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Comment: Got Language? Law, Property, and the Anthropological Imagination

Abstract

This comment reflects on the legal (specifically, proprietary) tropes of linguistics, and the linguistic tropes of legal anthropology. It suggests analogies between discussions around "language rights" in contemporary political struggles, and discussions around the delineation of objects and subjects in anthropological theory. Such analogies may help side-step the relativism-universalism impasse that has beset the critique of rights and the critique of the objectification of language.

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