Language and Identity: An introduction

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 17, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines
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The language we use forms an important part of our sense of who we are - of our identity. This book outlines the relationship between our identity as members of groups - ethnic, national, religious and gender - and the language varieties important to each group. What is a language? What is a dialect? Are there such things as language 'rights'? Must every national group have its own unique language? How have languages, large and small, been used to spread religious ideas? Why have particular religious and linguistic 'markers' been so central, singly or in combination, to the ways in which we think about ourselves and others? Using a rich variety of examples, the book highlights the linkages among languages, dialects and identities, with special attention given to religious, ethnic and national allegiances.
 

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language as a problem

Contents

Introduction
1
12 Chapters and topics
2
13 A concluding note
13
Identity the individual and the group
15
personal and social
19
23 The construction and maintenance of groupness
25
24 Language and circumstance
27
Identifying ourselves
34
65 Missionaries
118
Language gender and identity
126
72 Stereotyping sex and gender
127
73 Gender variations in speech
132
74 Concluding remarks
146
Ethnicity and nationalism
151
82 Ethnic identity
153
83 Nationalism
162

32 Names for groups
36
33 The appropriation of names and narratives
39
34 Cultural voices and scholarly research
42
35 Ethnocentrism and relativism
48
Language dialect and identity
53
42 Dialect
63
Dialect and identity beyond standard and nonstandard
73
52 Ebonics
75
53 Further work on dialect evaluation
82
Language religion and identity
99
62 Linking language and religion
100
63 Gods language and ours
103
64 Modern times
110
Assessments of nationalism
175
92 Evaluating nationalism
185
Language and nationalism
205
102 Language purism and prescriptivism
212
Language planning and language ecology
225
112 The ecology of language
230
113 The consequences of Babel
245
114 Bilingualism and Identity
247
Glossary
257
Notes
261
References
271
Index
310
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About the author (2009)

John Edwards is Professor of Psychology at St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia. His previous publications include Language in Canada (Cambridge, 1998).