provide useful ways of theorizing and analyzing the dynamics of immigration-based language contact, and, in particular, the temporal and spatial scaling of such dynamics. The argument draws upon fieldwork in immigrant neighborhoods and networks in Belgium (Blommaert, Collins & Slembrouck, 2005) and Upstate New York (Collins & La Santa, 2006, Collins & Slembrouck, 2006b).