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Kerim Friedman (National Dong Hwa University)
Nishaant Choksi (Kyoto University)
Kerim Friedman (National Dong Hwa University)
Abstract ID: 222
Topic: Beyond Multilingualism: Scripts and Semiotic Processes: Session B

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Nishaant Choksi
(Kyoto University)

From transcript to ‘trans’-script: Romanized Santali across semiotic media

Rika Yamashita
(Kanto Gakuin University)

Playing the postmodern clown: code-mixing performances of a Japanese comedian

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‘Multilingualism’, as a concept, focuses on the enumeration and analysis of different, predetermined linguistic “codes”. Classic studies of codes analyzed how they interact in everyday communication (Gumperz 1984). This model has recently begun to break down with scholars coining new terms, such as “translanguaging” (García and Li 2014) to account for how individual users create their own unitary code from their own multilingual resources; however, anthropologists working in a semiotic tradition  (Irvine 1989, Mertz 2007) move in the opposite direction. Rather than focusing on individual translanguaging, these scholars point out that linguistic codes are but one of multiple semiotic resources which make up human interaction. As such, hybridity is formed not just by combining pre-existing codes, but by incorporating elements from multiple media and sign systems. This tradition draws upon earlier insights developed in the “new literacy studies” tradition (Street 1984) which sought to break down binary approaches to thinking about orality and literacy. Accordingly, the papers in this colloquia each discuss contemporary experiences of linguistic diversity in ways that move beyond code-centered frameworks of multilingualism, giving attention to the diversity of scripts and other semiotic processes in the greater Asia-Pacific region.

Nishaant Choksi discusses the movement of a romanized transcription system developed for the Santali Ol-Chiki script which has morphed into an ironic  “trans”-script (Androutsoupolous 2017) in the age of social media. And Rika Yamashita studies the code-mixing performances of a Japanese comedian with a focus on how his virtuoso bilingualism can serve to preserve monolingual practices.