Secrecy and Sustainability

How Concealment and Revelation Shape Vepsian Language Revival

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In this article, I explore questions related to language sustainability, examining whether secrecy practices, both in written and oral form, support or hinder language revival. Within cultural anthropology, secrecy often reflects “epistemological and ethical dimensions” of the researcher and research institutions. The work presented in this article adds to this already-existing definition, providing an understanding of secrecy as an ontological practice. Stemming from fieldwork with Veps in northwestern Russia, this research demonstrates how secrecy fosters the sustainability of the Vepsian language, moving it from simply being used as a means for protecting and overcoming the challenges to Vepsian generational transmission. This change is reflected in the differences between literacy and orality.

Dans cet article, je traite de questions liées à la durabilité linguistique et examine si les pratiques de secret, sous forme écrite et orale, favorisent ou entravent le renouveau linguistique. En anthropologie culturelle, le secret reflète souvent des « dimensions épistémologiques et éthiques » du chercheur et des institutions de recherche. À cette définition déjà existante, s'ajoute ici une explication du secret comme pratique ontologique. Issue d'un travail de terrain auprès des Vepses du nord-ouest de la Russie, cette recherche démontre que le secret favorise la durabilité de la langue vepse, au-delà du simple outil de protection contre les pertes de la transmission générationnelle. Ce changement se constate dans les différences entre l'écrit et l'oral.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-88
Number of pages15
JournalAnthropologica
Volume59
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

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secrecy
sustainability
language
cultural anthropology
Russia
literacy
Concealment
Secrecy
Revelation
Sustainability
Language Revival
Language

Keywords

  • secrecy
  • language sustainability
  • literacy and orality
  • Vespian heritage language
  • ontology of concealment practices
  • new technologies

Cite this

Secrecy and Sustainability : How Concealment and Revelation Shape Vepsian Language Revival. / Siragusa, Laura.

In: Anthropologica, Vol. 59, No. 1, 04.2017, p. 74-88.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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