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Linguistic Prerequisites to Cultural Analysis: Lars Levander’s Reocentric Vision of Vernacular Language and Swedish Peasant Life
University of Hong Kong.
2018 (English)In: Signs and Society, ISSN 2326-4489, E-ISSN 2326-4497, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 504-530Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article takes interest in reocentric thinking, as well as in the ways such thinking is brought to bear on research on language and social life. Reocentric thinking, understood as referential theories that treat words as standing for things, is pervasive throughout the history of (Western) linguistic thought. Yet, its manifestations in descriptive linguistic research are scantly explored. Seeking to account for how a reocentric vision of language and social life is realized and concomitantly adapted in scholarly practice, the article analyses the research of Swedish linguist and folklorist Lars Levander (1883–1950). Levander spent most of his life documenting the vernacular languages and peasant life of Sweden’s Dalarna province. His assumptions about the relationship between words and things, as this article argues, significantly guided his research practice. Furthermore, they served to conceptualize, and concomitantly capture, certain configurations of time and vernacular authenticity. The article seeks, accordingly, to grasp the dialectic between Levander’s epistemic presuppositions and his scholarly production. More broadly, the article’s historical, epistemological mode of engagement exemplifies how early and potentially ingrained apprehensions of language, as well as their epistemic prerequisites and effects, can be understood and rectified.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 6, no 3, p. 504-530
Keywords [sv]
dalmål, dialektologi, språkvetenskapens idéhistoria, Wörter und Sachen, älvdalska
National Category
Languages and Literature History of Ideas General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-162704DOI: 10.1086/699662OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-162704DiVA, id: diva2:1268977
Available from: 2018-12-07 Created: 2018-12-07 Last updated: 2018-12-10Bibliographically approved

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  • apa
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  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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