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Language Diversity in the USA
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Book description

What are the most widely spoken non-English languages in the USA? How did they reach the USA? Who speaks them, to whom, and for what purposes? What changes do these languages undergo as they come into contact with English? This book investigates the linguistic diversity of the USA by profiling the twelve most commonly used languages other than English. Each chapter paints a portrait of the history, current demographics, community characteristics, economic status, and language maintenance of each language group, and looks ahead to the future of each language. The book challenges myths about the 'official' language of the USA, explores the degree to which today's immigrants are learning English and assimilating into the mainstream, and discusses the relationship between linguistic diversity and national unity. Written in a coherent and structured style, Language Diversity in the USA is essential reading for advanced students and researchers in sociolinguistics, bilingualism, and education.


‘We come away with a new admiration for the country that has learned to treasure its diversity, for the languages themselves, and for the authors that have so ably brought them together with rich and extensive literature.'

Joshua Fishman - Yeshiva University

‘Congratulations to Kim Potowski and her contributors. This is a fascinating volume, full of surprises even for longtime scholars in the field. No doubt it will be seen as the definitive work in this area for many years to come.'

James Crawford - Institute for Language and Education Policy

'… a welcome addition to the field. While previous research endeavors have illuminated a general idea of the current and past US linguistic landscapes, this volume is innovative in that each chapter addresses both the overall situation and the specifics of the ten most commonly spoken non-English languages in the United States. This comprehensive volume further sets itself apart by its research contributions from top linguistic scholars with expertise in each of the minority languages. In particular, Potowski's introductory chapter successfully addresses the increasingly polemical topic of 'immigrant' languages threatening the hegemony of English and, with it, American national unity. This is especially beneficial and eye-opening to beginning students at a moment when topics such as immigration and immigration reform make the headlines on a daily basis … an exceptional book aimed at educators and students interested in the field of languages in contact.'

Source: The Linguist List

'Each chapter provides a wealth of information on a commonly spoken language other than English (LOTE). This information includes demographic information, discussions of language loyalty, the economic status of these groups and the nature of their linguistic communities.'

Robert N. St Clair Source: Language Problems and Language Planning

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