Book notice: Language and Social Relations

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Dec 12 14:53:50 UTC 2006

Language and Social Relations
Studies in the Social and Cultural Foundations of Language 24
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2006


Author: Asif Agha

Language is closely linked to our social relationships and is the medium
through which we participate in a variety of social activities. This
original study explores the important role of language in various aspects
of our social life, such as identity, gender relations, class, kinship,
status, and hierarchies. Drawing on data from over thirty different
languages and societies, it shows how language is more than simply a form
of social action; it is also an effective tool with which we formulate
models of social life and conduct. These models - or particular forms of
social behaviour - are linked to the classification of 'types' of action
or actor, and are passed 'reflexively' from person to person, and from
generation to generation. Providing a novel and unified way of accounting
for a variety of social phenomena, this book will be welcomed by all those
interested in the interaction between language, culture, and society.

1. Reflexivity;
2. From referring to registers;
3. Register formations;
4. The social life of cultural value;
5. Regrouping identity;
6. Registers of person deixis;
7. Honorific registers;
8. Norm and trope in kinship behaviour.


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