Book Notice: Language and Identity

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Aug 3 12:57:10 UTC 2004

Forwarded from Linguist-List

Title: Language and Identity
Subtitle: National, Ethnic, Religious

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher:	Palgrave Macmillan

Author: John E. Joseph, Professor of Applied Linguistics at the
University of Edinburgh

'...admirable both in its scope and in its depth - the book goes far
beyond prior books touching on language and identity...It is
well-written and should make for trouble free (and even enjoyable)
reading by undergraduates, graduate students and the educated lay
reader interested in language and languages or in the related social
sciences, psychology and, perhaps, even literary studies.' - Joshua
A. Fishman, Distinguished University Professor, Yeshiva University,

This book examines the complex link between the national or ethnic
identity of a people and the language they speak. It considers how
identity functions for both groups and individuals, with particular
attention to how we interpret the identities of others based on the
way they speak. It looks too at how our ideas concerning particular
languages such as English, including notions of what is 'good' and
'bad' English, are bound up with views of who the language 'belongs'

Language and identity is a current focus of research in a broad range
of academic disciplines. This book tries to lay out the central
issues, offering an original approach to the subject that treats
identity as fundamentally a linguistic concept, and re-focuses
attention from its production to its interpretation. It includes case
studies on situations across the world, including Hong Kong, Lebanon,
Scotland and Singapore. It considers too how identity interacts with
language change and language shift, including the impact that the
worldwide spread of English is having on other languages and their

CONTENTS: Preface - Introduction - Linguistic Identity and the
Function and Evolution of Language - Approaching Identity in
Traditional Linguistic Analysis - Integrating Perspectives from
Adjacent Disciplines - Language in National Identities - Case Study 1
- The New Quasi-Nation of Hong Kong - Language in Ethnic/Racial and
Religious/Sectarian Identities - Case Study 2 - Christian and Muslim
Identities in Lebanon - Afterword: Identity and the Study of Language
- Bibliography - Index

Book URL:

Paperback: ISBN: 0333997530, Pages: 280, Price: U.K.  18.99

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