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Selected Publications




This ethnography focuses on the two poetic "texts" in contemporary Fiji: 1) the official colonial-time documents which have stipulated the ownership relationship between land (vanua) and social groups since the colonial period, 2) the chiefly installation ritual which was held in the Dawasamu district of Tailevu province in 2010 for the first time in 30 years, and it reveals the semiotic connection, or meta-pragmatics, of the two texts through analyzing colonial documents, ritual utterances, mythical narratives, and digital archives from a linguistic anthropological perspective.  

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Is “translation” simply a matter of paraphrasing what is said in one language in another? By rethinking modern concepts and practices of “translation” and identifying ideologies behind them, such as nationalism, linguistic purism, and standard variety-centered understandings of language, On Translation presents a comprehensive, linguistic-anthropological framework for analyzing “translation” (i.e., interlingual, intralingual, and intersemiotic translations, in Roman Jakobson’s terms) as historical, sociocultural processes, crucially involving linguistic varieties (dialects and sociolects), language use, and semiotic interactions.


Examining myriad examples from American Evangelicalism and Dispensationalism, Eugene Nida’s Bible translation and SIL/WBT, Descriptive Translation Studies and the Tel Aviv-Leuven Axis, Goethe’s theory of translation and Benjamin’s concept of pure language, language reforms in the Carolingian Renaissance and King Alfred’s nation-building enterprise, pseudo-translations involving Buddhist texts in Chinese and Macpherson’s The Poems of Ossian, to textless-translations as found in documents of the Tohono O’odham nation and the British East India Company, On Translation elucidates the historical, sociocultural emergences and contextualized/contextualizing (presupposing/entailing) semiotic functions of modern concepts and practices of “translation” and Translation Studies, by semiotically grounding them in pragmatic processes, deictically anchored onto communicative events, dynamically generating intra- or inter-(co(n))textual indexical or iconic linkages and thus unfolding in and creating ontico-epistemic spaces, or “worlds,” in which we, humans and non-humans, all live.


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