politics of language

Politics & Government
12:15 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Bills deleting 'retarded' from laws go to Snyder

State Capitol building, Lansing, Michigan
Ifmuth Flickr

LANSING – The terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" will be removed from state laws under legislation being sent to Gov. Rick Snyder.

The bills incorporate a recent recommendation from a mental health commission appointed by Snyder. The bipartisan legislation strikes references to outdated language from various statutes and replaces them with terms such as "developmentally disabled" or "intellectually disabled."

The legislation unanimously passed the House and Senate this month and was approved by the Senate for delivery to Snyder Tuesday.

Democratic bill sponsor Sen. Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor says it's "a fundamental first step" toward "ensuring everyone in our state is treated with the dignity and the respect they deserve."

Arts & Culture
12:11 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

U of M Professor discovers 'radical' new language in Australia

Aerial view of Lajamanu, where the new language was discovered.
Australian Government

A new language has been discovered in a remote aboriginal community of Lajamanu in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Dr. Carmel O’Shannessy, a linguist at the University of Michigan, first discovered the new language while studying in Lajamanu. The language spoken there is Warlpiri – an aboriginal language unrelated to English.

Over the last decade O’Shannessy has documented the emergence of “Light Warlpiri” or Warlpiri rampaku in the region.

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Politics & Government
4:10 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Stateside: A hand gesture, a hidden meaning

Romney's gestures may mean more than we think.
Gage Skidmore Flickr

We know the importance of posture when reading one’s disposition. But how about something as subtle as finger placement?

Stateside’s Cyndy Canty spoke with Michael Lempert, a linguistic anthropologist at the University of Michigan, about what these minute gestures convey.

According to Lempert, a candidate is a combination of meticulously crafted elements.

“Not just speech but also gesture, comportment, clothing even hairstyle. Any of these materials can be treated as revelatory, as windows onto who the candidates really are,” said Lempert.

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Politics
5:32 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Politics of Language (Part 3)

user: Widjaya Ivan / flickr

This week we are talking about the politics of language. In the third part of our series we examine how internet technology is being used to disseminate those political catch phrases and messages we all hear and quickly repeat.

Cliff Lampe is assistant professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He says politicians are using social media to their advantage.

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Politics
6:14 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Politics of Language (Part 2)

user: feuillu / flickr

Today we continue our series on political language. In part one we spoke to a linguist about the power of language and the effect it has on our view of world. In part two, we’re going to look more closely at the political strategy behind language use. Michigan Radio's Jennifer White talks with Craig Ruff, senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants. Don't forget to check out the extended audio below.

Language is being used more strategically in politics than it has been in the past. Ruff says:

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Politics
5:37 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Politics of Language (Part 1)

user: Christopher Woo/flickr

Political rhetoric can be confusing and combative. We hear lots of political phrases that we quickly find absorbed into our everyday conversations. But what influence do these powerful words and phrases have on us? Over the next few days we’ll be taking a look at the politics of language. In part one of our series Michigan Radio's Jennifer White talks with Dr. Sarah Thomason, Chair of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Michigan.

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