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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Voices of Modernity
Subtitle: Language Ideologies and the Politics of Inequality
Written By: Richard Bauman
Charles L. Briggs

Language and tradition have long been relegated to the sidelines as
scholars have considered the role of politics, science, technology and
economics in the making of the modern world. This novel reading of over two
centuries of philosophy, political theory, anthropology, folklore and
history argues that new ways of imagining language and representing
supposedly premodern people - the poor, labourers, country folk,
non-europeans and women - made political and scientific revolutions
possible. The connections between language ideologies, privileged
linguistic codes, and political concepts and practices shape the diverse
ways we perceive ourselves and others. Bauman and Briggs demonstrate that
contemporary efforts to make schemes of social inequality based on race,
gender, class and nationality seem compelling and legitimate, rely on
deeply-rooted ideas about language and tradition. Showing how critics of
modernity unwittingly reproduce these foundational fictions, they suggest
new strategies for challenging the undemocratic influence of these voices
of modernity.

‘I can think of no one who has covered the terrain that they have in such
breadth and depth … one of the best accounts of language ideology I have
encountered.’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0521008972
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 374
Prices: U.K. £ 50.00
U.K. £ 19.99