LINGUIST List 16.848

Mon Mar 21 2005

Books: Ling Theories/Socioling: Linell

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        1.    Lauren McGraw, The Written Language Bias in Linguistics: Linell

Message 1: The Written Language Bias in Linguistics: Linell

Date: 14-Mar-2005
From: Lauren McGraw <>
Subject: The Written Language Bias in Linguistics: Linell

Title: The Written Language Bias in Linguistics
Subtitle: Its Nature, Origins and Transformations
Series Title: Routledge Advances in Communication and Linguistic Theory
Published: 2005
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)

Author: Per Linell
Hardback: ISBN: 0415349923 Pages: 248 Price: U.K. £ 105.00

There is a 'written language bias' in the language sciences, particularly
in linguistics. Within the discipline of linguistics, models and theories
of language have been developed that are strongly dependent on long-time
traditions of dealing with writing and written language. This legacy is
still alive in modern, mainstream theoretical linguistics. As a consequence
a paradox arises: there is an almost unanimous agreement on the absolute
primacy of spoken language, yet language is explored from theoretical and
methodological points of departure that are ultimately derived from
concerns with cultivating, standardising and teaching forms of written

The author substantiates claims about the 'written language bias' using
arguments and points from the theory and philosophy of language, phonology,
grammar, lexicology, semantics, pragmatics, theory of text and discourse.
Special attention is given to the notion of the single, unitary language,
the distinction between language and speech, the view on language as a set
of abstract objects and rules, the sentences as the fundamental unit of
language, among other themes. Although the book focuses on mainstream
linguistics, it also sketches an alternative theory of language which
describes language use and talk-in-interaction in dialogical terms and as
embodied, social action distributed in time.

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
                            General Linguistics
                            Linguistic Theories
                            Philosophy of Language

Written In: English (ENG )

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