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28 May 2004
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£99.00
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9780333997529
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25 May 2004
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9780333997536
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This book examines the complex link between the national or ethnic identity of a people and the language they speak. It considers how identity functions for both groups and individuals, with particular attention to how we interpret the identities of others based on the way they speak. It looks too at how our ideas concerning particular languages such as English, including notions of what is 'good' and 'bad' English, are bound up with views of who the language 'belongs' to.

Language and identity is a current focus of research in a broad range of academic disciplines. This book tries to lay out the central issues, offering an original approach to the subject that treats identity as fundamentally a linguistic concept, and re-focuses attention from its production to its interpretation. It includes case studies on situations across the world, including Hong Kong, Lebanon, Scotland and Singapore. It considers too how identity interacts with language change and language shift, including the impact that the worldwide spread of English is having on other languages and their speakers.


Description

This book examines the complex link between the national or ethnic identity of a people and the language they speak. It considers how identity functions for both groups and individuals, with particular attention to how we interpret the identities of others based on the way they speak. It looks too at how our ideas concerning particular languages such as English, including notions of what is 'good' and 'bad' English, are bound up with views of who the language 'belongs' to.

Language and identity is a current focus of research in a broad range of academic disciplines. This book tries to lay out the central issues, offering an original approach to the subject that treats identity as fundamentally a linguistic concept, and re-focuses attention from its production to its interpretation. It includes case studies on situations across the world, including Hong Kong, Lebanon, Scotland and Singapore. It considers too how identity interacts with language change and language shift, including the impact that the worldwide spread of English is having on other languages and their speakers.


Reviews

'...admirable both in its scope and in its depth - the book goes far beyond prior books touching on language and identity...It is well-written and should make for trouble free (and even enjoyable) reading by undergraduates, graduate students and the educated lay reader interested in language and languages or in the related social sciences, psychology and, perhaps, even literary studies.' - Joshua A. Fishman, Distinguished University Professor, Yeshiva University, USA


Contents

Preface
Introduction
Linguistic Identity and the Function and Evolution of Language
Approaching Identity in Traditional Linguistic Analysis
Integrating Perspectives from Adjacent Disciplines
Language in National Identities
Case Study 1 - The New Quasi-Nation of Hong Kong
Language in Ethnic/Racial and Religious/Sectarian Identities
Case Study 2 - Christian and Muslim Identities in Lebanon
Afterword: Identity and the Study of Language
Bibliography
Index


Authors

JOHN E.JOSEPH is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. He previously taught at the University of Maryland at College Park and at the University of Hong Kong. His books include Eloquence and Power, Ideologies of Language (with T.J.Taylor), Limiting the Arbitrary and From Whitney to Chomsky.