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Sociolinguistics from the Periphery
Small Languages in New Circumstances


  • Date Published: June 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107123885

£ 70.99

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About the Authors
  • This leading team of scholars presents a fascinating book about change: shifting political, economic and cultural conditions; ephemeral, sometimes even seasonal, multilingualism; and altered imaginaries for minority and indigenous languages and their users. The authors refer to this network of interlinked changes as the new conditions surrounding small languages (Sámi, Corsican, Irish and Welsh) in peripheral sites. Starting from the conviction that peripheral sites can and should inform the sociolinguistics of globalisation, the book explores how new modes of reflexivity, more transactional frames for authenticity, commodification of peripheral resources, and boundary-transgression with humour, all carry forward change. These types of change articulate a blurring of binary oppositions between centre and periphery, old and new, and standard and non-standard. Such research is particularly urgent in multilingual small language contexts, where different conceptualisations of language(s), boundaries, and speakers impact on individuals' social, cultural, and economic capital, and opportunities.

    • Offers new conceptualisations of the sociolinguistics of minority languages
    • Brings together the research of four leading scholars in the field
    • Considers the sociolinguistics of minority languages as mutually constitutive notions, rather than as geographical or political circumstances
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Reading the book, the authors' passion for small languages and the selected languages in particular is very evident. This results in convincingly written passages in which the authors' virtuosity in the field of sociolinguistics combines with interesting and sometimes even amusing examples from Corsican, Welsh, Irish and Sámi.' Sven Leuckert, The Linguist List

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107123885
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 237 x 160 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 27 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Small languages in new circumstances?
    2. Reflexivity and small languages: the 'meta' imperative in late modernity
    3. Conventional and transactional authenticities in small-culture tourism
    4. Expanding possibilities for commodification: luxury, mobility, visuality
    5. Transgression, small languages, and changing boundaries
    6. A view from the periphery: sociolinguistics, small languages and change.

  • Authors

    Sari Pietikäinen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
    Sari Pietikäinen is Professor of Discourse Studies in the Department of Languages, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

    Alexandra Jaffe, California State University, Long Beach
    Alexandra Jaffe is the author of Ideologies in Action (1999), a prize-winning book on language politics on Corsica.

    Helen Kelly-Holmes, University of Limerick
    Dr Helen Kelly-Holmes is Senior Lecturer in Sociolinguistics and New Media and Director of the Centre for Applied Language Studies at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

    Nikolas Coupland, University of Technology, Sydney
    Nik Coupland is Emeritus Professor at the Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University, and Honorary Professor at the Department of Nordic Research, University of Copenhagen.

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