domingo, 8 de novembro de 2015

Ecosystemic Linguistics II


Hildo Honório do Couto
University of Brasília, Brazil

0. Introduction
Despite the fact that Haugen is rightly considered the “father” of ecolinguistics, the definition based on his ideas has several problems. First, it implies a reification of language. Second, it sees language in relation to only the social environment. Third, he uses ecological concepts as mere metaphors. Fourth, he excludes what Makkai (1993) called endoecology of language, namely, structural/grammatical phenomena from the domain of what would turn out to be ecolinguistics. My purpose in this essay is to show that the way we are doing ecolinguistics in Brasilia avoids all these problems.    
The members of the Brasilia School of Ecolinguistics see language as a web of interactions, not a thing related to its environment and whose function is communication. Further, there is not only an “environment of language”, but at least four. They are the locus of the interactions that make up language. We see language as embedded in ecosystems (its exoecologies) and containing ecosystems in its interior. This means that it is part of general ecology, and is ecology in itself. This means that ecosystemic linguistics does not use ecological concepts as metaphors. Finally, ecosystemic linguistics is a viewpoint from which it is possible to study both exoecological and endoecological phenomena.
Section 1 of this essay will be dedicated to the discussion of why ecolinguistics is an ecological discipline. At least in the way we do it in Brasilia (ecosystemic linguistics) it is clearly a part of general ecology on a par with biological ecology. In section 2 language will be seen as the verbal interactions that take place inside the language ecosystem. In other words, this section will give an overview of the ecology of communicative interaction, which is seen as the core of language. Section 3 gives hints at how endoecological phenomena (grammar, structure) can be approached from an ecolinguistic point of view. In sections 4 and 5, some exoecological phenomena that can be dealt with will be mentioned, such as those originally suggested by Haugen as well as those seen in Alwin Fill’s work. Section 6 gives an overview of what has been done by members of the Brasilia School of Ecolinguistics. It is pointed out that ecosystemic ecolinguistics is a different way of doing linguistics, roughly in line with Peter Finke’s ideas. Finally there are the Concluding Remarks in section 7.

1. Ecological and Linguistic Ecosystem: Ecosystemic Linguistics
Let me begin by discussing the basic concepts of general ecology. It is well known that its central concept is ecosystem. This consists of a population (P) of organisms and their interactions (I) with the environment or territory (T) as well as among themselves. The linguistic ecosystem has the same structure. It consists of a population of individuals, or a people (P), living in a certain place, which is their territory (T), and interacting among themselves by means of the traditional way of interacting, i.e., their language (L), equivalent to the interactions of the biological ecosystem (I=L). The organism-environment (world) interactions of the biological ecosystem are equivalent to signification, reference or denotation in the linguistic ecosystem. The organism-organism interactions are equivalent to communication. The interactions among phonemes forming a syllable, of morphemes forming words, of words forming phrases and of phrases forming sentences are equivalents of the relations that obtain in the internal ecology of organisms, that is, among organs, cells and so on, as was suggested by Trampe (1990: 84, 123).
Ecosystemic linguistics does not pick up concepts from biological ecology and insert them in language studies, a position first criticized by Garner (2004). Contrary to traditional ecolinguistics, which uses them as mere metaphors, ecosystemic linguistics sees language as a part of general ecology, as is the case with other social sciences, such as environmental sociology, environmental psychology, ecological anthropology and so on. Ecosystemic linguists do a specific kind of ecology, namely, linguistic ecology, an alternative name for ecolinguistics.
Alwin Fill shows that there are two main strands of research in ecolinguistics. In the first, “‘ecology’ is understood metaphorically and transferred to ‘language(s) in an environment’”. It was originally suggested by Haugen in 1970. Among the other researchers of this line he also mentions Peter Finke, Wilhelm Trampe and, up to a certain point, Adam Makkai, as well as some others such as Jørgen Chr. Bang and Jørgen Døør. According to the second view, “‘ecology’ is understood in its biological sense; the role of language in the development and aggravation of environmental (and other societal) problems is investigated; linguistic research is advocated as a factor in their possible solution” (Fill 2001: 43). The starting point of this view was a talk given by Halliday at the AILA 1990 Conference, reproduced in Halliday (2001). This trend is also followed by Richard Alexander, Andrea Gerbig, Andrew Goatly, Martin Döring and many others. In an earlier version of Fill’s paper (Fill 1996b: 14), he suggests a possible dialectical integration of the two approaches in a kind of “integrational ecolinguistics” (integrative Ökolinguistik). Ecosystemic linguistics is also “integrational”, although it does not transfer concepts from one side to the other. On the contrary, it sees ecolinguistics as a branch of general ecology, to the point that, as we have just seen, an alternative name for it is linguistic ecology (ecologia linguistica, in Portuguese), in which ‘ecology’ is the head of the noun phrase, whereas ‘linguistic’ is the complement. A good German term for it would be Sprachökologie.
Albert Bastardas i Boada and Norman Denison also deal with the distribution of languages in space and their interactions from an ecosystemic perspective. According to Bastardas i Boada (2000: 22, my translation), “the existence of linguistic varieties is approached from the ecosystemic point of view”. According to him, “linguistic systems are probably in a state of unstable equilibrium, given their condition of open systems – exchanging information and energy with their environs” (p. 89). A question not asked by him is why Catalan shares some features with Spanish and others with French, a fact that is due to its being between the two. Denison (2001) investigated the languages of Europe as constituting a vast ecosystem (ecology).
The idea of language as an ecosystem embedded in a wider ecosystem is implied in practically every writing by Peter Finke, at least in those I know of. He is followed by his former student Wilhelm Trampe, who used the term “linguistic ecosystems” (linguistische Ökosysteme) (Trampe 1990; 11). However, as far as I could investigate, the first author to use the term “ecosystemic linguistics” in print, albeit following ideas put forward by Finke, was Hans Strohner. He presents ‘the computer metaphor', ‘the brain metaphor' and ‘the ecosystem metaphor'. According to him, the third metaphor is more in accordance with the needs of our time. The expression ökosystemische Sprachwissenschaft appears in the title of his paper (Strohner 1996). In the Methology section of the paper the alternative expression ökosystemische Linguistik appears four times. In this connection it is of interest to mention Halliday’s “systemic-functional grammar”. Ecosystemic linguistics recognizes three language ecosystems, namely, the natural, the mental and the social. The three are included in the all-encompassing integral ecosystem of language, formerly called "fundamental ecosystem of language". Let me briefly discuss each of them.
On the road from nature to culture, the first ecosystem to be mentioned is the natural ecosystem of language. It is exactly parallel to the biological ecosystem, as we saw above. It consists of a people (P1), whose members live in their community’s territory (T1) and speak their own language (L1). Inside this ecosystem, P1 and T1 form the natural environment of language. This environment is the locus where the physical, natural and/or biological interactions of language take place. In this case, P1 and T1 are concrete entities, so that P1 could be exemplified by the Tukano people of the Upper Rio Negro in Brazil, T1 represents the territory where this people is located, and L1 is its specific language, Tukano. Everything having to do with language as a natural-biological phenomenon belongs here. This is the first of four linguistic ecosystems. For this reason it was indicated by the index 1.
The second ecosystem is the mental ecosystem of language. If we understand mind as the functioning of the brain, we may represent it with P2, a part of ‘people/person’. These are fundamentally the neuronal connections where language is formed, stored and processed. The locus of the mental interactions (mind), i.e., the brain, may be represented by T2. L2 represents language as a mental phenomenon. P2 and T2 together, especially former, make up the mental environment of language. The knowledge of inter-word, inter-morphemic (morphosyntax) and inter-phonemic (phonology) interactions as well as the knowledge of rules in general belongs to this ecosystem. It is the only one recognized by generative grammar, as well as by other mental theories of language.  
The third ecosystem is the social ecosystem of language. It consists of the totality of the individuals of the community qua social beings, inter-individualities or inter-subjectivities. In this ecosystem, L3 represents language as a social phenomenon. P3 represents all the social individuals who constitute the collectivity. T3 represents the “organization” where this collectivity is located, in short, it is the locus of the social interactions via language, that is to say, society. Collectivity plus society constitute the social environment of language.
These three ecosystems are embedded in the all-encompassing integral ecosystem of language. It consists of people (P), territory (T) and language (L) at large, not of a specific P, T or L, as in the case of the natural ecosystem of language. This ecosystem is also known by at least two alternative designations. The first is foundational ecosystem of language because it also corresponds to the lay-person’s view of language. When he/she hears the name of a language for the first time, the first question to come to his/her mind is: “Which people (P) speaks it?” Upon hearing the answer, the second question is: “Where (T) do this people live?”.   
I would like to add that these triads (P, T, L) are not only reminiscent of Peirce’s sign components but also of Trampe’s (1990: 190) interpretation of ideas by Albert Bandura and Kurt Lewin. Trampe’s P of Person ‘people’ corresponds to population or people. His V, of Verhalten ‘behavior’, corresponds to L. Finally, the U of Umwelt ‘environment, territory’ in his figure is homologous to territory.
All the discussion in this section shows that most theories of language are partial. Some of them focus only on the relation between language and world, emphasizing  reference. This tradition sees only the relationships involving the natural environment of language. Other theories consider language as an exclusively mental phenomenon, as does generative grammar and the whole philosophical tradition it is based on. They deal only with the interactions between language and its mental environment. Finally, there are theories of language for which language is an exclusively social phenomenon, as is the case with modern sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. Although this point of view is frequently shared by common sense, it is partial too. From the ecosystemic-ecolinguistic point of view, language is all that. It is a biopsychosocial phenomenon.
Outside linguistics, these distinctions are relatively common. For example, Guattari (1989) recognizes three “écologies” (= ecosystems), namely, the environmental (natural), the social and the mental. These are included in an “écosophie”, which is different from Arne Naess’ ecosophy. In any case it corresponds to the integral ecosystem of language. Using the term “ecology” instead of “ecosystem”, the Brazilian philosopher Boff (2012) shows himself a bit more "ecosystemic" because he talks about four ‘ecologias”, namely, the “environmental/natural”, the “mental” and the “social” ecology. The three are enclosed in the “integral ecology”, again equivalent to the integral ecosystem of language. In the realm of ecolinguistics, Jøgen Døør and Jørgen Christian Bang are probably the only ones to come close to our view. They recognize at least the first three ecosystems in their “three dimensions”, that is, “bio-logics” (natural), “ideo-logics” (mental) and “socio-logics” (social), as can be seen all along Bang & Døør (2007), but first presented in Døør & Bang (1996). 
The integral ecosystem of language, or community, may be seen from two different perspectives, namely, speech community and language community. Speech community (French: communauté de parole, German Sprechgemeinschaft, Interaktionsgemeischaft, Kommunikationsgemeinschaft) consists of a few people (P), sharing a place -- a small territory (T) -- and interacting on a daily basis by means of the usual internal way of interacting (L). Wherever there are people communicating this way there is a speech community. As is the case with biological ecosystems, speech community is delimited by the investigator. Its size may range from only speaker and hearer in conversation, a minimal speech community, to a whole continent or more, as is the case with the totality of regions of the world where people communicate in  Portuguese (Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, and East Timor), a maximal speech community. This maximal speech community is a language community (Sprachgemeinschaft). It comprizes all the regions of the world where the language in question is used, resembling the biomes of biological ecology, as is the case with taiga, tundra and rainforest, whose limits are not defined by the investigator. They are roughly  there -- in nature --, independently of ecologists.   A speech community may be simple or complex. Complex speech communities obtain where the linguistic ecosystem is bi-/multilingual and/or multidialectal. Simple speech communities are monolingual and monodialectal. However, these are the exception, not the rule. 
As to language community, it is the regions of the world whose inhabitants know that the local way of communicating is language x, whether it is presently used or not. Up to a certain point, it is equal to the maximal speech community. In summary, language community is language seen from the perspective of the system, whereas in speech community it is seen from the perspective of communicative interaction.
Finally, I would like to give a concrete example that illustrates the usefullness of these concepts. For example, in Southern África,  Sesotho (L) roughly means the way members of the Basotho people (P), who lives in the Lesotho country (T), communicate. 
2. The Ecology of Communicative Interaction
As Eugenio Coseriu has always emphasized, language is basically communicative interaction (habla). More precisely, interaction is the core of language. The system is an abstraction drawn from it by the linguist (Coseriu 1967). Even grammar exists to facilitate understanding during communicative interactions. In certain circumstances there may be some understanding even in the absence of a common grammar. This can be seen in attempts at communication, such as in inter-lingual contacts. If the parties share at least a small list of words, a precarious understanding can take place, as was certainly the case with the first contacts that led do the formation of pidgins and creoles.
The ecology of communicative interaction comprises a setting or scenario, whose components vary from one case to the other. Among the fixed components we have a speaker (I) and a hearer (YOU), who are parties in the communicative interaction, or dialogue. If the speaker includes the hearer, we have inclusive WE. He may also include the person(s) who is(are) on his side, that is, S/HE1 as well those who are on the side of the hearer, namely, S/HE2. The sum of the two gives THEY. If the speaker includes only S/HE1, and excludes YOU, we have exclusive WE. If he does include YOU we have inclusive WE. All these deictic forms, except I, may be replaced by all the nouns of the language. In this vein, pronouns do not replace nouns, but the other way round, it is the nouns that replace pronouns because language was born and exists in acts of communicative interaction.
Spatial, temporal and modal deixis also belong here. For instance, here, now and this way are associated with I. In other words, the whole lexicon of the language emerges out of the ecology of communicative interaction. There are also the verbs designating actions, and the adjectives qualifying the entities, besides linking words such as prepositions and conjunctions.
Another type of component of communicative interaction is some rules that make understanding possible. Ecosystemic linguistics recognizes at least two types of rules, namely systemic and interactional rules. Systemic rules are basically the rules of grammar. They are studied by structural theories, like generative grammar. Interactional rules are less studied in linguistics. However, conversation analysis, Grice’s maxims, Austin’s speech acts with their performative values, as well as sociological theories of social action and philosophical action theory touch on them occasionally. Grice’s cooperative principle has to do with what in ecosystemic linguistics is called communion, that is, a mindset that keeps two or more people together, and happy with this simple being together. It is a prerequisite for successful communication. Communion is a special type of communication, which Malinowski called “phatic communion”. The speaker expresses him/herself the way s/he thinks will be understood by the listener, whereas the listener interprets the speaker’s words the way s/he thinks was intended by the speaker. Without communion there is no communicative interaction. It is not enough to share rules. A willingness to communicate is also necessary.    
Let us come back to interactional rules. Some of them are highly culture-dependent. Some others have a universal or near-universal character. Each culture has its own set of rules. Up to now, we have come up with about 13 interactional rules for Brazilian Portuguese. They must be strictly obeyed if communication is to flow smoothly. They are the following:

1) Speaker and hearer must be near one another, roughly one meter (this is culture-bound).
2) The exchange must be face-to-face.
3) Speaker and hearer must look at the face of one another, if possible at the eyes.
4) Every appeal must be complied with.
5) Both appeal and compliance must be formulated in a cooperative, harmonious, solidary tone.
6) Every appeal must be preceded by a kind of pre-appeal, a vocative, such as please!, hi!
7) Turn-taking is obligatory, although sometimes speaker and hearer speak simultaneously, which is not welcome (culture-bound).
8) If the subject is serious, speaker and hearer must show this in their facial expression; if it is light, a sign of lightness, as a smile, is welcome.
9) Speaker and hearer must keep themselves attentive during the interaction, without distractions, “side lookings” and so on.
10) Especially on telephone speaker and hearer must signal that they are there (hm-hm, OK, yes)
11) The interaction may not be interrupted abruptly. The participant who intends to end it must signal his/her intention.
l2) As a rule, it is he/she who began the interaction that should end it. The contrary would look non-cooperative, non-harmonious.
13) Systemic rules (grammar, structure).

As we can see, grammar (systemic rules) is a part of interactional rules because they, too, exist in order to enhance understanding. Conventional linguistics sees these two types of rules the other way round. According to them, conversation is possible only as putting into action the "rules" of grammar. Whenever a member of the community wants to address another, he picks some of these "rules", forms "phrases" and send them to the hearer, inverting what Coseriu had shown several decades ago. The communicative interaction itself is the exchange of an appeal by the speaker and a compliance by the hearer. The most “primitive” appeal is command. Cases like get out! and leave me alone! may also be rendered only by gestures and/or physical action (jostling, shoving, push). A second type of appeal is question, which requires an answer. A third type is vocative, a kind of calling the potential hearer to get in communion with the speaker, so that communicative interaction becomes possible. A fourth type is exclamation. The fifth is information (declarative sentence), which is a response to an appeal or request, even if tacit. We only give a piece of information to somebody else when s/he asks for it or when we think s/he needs it. If s/he were aware of the fact that s/he needed this information, s/he would ask for it.  In general all information or declarative sentence is an answer to a (tacit) question (Maas 1977). These exchanges occur in the dialogue, or flow of communicative interaction.
In summary, seeing language from the ecology of communicative interaction avoids some pitfalls. First of all, we can see that language does not interact with environment directly. It is the members of the people who interact among themselves in it. Language is a specific type of interaction that takes place inside the linguistic ecosystem. As Fill (1993: 5) put it, language is not the river but the current, the flow, itself (das Fliessen selbst). The second most important consequence of this view is that language is not reified. It is not a “thing” interacting with its environment. The third is that language is not an instrument (a thing) of communication. It is communication. 
3. The endoecology of Language
We know that in biological ecology organisms are not only part of an ecosystem; they have ecosystems inside themselves. Most ecolinguists have dealt exclusively with exoecological interactions. Linguistic ecology, an alternative name for ecosystemic linguistics, tries to study language from all sides, as far as possible, albeit using different methodologies wherever needed, as indicated by Garner (2004). Like all ecological disciplines, ecosystemic linguistics is multidisciplinary. It includes the endoecology of language in its domain, namely, structural subjects, including lexicon, grammar and semantics.
Finke (1996: 38) said that “language […] has a structural organization ecosystemically describable”. According to him, language rules emerges out of so-called laws of nature (p. 40). He explicitly mentions phonetics, phonology, syntax and semantics (p. 41). Elsewhere he says that “in ecolinguistics, the mere analysis of talk on environmental issues – which is sometimes taken to be the subject of ecolinguistics – in my opinion falls short of the possibilities and necessities for a creative innovation of ecolinguistics” (Finke  2001: 88). In Mühlhäusler (2003) there are interesting reflections on grammar from an ecolinguistic point of view. Trampe (1990: 84) says, referring to Bateson: “let us compare grammar with the anatomy of an organism, a plant for example". Some pages below he adds that “languages are simply part of language-world-systems. Grammar is a system based on biological design, according to which linguistic elements must combine” (p. 123).
Several endoecological subjects have been dealt with by members of the Brasília School of Ecolinguistics as can be seen in section 6. One of them is semantics, illustrated with spatial prepositions. Another is syntax, especially the order of constituents and/or agreement among them, as in the case of person and/or gender agreement in Portuguese. In morphology, some word formation processes have been investigated, as the prefixes re-/des- (re-de/un) as well as the shortening of circumlocutions to a disyllabic word. However, one of the most investigated domains is the lexicon.
Ecosystemic linguistics includes grammar in its object of study, but as an aid communicative interaction. Let us take a look at the famous phrase Colorless green ideas sleep furiously, proposed by Chomsky in 1957. The reason for its strangeness is exactly the opposite of what he believed: it is because it does not correspond to anything in the world. As the “first” Wittgenstein would say, it does not describe anything outside language.
4. The exoecology of Language
Ecolinguistics was born as a reaction against structuralist exclusive endoecological approach. This is clear in Alwin Fill’s early works. The subjects Haugen suggested are all exoecological. In a perfunctory survey of extant readings in ecolinguistics, I could see that about 62%  of them are some kind of discourse analysis. Circa 94% of the texts published in the excellent site moderated by Arran Stibbe also have to do with discourse analysis.
Ecosystemic linguistics also privileges exoecological questions. Departing from the ecosystem and its components and features, the most diverse subjects have been investigated. One of them is the ecology of languages, as was done by Denison (2001), Bastardas i Boada (2000), Calvet (1999) and many others. Among the subjects that have been dealt with under this heading, we could mention bilingualism and multilingualism, language contact (including pidginization and creolization), language planning, language policy, Sprachbund phenomena and so on (Haugen 1972). Couto (2009) is dedicated to the ecology of language contact.
Another topic that has been approached from an exoecological optic is the ecology of language evolution. Mufwene (2001) is one of its most conspicuous representatives, although he does not consider himself an ecolinguist. However, the title of his book speaks for itself. His point of departure is population genetics. Homologizing language with species, not organism, he sees the causes of evolution in the Darwinian ideas of competition and selection, via imperfect replication of the language by each generation. Finke (2008) also investigates questions such as the memory of language, together with cultural evolution.       
Language ethnoecology also belongs to the realm not only of ecosystemic linguistics. The group of investigators gathered around the NGO Terralingua is a case in point, as can be seen in the essays published in Maffi (2001).  Couto (2007: 219-280) has suggested that language ethnoecology be incorporated in ecosystemic linguistics.
Language acquisition is an important side of language phenomena. Ecolinguists have hardly dealt with it but the ecology of language acquisition must be incorporated in linguistic ecology. Outside ecolinguistics we have a few investigations as those discussed in the several papers contained in Kramsch (2002) and Leather & van Dam (2003). Closely associated with language acquisition is the general discipline of applied linguistics, in whose context ecolinguistics was born in Europe. The subtitle of one of the latest collective books (Fill & Penz 2007) is Essays in Applied Ecolinguistics. Fill himself is a specialist in the area. Finally, the famous and thought-provoking conference paper of Halliday (2001) was delivered at an AILA meeting (see Halliday 2001).   
Topics of environmental linguistics have had a privileged place in ecolinguistics, albeit under names such as critical ecolinguistics and ecocritical linguistics. Ecosystemic linguists are developing a specific type of discourse analysis, namely ecological discourse analysis. This will be discussed in the next section.
5 Ecological Discourse Analysis
Most trends in discourse analysis are firmly rooted in ideology, especially Marxist ideology, and power relations. Ecological discourse analysis (EDA) takes a radically different position. Instead of ideology and power relations, it bases itself on the preservation of life on earth and on an avoidance of suffering. Its theoretical sources are Arne Naess’ deep ecology and Gandhi’s ideas. Since ideologies are inevitable, EDA departs from an ideology of life, ecological ideology, or ecoideology (Couto 2013). From here on it is possible to end up in political ideologies.  
Let us see the case of a woman suffering in the hands of a drunken husband who beats her constantly. EDA defends her not for being a woman, not exactly in the name of feminism, but because she is a human (and animal) being who is suffering. Defending her from the point of view of feminism would be a kind of discrimination from the upside down or the wrong way round. The EDA sees in the man her partner, not her antagonist.
The same principle applies to cases of infanticide among some ethnic groups of Brazil. Ecological discourse analysts are against this practice because it implies the maximum suffering, death. Some anthropologists say that we cannot interfere because it is generally an ancient cultural practice. For EDA, however, cultural practices can change along history, whereas death is irreversible. Besides that, these groups are already totally or partially acculturated. Whenever possible, we ought to save children from this practice. If possible without causing suffering in the community.
There is not only physical suffering, but also mental (torture) and social suffering, as when a person is ridiculed publicly. In this case, we must ponder which suffering is the hardest (for more on EDA, see the in this blog especially dedicated to it).
6. The Brasília School of Ecolinguistics
The starting point for the Brasilia School of Ecolinguistics was Couto (1999), in which the subject ‘ecolinguistics’ was discussed for the first time in Brazil. Then two courses were taught at the graduate level and one at the undergraduate level, respectively. Two M.A. theses and, subsequently, two Ph.D. theses were written. At the present moment, there are several Ph.D. students working on ecolinguistic subjects. One of them is working on the adaptation of rural dialect speakers to the speech of urban Brasília2. A second one is investigating Portuguese in the language ecology of East Timor3. A third one is conducting research in an ex-maroon community of northern Brazil4. He investigates how members of this conservative community designate plant species of their environment, and whether this ethnobotanical knowledge is being transmitted to new generations. 
The next undertaking was the publication of Couto (2007), a thick book giving an overview of ecosystemic-linguistic subjects. One of its main innovations, if any, is the suggestion to include in ecolinguistics what has been done in ethnosciences, although this had already been done by the ecolinguist Mühlhäusler (2001) as well as by most contributors to Maffi (2001). In 2009, I published a second ecolinguistics book (Couto 2009), which tries to show how language contact can be handled in the framework of our discipline, with an emphasis on the movement of populations in space. In the same year, Elza K. N. N. do Couto, professor at the University of Goiânia, initiated a postdoc program in Brasília under my supervision. She investigated the language and culture of a small community of Kalderash Gypsies. She introduced ecolinguistics as a regular discipline of the graduate program of linguistics. She is also supervising several theses on ecolinguistics subjects.

7. Concluding Remarks.
In summary, for ecosystemic linguistics, ecolinguistics is a new way of doing linguistics. This means that the investigator can deal with any language phenomena, even using the same methodology s/he used before, because ecolinguistics is multi-methodological. The difference lies in the fact that s/he conducts her/his research from a unified point of view, the ecological point of view, as suggested by Finke (2008).

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_______. 2007. Language, ecology and society: A dialectical approach. London: Continuum.
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_______. 1999. Contato interlinguístico: Da interação à gramática. Available at:  (access: 20/l2/2016).
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_______. 2008. Algumas restrições aos proparoxítinos em português. In: Roncarati, C. &              Abrassado, J.    (eds.). 2008. Português brasileiro II: contato lingüístico, heterogeneidade e             história. Niterói: EDUFF/FAPERJ, 2008, p. 118-136.
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_______. 2012. O tao da linguagem: Um caminho suave para a redação. Campinas: Pontes.
_______. 2013b. Análise do discurso ecológica. In:  
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_______ & Peter Mühlhäusler (eds.) 2001. The Ecolinguistics Reader. London: Continuum.
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