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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."

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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: Creole and Dialect Continua
Written By: Geneviève Escure
Series Title: Creole Language Library 18

Although there is a substantial amount of linguistic research on standard language acquisition, little attention has been given to the mechanisms underlying second dialect acquisition. Using a combination of function-based grammar and sociolinguistic methodology to analyze topic marking strategies, the unguided acquisition of a standard by speakers of nonstandard varieties is examined in two distinct linguistic and geographical situations: in a Caribbean creole situation (Belize), with special attention to the acquisition of acrolects by native speakers of basilects, and in a noncreole situation (PRC), documenting the acquisition of standard Chinese (Putonghua) by speakers of nonstandard varieties represented in Cultural Revolution literature, Wuhan Chinese, and Suzhou Wu story-telling style. In both cases psychosocial factors, linguistic bias toward nonnative renderings of the standard varieties, the social status of their speakers, and related political and educational consequences play an important role in the development of second dialects. The broad-ranging analysis of a single feature of oral discourse leads to the formulation of cross-linguistic generalizations in acquisition studies and results in an evaluation of the putative uniqueness of creole languages. Related issues addressed include the effect of linguistic bias on the development and use of language varieties by marginalized groups; the interaction of three major language components - semantics, syntax, and pragmatics - in spontaneous communication; and the development of methods to identify discourse units. The ultimate goal underlying the comparison of specific discourse variables in Belizean and Chinese standard acquisition is to evaluate the relative merits of substratal, superstratal, and universal explanations in language development.

Publication Year: 1998
Publisher: John Benjamins
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Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1556191731
ISBN-13: 9781556191732
Prices: U.S. $ 162
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027252408
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: NLG 214.00