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> Language in Culture

Language in Culture Lectures on the Social Semiotics of Language


Michael Silverstein, University of Chicago
Published 2022


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…

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Key features

  • Presents each technical development with its historical background, definition and empirical exemplifications of concepts, allowing the reader to develop a broad contextual understanding
  • Readers are engaged by a wide range of examples from current cultural practices, enabling them to connect the theory to contemporary everyday life
  • Both instructors and students are supported by a series of PowerPoint slides for each chapter, illustrating the theoretical points with charts and pictures

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