top of page
American Language Journal
On mobile? Click the cover to view the journal.
Practical and Imaginative Speech in Guaman Poma’s El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno: El Negro within the Chronicler’s Social Reform and Utopic Agendas
Edwardo Dawson, pp. 8-20
Abstract. This paper seeks to resolve the contrapuntal inconsistencies between Guaman Poma de Ayala’s practical ideas and imaginative longings in El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno. By focusing on Poma’s discourse regarding the newly arrived African subjects in Peru, the essay exposes how “los negros” help the reader identify Guaman’s conception of “good government” in the early modern vice regal milieu. Particularly, Guaman’s imagined production of “negros buenos” outlines gender-specific Christian economic practices that situate Africans within an idealized colonial hierarchy. Similarly, Guaman’s proposals to reform the “negros malos” employ the same orthodox-authoritarian sensibility that contextualizes his desire for a stratified colonial ambient. Beyond these practical measures, Guaman’s chronicle has caught the attention of many critics and historians due to his grandiose contemplation of a world separated into four quadrants based on religion and/or race. My paper seeks to palliate the dramatization of this ideal by placing it into an “imaginative register” that is contrasted with Guaman’s precise and austere ideas on social organization. In sum, this essay undergirds the African subject position in 16th and 17th century Peru in an attempt to expose a societal landscape that struggled with the organization of its European, Indigenous and African counterparts. The paper also exposes how the African position within the vice regal texture was heavily mediated by dominant social actors, thus creating further questioning and investigation around actual African autonomy and consciousness within the incipient New World experiment.
Keywords: Colonization; Indigenous America; Slavery; Literature.
Moroccan Literature in English
Mohamed Belamghari , pp. 21-32
Abstract. The debate over literary writing in a foreign language has prompted quite numerous dichotomous points of view in the Moroccan academic circles. During the last two decades, a number of Moroccan writers have emerged either in Francophone, Anglophone, or Castillian (Spanish) literary spectrum and have been widely acknowledged not simply because they have embraced foreign languages but because they have touched upon very thorny issues, such as the question of identity construction and the dilemma of modernity. In fact, expressing the self by using a foreign language puts into question notions such as cultural identity, power, nationbuilding, and otherness. In this sense, it is a prerequisite to look into the reasons that may drive some Moroccan writers to try their hands at foreign languages other than their own mother tongue. Hence, the aim of this article is to excavate some Moroccan literary writings in foreign languages and lay bare the different attitudes these texts would raise. Furthermore, its focus will be to look into the reasons and ways in which a language can empower or disempower its user, and thereby lead to either its use or rejection.
Keywords: English; Foreign Languages; Mother Tongues; Communication.
‘Chameleonic’ English in Tunisia: A Third-Space Language
Selim Ben Said, pp. 35-50
Abstract. This paper examines present trends in the diffusion of English in Tunisia and discusses critical aspects of the incorporation of this language as part of the local linguistic ecology. The growing influence of English in Tunisia is first assessed against the historical, cultural, and political backdrop of the omnipresence of French and its colonial legacy. Subsequently, the popularity of English is examined through two indexes of linguistic growth, namely its representation on street signs and its legitimation in people’s attitudes. Samples of images representing the visual and linguistic landscape (Gorter & Shohamy, 2009; Jaworski & Thurlow, 2010; Shohamy et al., 2010) were collected in the streets of selected urban centers of Tunisia, and language attitudes where elicited from Tunisian participants via written questionnaires and oral interview sessions. The results of this investigation reveal that the use of English in Tunisia is ‘chameleonic’ appearing rarely but still adapting well to the linguistic ecology of the country. In addition, while it does not evocate similar colonial undertones as the French language, English is nonetheless ‘camouflaging’ an embedded strong economic value as it is instrumentally (Wee, 2003) manipulated by advertisers for purposes of commodification (Tan & Rubdy, 2008).
Keywords: Sociolinguistics; Code-Switching; Semiotics; Linguistic Landscape; Linguistic Ecology
Conversation Strategies during an Online Immersion Experience
Budimka Uskokovic, pp. 51-62
Abstract: This paper investigates the initial segment of a Talk Abroad conversation, an online platform where a non-native speaker can meet a native speaker and talk to him or her for 30 minutes. A Talk Abroad conversation is a part of a final grade in German 1102, the second semester of German, at a Midwestern state university. The analysis focuses on various strategies a language learner uses to manage a conversation with a native speaker. These strategies can be grouped into three categories: 1) the word ‘okay’, 2) private verbal thinking, and 3) code switching. It also focuses on the reaction of the native speaker to code-switching and his rephrasing of certain sentences. Findings show that the native speaker doesn’t correct the non-native speaker unless he explicitly asks for help and that private verbal thinking is a very important set of cognitive skills that can allow language learners to stay focused on task.
Keywords: Okay; Code-Switching; Private Verbal Thinking; CALL
bottom of page