alexa Sorry for Bothering, but Words of Hope must be Rescued. An (almost)Narrative Review of Ecolinguistics

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Sorry for Bothering, but Words of Hope must be Rescued. An (almost)Narrative Review of Ecolinguistics

 This text describes the situation of a scholar either divided between two fields, linguistics and ecology, or between two types of discourse, literature and science. It intends to be a demonstration of powerful insights that in part could be gained through a long contact with the now international school of ecolinguistics, to which the author adhered in 1995. The rather unnatural way academic papers tend to be written is described and a hybrid presentation technique is followed, associating descriptive accuracy with some instances of narration. The narrative spots are used in order to reflect on, and criticize, some ways of communicating in the academic milieu, especially in times of financial scarcity and of competitive individual survival strategies. On the other hand, ecolinguistics is presented through several examples as a scientific and philosophical discipline which aims at understanding how language shapes and is shaped by thought on environmental matters. The relation between town and countryside is also discussed, especially the partially unfulfilled dreams of a self-sufficient life away from the city, as those lifestyles may imply the danger of isolating people from their communities. The problems of developing a «close» language, based on proximity, of knowing what to eat in the middle of contradictory discourses and the option for organic, yet urban or peri-urban agriculture, are also addressed. In connection to these topics, the Portuguese idiom words are like cherries has here the status of a leading metaphor for hope, for it not only explains how this particular text evolved but it also supports the idea that nature (and some types of language as well) is primarily something good and healthy.

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