«This book is about language and the city. Pennycook and Otsuji introduce the notion of ‘metrolingualism’, showing how language and the city are ...»
This book is about language and the city. Pennycook and Otsuji introduce the
notion of ‘metrolingualism’, showing how language and the city are deeply
involved in a perpetual exchange between people, history, migration, architecture,
urban landscapes and linguistic resources. Cities and languages are in constant
change, as new speakers with new repertoires come into contact as a result of
globalization and the increased mobility of people and languages.
Metrolingualism sheds light on the ordinariness of linguistic diversity as people go about their daily lives, getting things done, eating and drinking, buying and selling, talking and joking, drawing on whatever linguistic resources are available.
Engaging with current debates about multilingualism, and developing a new way of thinking about language, the authors explore language within a number of contemporary urban situations, including cafés, restaurants, shops, streets, construction sites and other places of work, in two diverse cities, Sydney and Tokyo. This is an invaluable look at how people of different backgrounds get by linguistically.
Metrolingualism: Language in the city will be of special interest to advanced undergraduate/postgraduate students and researchers of sociolinguistics and applied linguistics.
Alastair Pennycook is Professor of Language in Education at the University of Technology Sydney. He is the author of many titles, including Language as a Local Practice (2010) and Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows (2007).
Emi Otsuji is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney. She is the co-editor of the book Languages and Identities in a Transitional Japan: From Internationalization to Globalization (2015) and the Japanese editor for The Japan Journal of Multilingualism and Multiculturalism.
This page intentionally left blank Metrolingualism Language in the city Alastair Pennycook and Emi Otsuji First published 2015 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2015 Alastair Pennycook and Emi Otsuji The right of Alastair Pennycook and Emi Otsuji to be identiﬁed as the authors of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.
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British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Pennycook, Alastair, 1957- author.
Metrolingualism : language in the city / By Alastair Pennycook and Emi Otsuji.
pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. Urban dialects. 2. Multilingualism--Social aspects. 3. Language and languages--Variation. 4. Urban dialects--Australia--Sydney. 5. Urban dialects--Japan--Tokyo. 6. Sociolinguistics. I. Otsuji, Emi, author. II. Title.
P40.5.U73P46 2015 306.44’6091732--dc23 ISBN: 978-0-415-83163-5 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-415-83165-9 (pbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-72422-5 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Saxon Graphics Ltd, Derby Contents
1 Morning markets and metrolingual multitasking 1 The Produce Market: Salamu alaykum mate 1 Languages of the market: lingo-ing in their own language 4 Multilingualism from below 9 Metrolingual multitasking in a restaurant 14 Beyond monolingualism: Niemand ist einsprachig 16 Research notes and emergent themes 20 2 Constructing afﬁliations and growing foreign vegetables 24 Gwai Lou Coi: growing foreign vegetables 24 Metrolingualism, the rural and the urban 29 ‘People are basically from everywhere’: ethnicity and language at work 34 Ethnic business and ethnolinguistic repertoires 37 Ethnography as process 43
4 Kitchen talk and spatial repertoires 67 The pizzeria: ‘it’s all part of the Greek culture’ 70 Kitchen repertoires 74 Spatial repertoires: ‘Pizza mo two minutes coming’ 78 Location and locution 84 Researching language, mobility and practices in place 86 vi Contents 5 Convivial and contested cities 89 ‘It’s too many languages’: suburban diversities 89 Conviviality and the city 93 ‘I’ll ﬁx you up, ya Lebs!’: everyday contestation 96 The contested city 100 Aussies and ‘the worst general Asian ever’ 108 Research and stories: the chicken mime 110 6 Talking food: commensality and the city 114 The Fanta is always greener back home 114 Talking food 116 ‘Makanai des pauvres’ 120 ‘Ma ﬁ fruit bi nom? (There’s no fruit at all?)’ 122 Red celery and the negotiation of meaning 124 Relocalization 129 Multitasking and participatory research 133
This book is the product of a multifaceted and exhilarating journey in and around cafés, restaurants, shops, streets, construction sites and other places of work in Sydney and Tokyo. We owe a great debt to all those who helped us with this research, talking about their work and lives, agreeing to be recorded at work, sitting down with us again when we came back with questions. We also owe many thanks to those who helped along the way, introducing us to different people and research sites, and making it possible for us to make a range of connections across city networks. The idea of conviviality discussed in Chapter 5 emerged in part from the extraordinary generosity and friendliness of our many research participants (even while they often couldn’t see what was supposedly so interesting about the everyday language practices of their lives).
We are also deeply indebted to all those who worked on the research, and especially to our principal research assistant Astrid Lorange. Astrid worked with us on all aspects of this project, from interviewing to recording, from ethnographic note-taking to ﬁnding references, from transcribing to suggesting new research possibilities. The choice of Astrid as a research assistant was also part of our attempt to think differently about language and the city: Astrid is more of a poet than a sociolinguist, an expert on Gertrude Stein (Lorange, 2014) rather than William Labov, but we felt (rightly as it turned out) that a poet who can do sociolinguistics and is interested in cities might be more valuable than a sociolinguist who can’t do poetry or cities. As we try to make clear in our research notes at the end of various chapters, the interactions and discussions of our research team were crucial to this endeavour, and the many times Emi, Astrid and Alastair sat, walked, hung out, drank coffee, swapped notes and talked were the dynamic heart of this project.
In addition to this core team, many others have assisted in this project. When Astrid left for a full-time academic position (a ‘real job’), Julie Choi stepped in and worked with us on the data and the book manuscript, and also contributed in multiple ways to the ﬁnal development of this book. Others who worked on transcribing and translating include: Jo Bu (who also accompanied us on visits to markets and market gardens, and gave us a range of insights into some of these parts of the project), Smiljana Glisovic, Mehal Krayem, Amina Singh, Krzysztof Komsta, Akiko Hiratsuka, Saori Kawazoe, Narelle Fletcher and Kelly Chan. One x Preface and acknowledgements of the characteristics and challenges was to capture the soundscape of the space but also to make the recording more transcribable, and for this we are indebted to Edward Hopely and Alan Lem for ‘cleaning’ the sound ﬁles. Thanks to our meticulous and thoughtful indexer Tom Melick. Finally, we should thank the Australian Research Council (ARC) for making all this possible by funding the Discovery Project (DP110101014) Metrolingual language practices in four urban sites: Talking in the city.
In the broader context of researching and writing, we have, over a number of years, engaged in some highly productive and interesting discussions on cities, metrolingualism, multilingualism, translanguaging and so on and we owe a great debt to all those who have taken the time to talk, argue, critique, help and encourage. These include John Maher, Jan Blommaert, Sari Pietikäinen, Nik Coupland, Theo van Leeuwen, Brigitta Busch, Monica Heller, Alexandre Duchêne, Claire Kramsch, Ophelia García, Stephen May, Li Wei, Adrian Blackledge, Angela Creese, Ryuko Kubota, Lynn Mario Menezes de Souza, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Mary Louise Pratt, Sirpa Leppännen, Kimie Takahashi, Elana Shohamy, Bonny Norton, Tim McNamara, Steve Thorne, Brian Morgan, Sinfree Makoni, Ikuko Nakane, Chihiro Thomson, Hideo Hosokawa, Suresh Canagarajah, Chris Stroud, Norman Jørgensen, Martha Sif Karrebæk, Janus Møller, Tommaso Milani, Tope Omoniyi, Samy Alim, Awad Ibrahim, Ruanni Tupas, Beatriz Lorente, Angel Lin, Andy Kirkpatrick, Luisa Martin Rojo, Melissa Moyer, David Block, Ben Rampton, Christina Higgins, Ahmar Mahboob, Ingrid Piller, Cynthia Nelson, Ros Appleby, Brian Paltridge, Bong Jeong Lee, Shaila Sultana, Sender Dovchin, Véronique Conte, Misako Tajima and many others.
Earlier versions of some sections of this book have been published as journal articles and book chapters (Otsuji & Pennycook, 2010, 2014; Pennycook & Otsuji, 2014a, b) and we would like to thank the publishers – John Wiley and Sons, Taylor and Francis and Multilingual Matters – for permission to publish these revised versions, as well as the editors and reviewers of these publications for their critical input into our work. Louisa Semleyen at Routledge should also be thanked for her patience and trust and advice. Writing a book such as this incurs debts to many, and as we think back over its ever-changing forms and the many different contexts in which it was written – including the hugely productive Kangaroo Valley writing retreat in December 2013 with Emi, Alastair, Astrid and Dominique Estival (who also supported this project in numerous ways) – we hope we have acknowledged all those who have been part of this.
1 Morning markets and metrolingual multitasking The Produce Market: Salamu alaykum mate It’s a little after ﬁve o’clock in the morning. While much of the rest of the city is still asleep in the predawn gloom, Sydney Produce Market is alight and buzzing.
As we travel across the dark city in time for the busiest period of the morning, we traverse the rhythmic urban patterns as the city breathes in and out. Unlike the quiet of the tree-lined suburbs, Oxford Street is alive and noisy, brawny darkclothed bouncers watching nightclub patrons spilling out onto the pavement.
Taxis hover: The night shift changed over at 3 a.m., and fresh drivers are patrolling the streets looking for a late night (for the clubbers) or early morning (for the drivers) ride before public transport gets moving. Early morning garbage trucks are starting up; road workers are closing up after a night job.
Meanwhile, the produce market is humming with activity: Giant trailer trucks are pulled up alongside loading bays, stacked high with bananas and other tropical fruit (transported down south from Queensland overnight), or packed with vegetables and stone fruit from Canberra and Shepparton to the southwest, or apples from Tasmania even further south. Their cargoes of fruit and vegetables are whisked away on forklifts. Everywhere forklifts – hundreds of them, lights on, hurtling backwards (the loads piled up on the forks make driving forwards impossible), turning in tight circles, moving pallets of oranges, onions, pineapples, bananas, beetroot, potatoes from one place to another.1 This is the largest fresh food market in Australia, and one of the largest in the world. It is estimated that 2,500,000 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables are sold through this market annually, through the hundreds of wholesalers, produce growers and ﬂower grower-sellers.
Among the movements of products and people, Muhibb and Talib are busy.
Excerpt 1.1 (M: Muhibb, T: Talib, P: Passerby) (Transcription conventions are provided in appendix 1) Arabic: italics;
English: plain (translation in brackets)
1. M: Hey! Johnny ﬁx up the stand! Here move these cherry tomatoes put them with them. Let them do it. Let them do Hog’s Breath … If you wanna do anything … if my dad’s not doing it start here.
2 Morning markets and metrolingual multitasking
2. T: Ed da calaphak? Etnan? (How much did it cost you? Two?)
3. M: Sorry. Eh tnanan dollar! (Yeah two dollars) [Ten seconds pause] [phone conversation]
4. T: Joe … good morning, Can you send me one ras one blues please.
Thank you very much. See ya buddy! Coles is on special. Dollar seventy and dollar sixty on u::mm on on what do you call it … two dollars.
5. P: Salamu alaykum mate (Peace be upon you, mate)
6. M: Wa alaykum assalam (Peace upon you too) At their stall on the ﬂoor of the giant warehouse – the size of three football pitches – Talib and Muhibb are hard at work. The different areas are being set up, pallets of goods piling up for sale. Each area has a portable desk, dropped off and removed by a forklift. This is where the deals are done, the paperwork is shifted, the cash changes hands. They are surrounded by food on the move, workers loading and unloading fruit and vegetables, forklifts picking up loaded pallets and bringing new loads of tomatoes or beans or strawberries or onions.
This is the north end, generally understood as the ‘Lebanese section’ (a walk from the south of the warehouse takes one through sections recognized as Chinese, Vietnamese, Maltese, Italian, Lebanese). On the side of the brothers’ desk is a Ramadan calendar. The brothers – second generation Lebanese Australian – are strongly built, hair cut short, beards bulky. In T-shirts, they are dressed to work.