Consideration of the Compact Life Project from the Standpoint of Linguistic Ecology

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  • 「コンパクトライフ・プロジェクト」に関する一考察 ― 言語生態学的視点から ―
  • 「 コンパクトライフ ・ プロジェクト 」 ニ カンスル イチ コウサツ : ゲンゴ セイタイガクテキ シテン カラ

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Abstract

Yasushi Noguchi's Compact Life Project prompts us to reconsider our "devotion to large scale" by delving into the lives of people of different countries—Kenya, Japan, Sweden, and so on—who live remarkably simple lives.  This study investigates the life of a woman living in the slums of Kenya covered by this project, and adopts linguistic ecology as a theoretical framework to explore how language functions for this woman in a wholly different language environment from Japan. More specifically, we assess the speech of this woman through semi-structured interviews on the theme "interpersonal relationships in my life up to now," and consider how language functions for her and how she networks with others. In other words, the study qualitatively examines whether she is consciously aware she is building mutual negotiative relationships as she goes about living her life.  We found that even in the slums of Kenya which are far removed from Kakamega where this woman is from, she consciously maintains relations with her blood relatives and continue to speak her own native dialect, which suggests that these behavioral traits are linked to her own cognitive and sentimental stability.

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