18/06/2012 | 311
Language acts are acts of identity, and linguistic variation reflects the multifaceted construction of verbal alternatives for transmitting social meaning, where style-shifting represents our ability to take up different social positions due to its potential for linguistic performance, rhetorical stance-taking and identity projection.
Traditional variationist conceptualizations of style-shifting as a primarily responsive phenomenon seem unable to account for all stylistic choices. In contrast, more recent formulations see stylistic variation as initiative, creative and strategic in personal and interpersonal identity construction and projection, making a significant contribution to our understanding of this aspect of sociolinguistic variation.
In this volume social constructivist approaches to style-shifting are further developed by bringing together research which suggests that people make stylistic choices aimed at conveying (and achieving) a particular social categorization, sociolinguistic meaning, and/or to project a specific positioning in society. Therefore, there is a need, we collectively argue, to adopt permeable and flexible multidimensional, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to speaker agency that take into consideration not only reactive but also proactive motivations for stylistic variation, and where individuals – rather than groups – and their strategies are the main focus when examining style-shifting in public.
This book will be of interest to advanced students and academics in the areas of sociolinguistics, dialectology, social psychology, anthropology and sociology.
- 18/06/2012 | 261
Childhood and family life have changed significantly in recent decades. What is the nature of these changes? How have they affected the use of time, space, work and play? In what ways have they influenced face-to-face talk and the uses of technology within families and communities? Eminent anthropologist Shirley Brice Heath sets out to find answers to these and similar questions, tracking the lives of 300 black and white working-class families as they reshaped their lives in new locations, occupations and interpersonal alignments over a period of thirty years. From the 1981 recession through the economic instabilities and technological developments of the opening decade of the twenty-first century, Shirley Brice Heath shows how families constantly rearrange their patterns of work, language, play and learning in response to economic pressures. This outstanding study is a must-read for anyone interested in family life, language development and social change.
- 18/06/2012 | 371
Noam Chomsky is one of the most influential thinkers of our time, yet his views are often misunderstood. In this previously unpublished series of interviews, Chomsky discusses his iconoclastic and important ideas concerning language, human nature and politics. In dialogue with James McGilvray, Professor of Philosophy at McGill University, Chomsky takes up a wide variety of topics – the nature of language, the philosophies of language and mind, morality and universality, science and common sense, and the evolution of language. McGilvray's extensive commentary helps make this incisive set of interviews accessible to a variety of readers. The volume is essential reading for those involved in the study of language and mind, as well as anyone with an interest in Chomsky's ideas.
• These interviews have never been published before and will be welcomed for the insight they give into Chomsky's current thinking • Wide-ranging, covering a variety of topics central to Chomsky's work, including the philosophies of language and mind and the nature of language and evolution • Offers unique access to Chomsky's important views on the role of language in human nature and human nature in politics
- 14/06/2012 | 253
This book is devoted to complex questions of building and developing legal education in more than one language, through two state languages (French and Dutch in Belgium, German and French in Switzerland, English and French in Canada, Finnish and Swedish in Finland) and/or through the medium of minority or lesser used languages (Basque, Galician, Catalan, Welsh, Romanian). Some states have a long and well-established tradition of bilingual legal education; others have only recently started to develop a legal education system through non-dominant languages; finally, in some other cases only partial bilingual legal education obtains, rather than a fuller model. The volume purports to examine best practices and to draw useful lessons from the experiences of other bilingual societies.
- 14/06/2012 | 250
The fascinating question of the origins and evolution of language has been drawing a lot of attention recently, not only from linguists, but also from anthropologists, evolutionary biologists, and brain scientists. This groundbreaking book explores the cultural side of language evolution. It proposes a new overarching framework based on linguistic selection and self-organization and explores it in depth through sophisticated computer simulations and robotic experiments. Each case study investigates how a particular type of language system can emerge in a population of language game playing agents and how it can continue to evolve in order to cope with changes in ecological conditions. Case studies cover on the one hand the emergence of concepts and words for proper names, color terms, names for bodily actions, spatial terms and multi-dimensional words. The second set of experiments focuses on the emergence of grammar, specifically case grammar for expressing argument structure, functional grammar for expressing different uses of spatial relations, internal agreement systems for marking constituent structure, morphological expression of aspect, and quantifiers expressed as articles. The book is ideally suited as study material for an advanced course on language evolution and it will be of interest to anyone who wonders how human languages may have originated.