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Making Sense of Language Readings in Culture and Communication

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-11-07
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Most of us use language without giving much thought to the way it works or how it functions differently across cultures; however, the ability to use language is perhaps the most uniquely human of all our characteristics. Each of the forty-five readings in Making Sense of Language: Readings in Culture and Communication acts as a window--a particular perspective--on language. Chosen for their accessibility, these classic and contemporary selections engage students in thinking about language and how it relates to many aspects of being human. *A broad range of topics and viewpoints provides the ideal introduction to the study of language and presents instructors with a variety of options for teaching from the text. *Introductions to each part, thematic unit, and reading offer succinct historical and intellectual context to guide students and help them make connections among the topics and articles. *Pre- and post-reading questions, suggested activities, lists of key terms, suggested further readings, and a glossary aid students' understanding of the material. *Alongside canonical works, the volume includes selections on exciting contemporary topics--hip-hop, gossip, and the language of nerds, for example--that are familiar and accessible to students. About the Editor Susan Blum is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. She is a cultural and linguistic anthropologist whose research has examined an array of issues in China and the United States.

Table of Contents

The Nature of Languagep. 1
What is Language?p. 3
Smiles, Winks, and Wordsp. 5
The Origin of Speechp. 16
Nature of the Linguistic Signp. 21
How Language Worksp. 25
Signing and Speaking: Competitors, Alternatives, or Incompatibles?p. 36
Why Gossip Is Good for Youp. 40
The Orality of Languagep. 45
Aspects of Literacyp. 52
Language and Thoughtp. 70
The Relation of Habitual Thought and Behavior to Languagep. 72
Codifications of Reality: Lineal and Nonlinealp. 84
Metaphors We Live Byp. 92
Language and Mind: Let's Get the Issues Straight!p. 95
Language and Societyp. 107
Multilingualismp. 109
Societal Multilingualism
Chinese, English, Spanish - and the Restp. 111
Triglossia: African Privilege or Necessity?p. 117
Bad Language - Bad Citizensp. 125
Individual Multilingualism
A Linguistic Odyssey: One Family's Experience with Language Shift and Cultural Identity in Germany and Francep. 137
Bilingualism en casap. 150
Conversational Code Switchingp. 163
Language Choice, Religion, and Identity in the Banarsi Communityp. 179
Language Endangerment and Revitalization
Most of the World's Languages Went Extinctp. 192
The Future of Native Languagesp. 207
Language Loss and Revitalization in California: Overviewp. 216
Language and Identityp. 223
Region and Class
They Speak Really Bad English Down South and in New York Cityp. 227
Social Stratification of(r) in New York City Department Storesp. 234
New York Jewish Conversational Stylep. 248
"Race" and Ethnicity
Suite for Ebony and Phonicsp. 258
"Nuthin' buta G Thang": Grammar and Language Ideology in Hip Hop Identityp. 264
The Whiteness of Nerds: Superstandard English and Racial Markednessp. 276
Language Ideology and Racial Inequality: Competing Functions of Spanish in an Anglo-Owned Mexican Restaurantp. 285
"Women's Language" or "Powerless Language"?p. 305
Women Talk Too Muchp. 312
Power and the Language of Menp. 317
Performing Gender Identity: Young Men's Talk and the Construction of Heterosexual Masculinityp. 328
Norm-Makers, Norm-Breakers: Uses of Speech by Men and Women in a Malagasy Communityp. 337
Language as Social Actionp. 347
Discourse, Performance, and Ritualp. 349
How to Do Things with Wordsp. 350
Kuna Curing and Magic: Counseling the Spiritsp. 354
Naming Practices and the Power of Words in Chinap. 369
Amen and Hallelujah Preaching: Discourse Functions in African American Sermonsp. 384
Courtroom Questioning as a Culturally Situated Persuasive Genre of Talkp. 398
The Internet and Relationshipsp. 409
Language Ideologyp. 424
Anger, Gender, Language Shift, and the Politics of Revelation in a Papua New Guinean Villagep. 425
Accent, Standard Language Ideology, and Discriminatory Pretext in the Courtsp. 435
Orality: Another Language Ideologyp. 451
Let Your Words Be Few: Speaking and Silence in Quaker Ideologyp. 458
'To Give Up on Words': Silence in Western Apache Culturep. 466
Glossaryp. 475
Indexp. 481
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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