In this article I set out to explore the Tajik-Afghan frontier in Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan region as a “contact zone” in which different actors engage in communicative encounters. Against this backdrop I take the construction of bridges across the Tajik-Afghan border river as a point of departure to analyse how these actors envisage processes of globalization. Following Pennycook, I argue that a focus on language as local practice reveals that the Tajik-Afghan frontier is marked by a high degree of different languages, but also by multiple meanings within and beyond these languages. As a result I maintain that highlighting the locality of languages at the Tajik-Afghan frontier provides an opportunity to frame language as tied to specific communicative encounters in semiotized time and space.
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IJSL is dedicated to the development of the sociology of language as a truly international and interdisciplinary field in which various approaches - theoretical and empirical - supplement and complement each other, contributing thereby to the growth of language-related knowledge, applications, values and sensitivities. The journal features topically-focused issues with individual contributions on small languages and small language communities.