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Language enables us to represent our world, rendering salient the identities, groups, and categories that constitute social life. Michael Silverstein (1945–2020) was at the forefront of the study of language in culture, and this book unifies a lifetime of his conceptual innovations in a set of seminal lectures. Focusing not just on what people say but how we say it, Silverstein shows how discourse unfolds in interaction. At the same time, he reveals that discourse far exceeds discrete events, stabilizing and transforming societies, politics, and markets through chains of activity. Presenting his magisterial theoretical vision in engaging prose, Silverstein unpacks technical terms through myriad examples – from brilliant readings of Marcel Marceau's pantomime, the class-laced banter of graduate students, and the poetics/politics of wine-tasting, to Fijian gossip and US courtroom talk. He draws on forebears in linguistics and anthropology while offering his distinctive semiotic approach, redefining how we think about language and culture.
Uniquely interdisciplinary and accessible, The Cambridge Introduction to Intercultural Communication is the ideal text for undergraduate introductory courses in Intercultural Communication, International Communication and Cross-cultural Communication. Suitable for students and practitioners alike, it encompasses the breadth of intercultural communication as an academic field and a day-to-day experience in work and private life, including international business, public services, schools and universities. This textbook touches on a range of themes in intercultural communication, such as evolutionary and positive psychology, key concepts from critical intercultural communication, postcolonial studies and transculturality, intercultural encounters in contemporary literature and film, and the application of contemporary intercultural communication research for the development of health services and military services. The concise, up-to-date overviews of key topics are accompanied by a wide variety of tasks and eighteen case studies for in-depth discussions, homework, and assessments.
Bringing together the results of sixty years of research in typology and universals, this textbook presents a comprehensive survey of Morphosyntax - the combined study of syntax and morphology. Languages employ extremely diverse morphosyntactic strategies for expressing functions, and Croft provides a comprehensive functional framework to account for the full range of these constructions in the world's languages. The book explains analytical concepts that serve as a basis for cross-linguistic comparison, and provides a rich source of descriptive data that can be analysed within a range of theories. The functional framework is useful to linguists documenting endangered languages, and those writing reference grammars and other descriptive materials. Each technical term is comprehensively explained, and cross-referenced to related terms, at the end of each chapter and in an online glossary. This is an essential resource on Morphosyntax for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and linguistic fieldworkers.
What do speakers of a language have to know, and what can they 'figure out' on the basis of that knowledge, in order for them to use their language successfully? This is the question at the heart of Construction Grammar, an approach to the study of language that views all dimensions of language as equal contributors to shaping linguistic expressions. The trademark characteristic of Construction Grammar is the insight that language is a repertoire of more or less complex patterns – constructions – that integrate form and meaning. This textbook shows how a Construction Grammar approach can be used to analyse the English language, offering explanations for language acquisition, variation and change. It covers all levels of syntactic description, from word-formation and inflectional morphology to phrasal and clausal phenomena and information-structure constructions. Each chapter includes exercises and further readings, making it an accessible introduction for undergraduate students of linguistics and English language.
In this chapter we will examine language ideologies – what people imagine languages to be and how they expect languages should be used. In particular, we will look at two powerful language ideologies: the monolingual ideology that says that monolingualism is better than multilingualism, and the standard language ideology, which says that there is one correct way of speaking a language and that other ways of speaking it are somehow inferior. At the end of the chapter, in the focal topic, we will explore the consequences that these ideologies have on people’s lives.
In Chapter 2 we saw that people often creatively use different kinds of resources to communicate different meanings at different times and with different people, and in Chapter 3 we considered different ‘varieties’ of language associated with different groups of people. In this chapter we will focus on people’s practices of mixing together more than one ‘language’, ‘dialect’, or register when they communicate and some of the reasons for these practices. We will provide an overview of the different ways these practices of ‘mixing resources’ have been conceptualised in sociolinguistics, including code switching, crossing, and translanguaging. The focal topic for this chapter is language in education, where we will explore issues around mixing and switching linguistic resources in classrooms.
Throughout this book we have talked about how different resources (‘languages’, ‘dialects’, ‘styles’) are valued differently in different societies. The value assigned to different resources manifests not just in structural inequalities (see Chapter 2), but also in the pervasive everyday attitudes people have about particular ‘languages’ and ways of using language, and the acts of ‘othering’ and aggression that sometimes result from these attitudes. In this chapter we will focus on the study of language attitudes, exploring how and why people respond to other people’s communicative practices in negative or positive ways. The focal topic explores how the linguistic practices of certain groups of people are represented, mocked, and appropriated in ways that perpetuate racism and marginalisation.
This chapter focuses on the mobility of communicative resources and the way they interact with and are influenced by different resources they come into contact with as a result of this mobility. It explores the different ways sociolinguists have addressed mobility, from more traditional approaches that focus on ‘language contact’ to more contemporary ones which attempt to trace the trajectories along which people and resources ‘flow’ through global networks. It then examines the communicative practices of global hip-hop artists as a case study in language and globalisation. The focal topic for this chapter is migration, specifically the communicative challenges migrants face and the strategies they deploy when they move from one place to another.
In this chapter we will consider how people communicate not through ‘languages’ in the traditional sense, but through collections of resources – ‘pieces’ of language and other things like pictures, gestures, and clothing – which allow them to communicate not just what they mean but also who they are. Different people have access to different kinds of resources, which can create problems of inequality in society, an issue that we will take up in the focal topic section of this chapter.
In this chapter we will talk about how people use language and other communicative resources to show themselves to be ‘certain kinds of people’. We begin by discussing the notion of identity, arguing that people don’t just have one identity, but rather perform different identities in different situations by adopting different styles of speech and behaviour. We will then review the different ways sociolinguists have understood style, from perspectives which focus on how people adopt certain styles to fit the people they are talking to, to perspectives which focus on how people actively ‘style’ their identities in order to align to certain groups or to strategically manage different social situations. The focal topic features a discussion of how people use communicative resources to manage gender and sexual identities.
In this chapter we will consider different modes of communication other than language, such as images and emojis. We will also consider the different media that serve as carriers for communicative resources, and how they can affect the way these resources circulate, how they can be used, and by whom. We will also discuss how media, especially digital media, can affect the formation of different kinds of communities, and how different kinds of texts and other communicative resources circulate through these communities. Finally, in the focal topic we will discuss the role different modes and media play in the stigmatisation of the communicative practices of particular individuals or groups and the promotion of particular ideologies such as sexism and racism.
In this introduction we will explain how sociolinguistics is relevant to helping us to solve real-world problems. We will also explore some of the challenges we face when we talk about concepts such as ‘language’ and ‘society’, and introduce some of the more recent concepts, theories, and practical tools that sociolinguists have developed to talk about and analyse the relationship between language and social life.