Language and Linguistic Diversity in the US: An Introduction

Routledge
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This highly engaging textbook presents a linguistic view of the history, society, and culture of the United States. It discusses the many languages and forms of language that have been used in the US – including standard and nonstandard forms of English, creoles, Native American languages, and immigrant languages from across the globe – and shows how this distribution and diversity of languages has helped shape and define America as well as an American identity. The volume introduces the basic concepts of sociolinguistics and the politics of language through cohesive, up-to-date and accessible coverage of such key topics as dialectal development and the role of English as the majority language, controversies concerning language use in society, languages other than English used in the US, and the policies that have directly or indirectly influenced language use.

These topics are presented in such a way that students can examine the inherent diversity of the communicative systems used in the United States as both a form of cultural enrichment and as the basis for socio-political conflict. The author team outlines the different viewpoints on contemporary issues surrounding language in the US and contextualizes these issues within linguistic facts, to help students think critically and formulate logical discussions. To provide opportunities for further examination and debate, chapters are organized around key misconceptions or questions ("I don't have an accent" or "Immigrants don't want to learn English"), bringing them to the forefront for readers to address directly.

Language and Linguistic Diversity in the US is a fresh and unique take on a widely taught topic. It is ideal for students from a variety of disciplines or with no prior knowledge of the field, and a useful text for introductory courses on language in the US, American English, language variation, language ideology, and sociolinguistics.

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About the author

Susan Tamasi is Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Program in Linguistics, Emory University. She has presented at NWAV, AAAL, Sociolinguistics Symposium, and American Dialect Society, Her areas of research include sociolinguistics, language variation, language attitudes, American English, and health communication.

Lamont Antieau is an independent language consultant who has held positions as Research Associate (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Visiting Instructor (Western Carolina University), and Lecturer (Mississippi State University). He has presented at NWAV, American Dialect Society, Southeastern Conference on Linguistics, and International Association of Forensic Linguists. His areas of research include language variation, dialectology, American English, corpus linguistics, and biomedical informatics.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Dec 2, 2014
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Pages
380
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ISBN
9781136579042
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / Historical & Comparative
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Popular assumptions about gender and communication - famously summed up in the title of the massively influential 1992 bestseller Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus - can have unforeseen but far-reaching consequences in many spheres of life, from attitudes to the phenomenon of 'date-rape' to expectations of achievement at school, and potential discrimination in the work-place. In this wide-ranging and thoroughly readable book, Deborah Cameron, Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication at Oxford University and author of a number of leading texts in the field of language and gender studies, draws on over 30 years of scientific research to explain what we really know and to demonstrate how this is often very different from the accounts we are familiar with from recent popular writing. Ambitious in scope and exceptionally accessible, The Myth of Mars and Venus tells it like it is: widely accepted attitudes from the past and from other cultures are at heart related to assumptions about language and the place of men and women in society; and there is as much similarity and variation within each gender as between men and women, often associated with social roles and relationships. The author goes on to consider the influence of Darwinian theories of natural selection and the notion that girls and boys are socialized during childhood into different ways of using language, before addressing problems of 'miscommunication' surrounding, for example, sex and consent to sex, and women's relative lack of success in work and politics. Arguing that what linguistic differences there are between men and women are driven by the need to construct and project personal meaning and identity, Cameron concludes that we have an urgent need to think about gender in more complex ways than the prevailing myths and stereotypes allow. A compelling and insightful read for anyone with an interest in communication, language, and the sexes.
This highly engaging textbook presents a linguistic view of the history, society, and culture of the United States. It discusses the many languages and forms of language that have been used in the US – including standard and nonstandard forms of English, creoles, Native American languages, and immigrant languages from across the globe – and shows how this distribution and diversity of languages has helped shape and define America as well as an American identity. The volume introduces the basic concepts of sociolinguistics and the politics of language through cohesive, up-to-date and accessible coverage of such key topics as dialectal development and the role of English as the majority language, controversies concerning language use in society, languages other than English used in the US, and the policies that have directly or indirectly influenced language use.

These topics are presented in such a way that students can examine the inherent diversity of the communicative systems used in the United States as both a form of cultural enrichment and as the basis for socio-political conflict. The author team outlines the different viewpoints on contemporary issues surrounding language in the US and contextualizes these issues within linguistic facts, to help students think critically and formulate logical discussions. To provide opportunities for further examination and debate, chapters are organized around key misconceptions or questions ("I don't have an accent" or "Immigrants don't want to learn English"), bringing them to the forefront for readers to address directly.

Language and Linguistic Diversity in the US is a fresh and unique take on a widely taught topic. It is ideal for students from a variety of disciplines or with no prior knowledge of the field, and a useful text for introductory courses on language in the US, American English, language variation, language ideology, and sociolinguistics.

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