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MySearchLab with Pearson eText -- Standalone Access Card -- for Language, Culture and Communication,9780205932009
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MySearchLab with Pearson eText -- Standalone Access Card -- for Language, Culture and Communication



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  Explore the connections among language, culture, and communicative meaning


Using data from cultures and languages throughout the world to highlight both similarities and differences in human languages, Language, Culture and Communication, Seventh Edition, explores the many interconnections among language, culture, and communicative meaning. The text examines the multifaceted meanings and uses of language. It also emphasizes the ways in which language encapsulates speakers' meanings and intentions.


Nancy Bonvillain focuses on analyzing communicative interactions, revealing how social relations are produced and reproduced through speech. The text also highlights the analysis of language ideologies, that is, the beliefs that people have about language structure itself, about language usage, and about appropriate norms for producing and evaluating speech.

This 7th edition contains updated information throughout as well as several new sections. Examples of language practices in African societies have also been added.



Learning Goals

Upon completing this book, readers will be able to:

  • Recognize reputation and pattern in human speech.
  • Understand the formation and structure of language.
  • Have a strong understanding of the use of rhetoric in communication.

Author Biography

Nancy Bonvillain is a professor of anthropology and linguistics at Bard College at Simon's Rock. She is author of over twenty books on language, culture, and gender, including a series on Native American peoples. In her field work she studied the Mohawk and Navajo, and she has published a grammar and dictionary of the Akwesasne dialect of Mohawk. She received her PhD from Columbia University in 1972 and has taught at Columbia University, The New School, SUNY Purchase and Stonybrook, and Sarah Lawrence College.

Table of Contents

In this Section:
1) Brief Table of Contents

2) Full Table of Contents




Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: The Form of the Message

Chapter 3: Language and Cultural Meaning

Chapter 4: Contextual Components: Outline of an Ethnography of Communication

Chapter 5: Communicative Interactions

Chapter 6: Digital Communications and Signed Languages

Chapter 7: Learning Language

Chapter 8: The Acquisition of Communicate Competence

Chapter 9: Societal Segmentation and Linguistic Variation: Class and Race

Chapter 10: Language and Gender

Chapter 11: Multilingual Nations

Chapter 12: Bilingual Communities

Chapter 13: Language and Institutional Encounters





Chapter 1: Introduction

Speech Communities


Chapter 2: The Form of the Message

Phonology: The Sounds of Language

Morphology: The Structure of Words

Syntax: The Structure of Sentences

Semantics: The Analysis of Meaning

Manual Language

Nonverbal Communication


Chapter 3: Language and Cultural Meaning

Foundations of Linguistic Anthropology

Lexical and Cultural Categories

Cultural Presupposition

Extended and Transferred Meaning


Chapter 4: Contextual Components: Outline of an Ethnography of Communication

Ethnography of Communication



Topics and Goals

Speech Acts




Chapter 5: Communicative Interactions

Structural Properties of Conversation

Conversational Postulates


Directives and Responses in Context



Chapter 6: Digital Communications and Signed Languages

Telephone Conversations

Online Communication

Signed Languages and Communicative Practices


Chapter 7: Learning Language

Acquisition of Language

Complex Grammars

Comparative Evidence

Some Universal Sequences

Instructional Strategies

Strategies in Other Societies


Chapter 8: The Acquisition of Communicate Competence

Acquiring Communicative Styles

Learning Status and Role

Learning Discourse


Chapter 9: Societal Segmentation and Linguistic Variation: Class and Race

Social Stratification





Chapter 10:Language and Gender


Grammatical Variants

Choices of Vocabulary

Gender-Related Conversational Styles

Language and Sexuality

Images of Gender in Linguistic Form


Chapter 11: Multilingual Nations



The United States


Chapter 12: Bilingual Communities

Cognitive Benefits of Bilingualism

Linguistic Change

Language Use in Bilingual Communities

Bilingual Conversational Strategies

Interethnic Miscommunication


Chapter 13: Language and Institutional Encounters

Language Ideologies

Language and Status

Institutional Contexts


Medical Encounters

Legal Settings

The Media

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