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Arguing with TraditionThe Language of Law in Hopi Tribal Court$
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Justin B. Richland

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226712932

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226712963.001.0001

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“What are you going to do with the village's knowledge?” Language Ideologies and Legal Power in Hopi Tribal Court

“What are you going to do with the village's knowledge?” Language Ideologies and Legal Power in Hopi Tribal Court

Chapter:
(p.59) 3 “What are you going to do with the village's knowledge?” Language Ideologies and Legal Power in Hopi Tribal Court
Source:
Arguing with Tradition
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226712963.003.0003

Building on the emerging linguistic anthropological study of language ideologies, metadiscourses, and metapragmatics, this chapter explores the interactional practices by which legal actors participating in the Hopi Tribe's property disputes explicitly and implicitly constructs notions of Hopi tradition and Anglo-American law, as well as the epistemological demands that they claim each makes on how dispute information “must” be told in court. It then argues that such ideologies and metadiscourses are central to the efforts of these tribal legal actors to authorize and challenge their claims to the contested material and symbolic resources that are the heart of these dispute proceedings. The chapter pays particular attention to a segment of conflict talk that emerged in a 1997 Hopi Tribal Court hearing during the Hopi judge's examination of elders called as expert witnesses to testify on their village customs and traditions.

Keywords:   Hopi Tribe, language ideologies, metadiscourses, metapragmatics, property disputes, Hopi tradition, Anglo-American law, Hopi Tribal Court, expert witnesses, village customs

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