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Multilingualism is a crucial if often unrecognized marker of new European identities.
In this collection of essays, we observe how a plurilinguist and pluricultural political entity practices and theorizes multilingualism. We ask which types of multilingualism are defined, encouraged or discouraged at the level of official policies, but also at the level of communities. We look at speakers of hegemonic or minority languages, at travellers and long-term migrants or their children, and analyse how their conversations are represented in official documents, visual art, cinema, literature and popular culture.
The volume is divided into two parts that focus respectively on “Multilingual Europe” and “Multilingual Europeans.” The first series of chapters explore the extent to which multilingualism is treated as both a challenge and an asset by the European Union, examine which factors contribute to the proliferation of languages: globalisation, the enlargement of the European Union and EU language policies. The second part of the volume concentrates on the ways in which cultural productions represent the linguistic practices of Europeans in a way that emphasizes the impossibility to separate language from culture, nationality, but also class, ethnicity or gender. The chapters suggest that each form of plurilingualism needs to be carefully analysed rather than celebrated or condemned.
Extremely Common Eloquence presents a detailed analysis of the narrative and rhetorical skills employed by working-class Scots in talking about important aspects of their lives. The wide range of devices employed by the speakers and the high quality of the examples provide convincing evidence to reject any possible negative evaluation of working-class speech on the basis of details of non-standard pronunciation and grammar. In addition to this display of linguistic accomplishment the examples examined show how these skills are employed to communicate important aspects of Scottish identity and culture.
Although the political status of Scotland has fluctuated over the past four hundred years, the sense of Scottish identity has remained strong. Part of that sense of identity comes from a form of speech that remains markedly distinct from that of the dominant neighbour to the south. There are cultural attitudes that indicate a spirit of independence that is consistent with this linguistic difference. The ways in which the speakers in this book express themselves reveal their beliefs in egalitarianism, independence, and the value of hard work. Extremely Common Eloquence demonstrates how the methods of linguistic analysis can be combined with an investigation into cultural values.
Editor: Christian Mair
The complex politics of English as a world language provides the backdrop both for linguistic studies of varieties of English around the world and for postcolonial literary criticism. The present volume offers contributions from linguists and literary scholars that explore this common ground in a spirit of open interdisciplinary dialogue.
Leading authorities assess the state of the art to suggest directions for further research, with substantial case studies ranging over a wide variety of topics - from the legitimacy of language norms of lingua franca communication to the recognition of newer post-colonial varieties of English in the online OED. Four regional sections treat the Caribbean (including the diaspora), Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Australasia and the Pacific Rim.
Each section maintains a careful balance between linguistics and literature, and external and indigenous perspectives on issues. The book is the most balanced, complete and up-to-date treatment of the topic to date.
Studies based on the Corpus of Early English Correspondence
What role has social status played in shaping the English language across the centuries? Have women also been the agents of language standardization in the past? Can apparent-time patterns be used to predict the course of long-term language change?
These questions and many others will be addressed in this volume, which combines sociolinguistic methodology and social history to account for diachronic language change in Renaissance English. The approach has been made possible by the new machine-readable Corpus of Early English Correspondence (CEEC) specifically compiled for this purpose. The 2.4-million-word corpus covers the period from 1420 to 1680 and contains over 700 writers.
The volume introduces the premises of the study, discussing both modern sociolinguistics and English society in the late medieval and early modern periods. A detailed description is given of the Corpus of Early English Correspondence, its encoding, and the separate database which records the letter writers' social backgrounds.
The pilot studies based on the CEEC suggest that social rank and gender should both be considered in diachronic language change, but that apparent-time patterns may not always be a reliable cue to what will happen in the long run. The volume also argues that historical sociolinguistics offers fascinating perspectives on the study of such new areas as pragmatization and changing politeness cultures across time.
This extension of sociolinguistic methodology to the past is a breakthrough in the field of corpus linguistics. It will be of major interest not only to historical linguists but to modern sociolinguists and social historians.
This book breaks open the 'black box' of the workplace, where successful immigrants work together with their Dutch colleagues. In their intercultural team meetings the work itself consists of communication and the question is how that work is done.
The teams consist of Dutch, Turkish, Moroccan, and Surinamese educational experts whose job it is to advise schools and teachers on the form and content of language teaching.
Their meetings are structured according to institutional patterns, such as 'interactive planning' and 'reporting', and according to intercultural discourse structures. For instance, Dutch team members identify their immigrant colleagues as 'immigrant specialists' and are themselves identified as 'institutional specialists'. Further, the intercultural pattern 'thematizing and unthematizing racism' provides the team members with communicative methods to deal with the societal contradictions that exist between different cultural groups, in the Netherlands as well as elsewhere. These intercultural discourse structures concur with the institutional patterns so that, for instance, they affect the outcomes of planning discussions.
Most studies on intercultural communication focus on misunderstandings and miscommunications. This book demonstrates that also communication without miscommunication can be shown to be intercultural.