Balconies, karimi and ‘taptolken’

12 12 2007

A fine, fine DiO talk by Katrijn Maryns today. A fascinating ethnographic study of how linguistic diversity and performance in Belgian asylum application interviews and criminal trials are discursively manipulated/socially constructed. In the asylum procedure, Katrijn argued, linguistic diversity is syncopated by bureaucratic entextualization processes which play a crucial role in assessing refugee status. Katrijn’s transcripts even drew oohs and aahs from the audience. Conversely, in criminal trials, contextualization processes bloat linguistic diversity and performance, thereby opening the floodgates for legal rethoric and language ideologies.

Btw, I have a new favorite Dutch word: taptolken. You had to have been there…

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