Flow Piracy and Percolation in a Hydropower Watershed
Nick Enfield | Linguistics | Sydney
This paper explores causal relationships between infrastructure, physical geography, and social networks in a communicative economy of upland central Laos. I report on a recently-completed ARC Discovery project studying the dynamics of language contact in the context of a hydropower megadam in the Nakai Nam Theun (NNT) valley of Laos, in which several minority languages (Kri, Saek, and Bru) are spoken in close proximity, along with the two nationstate languages Lao and Vietnamese. The hydropower project has transformed local networks of transportation and inter-village contact, with effects on the language ecology. The study of this situation opens a window on theoretical questions of language’s relation to theories of networks, assemblages, and infrastructures.
Brennan-MacCallum A18 | Room 822 (8th floor common room) and on Zoom