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Language in Society #24: Anthropological Linguisticsby William A Foley
Synopses & Reviews
This is the first comprehensive textbook in anthropological linguistics to be published for very many years. It provides a remarkably complete and authoritative review of research questions which span the disciplines of linguinitics and anthropology, yet presents a coherent, unified, biologically based view of this cross-disciplinary field.
Anthropological linguistics is concerned with the place of language in its social and cultural context, with understanding the role of language in forging and sustaining cultural practices and social structures. While anthropological concept of culture, its subject matter ranges cry widely: from cognitive or psychologically oriented topics such as linguistic, relativity or universals of color terminology, to sociocultural issues such as language and gender, politeness, socialization, language contact, and linguistic engineering. All these topics and many more are addressed here, supported by examples and illustrations from an array of languages, especially those of Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Students will find in this book a careful evaluation of current issues and research questions, giving them a basic, yet well rounded understanding of their importance in a wider field; and they will find in each chapter suggestions for further readings, allowing them to pursue topics of particular interest to them.
This textbook starts from a theoretical viewpoint of both language and culture as conventionalized forms of situated practice and uses this as a unifying framework to cover the full range of topics normally treated under the rubric of language and culture.
This is a textbook for courses in language and culture for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students. It starts from a theoretical viewpoint of both language and culture as conventionalized forms of situated practice and uses this as a unifying framework to cover the full range of topics normally treated under the rubric of language and culture. An important orientating strand in the book is the tension between innatist or universalist versus relativist approaches to anthropological linguistic phenomena: various topics like kinship, color, classifiers or the effects of literacy are discussed from these contrasting viewpoints to provide a richer understanding of their implications. The book is organized so that in a modular way individual instructors may use or omit sections to fit into their overall teaching design.
William A. Foley is Professor of Lingusitics at the University of Sydney. He is author of Functional Syntax and Universal Grammar (with R. van Valin) and The Papuan Languages fo New Guinea, and editor of The Role of Theory in Language Description.
It starts from a theoretical viewpoint of both language and culture as conventionalised forms of situated practice and uses this as a unifying framework to cover the full range of topics normally treated under the rubric of language and culture.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -468) and index.
About the Author
"Foley's book illustrates quite convincingly that 'Linguistics without anthropology is sterile, anthropology without linguistics is blind'(Hockett 1973: 675)" Gunter Senft, Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics
"I applaud Foley for having overcome one of the main constraints of structuralist - inspired approaches to analysis." Peter Muhlhausler, University of Adelaide
Table of Contents
Part I: Introduction.
Part II: The Evolution of Language.
2. The Evolution of Language.
Part III: Universalism: Innate Constraints of Mind.
3. Mind, Universals and the Sensible World.
5. Cognitive Anthropology.
Part IV: Relativism: Cultural and Linguistic Constraints on Mind.
8. On Relativist Understanding.
9. Models and Metaphors.
10. Linguistic Relativity and the Boasian Tradition.
Part V: The Ethnography of Speaking.
13. Speaking as a Culturally Constructed Act: A Few Examples.
14. Politeness, Face and the Linguistic Construction of Personhood.
15. Language and Gender.
16. Language and Social Position.
17. Language and Socialisation.
18. Genre: Poetics, Ritual Languages and Verbal Art.
Part VI: Culture and Language Change.
19. Contact Induced Language Change.
20. Standard Language and Linguistic Engineering.
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