The semiotics of consubstantiality

10 11 2008

Jan Blommaert is the Gilles Peterson of discourse analysis. He leads, we follow. There, I said it. Ever since his lecture on genre during a summer school, I’ve been reading his work religiously. Jan is a theoretical omnivore who has a knack for illustrating socio-politically relevant issues (inequality, literacy) in minute discursive detail.

His recent work on the linguistic effects of globalization is a case in point. In a  working paper on commodified dialects, he waxes poetic about semiotic consubstantiality (bless you):

“you are (or become) what you speak, and speaking it (mysteriously) transforms you into what is indexically suggested by the speech.”

I may not agree with all of his political views, but man he’s good. Book tip: Discourse: A Critical Introduction (2005, CUP).



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