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What's the word that describes the process of making supportive noises when you're listening to someone? What is syntax and how does it differ from grammar? Do you know what a morpheme is? And did you know that it's not only an atom that has a nucleus? The Babel Lexicon of Language is an entertaining and accessible introduction to the key terminology involved in the study of language. It defines over 500 terms and uses contemporary language examples, explaining complex issues in an easy-to-understand way. Written by the expert editorial team behind Babel, the popular language magazine, and assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, The Babel Lexicon of Language is an invaluable resource for students, teachers and anyone with an interest in language.
Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary (1898-1905) is the most comprehensive English dialect dictionary ever written, documenting in detail every dialect of English in the British Isles and Ireland, as well as the USA, Canada, South Africa, and other colonial regions. Over the past ten years, it has been brought to life digitally as a freely available database resource, EDD Online, which provides access to this rich collection of dialect data. This book is a comprehensive user guide to EDD Online, showing how to get the most out of this unparalleled resource with step-by-step instructions, illustrated with handy screenshots, and an appendix containing full colour figures. It also considers dialectological issues from phonetics to pragmatics, and how searches can be tailored to specific linguistic concerns, demonstrating the interface's enormous potential to contribute to research in a range of disciplines, from dialectology, to fields such as historical linguistics, corpus linguistics, lexicography and sociolinguistics.
How do women and men from around the world really speak English? Using examples from World Englishes in Africa, America, Asia, Britain and the Caribbean, this book explores the degree of variation based on gender, in native-, second- and foreign-language varieties. Each chapter is rooted in a particular set of linguistic corpora, and combines authentic records of speakers with state-of-the-art statistical modelling. It gives empirically reliable evaluations of the impact of gender on linguistic choices in the context of other (socio-)linguistic factors, such as age or speaker status, under consideration of local social realities. It analyses linguistic phenomena traditionally associated with genderlectal research, such as hedges, intensifiers or quotatives, as well as those associated with World Englishes, like the dative or genitive alternation. A truly innovative approach to the subject, this book is essential reading for researchers and advanced students with an interest in language, gender and World Englishes.
African American English (AAE) is a major area of research in linguistics, but until now, work has primarily been focused on AAE as it is spoken amongst the working classes. From its historical development to its contemporary context, this is the first full-length overview of the use and evaluation of AAE by middle class speakers, giving voice to this relatively neglected segment of the African American speech community. Weldon offers a unique first-person account of middle class AAE, and highlights distinguishing elements such as codeswitching, camouflaged feature usage, Standard AAE, and talking/sounding 'Black' vs. 'Proper'. Readers can hear authentic excerpts and audio prompts of the language described through a wide range of audio files, which can be accessed directly from the book's page using QR technology. Engaging and accessible, it will help students and researchers gain a broader understanding of both the African American speech community and the AAE continuum.
English as a lingua franca (ELF) has become ubiquitous in today's globalised, mobile and fast-changing world. It is clear that it will have an unprecedented impact not only on how we communicate but also on our understanding of language use and change. What exactly ELF brings to our life and to language theory is a question which requires an interdisciplinary take. This book gathers together leading scholars from world Englishes, typology, language history, cognitive linguistics, translation studies, multilingualism, sociolinguistics and ELF research itself to seek state-of-the-art answers. Chapters present original insights on language change, based on theoretical approaches and empirical studies, and provide clear examples of social, interactional and cognitive changes that ELF instigates. The picture which unfolds on the pages of this book is complex, dynamic and makes a convincing case for the importance of English as a lingua franca on language change at a global scale.
The most important challenges humans face - identity, life, death, war, peace, the fate of our planet - are manifested and debated through language. This book provides the intellectual and practical tools we need to analyse how people talk about language, how we can participate in those conversations, and what we can learn from them about both language and our society. Along the way, we learn that knowledge about language and its connection to social life is not primarily produced and spread by linguists or sociolinguists, or even language teachers, but through everyday conversations, on-line arguments, creative insults, music, art, memes, twitter-storms - any place language grabs people's attention and foments more talk. An essential new aid to the study of the relationship between language, culture and society, this book provides a vision for language inquiry by turning our gaze to everyday forms of language expertise.
From birth to early adulthood, all aspects of a child's life undergo enormous development and change, and language is no exception. This book documents the results of a pioneering longitudinal linguistic survey, which followed a cohort of sixty-seven African American children over the first twenty years of life, to examine language development through childhood. It offers the first opportunity to hear what it sounds like to grow up linguistically for a cohort of African American speakers, and provides fascinating insights into key linguistics issues, such as how physical growth influences pronunciation, how social factors influence language change, and the extent to which individuals modify their language use over time. By providing a lens into some of the most foundational questions about coming of age in African American Language, this study has implications for a wide range of disciplines, from speech pathology and education, to research on language acquisition and sociolinguistics.
Language is not simply a tool for communication – symbolic power struggles underlie any speech act, discourse move, or verbal interaction - be it in face-to-face conversations, online tweets or political debates. This book provides a clear and accessible introduction to the topic of language and power from an applied linguistics perspective. It is clearly split into three sections: the power of symbolic representation, the power of symbolic action and the power to create symbolic reality. It draws upon a wide range of existing work by philosophers, sociolinguists, sociologists and applied linguists, and includes current real-world examples, to provide a fresh insight into a topic that is of particular significance and interest in the current political climate and in our increasingly digital age. The book shows the workings of language as symbolic power in educational, social, cultural and political settings and discusses ways to respond to and even resist symbolic violence.
I'm not a racist, but… You look good, for your age… She was asking for it… You're crazy… That's so gay… Have you ever wondered why certain language has the power to offend? It is often difficult to recognize the veiled racism, sexism, ageism (and other –isms) that hide in our everyday discourse. This book sheds light on the derogatory phrases, insults, slurs, stereotypes, tropes and more that make up linguistic discrimination. Each chapter addresses a different area of prejudice: race and ethnicity; gender identity; sexuality; religion; health and disability; physical appearance; and age. Drawing on hot button topics and real-life case studies, and delving into the history of offensive terms, a vivid picture of modern discrimination in language emerges. By identifying offensive language, both overt and hidden, past and present, we uncover vast amounts about our own attitudes, beliefs and values and reveal exactly how and why words can offend.
Early in his campaign, Donald Trump boasted that 'I know words. I have the best words', yet despite these assurances his speech style has sown conflict even as it has powered his meteoric rise. If the Trump era feels like a political crisis to many, it is also a linguistic one. Trump has repeatedly alarmed people around the world, while exciting his fan-base with his unprecedented rhetorical style, shock-tweeting, and weaponized words. Using many detailed examples, this fascinating and highly topical book reveals how Trump's rallying cries, boasts, accusations, and mockery enlist many of his supporters into his alternate reality. From Trump's relationship to the truth, to his use of gesture, to the anti-immigrant tenor of his language, it illuminates the less obvious mechanisms by which language in the Trump era has widened divisions along lines of class, gender, race, international relations, and even the sense of truth itself.
Language has played a pivotal role in societal transformation in postcolonial Africa towards the creation of globally competitive knowledge societies; however so far, this role has been under-researched and under-estimated. This volume addresses this gap in the literature, by bringing together a team of globally-recognised scholars to explore the effect of language on African postcolonial societies, and how it has contributed to achieving 'mental decolonisation'. A range of languages are explored, both imported (ex-colonial) and indigenous African, and case studies from different spheres of public discourse are investigated, from universities to legal settings. Demonstrating that multilingualism is a resource for, rather than barrier to, successful transformation, this book brings the intellectualisation and institutionalisation of African languages to the forefront of development discourse, and provides an insightful snap-shot of how current academic research, public discourse, political activism and social community engagement have contributed to societal transformation in South Africa.
The global spread of English has had widespread linguistic, social, and cultural implications, affecting the lives of millions of people around the world. This textbook provides a lively and accessible introduction to world Englishes, describing varieties used in regions as diverse as America, the Caribbean, Australia, Africa, and Asia, and setting them within their historical and social contexts. Students are guided through the material with chapter summaries, discussion questions and exercises, and a comprehensive glossary, helping them to understand different varieties of English. The second edition is substantially updated, including new sections on English as a Lingua Franca, blurring boundaries, and research methods and resources. The book is accompanied by a useful website, containing textual and audio examples of the varieties introduced in the text. Providing essential knowledge and skills for those embarking on the study of world Englishes, this is a timely update of the leading introduction to the subject.
Assuming no prior linguistics background, this introductory textbook summarises key topics and issues from workplace discourse research in a clear and accessible manner. The topics covered include how people issue directives, use humour and social talk, and how they manage conflict and disagreement. The role of language in the enactment of identity is also explored, in particular leadership, gender, and cultural identity, along with the implications and applications of workplace research for training and communications skills development. Over 160 international examples are provided as illustration, which come from a wide range of workplace settings, countries and languages. The examples focus on authentic spoken discourse, to demonstrate how theory captures the patterns found in everyday interaction. Introducing Language in the Workplace provides an excellent up-to-date resource for linguistics courses as well as other courses that cover workplace discourse, such as business communication or management studies.
This cross-disciplinary volume provides an overview of how complexity theory and the tools of statistical mechanics can be applied to linguistic problems to help reveal language groups, and to model the evolution and competition of languages in space and time. Illustrated with a series of case studies and worked examples, it presents an interdisciplinary framework to enable researchers from the mathematical, physical and social sciences to collaborate on linguistic problems. It demonstrates the complexity of linguistic databases and provides a mathematical toolkit for analyzing and extracting useful information from them - helping to conceptualize empirical facts better than a mere ethnographic view. Providing an important bridge to facilitate collaboration between linguists and mathematical modelers, this book will stimulate new ideas and avenues for research, and will form a valuable resource for advanced students and academics working across complex systems, sociolinguistics, and language dynamics.
This book addresses the problem of the underrepresentation of women in politics, by examining how language use constructs and maintains inequality in political institutions. Drawing on different political genres from televised debates to parliamentary question times, and fifty interviews with politicians between 1998 and 2018, the book identifies the barriers and obstacles women face by considering how gender stereotypes constrain women's participation, and give them additional burdens. By comparing the UK House of Commons with newer institutions such as the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly, it asks: how successful have newer institutions been in encouraging equal participation? What are the interactional procedures that can be thought of as making an institution more egalitarian? It also explores the workings and effects of sexism, fraternal networks, high visibility in the media, and gendered discourses, through detailed case studies of Theresa May, Julia Gillard and Hillary Clinton.
The concept of politeness permeates all aspects of modern life and society. However, to what extent has this phenomenon changed over time? This book traces the elusive concept of politeness from its beginnings in the Middle Ages up to the present day. Detailed case studies of mostly literary texts provide insights into historically specific ways of being polite, from discernment politeness in Old English to recent examples, such as non-imposition politeness. Readers will gain a better understanding of both the folk-notion of politeness and specific scholarly definitions, and how these can be applied to historical data. The long diachrony provides a novel perspective both on the concept of politeness and on the history of the English language in its social context, making this essential reading for politeness specialists, cultural historians and historical linguists alike. Politeness emerges as a multifaceted phenomenon that is both culture-specific and history-specific.
Were Stone-Age languages really more complex than their modern counterparts? Was Basque actually once spoken over all of Western Europe? Were Welsh-speaking slaves truly responsible for the loss of English morphology? This latest collection of Peter Trudgill's most seminal articles explores these questions and more. Focused around the theme of sociolinguistics and language change across deep historical millennia (the Palaeolithic era to the Early Middle Ages), the essays explore topics in historical linguistics, dialectology, sociolinguistics, language change, linguistic typology, geolinguistics, and language contact phenomena. Each paper is fully updated for this volume, and includes linking commentaries and summaries, for easy cross-reference. This collection will be indispensable to academic specialists and graduate students with an interest in the sociolinguistic aspects of historical linguistics.
The Grand Tour was the classical continental trip to France and Italy, undertaken by young aristocratic men in early modern Europe, ostensibly for educational purposes. Using amusing stories and vivid quotations collected from travellers' writings, Arturo Tosi charts the rise of modern vernaculars and the standardisation of European languages. The travellers' writings provide a valuable source of information about language contact, and illuminate how socialisation with the locals led, on the one hand, to conscious borrowings from prestigious foreign peers and, on the other, to linguistic disorientation when confronted with lower-class speech and rural vernaculars. The first of its kind to approach the Grand Tour from a linguistic perspective, this book is a timely addition to this burgeoning area of study, presenting a unique case study of population movement, language change and education in early modern Europe.
Linguistics has had a significant and evident impact on economics, and vice versa. However, this mutually beneficial relationship has so far remained under-exploited. This rich volume brings together an international range of scholars, to bridge the gap between these two distinct but increasingly interrelated disciplines. It covers areas such as the role of economic factors in the maintenance or loss of languages, the relationship between speakers' language choices and economic practices, the relevance of economic development to the spread of modern communication technology, and the role of language in economic development. It represents a critical call to arms for researchers and students in both fields to engage in better informed ways with the work of the other. By sharing both linguistic and economic ideas, the editors and the other contributors foster a clear dialogue between the two disciplines, which will inform the rapidly emerging field of 'language economics'.
Hunter-gatherers are often portrayed as 'others' standing outside the main trajectory of human social evolution. But even after eleven millennia of agriculture and two centuries of widespread industrialization, hunter-gatherer societies continue to exist. This volume, using the lens of language, offers us a window into the inner workings of twenty-first-century hunter-gatherer societies - how they survive and how they interface with societies that produce more. It challenges long-held assumptions about the limits on social dynamism in hunter-gatherer societies to show that their languages are no different either typologically or sociolinguistically from other languages. With its worldwide coverage, this volume serves as a report on the state of hunter-gatherer societies at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and readers in all geographical areas will find arguments of relevance here.