New Books: Sociolinguistics: Mesthrie, Jay

John Benjamins Publishing Co. promotion at BENJAMINS.COM
Sat Apr 22 15:42:36 UTC 2000

John Benjamins Publishing announces new work in Sociolinguistics:

Introducing Sociolinguistics
Rajend MESTHRIE (University of Cape Town), Joan SWANN (Centre for Language
and Communication, Open University), Andrea DEUMERT (University of Cape
Town)  & William L. LEAP (American University)
(US & Canada only)
Hb: 1 55619 205 3  $60.00
Pb: 1 55619 206 1  $29.95

Sociolinguistics is one of the central branches of modern linguistics and
deals with the place of language in human societies This introductory
textbook expertly synthesizes the main approaches to the subject. The book
covers areas such as multilingualism, code-choice, language variation,
dialectology, interactional studies, gender, language contact, language and
inequality, and language and power At the same time it provides an
integrated perspective on these themes by examining sociological theories
of human interaction. In this regard power and inequality are particularly
significant The book also contains two chapters on the applications of
sociolinguistics (in education and in language policy and planning), and a
concluding chapter on the sociolinguistics of sign language

Written collaboratively by teachers and scholars with first hand experience
of sociolinguistic developments on four continents, this book provides the
broadest introduction currently available to the central topics in


•       Provides a solid foundation in all aspects of sociolinguistics and
explores important themes such as power and inequality and new themes such
as sign language and gender on the internet.

•       Well illustrated with maps, diagrams, inset boxes, drawings and cartoons.

•       Accessibly written with the beginner in mind

•       Uses numerous examples from multilingual settings.

•       Explains basic concepts, supported by a Glossary.

•       Further Reading lists, a full bibliography, and a section on 'Next Steps'
provide valuable guidance.

Rajend Mesthrie is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of
Cape Town and known for his sociolinguistic work in English, Asian and
African languages. Joan Swann is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for
Language and Communication in the School of Education at the Open
University. Andrea Deumert is researching language planning and the history
of Afrikaans in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Cape
Town. William L. Leap is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the
American University, Washington DC, and a leading scholar on American
Indian language education and on gender.

Why We Curse.
A neuro-psycho-social theory of speech.
Timothy JAY
US & Canada: 1 55619 758 6 / USD 35.00 (Hardcover)
Rest of World: 90 272 2186 3 / NLG 70.00 (Hardcover)

Psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, linguists and speech
pathologists currently have no coherent theory to explain why we
curse and why we choose the words we do when we curse. The
Neuro-Psycho-Social Theory of Speech draws together information
about cursing from different disciplines and unites them to explain
and describe the psychological, neurological, cultural and
linguistic factors that underlie this startling phenomenon.
Why We Curse is divided into five parts. Part 1 introduces the
dimensions and scope of cursing and outlines the NPS Theory, while
Part 2 covers neurological variables and offers evidence for right
brain dominance during emotional speech events. Part 3 then focuses
on psychological development including language acquisition,
personality development, cognition and so forth, while Part 4
covers the wide variety of social and cultural forces that define
curse words and restrict their usage. Finally, Part 5 concludes by
examining the social and legal implications of cursing, treating
misconceptions about cursing, and setting the agenda for future
The work draws on new research by Dr. Jay and others and continues
the research reported in his groundbreaking 1992 volume Cursing in
America. A psycholinguistic study of dirty language in the courts,
in the movies, in the schoolyards and on the streets.

John Benjamins Publishing Co.
Offices: Philadelphia Amsterdam:
E-mail: service at at
Phone: +215 836-1200 +31 20 6762325
Fax: +215 836-1204 +31 20 6739773

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