Kisisi (Our Language): The Story of Colin and Sadiki (New Directions in Ethnography)

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9781119101567: Kisisi (Our Language): The Story of Colin and Sadiki (New Directions in Ethnography)

Part historic ethnography, part linguistic case study and part a mother’s memoir, Kisisi tells the story of two boys (Colin and Sadiki) who, together invented their own language, and of the friendship they shared in postcolonial Kenya. 

  • Documents and examines the invention of a ‘new’ language between two boys in postcolonial Kenya
  • Offers a unique insight into child language development and use
  • Presents a mixed genre narrative and multidisciplinary discussion that describes the children’s border-crossing friendship and their unique and innovative private language
  • Beautifully written by one of the foremost scholars in child development, language acquisition and education, the book provides a seamless blending of the personal and the ethnographic
  • The story of Colin and Sadiki raises profound questions and has direct implications for many fields of study including child language acquisition and socialization, education, anthropology, and the anthropology of childhood

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From the Back Cover:

In 1975, on a remote hillside in postcolonial Up-Country Kenya, two five-year-old boys, one American and one Samburu, met and became inseparable friends for a period of 15 months. Colin and Sadiki’s controversial postcolonial friendship was created through and marked by their invention of Kisisi, an original Swahili pidgin that was understood and shared by just the two of them.

Moving gracefully between intimacy and colonial relations, this study documents a rare case of child language invention that demonstrates striking linguistic and sociolinguistic competencies of young children. As the boys negotiate diverse linguistic ecologies and cultural spaces, they display their abilities as highly effective language innovators. Though the study took place 40 years ago, these examples have significant implications for the study of global cultural encounters prevalent in our increasingly diverse world.

Part historic ethnography, part linguistic case study, and part a mother’s memoir, Kisisi  is a human story of irrepressible expressive creativity as the boys’ quest for language equality creates a place for their friendship that transcends the existing language ideologies, marked colonial borders, and harsh inequities of economics, race and culture that engulfed all aspects of their daily lives.

About the Author:

Perry Gilmore, a sociolinguist and educational anthropologist, is Professor of Language, Reading and Culture at the University of Arizona, USA. She is also Professor Emerita, and Affiliate Faculty at the Alaska Native Language Center, at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Gilmore is the author of numerous ethnographic studies and co-editor of major ethnography collections including, Children In and Out of School: Ethnography and Education (1982) and The Acquisition of Literacy: Ethnographic Perspectives (1986). Gilmore is the past President of the Council on Anthropology and Education, a major section of the American Anthropology Association.

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Book Description John Wiley Sons Inc, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Part historic ethnography, part linguistic case study and part a mother s memoir, Kisisi tells the story of two boys (Colin and Sadiki) who, together invented their own language, and of the friendship they shared in postcolonial Kenya. * Documents and examines the invention of a new language between two boys in postcolonial Kenya * Offers a unique insight into child language development and use * Presents a mixed genre narrative and multidisciplinary discussion that describes the children s border-crossing friendship and their unique and innovative private language * Beautifully written by one of the foremost scholars in child development, language acquisition and education, the book provides a seamless blending of the personal and the ethnographic * The story of Colin and Sadiki raises profound questions and has direct implications for many fields of study including child language acquisition and socialization, education, anthropology, and the anthropology of childhood. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9781119101567

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Book Description John Wiley Sons Inc, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Part historic ethnography, part linguistic case study and part a mother s memoir, Kisisi tells the story of two boys (Colin and Sadiki) who, together invented their own language, and of the friendship they shared in postcolonial Kenya. * Documents and examines the invention of a new language between two boys in postcolonial Kenya * Offers a unique insight into child language development and use * Presents a mixed genre narrative and multidisciplinary discussion that describes the children s border-crossing friendship and their unique and innovative private language * Beautifully written by one of the foremost scholars in child development, language acquisition and education, the book provides a seamless blending of the personal and the ethnographic * The story of Colin and Sadiki raises profound questions and has direct implications for many fields of study including child language acquisition and socialization, education, anthropology, and the anthropology of childhood. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9781119101567

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