FYI: Call for Chapters: Watching TV with a Linguist
Kristy Beers Fägersten
Should almost anyone ever dare to make the claim, ''I don’t read books!'', it would, in many social circles, be met with disbelief and disdain. Reading books is the most widely recognized sign of accomplished erudition, intellectual accountability and, of course, basic literacy. Isn’t it curious, however, that each of these qualities can just as effectively be implied by substituting the predicative proposition ‘read books’ with ‘watch television’? To announce, for example, ''I don’t watch television!'' is to state implicitly that one is pursuing or has already achieved sublime sophistication, having excised the basest form of entertainment from one’s cultural repertoire and devoted oneself entirely to higher forms of intellectual activity. The message is clear: television is low-brow with no cultural or educational value.
Watching TV with a Linguist shamelessly and categorically rejects that traditional view of television. In the spirit of the disciplines of television, film, media and cultural studies, this introductory linguistics book recognizes television as a mirror of society, a forum for social and political commentary and an influential vehicle for change. Most importantly, this book acknowledges and capitalizes on television as an irrefutable educational resource. Television offers the general public an ever-increasing number of high quality, critically acclaimed, compelling and entertaining comedies and dramas featuring a range of characters both simple and complex, irritating and irresistible, familiar and foreign. The dialogue these characters engage in is by turns sophisticated, edgy, heavy-handed, tedious and witty, reflecting scriptwriting that can aspire to raw authenticity, aim for catch-phrase immortality or elegantly capture the essence of quotidian communication. It is the television characters’ interpersonal interactions in the form of dialogue or narration delivered in coherent social contexts that are explored and analyzed in Watching TV with a Linguist.
The book serves to initiate the reader in basic linguistic analysis and present linguistic terminology and concepts. It is thus an introduction to the study of English linguistics based on popular and critically acclaimed American and British television shows. The book approaches linguistics as science in action, with comprehensive presentations of linguistic terminology and clear explanations of linguistic concepts, both of which are illustrated with examples from contextualized television dialogues.
Watching TV with a Linguist champions the use of the language of television series to learn about linguistics. It is intended to 1) stand alone as a general interest text to readers curious about linguistics, television, or both; 2) to be used as a course text for introductory or survey courses of linguistics; or 3) serve as a complementary text to courses in linguistics or communication, media and television studies, supplying linguistic examples and illustrating linguistic analysis. The objectives of the book are therefore to present, explain and illustrate the linguistic terminology and concepts associated with each of the singular themes using contextualized examples from television dialogue. The book furthermore aims to raise linguistic awareness among readers by identifying linguistics in action, thereby enabling the reader autonomously to recognize additional examples of linguistic concepts. Each chapter will provide suggestions for viewing other television series or specific episodes, where further examples of the linguistic concepts in focus can be found.
Call for Chapters:
The following chapters and corresponding content will be included in the book:
- Phonetics and Phonology: Consonants, manner and place of articulation, voicing, vowels and vowel qualities, phones, phonemes, allophones, phonological rules, syllables, phonotactic constraints.
- Word formation: Compounds, blends, clips, back formation, conversion, borrowing, acronyms, abbreviations, initialisms, hypocorism, eponymy, affixation.
- Morphology: Open and closed classes, free and bound morphemes, lexical and functional morphemes, inflectional and derivational morphemes, allomorphs.
- Syntax: Lexical categories, generative grammar, noun phrases, verb phrases, adjective phrases, adverbial phrases, phrase structure rules, clauses, participial clauses.
- Semantics: Semantic feature analysis, semantic roles, lexical relations.
- Pragmatics: Deixis, reference, inference, anaphora, presupposition, speech acts, politeness, face.
- Spoken discourse analysis: Cohesion, coherence, schemas, scripts, speech events, conversation analysis.
- Sociolinguistics and social variation: Sociolinguistic variables, social dialects, social markers, covert and overt prestige, convergence, divergence, style-shifting, register, jargon, slang, language and gender, language and culture.
- Sociolinguistics and regional variation: Accent, dialect, language, isoglosses, dialect boundaries, language contact, standard language, bilingualism, bidialectalism, code-switching.
- Language acquisition: Stages of acquisition, developmental stages, Universal Grammar instinct, imitation, care-taker speech, errors, over-generalization, over-extension.
- Second language acquisition: Acquisition, learning, second language, foreign language, affective filter, integrative motivation, instrumental motivation, input, output, interlanguage, grammatical competence, sociolinguistic competence, strategic competence, communicative competence.
- Language and the brain: Aphasia, Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area, localization, critical period.
Each chapter will be based on one television series and illustrated with data from one or more episodes of that series. Please send a 250-word abstract detailing the chapter to be addressed and the television series and specific episodes to be featured, and indicating whether and how each of the specific content items will be accounted for: firstname.lastname@example.org
The publication schedule is as follows:
Call for chapters: 15 January - 15 February
Abstract submission deadline: 15 February
Notice of acceptance: 22 February
First chapter submission deadline: 03 May
Final chapter submission deadline: 28 June
Completed manuscript submission: 30 August