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Problems of Language in East German Society and Culture
Editors: Graham Jackman and Ian F. Roe
Finding a Voice explores aspects of the use and function of language in East Germany which resulted from Party control of public discourse during the period of the German Democratic Republic. A distinctive feature of the volume, which brings together essays by British and German scholars, is the wide variety of areas which are incorporated in this survey - from political and public discourse, through aspects of sociolinguistics and the teaching of German, to a spectrum of artistic forms ranging from rock music and film to poetry and the novel. In particular, the relationship between public discourse and the events of the ‘Wende' is explored in a number of contributions. Most of the works and issues considered are discussed in English here for the first time, and the volume as a whole should be of interest to scholars concerned with the GDR and with contemporary German culture, to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and also to others interested in the history and culture of Germany since 1945. Nine of the essays are in English and four in German.
In: From Creole to Standard
Shakespeare, Language, and Literature in a Postcolonial Context
This book gives a fascinating account of the unique history of the national – creole – language of Mauritius and the process of standardization that it is undergoing in postcolonial times. The central question is how far a creative writer's activity may affect the status and linguistic forms of a regional language. The book focuses on the work of the author Dev Virahsawmy, who, particularly through his Shakespeare translations, is an active agent in the standardization of Mauritian creole.
The approaches employed in From Creole to Standard combine a sociolinguistic examination of (changing) language attitudes with detailed textual studies of some of Virahsawmy's works to show the relation of his work to the process of language development. This book is relevant to the study of other creole languages undergoing standardization as well as to questions of language development more widely. Its strength lies precisely in its interdisciplinary approach, which addresses different readerships. Mooneeram’s study is of great interest to both postcolonial thinking and sociolinguistics but also has important implications for debates about the role of canonical literary works and their transmission in the wider world.
Her book is also a contribution to Shakespeare studies and the field of literary linguistics. There are interesting parallels between the contemporary situation of Mauritian creole and English in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Virahsawmy’s adaptations and translations into creole echo the role Shakespeare’s ‘originals’ played for English, and Mooneeram demonstrates how other writers have followed Virahsawmy in using literary forms to enrich the language.
Literature, Language, and Multiculturalism in Scandinavia and the Low Countries presents a ground-breaking comparative approach to the study of multicultural literature. Focusing on the development of migration literature in Sweden, Denmark, Flanders, and the Netherlands, the volume argues that the political and institutional preconditions for the development of ‘multicultural’ literatures are still given within the frame of the nation-state. As a consequence, both the field of ‘migration literature’ and the (multi-)lingual quality of literary texts are shaped differently in each state and in each language area. The volume delineates the development of multicultural literature in Scandinavia and the Low Countries as a function of the specific language situations in these countries as well as the various political, institutional, and discursive contexts.
This book not only offers a comprehensive theoretical and methodological analysis of multilingualism and multicultural literature, but also provides overviews sketching the discourse on multiculturalism, language and the development of the literary field in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Flanders. Besides it presents a broad range of in-depth analyses of selected literary texts from each of these countries.
New Horizons in Postcolonial Cultural Studies
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.